Welcome to the Grindhouse
A Lunch Community

Horror movie directed by John Carpenter

< read all 6 reviews

Halloween is no masterpiece, but still a good work of horror

  • Apr 9, 2011

 It is Halloween night in Illinois in 1963. Young six year old Michael Myers brutally stabbed his sister to death for a reason unknown to most. His parents come home only to find him standing completely zoned out with a large, bloody knife in his hands. Michael is then put in a mental hospital where he will spend the next fifteen years of his life, until on October 30th 1978 Michael breaks free and steals his Doctor's car. Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) knows that Michael is looking for blood, so he heads to Haddonfield, Michael's home town, to try and prevent too much destruction. Loomis immediately heads to the local Sheriff where they will both try and hunt down Michael as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) feels like she is being stalked by someone, but she does not know who. This turns out to be Michael as he targets this group of teenagers on his killing spree.

First off, Halloween is definitely one of the best horror films I have ever seen. Nowadays I cannot help but feel that the writers and directors of the world seem to think blood and gore equals a scary film. Which is not at all true. If you look at the recent horror/slasher films that come out, all that happens is someone taking a chainsaw or a knife and cutting people open. That isn't scary, it's more laughable than anything to be honest. The key to making a film actually somewhat scary, it is a very difficult thing to do, is not blood, it is suspense. If a movie has enough suspense it does not matter whether there is any death or blood at all, with suspense a film will be scary. Which is what Halloween does so well.

The story, for the most part, is just your basic horror film. A group of teenagers are being hunted by some psycho that decides to kill people. The audience doesn't really know why, but that is just what happens. I personally prefer to have the killings explained a bit more than they are in most films, such as Psycho, but I suppose as far as horror goes that just isn't the way the films are made. I have read and heard many people compare this to Psycho, and as much as I loved this film, I cannot say I agree with that. As far as I have ever seen Psycho is the best of all in the horror genre, though I must admit Halloween is no doubt on of the best horror films I have ever seen. It is actually a bit slow moving at times, which is what makes it so great. A lot may not happen for awhile in the film, but John Carpenter slowly builds the suspense with Michael following Jamie Lee Curtis' characters. It made for a great, unforgettable climax.

I have to say I am not at all a John Carpenter fan. Any director that only directs horror films is not a director for me. He may have made many films that received plenty of critical acclaim, but most of his films just aren't my style. However, he really did do a good job here. He knew what he was doing, and this was one of his first films. The performances were not that bad, which is another thing you really have to watch out for in horror films. I have always found Jamie Lee Curtis an annoying actress, but I guess she did fine in this film. I mean, it shouldn't be that hard to find actors who can run around and scream and make it sound real, but movie makers today sure seem to have a world of trouble doing it. Donald Pleasence was okay as well. Nothing worth praising by any of the actors really, but if you compare the acting in this film to the acting in other horror films, it is certainly much improved.

Overall, Halloween is an excellent film. It may be a bit overrated, I can't see how so many people give it a perfect score, but that does not change how great it really is. It is actually a film that I think gets better, and more scary the older it gets. As I mentioned all people are used to today is bllod and gore, and this truly shows how to make a film scary, that honestly is not that violent. It is nothing but chills and inforgettable scenes. Halloween is a well made, well directed, and just a really great film. Maybe I didn't find it to be quite the masterpiece that some do, but nothing short of excellence.

What did you think of this review?

Fun to Read
Post a Comment
April 10, 2011
"a film that I think gets better, and more scary the older it gets" so well said.
April 10, 2011
April 10, 2011
I am sssoooo putting this on my 'wall' in FB!
April 10, 2011
You mean my review? I don't exactly know what that means but sounds cool!
More Halloween (1978 movie) reviews
review by . November 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     I like taking long walks in the night; preferably before winter is upon us. It's just a personal past-time; I enjoy the cold air, the ominous winds, and of course, the lights that illuminate the front porch of every house. So, given that I take so many nighttime strolls, it should come to no surprise that I find John Carpenter's "Halloween" to be one of the scariest, most impacting horror films ever made; an absolutely outstanding example of its genre, with …
Quick Tip by . September 24, 2010
Picking up from Black Christmas, Halloween is the essential American slasher film and one of the most important films in John Carpenter's tenure as a filmmaker.
review by . May 11, 2009
Halloween (1978) is John Carpenter's homage to Dario Argento and Mario Bava. A horror/thriller uses mood, music and lighting instead of relying on buckets of red paint and cheap scares. This movie also was the start of a movie franchise , two rebooted films and it has spawned scores of knock-offs and rip-offs. Halloween is also responsible for the "teenage girl" in peril films. It's also responsible for the called "slasher" films that become the staple of 80's horror flicks and a tired cliche in …
review by . March 04, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
The best scary movies are the ones that remember this rule: the less you have to show, the better because the human mind can imagine things far worse than anything on the screen. John Carpenter used to know this and that's the reason that HALLOWEEN is such a success and so much better than the sequels that followed. By then Carpenter was rolling in the dough and forgot his roots. I'm not completely sure why but many first time directors make these awesome pictures on shoe-string budgets then in …
About the reviewer
Matt Stewart ()
Basically all anyone would need to know about me is I love movies. I watch movies, review them, and I can always enjoy a good, long talk about the art of film making.
About this movie


Halloweenis as pure and undiluted as its title. In the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois, a teenage baby sitter tries to survive a Halloween night of relentless terror, during which a knife-wielding maniac goes after the town's hormonally charged youths. Director John Carpenter takes this simple situation and orchestrates a superbly mounted symphony of horrors. It's a movie much scarier for its dark spaces and ominous camera movements than for its explicit bloodletting (which is actually minimal). Composed by Carpenter himself, the movie's freaky music sets the tone; and his script (cowritten with Debra Hill) is laced with references to other horror pictures, especiallyPsycho. The baby sitter is played by Jamie Lee Curtis, the real-life daughter ofPsychovictim Janet Leigh; and the obsessed policeman played by Donald Pleasence is named Sam Loomis, after John Gavin's character inPsycho. In the end, though,Halloweenstands on its own as an uncannily frightening experience--it's one of those movies that had audiences literally jumping out of their seats and shouting at the screen. ("No! Don't drop that knife!") Produced on a low budget, the picture turned a monster profit, and spawned many sequels, none of which approached the 1978 original. Curtis returned for two more installments: 1981's dismalHalloween II, which picked up the story the day after the unfortunate events, and 1998's occasionally grippingHalloween H20, which proved the ...
view wiki


Director: John Carpenter
Genre: Horror
Release Date: October 25, 1978
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: John Carpenter
Runtime: 1hr 33min
Studio: Compass International Pictures
First to Review

"Trick or Treat."
© 2014 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
Welcome to the Grindhouse is part of the Lunch.com Network - Get this on your site
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since