John Carpenter's Halloween (1978)
The first time I saw this movie, I fell in love with it.
The film is sheer genius and will always hold a very special place in my
Classic, highly influential low budget thriller that gave birth to a
horror icon and launched the careers of both director John
Carpenter and star Jamie Lee Curtis.
Seemingly unstoppable murderer escapes from mental institution and returns to his hometown where he begins to stalk a local babysitter on Halloween.
Halloween is a film that never fails to live up to its reputation as a horror masterpiece! Now, by today's standards, it isn't as graphic and visceral, but this film delivers on all the other levels most horror movies fail to achieve today. Halloween is a genuinely terrifying movie. The atmosphere that John Carpenter creates is so creepy, and the fact that it is set in a quaint, mid-west town is a testament to his ability. The lighting effects are down right horrifying, with "The Shape" seemingly appearing and disappearing into the shadows at will. The simple yet brutally effective music score by Carpenter himself, only adds to the suspense.
In a sense, Halloween is a fine example of a perfect horror film!
The performances by all the players are well done, with specific nods to Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance. Ms. Curtis is such a good Laurie Strode because she is so likable and vulnerable. It is all the more frightening when she is being stalked by Michael Myers because the director and viewer have invested so much into her, we want her to survive and get away.
Donald Pleasance plays Dr. Loomis like a man on a mission, and it works well. He adds a sense of urgency to the predicament to the town of Haddonfield finds itself in because he knows what evil stalks their streets.
To call Halloween merely brilliant isn't giving it enough credit. As a horror film and as a historical milestone that single-handedly shaped and altered the future of an entire genre, it's downright transcendent.
This should be standard viewing for anyone wanting to experience a truly scary movie. And for an even more frightful time, try watching it alone with the lights off. Don't be surprised if you think you see "The Shape" lurking around in the shadows!