The film which ushered in the modern age of horror stands well above its many sequels and clones because John Carpenter's taut direction makes it truly scary. Jamie Lee Curtis, in her debut role, plays a babysitter who must protect herself from the deadly Michael Myers, a mental institution escapee who killed his sister on Halloween fifteen years earlier. Called "the most successful independent motion picture of all time," HALLOWEEN is also one of most frightening films ever made.
Theatrical release: October 25, 1978.
HALLOWEEN was the film debut for actress Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis.
HALLOWEEN includes a clip of the Howard Hawks-Christian Nyby classic, THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD. Years later, director John Carpenter would remake that film as THE THING.
Sam Loomis, the character played by Donald Pleasence, is also the name of Janet Leigh's boyfriend in PSYCHO.
The film was shot in spring, when the leaves were not in color, so fake leaves were used and, to accommodate the meager budget, reused.
The mask that Michael Myers wears is a William Shatner mask, only sprayed white to make it look more creepy.
The film's score is credited to "The Bowling Green Philharmonic," which was actually John Carpenter and a group of musician friends. Carpenter would go on to compose the music, usually keyboard-based, for most of his other films.
"...Rarely have the remoter corners of the Panavision frame been used to such good effect, as shifting volumes of darkness and light reveal the ineluctable presence of a sinister something..." - 03/01/1979 Sight and Sound, p.128
"...Carpenter has a good feel for timing the thrills and occasionally adds an offbeat, almost perverse sense of humor, which works..." - 10/25/1978 Variety
"...Carpenter's slasher is the original teen-scream flick..." - 01/11/2002 Entertainment Weekly, p.37
"...A seminal slasher that gets better with age....Terrifying..." - 12/01/2003 Total Film, p.126
"John Carpenter's perfectly faceted gem of a horror movie..." - 12/01/2003 Premiere, p.12