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
'Halloween' wasn't the first script that John Carpenter wrote which had a mysterious killer stalking and killing specific group of people. Around 1977, Carpenter wrote the script called Meltdown which was about a group of scientists exploring a nuclear plant when one night all of the workers in it disappear. Later in the script, it's revealed that they were killed by some psychopath who sneaked into the plant long time ago and who believes that he is sent by God to destroy the plant. Most of the script was just this killer stalking and killing all the scientists in various ways, using traps and weapons such as a flamethrower and a circular saw. The ending of this script was very dark, with only two people surviving and escaping from the plant before it explodes and creates a huge disaster which leaves most of the California infected with so much radiation that nothing will live there for half a million years. And just like Halloween had the song "Don't Fear the Reaper" as sort of a foreboding sign that something bad will happen, Carpenter's Meltdown script had the song "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum playing at one part when the bodies of the plant workers are found by the main characters and they realize the killer's plans, and also at the ending after the plant explodes.
Meltdown was later rewritten in the mid-1990s and turned into a "Die Hard (1988) in a nuclear plant" type of thriller which was going to star Dolph Lundgren in a very dark role, but eventually production of that film was cancelled. See more »
Laurie's hair changes from curly to straight in almost every scene. See more »
The only reason she babysits is to have a place for...
[realizing she had forgot something]
I have a place for *that*!
I forgot my chemistry book.
So, who cares? I always forget my chemistry book and my math book, and my English book, and my, let's see, my French book, and... well, who needs books anyway? I don't need books. I always forget all my books. I mean, it doesn't really matter if you have your books or not... Hey, isn't that Devon Graham?
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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 »
The television network-version (aka. Extended-Version) has a different climax: when 'Dr. Loomis' shoots 'Michael Myers' in the end, you can only hear the gun- shots from outside the house, while in the theatrical-version you can see how he shoots him. This alternate-scene was also used in the beginning of "Halloween II(1981)" during the flashback sequence, instead of using the original footage from the ending of the Theatrical-Version. See more »
My personal favorite horror film. From the lengthy first tracking shot to the final story twist, this is Carpenter's masterpiece.
Halloween night 1963, little Michael Meyers murders his older sister. All-hallows-eve 1978, Michael escapes from Smith's Grove sanitarium. Halloween night, Michael has come home to murder again.
The story is perfectly simple, Michael stalks and kills babysitters. No bells or whistles, just the basics. It's Carpenter's almost over-powering atmosphere of dread that generates the tension. Like any great horror film, events are telegraphed long in advance, yet they still seem to occur at random, never allowing the audience to the chance to second guess the film.
The dark lighting, the long steady-cam shots, and (most importantly) that damn eerie music create the most claustrophobic and uncomfortable scenes I have yet to see in film. There is a body count, but compared to the slew of slashers after this it's fairly small. That and most of the murders are nearly bloodless. The fear is not in death, but in not knowing.
The acting is roundelay good. PJ Soles provides much of the films limited humor (and one of the best deaths), Nancy Loomis turns in a decent performance and then there is the young (at the time) Jamie Leigh-Curtis. Her performance at first seems shy and un-assured, yet you quickly realize that it is perfect for the character, who is herself shy and un-assured and not at all prepared for what she is to face. And of course there is the perfectly cast Donald Pleasence as the determined (perhaps a little unstable) Dr. Sam Loomis. Rest in peace Mr. Pleasence.
If the film has a detrimental flaw, it would be the passage of time. Since the release of this film so many years ago nearly countless clones, copies, rip-offs, and imitators have come along and stolen (usually badly) the films best bits until nearly everything about it has become familiar. Combined with the changes for audience expectations and appetites, one finds much of the films raw power diluted. To truly appreciate it in this day and age, it must be viewed as it once was, as something unique.
Never the less, I have no reservation with highly recommending this film to anyone looking for a good, scary time. Highest Reguards.
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