Halloween (1978)

   
Directed by: John Carpenter

Written by: John Carpenter & Debra Hill

Starring:

Donald Pleasance ... Dr. Sam Loomis
Jamie Lee Curtis ... Laurie Strode
Nancy Loomis ... Annie Brackett
P.J. Soles ... Lynda
Charles Cyphers ... Sherrif Leigh Brackett
Brian Andrews ... Tommy Doyle
Kyle Richards ... Lyndsey Wallace

Release Date: Theatrical: October 25, 1978

*Images courtesy at: www.outnow.ch

      
Rating:

 

A disturbed 6 year old child named Michael Myers watches his sister Judith make out with her boyfriend on Halloween night in 1963 in a small town of Haddonfield he goes into the kitchen and takes out a knife and then waits for Judith's boyfriend to leave.
Then he sees his clown mask and puts it on and goes up to Judith's room as she is naked and stabs her to death.

Michael is put away in a psych ward at the Smith's Grove-Warren County Sanitarium but doesn't say a word but sits in his room staring out his window.
But his doctor named Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasance) never wants him out of the sanitarium.

Suddenly, it is October 30, 1978 manages to become powerful enough due to his lost sanity in order to escape his room and push the other patients out on a stormy night.
Then takes of with Loomis' car back to Haddonfield where he hides out in his old home that is still for sale but along the way he murders a truck driver carrying Halloween costumes and white Captain Kirk masks and Michael takes a costume and puts on his mask and never takes it off.

On Halloween day he stalks a teenager named Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) by watching her at her house or driving by her school.
Then on Halloween night Laurie is babysitting one of her neighbors named Tommy Doyle (Brian Andrews) while her snobby friend Annie (Nancy Loomis) is babysitting a brat from across the street named Lynsey Wallace (Kyle Andrews). Michael is on the watch and then kills Laurie's friends one by one till she's the last one on his list.

 

One of the best slasher films ever!!! A true cult classic and the best one to watch on Halloween night. It just seemed necessary to have a horror film taking place on Halloween and a child born evil since Halloween is a night of great power for spirits.
It truly looked great with the surroundings and looked terrific with all that was happening giving the picture a nice dark feel to it and inspired many other slasher films. However, this one proved not to be bloody since most slahser films use that kind of formula to make up not being scary but this one is truly scary in it's time.
The film starts off with a nice creepy dark opening showing a jack olantern shining with the credits and then taking place in 1963 in front of a dark looking house giving the movie a nice beginning horror type feel and then a mysterious child not being revealed taking out a kitchen knife going up the stiars and then putting on his clown mask ready to stab his sister in which was intelligently written which is one of the reasons why this film became a cult classic. This really impressed me too and became one of my all time favourite scene's too.
There's good one liners when the child Tommy Doyle tells his babysitter Laurie Strode about the Myers House being a haunted house when she drops off a key there which was also a nice touch to the story having rumors spread about what has happended there over two decades ago. Of course we have Michael Myers in the house spotting her from behind the door which leads off to him stalking her.
There's also good writing with the characters Laurie Strode, Annie Brackett and Lynda walking home from school which looked like typical teens having a conversation and got alot of laughs when Annie was being mouthy but was getting annoyed when Lynda was always saying "TOTALLY" all the time.
More fun moments with Laurie and Annie cruising in a car as Annie tries to encourage Laurie to ask someone to their dance and talking about guy's they like with Laurie being too shy about everything. This was well written which you can tell that this was based on experience with a shy girl and an unshy girl talking about looking for a date.
The story is very mysterious when Michael is from a bit of a distance spying on Laurie in which this makes you want to keep on watching to find out who the hell this guy is since it was creepy that he was doing this. Just imagine that some killer is stalking you and watching you all this time and you don't know why till Hallows Eve.
There's more funny and creepy one liners like Annie babysitting Lyndsey Wallace who has her eyes glued to the TV set and ignoring her as well as Annie going into a laundry room washing her clothes after she spilled butter all over it with Michael sneakily spying on her which was another one of my favourite creepy moments too. Annie was funny with how she was talking to herself making you think that this girl is weird. We also get a kick out of her doing a lousy job babysitting leaving Lyndsey at the Doyle house with Laurie while she plans to picks up her grounded boyfriend which makes me think to myself that anyone doing that would get fired. It's just way too funny since this character is a pain in the neck.
There's more creepy moments with Tommy looking out the window and spotting Michael from the other side at a house staring at his house which brings on the good horror fun.
Yet Lynda enters the Wallace house realising it's quiet so her and her boyfriend Bob can fornicate with one another and where do they do it? In the parents bed of course which made me think to myself these kids are terrible getting into all sorts of mischief and Michael is watching them all this time. There's also a real quiet moment with Bob going down to the fridge to get a beer which seems too quiet then BANG! I just loved that moment too which is pretty scary.
However my most favourite scene of all is when Laurie realises the Wallace house too too quiet so she goes there and is in for a shocking surprise which makes me want to keep watching every time I put the movie in to watch on my TV screen. This moment was a true classic indeed.
There is a moment when Laurie tries to lock herself in the Doyle house and keep an eye for Michael in case he appears after she runs away from him and he's behind a couch about to take a stab at her which was a case of cheesy writing which explains an open window but yet you never know on how he got in so fast since he was on her tail when she tries to get into the house right away. There's a perfect ending to the film leaving a door open for a sequel and a good thing that they did which is totally sweet.
Bottom line is the film is truly is a great party flick too and became a cult classic even if it was put down during the box office run. But it was one of those run of the mill slasher films since not many of them scary a strong story but so what??? This was an original slasher flick since it doesn't get right into the killings till quarter way through showing your everyday teenagers having fun as well as the main one babysitting a couple of children while they spot a strange man standing outside watching this babysitter while the shrink tries to hunt him down before anyone gets murdered bringing all the pieces all together on why this was all happening.
When the sequel was in theatre's they decided to add additional scene's to this one when it was airing as a movie of the week on TV in 1981 which was enjoyable too.
I can't say anything else but if you have a love for old school Halloween horror then you need to see this one!

