7.9/10
163,497
1,208 user 323 critic

Halloween (1978)

Trailer
2:42 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
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 to kill again.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay)
Popularity
1,827 ( 415)
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Halloween II (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

While Sheriff Brackett and Dr. Loomis hunt for Michael Myers, a traumatized Laurie is rushed to hospital, and the serial killer is not far behind her.

Director: Rick Rosenthal
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won't lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A group of camp counselors is stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child's drowning.

Director: Sean S. Cunningham
Stars: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Ten years after his original massacre, the invalid Michael Myers awakens and returns to Haddonfield to kill his seven-year-old niece on Halloween. Can Dr. Loomis stop him?

Director: Dwight H. Little
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two siblings visit their grandfather's grave in Texas along with three of their friends and are attacked by a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Laurie Strode, now the dean of a Northern California private school with an assumed name, must battle the Shape one last time and now the life of her own son hangs in the balance.

Director: Steve Miner
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, Adam Arkin
Halloween (2007)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After being committed for 17 years, Michael Myers, now a grown man and still very dangerous, escapes from the mental institution (where he was committed as a 10 year old) and he immediately returns to Haddonfield, where he wants to find his baby sister, Laurie. Anyone who crosses his path is in mortal danger.

Director: Rob Zombie
Stars: Scout Taylor-Compton, Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane
Halloween 5 (1989)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

One year after the events of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), the Shape returns to Haddonfield once again in an attempt to kill his now-mute niece.

Directors: Dominique Othenin-Girard, Dwight H. Little
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris, Ellie Cornell
The Exorcist (1973)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair
Scream (1996)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette
The Evil Dead (1981)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor
Carrie (1976)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Nancy Kyes ...
Annie Brackett (as Nancy Loomis)
...
...
...
Brian Andrews ...
John Michael Graham ...
Nancy Stephens ...
...
Mickey Yablans ...
Brent Le Page ...
Adam Hollander ...
Robert Phalen ...
...
Edit

Storyline

The year is 1963, the night: Halloween. Police are called to 43 Lampkin Ln. only to discover that 15 year old Judith Myers has been stabbed to death, by her 6 year-old brother, Michael. After being institutionalized for 15 years, Myers breaks out on the night before Halloween. No one knows, nor wants to find out, what will happen on October 31st 1978 besides Myers' psychiatrist, Dr. Loomis. He knows Michael is coming back to Haddonfield, but by the time the town realizes it, it'll be too late for many people. Written by Massive Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Let's celebrate the horror See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 October 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Halloween  »

Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$47,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

| (Stereo Scream Sound)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When Dr. Loomis is talking to the doctors in the empty classroom, Dr. Loomis is sitting in seat #37. See more »

Goofs

(at around 25 mins) Walking home from school, the girls are seen to be traveling along a very dry street, however, when Laurie is left alone, the streets are obviously now wet. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Sam Loomis: [pulling his gun after being startled by a crash] You must think me a very sinister doctor... oh, I have a permit.
Sheriff Leigh Brackett: Seems to me you're just plain scared.
Dr. Sam Loomis: Yeah, yeah I am...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The music for the film -- written and performed by John Carpenter -- is instead credited to "The Bowling Green Philharmonic Orchestra." Carpenter grew up in Bowling Green, Kentucky. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild! (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Halloween Theme Main Title
Written by John Carpenter
Performed by The Bowling Green Philharmonic Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
...but you cannot kill the boogeyman!!!
12 October 2005 | by (Bookseller of the Blue Ridge) – See all my reviews

I must admit, this is one of my favorite horror films of all time. The unique way that John Carpenter has directed this picture, opening the door to so many mock-genres, it will chill you to the bone whether it is your first time watching it or your fiftieth. The sound, the menacing horror of Michael Meyers and the infamous scream of Jamie Lee Curtis gives this film instant cult status and a great start for the independent era. I love the music, I love the characters, the familiar yet spooky setting, the simplistic nature of the villain, and the random chaos of it all. There is no really rhyme or reason to the killing in this first film, giving us a taste of Michael's true nature. Is he insane, or in some way just a very brilliant beast? That question may never be truly answered, but Carpenter gives us his 100% and more devotion to this amazing masterpiece.

John Carpenter is the master of horror. While lately his films have not been the caliber that they once were (see Ghosts of Mars), Halloween began his powerhouse of a career. This is his ultimate film. While he did release other greats, I will always remember this one as the film that caused me to turn on all the lights, beware when babysitting, and check behind closed doors, because you never knew where the evil would appear next. Carpenter has this amazing ability to bring you into the world in which he weaves. With the power of his camera, he places these images of Meyers in places you least expected while giving you the perception as if the murderer is right next to you. I loved every scene in which we panned back and there was Michael, watching from the distance, without anyone the wiser. That was scary, yet utterly brilliant. I loved the scenes in which Carpenter pulled your fright from nearly thin air. There you would be, minding your own business, when suddenly that horrid mask would appear out of nowhere. Like the characters, you too thought it was just a trick of the eye, but that is where Carpenter gets you, it isn't. Michael isn't a ghost, he is a human being (or at least we think), yet he has a stronger mental ability than most of the main characters. This leads into some really dark themes and unexplored symbolism, but even without that, this is a spooky film.

Then, if you just didn't have enough of Michael just vaporizing in the windows of your house, Carpenter adds that chilling theme music. I still have that tapping of the piano keys in my mind, constantly wondering if Meyers is looking at me through the window. Carpenter has found the perfect combination of visual frights and chilling sounds to foreshadow what may happen to our unsuspecting victims next. It is lethal, and it is done with refreshing originality and more unique thrills than anything released by today's Horror Hollywood could muster. Carpenter's Halloween is a breath of fresh air in the midst of what could be a rough horror year, with actual scares being replaced by Paris Hilton, you know that the quality isn't quite the same.

Finally, I would like to say that even the simplistic nature of the opening murder in this film is terrifying and chilling. The use of the "clown" mask sent shivers up my spine. The way that it was filmed with that elongated one shot using the child's mask as if it were our own eyes is still one of the best horror openings ever! It completely sets the tone for the remainder of that film. You have the babysitter theme, you have the childish behavior which carries with Michael throughout the film, and you have the art talent of Carpenter all rolled into one. I could literally speak for hours upon hours about this film, but instead I would rather go watch it again. It is worth the repeat visit many times!

Overall, I think this is one of the most outstanding films in cinematic history. Skip all those foreign films that think that they are going to chance the face of movies leave it to a budget tight Carpenter and the slasher film genre. This singular movie redefined a whole generation of horror films, and still continues to be an influence on modern-day horror treats. The lethal combination of a genuinely spooky murderer, the powerful cinematography of the events (which normally doesn't amount to much in horror films), and the beauty of Jamie Lee Curtis is exactly what makes Halloween that film above the rest. Sure, Freddy is cool and you feel sympathetic for Jason, but Michael is real, he is troubled, and he is on the loose lusting for the blood of babysitters. What can be better?

Grade: ***** out of *****


63 of 81 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Something a bit wrong jsharp47
What if Michaels parents had not come home after he killed Judith? riddick-11114
Who's watching this tonight thehalloweencollection
Watched Hallowe'en II tonight jozzcooper
Awesome because drjukebox
So I look out my window and see... HughJ21
Discuss Halloween (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page