Halloween (1978)
October 19, 2022 7:07 AM - Subscribe

On a cold Halloween night in 1963, six year old Michael Myers brutally murdered his 17-year-old sister, Judith. He was sentenced and locked away for 15 years. But on October 30, 1978, while being transferred for a court date, a 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and escapes Smith's Grove. He returns to his quiet hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where he looks for his next victims.

Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald PLeasance, Nancy Kyes, PJ Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, and Nick Castle.

Directed by by John Carpenter. Written by John Carpenter & Debra Hill. Score by John Carpenter. Cinematography by Dean Cundey (Jurassic Park).

96% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
posted by DirtyOldTown (6 comments total)
The original and still champ.

Oft-discussed as a classic that made the slasher a genre and rightfully so. But also worth praise as the film that took the Steadicam from a rarely-used gadget to a standard film tool. Dean Cundey's POV work from Michael Myers' perspective is damned good.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:09 AM on October 19, 2022 [2 favorites]

GOAT is right.

It still scares and chills me after all these years. It's so well done. You just can't top it.
posted by Kitteh at 7:11 AM on October 19, 2022

There is a reason why this remains the best one, even as it also serves as an irresistible launching pad for sequels: it's an empty vessel.

Q: Why does Michael Myers kill in this movie?
A: He just does.

The unexplainable evil of Myers in this film can never be replicated, but it also provides an opportunity for subsequent filmmakers to rework the story for their generation's brand of horror. The 80's sequel trilogy is bonkers 80's slasher excess. The two 90's films by Dimension are slick, teen horror films. The two Rob Zombie films are mean-spirited 00's grim horror. The just-concluded David Gordon Green trilogy tries to walk the tightrope between the two current dominant schools of box office horror: fan service and "elevated horror."

This series will be back, and in a different shape. Like Michael Myers himself, it cannot be killed.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:32 AM on October 19, 2022 [4 favorites]

Watching and rewatching a few of the movies in this franchise has really reinforced for me that Halloween feels less like a franchise than four distinct franchises under one umbrella that are only tenuously (and legally in intellectual property terms) related. This is mostly because not a single subsequent film in the "series" is anywhere remotely near the same class as the first film. It's kind of hilarious just how precipitous and decisive the drop in quality is from an undisputed classic--and not just a "genre" classic, but a classic classic--to literally everything that followed.
posted by tomorrowromance at 1:36 PM on October 19, 2022 [2 favorites]

I was convinced I was not going to like this movie at all because it was sold me as a slasher. I'm not into that. But I liked other John Carpenter movies so I thought, OK, I'll try it.

The pivot from "I will never watch this movie" to "this is now one of my favorite movies and I need it on bluray so I can watch it every year" was so fast. You can call it a slasher, but it's more Hitchcock horror (which more naked breasts, sure). I like that Michael Myers has no motivation. It's just creepy and scary. Laurie is just a kid and she survives because she's babysitting! It's not that she's not having sex or anything! She just has other priorities currently!

(I know the legend is that Carpenter always was going to do the score -- which is awesome and iconic and changed horror scores -- but also, they spend the entire music budget on licensing "Don't Fear the Reaper" and I love it.)

I love this movie so much that I've become kind of a weirdo about it. This movie exists on its own. Everything else is fanfic.
posted by edencosmic at 5:11 PM on October 19, 2022 [2 favorites]

A palm tree is visible in the background of at least one scene
posted by brujita at 9:56 AM on October 20, 2022 [2 favorites]

« Older Movie: Modern Times...   |  Movie: Halloween... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments