The Night HE Came Home!
Director – John Carpenter
Writers – John Carpenter, Debra Hill
Starring – Donald Pleasance, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens, Arthur Malet, Mickey Yablans, Brent Le Page, Adam Hollander, Robert Phalen, Tony Moran
Review by Noel Baily
Itself beholdin’ to PSYCHO, this is where it started!
Reviewing HALLOWEEN is a little like being asked to review GENESIS! So many factors come into play here. Did you see HALLOWEEN the year it was released? What age might you have been then? Have you seen it multiple times since??? as a teenager? as an adult? Are you an intelligent person?
All these variables have relevance to your appreciation, understanding, and interpretive skills of this landmark film. Actually made on a remarkably low-budget, Carpenter really hit the jackpot with this one. It WAS eerie….it WAS frightening and almost ALL of this was achieved with suggestion…rather than graphic violence. The evil and malignant INTENT of Michael Myers filled the theater. Loomis’ brave, almost unhinged pursuit of his nemesis was tangible and horror would never be the same again. Both FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH’s Jason Voorhees and NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET’s Freddy Krueger were the willing and predictable descendents of Michael Myers.
As integral as anything else here was John Carpenter’s own musical score which he re-arranged for both sequels, and other self-directed films of the 80’s including ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and THE THING. The power of HALLOWEEN has not been diminished OR surpassed in any of the seven sequels. If you are a teenager and have never seen the original HALLOWEEN it might be an interesting learning curve for you. You might say that you’ve seen it all before…..but that’s because it was here first.
Review by Jack Gatanella
One of the best horror and independent films ever made,
John Carpenter has created a masterpiece with Halloween. Not only a terrific horror film, but a terrific independent picture as well (the film only cost $320,000). The pictures revolutionized horror movies and all movies by scaring you to the bone with a character who heard voices in his head and couldn’t be stopped. Though the film goes a little slow, thats good because it gets the pace to a good tempo and that is what makes a good horror movie. Along with great performances by Pleasence and Curtis (her first film), this film needs to belong in motion picture history.
Review by Wayne Malin
The plot is well-known by now so I won’t summarize it.
I saw this great film back in 1978 with an audience full of teenagers (I was 16 myself). How this film got an R rating is beyond me–there’s only a few flashes of nudity, one instance of swearing, no sex shown (only under the sheets) and very little blood. But that’s another issue altogether…
Seeing this film before it started slasher films was quite interesting. It was nothing new plot-wise but it was well-shot (beautiful Panavision images and director John Carpenter makes full use of his wide screen), reasonably well-acted (this was before Jamie Lee Curtis hit it big and she’s awkward) and very VERY scary!
The bodies falling out of closets, Michael jumping up from behind a couch and sitting up when he’s supposed to be dead were terrifying. I had nightmares that night over this!
Unfortunately most people now see this after seeing the countless inferior copycat films which stole many things from “Halloween” like: sex=death; a masked killer; no motivation from the killer (in “Halloween” it’s suggested that Michael is the boogeyman but I always found that kind of silly). What those copycats left out was: likable characters; suspense; teenagers who talk and act like teenagers; scares; logic and lack of gore. Also you’re rooting for the girls in this picture not the killer as you are in some others.
A must-see classic. Wide-screen viewing is essential.
Great music score too.