The acting is very well done and probably the best acting you'll ever see in a b-slasher flick.
This was Jamie Lee Curtis' (Laurie Strode) first starring role in a motion picture which was also a start to her fame as a scream queen superstar in others like The Fog, Prom Night and Terror Train. She is perfect as the nice wholesome girl next door who is getting spooked by Michael watching her and is very energetic with her perfomance especially during the last half of the film when she tries to run away from Michael and due to this really made her career very influential and getting work in other low budget horror blossoming into a scream queen. She's definetely a natural talent compared to any other actresses during this era acting in low budget horror. She comes across as the innocent teen who is shy at times with stuff and coming across as believeable by everything that she did. She also knew how to use great lungh power with her screaming too especially while being attacked or trying to cry out to a neighbors house. Then she became a top movie star like her parents were in big time films such as Blue Steel, My Girl, True Lies and Drowning Mona. She did reprise her role in Halloween II, H20 and Resurrection.
Nancy Loomis (Annie Brackett) was wonderful in her job as a mouthy teen not taking anything seriously as well as having a gossipy attitude. Her role was alot of fun to watch in which she was outrageously funny with her sarcasm, smart remarks and everything that she did. She was certainly a ham as well as a good natural character actress too and really knew her stuff. A perfect key role to the story indeed. I could see her going places but sadly didn't stick to it.
P.J. Soles (Lynda)
really annoyed me with her words "Totally" all the time but of course her part was intentional so she did it marvellously as a bubbly type with a smart allecky attitude. She was quite funny at times especially when she was drunk on Halloween night with her boyfriend as I got a kick on how she performed this way. I liked her role as a bully in Carrie but she played a different kind of role in this alltogether. Her performance was alot of fun to watch and really brought out great character to her part and was fondly remembered by fans of this flick.
Charles Cyphers (Sheriff Brakcett) who played her father as well as the head county law man was also a natural character actor too as he was one of my favourites in the film. He really shows nice sleazy looking expressions and was charming too.
Of course I can't forget our lead actor Donald Pleasance (Dr. Samuel Loomis) as Michael's shrink who puts all he's got into this film and worked steadily with Carpenter for a long time till his death. He shows terrific energy and great aggressions with a nice serious behavior too. I couldn't see anyone else play this type of role. Although he had a string of motion pictures before this one he became a hot item for this flick.
Brian Andrews
(Tommy Doyle) brings his role to life as the senstivie type of mischievieous kid who is scared on superstations and rumors. He brings out a good firghtened behavior on what is happening on Hallows Eve as well as having a good restless attitude wanting to do too much at a time. All in all he made all of this characteristics come to life.
Kyle Richards
(Lynsey Wallace) was a very talented child star too as the little brat whom along with Loomis I also laughed as she had her eyes glued to the set of the TV. She also was quite believeable as a spoiled type of cheekiness as a child which made me laugh. I've also seen her in the Disney horror family classic The Watcher in the Woods and in Tobe Hooper's flick Eaten Alive. She really brought on a nice charm to play this role which was one of my favourites that she portrayed.

