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Halloween (1978)

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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:

John Carpenter

Writers:

John Carpenter (screenplay), Debra Hill (screenplay)
Popularity
69 ( 62)

IMDb Ranks the 'Halloween' Films, From Worst to Best

A new Halloween slashes its way into theaters this weekend. How do the other films in the franchise stack up? Check out what the IMDb editors had to say.

The 'Halloween' films, ranked ...

5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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More Like This 

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
Halloween I (2018)
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Laurie Strode confronts her long-time foe Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

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Halloween (2007)
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    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 and immediately returns to Haddonfield to find his baby sister, Laurie.

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

Director: Dwight H. Little
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A group of camp counselors are 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.

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Scream (1996)
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Kids all over America want Silver Shamrock masks for Halloween. Doctor Daniel Challis seeks to uncover a plot by Silver Shamrock owner Conal Cochran.

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Halloween 5 (1989)
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    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.

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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Halloween II (2009)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Laurie Strode struggles to come to terms with her brother Michael's deadly return to Haddonfield, Illinois; meanwhile, Michael prepares for another reunion with his sister.

Director: Rob Zombie
Stars: Scout Taylor-Compton, Tyler Mane, Malcolm McDowell
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Pleasence ... Loomis
Jamie Lee Curtis ... Laurie
Nancy Kyes ... Annie (as Nancy Loomis)
P.J. Soles ... Lynda
Charles Cyphers ... Brackett
Kyle Richards ... Lindsey
Brian Andrews ... Tommy
John Michael Graham ... Bob
Nancy Stephens ... Marion
Arthur Malet ... Graveyard Keeper
Mickey Yablans Mickey Yablans ... Richie
Brent Le Page Brent Le Page ... Lonnie
Adam Hollander Adam Hollander ... Keith
Robert Phalen Robert Phalen ... Dr. Wynn
Tony Moran ... Michael Myers (age 23)
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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:

Trick or treat... or die See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Facebook | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 October 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Halloween See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$47,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$70,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended TV Version)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Carpenter was a huge fan of the original Canadian slasher film Black Christmas (1974) and asked Bob Clark if he could write a sequel to the film and received his permission. The script eventually evolved into a separate project inspired by the film. See more »

Goofs

When Myers is tailing Tommy in a car, Myers' POV is clearly from the rear right-hand seat of the car, not the front left (as it should be if he were driving). See more »

Quotes

Lynda: You want a beer?
Bob: Yeah.
Lynda: Is that all you can say?
Bob: Yeah.
Lynda: Go get me a beer!
Bob: I thought you were gonna get me one?
Lynda: Yeah?
Bob: I'll be right back. Don't get dressed!
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 »

Alternate Versions

In 2000, a 'Limited Edition' DVD of "Halloween" was released from Anchor Bay. This was the Television Extended-Version which includes 12 minutes of extra-footage shot in 1981 while filming "Halloween II" and was available as a stand-alone or a two-disc (along with the theatrical cut). Later, in 2001 commemorating the 25th Anniversary DVD, Anchor Bay released yet another DVD of the theatrical cut. This DVD contains new special features, giving a brief look at the incredible "Halloween" Cast Re-union filmed on October 2000. It also had a new transfer approved by John Carpenter,which caused some controversy amongst fans, as he apparently adjusted the color quite severely, a radical departure from the previous transfer supervised by D.P. Dean Cundey. See more »


Soundtracks

Loomis and Shape's Car
Written by John Carpenter
Performed by The Bowling Green Philharmonic Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
...but you cannot kill the boogeyman!!!
12 October 2005 | by film-criticSee 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 *****


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