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
The opening shot appears to be a single, tracking, point of view shot, but there are actually three cuts. The first when the mask goes on, and the second and third after the murder has taken place and the shape is exiting the room. This was done to make the point of view appear to move faster. See more »
After Annie ribs Laurie for not seeing who she spotted behind the bushes, the lines "Guys think I'm too smart" and "He was standing right there" were clearly dubbed in during post-production because in the former actress Jamie Lee Curtis' lips barely move and in the latter, they don't move at all. See more »
[from a television scene]
You've fooled them, haven't you Michael?
[slight pause, Michael just stares out the window]
But not me.
See more »
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 »
Additional scenes were shot by director John Carpenter for the 1981 Television Network premiere. These include:
a meeting between Dr. Loomis and two doctors from the mental (psychiatric) institution where Michael Myers is being kept
a scene where a nurse leads Dr. Loomis to Michael's room, telling him who was supposed to have been watching the patients. Once they arrive in Michael's room, she tells him he must have broken the window glass with his bare hands. They then glance over on the wall, and see that he has written in blood the word "sister".
a shot of Michael Myers sitting completely motionless in his cell
a scene where Lynda visits Laurie Strodes at home and borrows a blouse just as Annie calls trying to borrow the same blouse.
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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