There is brief nudity in the film as it shows a some skin on Sandy Johnson who played Judith Myers as well as cult actress P.J. Soles who played the totally annoying Lynda.

The music was composed by who else but John Carpenter. Yes this guy's done it all. There's the traditional quick piano playing for the opening credits as this seemed to work quite well. In many spots there's high pitched synthesizer music sounding icy and chilling for when Michael is about to go in for the kill or dead bodies exposed as this tpye of sounds was my favourite. Carpneter also shows some slwo sounding piano music when Loomis and Sheriff Brackett are discovering the Myers house with the odd chiming noises too as this was another memorable tpye of music for the film sounding quite impressive. Plus there's good low piano pounding with high picthed synthesizer music blending in with this when Michael is walking down a case of stairs about to kill Laurie too which was used in other scene's after this incident which sounded terrifically done too.
Wrote, produced, directed (Even if he was uncredited) and the music. The whole bit.
This was probably his best he's ever done for a scary movie as the synthesiser sounds are chilling and effective and the best I've heard for a 70's slasher film along with the memorable fast paced piano playing too.

There was also a soundtrack by the classic hard rock group Blue Oyster Cult with their #1 hit "Don't Fear the Reaper" during a scene where Laurie and Annie are cruising in their car on a Halloween afternoon smoking a cigarette although the songtrack wasn't too memorable in the film. However it was a cool song for the movie or a fun song to listen to in general with the echoey guitar playing and vocalising in it.

Marion Chambers: Don't you think it would be better if you referred to "it" as "him"?
Dr. Sam Loomis: If you say so.
Marion Chambers: Your compassion's overwhelming, doctor.

Dr. Sam Loomis: Stop here.
Marion Chambers: Shouldn't we go on up to the hospital and...
Dr. Sam Loomis: Wait!

Dr. Terence Wynn: Now, for God's sake, he can't even drive a car!
Dr. Sam Loomis: He was doing very well last night! Maybe someone around here gave him lessons!

Lynda: [concerning Annie] The only reason she baby sits is to have a place for...
Laurie: [realizing she had forgot something] Shit.
Annie Brackett: I have a place for *that*!
Laurie: I forgot my chemistry book.
Lynda: 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?

Annie Brackett: [Michael Myers's car cruises by the girls walking home from school] Hey, jerk! SPEED KILLS!
[the car screeches to a halt]
Annie Brackett: God, can't he take a joke?
Laurie: You know Annie some day you're going to get us all in deep trouble.
Lynda: Totally.
Annie Brackett: I HATE a guy with a car and no sense of humor.

Lynda: So Annie, are we still on for tonight?
Annie Brackett: I wouldn't want to get you in deep trouble, Lynda!
Lynda: Oh come on Annie! Bob and I have been planning it for weeks.
Annie Brackett: Alright, the Wallace's leave at seven.
Laurie: I'm babysitting the Doyle's, it's two houses down. We can keep each other company!
Annie Brackett: Oh terrific, I've got three choices: Watch the kid sleep, listen to Lynda screw around or talk to you!

Lynda: It's totally insane. We have three new cheers to learn in the morning, the game is in the afternoon, I have to get my hair done at five, and the dance is at eight! I'll be totally wiped out!
Laurie: [sarcastically] I don't think you have enough to do tomorrow.
Lynda: Totally!

