Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween Night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.
Directed by: John Carpenter
The Boogeyman cometh A soulless killer, Michael Myers, escapes from the asylum and returns to the Illinois town where he murdered his sister 15 years earlier to wreak havoc on Halloween night. Donald Pleasence is on hand as Myers’ seriously concerned doctor. John Carpenter’s “Halloween” (1978) is hailed as the progenitor and blueprint for the slasher craze of the 80s with staples like the unstoppable masked killer, fake scares, the final girl and the undead dead. Of course, “Halloween” was influenced by earlier slashers or quasi-slashers, like “Psycho” (1960), “Dementia 13” (1963), “A Bay of Blood” (1971) “Torso (1973), “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974) and “Black Christmas” (1974). “Friday the 13th” (1980) and its sequels took the “Halloween” template and added other elements, like the summer camp setting and a devolving supernatural killer. Whilst I prefer the “Friday” films, “Halloween” has more class than many slashers that followed, like the unimaginatively blunt “The Slumber Party Massacre” (1982). It also keeps the proceedings deadly serious unlike ones that added humor and campiness, such as “Friday the 13th Part 3” (1982). The film establishes some quality atmosphere with the raining sanitarium escape and the Halloween night sequences. The creepy ambiance is helped by the moody score composed and performed by Carpenter. Although the story takes place in a fictional Illinois town, the film was shot in the Los Angeles area (South Pasadena and Hollywood, etc.), which is okay since the neighborhood scenes could be Anytown, USA. What’s NOT okay is how the trees clearly reveal that it’s not late October. Other problems include a tedious lack of drive and some weak dialogue, like the girls’ conversation walking home from school, which doesn’t ring true. Speaking of the girls, they’re decent, but not nearly as good as the “Friday” films. Nancy Kyes (Loomis) is arguably the best as Annie, followed by Jamie Lee Curtis as the main protagonist (whose mother, Janet, starred in “Psycho”). Flighty, but likable PJ Soles is also on hand. Another dubious part is the doctor hiding in the bushes by the abandoned Myers’ abode speaking portentously. I appreciate “Halloween” because it’s classy, atmospheric and it’s a superb pick for the fall season; it also holds an eminent place in horror history. But, in light of the above flaws, it’s a tad overrated by gushing fans. GRADE: B
Compass International Pictures
Falcon International Productions
1 hr 31 mins
$ 10,000,000.00 (Estimated)