MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 150 this week

Halloween (1978)

 -  Horror  -  25 October 1978 (USA)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 122,814 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 1,131 user | 277 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

A psychotic murderer institutionalized since childhood for the murder of his sister, escapes and stalks a bookish teenage girl and her friends while his doctor chases him through the streets.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 26 May 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 27 Nov 2011
 
a list of 47 titles
created 10 Apr 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 25 titles
created 6 days ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Halloween (1978)

Halloween (1978) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Halloween.

User Polls

3 wins & 3 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 6.5/10 X  

Laurie Strode is rushed to the hospital, while Sheriff Brackett and Dr. Loomis hunt the streets for Michael Myers, who has found Laurie at the Haddonfield Hospital.

Director: Rick Rosenthal
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers
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
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
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After a teenager has a terrifying vision of him and his friends dying in a plane crash, he prevents the accident only to have Death hunt them down, one by one.

Director: James Wong
Stars: Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Kerr Smith
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband.

Director: Michael Dougherty
Stars: Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Six months after the rage virus was inflicted on the population of Great Britain, the US Army helps to secure a small area of London for the survivors to repopulate and start again. But not everything goes to plan.

Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Stars: Jeremy Renner, Rose Byrne, Robert Carlyle
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Mrs. Voorhees is dead, and Camp Crystal Lake is shut down, but a camp next to the infamous place is stalked by an unknown assailant. Is it Mrs. Voorhees' son Jason who didn't drown in the lake some 30 years before?

Director: Steve Miner
Stars: Betsy Palmer, Amy Steel, John Furey
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After Jonathan Harker attacks Dracula at his castle (apparently somewhere in Germany), the vampire travels to a nearby city, where he preys on the family of Harker's fiancée. The only one ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough
The Innocents (1961)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins
1408 (2007)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A man who specializes in debunking paranormal occurrences checks into the fabled room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. Soon after settling in, he confronts genuine terror.

Director: Mikael Håfström
Stars: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After an Alaskan town is plunged into darkness for a month, it is attacked by a bloodthirsty gang of vampires.

Director: David Slade
Stars: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In the 1980s, college student Samantha Hughes takes a strange babysitting job that coincides with a full lunar eclipse. She slowly realizes her clients harbor a terrifying secret; they plan to use her in a satanic ritual.

Director: Ti West
Stars: Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Nancy Kyes ...
Annie Brackett (as Nancy Loomis)
...
...
...
...
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:

The Night HE Came Home! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

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

Carpenter and co-writer Debra Hill have stated many times over the years that they did not consciously set out to depict virginity as a way of defeating a rampaging killer. The reason why the horny teens all die is simply that they're so preoccupied with getting laid that they don't notice that there's a killer at large. Laurie Strode, on the other hand, spends a lot of time on her own and is therefore more alert. See more »

Goofs

Shadow of crew member when Lindsey is watching television. See more »

Quotes

Lynda: Now when we get inside, Annie will distract Lindsey and we go upstairs to the first bedroom on the right. Got it?
Bob: First I rip your clothes off...
Lynda: Don't rip my blouse, it's expensive you idiot!
Bob: Then I rip my clothes off, then I rip Lindsey's clothes off, yeah I think I got it.
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 The Taming of Rebecca (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Fear The Reaper
Written by Donald Roeser
Performed by Blue Öyster Cult
Courtesy C.B.S. Records
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 *****


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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I've seen this version of Halloween on amc fear fest christopher-townsend44
The theme from Halloween maybday18
anyone else think that epatters-3
Do you consider this to be the best Horror film off all time ? SimplyJones
Old Halloween Message Board circa 1996 tommy_gun1221
Laurie's breasts ? Uncut ? SimplyJones
Discuss Halloween (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page