[the Shape is lurking by a bush on the sidewalk]
Laurie: Annie, look!
Annie Brackett: Look where? I don't see anything.
Laurie: That guy who passed us in the car before, the one you yelled at!
Annie Brackett: Subtle, isn't he?
[marches over to the bush]
Annie Brackett: Hey, creep!
[pauses]
Annie Brackett: Laurie, dear. He wants to talk to you. He wants to take you out tonight.
Laurie: [seeing there's nobody there] He was standing right there.
Annie Brackett: Poor Laurie! Scared another one away. It's tragic, you NEVER go out. You must have a small fortune stashed away from babysitting so much.
Laurie: Guys thinks I'm too smart.
Annie Brackett: I don't, I think you're wacko. Now you're seeing men behind bushes!

Sheriff Leigh Brackett: It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare.

[into phone]
Dr. Sam Loomis: You've got to believe me, Officer, he is coming to Haddonfield... Because I know him - I'm his doctor! You must be ready for him... If you don't, it's your funeral!

Graveyard Keeper: Yeah, you know every town has something like this happen... I remember over in Russellville, old Charlie Bowles, about fifteen years ago... One night, he finished dinner, and he excused himself from the table. He went out to the garage, and got himself a hacksaw. Then he went back into the house, kissed his wife and his two children goodbye, and then he proceeded to...
Dr. Sam Loomis: Where are we?
Graveyard Keeper: Eh? Oh, it's, uh, right over here...

Dr. Sam Loomis: He came home!

Annie Brackett: Still spooked?
Laurie: I wasn't spooked.
Annie Brackett: LIES!
Laurie: I wasn't! I saw someone standing in Mr. Riddle's back yard.
Annie Brackett: Probably Mr. Riddle!
Laurie: He was watching me.
Annie Brackett: Mr. Riddle was watching you? Laurie, Mr. Riddle is eighty-seven!
Laurie: He can still watch.
Annie Brackett: That's probably all he can do!

[referring to a partially eaten dog]
Sheriff Leigh Brackett: A man wouldn't do that.
Dr. Sam Loomis: This isn't a man.

Sheriff Leigh Brackett: Every kid in Haddonfield thinks this place is haunted.
Dr. Sam Loomis: They may be right.

Dr. Sam Loomis: I met him, fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no conscience, no understanding; even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six-year-old child, with this blind, pale, emotionless face and, the blackest eyes... the DEVIL'S eyes! I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up for I realized what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... EVIL!

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...

Tommy Doyle: I don't like that story anymore.
Laurie: I thought King Arthur was your favourite.
Tommy Doyle: Not anymore
[takes out a stack of comics]
Tommy Doyle: My mom won't let me have these.
Laurie: Laser Man. Neutron Man. I can understand why.

Tommy Doyle: Laurie, what's the boogeyman?
Laurie: There's no such thing.

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.

Lynda: [exposing her breasts] See anything you like?

[as Lonnie is about to enter the Myers house]
Dr. Sam Loomis: Hey! Hey, Lonnie, get your ass away from there!
[Lonnie and his mates run. Loomis smiles to himself as a hand grabs his shoulder. He spins around, surprised, to find Brackett]
Dr. Sam Loomis: Oh! Jesus!
Sheriff Leigh Brackett: Are you all right?
Dr. Sam Loomis: Yeah.

Sheriff Leigh Brackett: I have a feeling that you're way off on this.
Dr. Sam Loomis: You have the wrong feeling.
Sheriff Leigh Brackett: You're not doing very much to prove me wrong!
Dr. Sam Loomis: What more do you need?
Sheriff Leigh Brackett: Well, it's going to take a lot more than fancy talk to keep me up all night crawling around these bushes.
Dr. Sam Loomis: I- I- I watched him for fifteen years, sitting in a room, staring at a wall, not seeing the wall, looking past the wall - looking at this night, inhumanly patient, waiting for some secret, silent alarm to trigger him off. Death has come to your little town, Sheriff. Now you can either ignore it, or you can help me to stop it.
Sheriff Leigh Brackett: More fancy talk.

Laurie: Lynda, if this is a joke, I'll kill you!

[after Michael falls off the balcony]
Laurie: It WAS the boogeyman.
Dr. Sam Loomis: As a matter of fact... it was!