Co-Writer/Director: John Carpenter
Running time: 91 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18
USA Release date: 25th October 1978
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 6th November 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I got a little behind on my Halloween film watching and so I had to put this one back a bit. Not to worry, it’s still a great horror film even if you don’t watch it on its’ title night. It has been a long time since I last saw it and I had forgotten just how good it was. Yes, it’s dated, but that doesn’t detract from the way Carpenter draws the audience in to the horrors to come. I’ll give you more of my thoughts after this brief summary.
We first witness the 6 year old Michael Myers murder his older sister on Halloween night 1963. Flashing forwards 15 years, October 30th, we see him escape the mental institution he has been kept in since then. We are also introduced to Dr. Sam Loomis, who firmly believes Myers to be pure evil. The next day, back in Michael Myers’ home town we meet Laurie Strode and her friends Annie Brackett and Lynda van der Klok who are planning their Halloween night. Two of them are babysitting, but there are plans, for two of them at least, to get together with their boyfriends later. Laurie has the feeling someone is watching them though… and she’s right. Dr. Loomis has also arrived in town, he has a feeling also that an old resident may be returning home. I’ll leave it there so as not to upset the Spoiler Police (Horror Movie Division).
A really well made film with some iconic scenes and a film that is genuinely scary. One of the things that strikes you about it is the music, also written by John Carpenter. It’s atmospheric and it has a refrain that everyone knows and associates with this film. All the performances were excellent; Jamie Lee Curtis in her first starring role did a great job as Laurie Strode and Donald Pleasence was great (as ever) as Dr. Sam Loomis. Also worthy of note were; Nancy Kyes as Annie Brackett, P.J. Soles as Lynda van der Klok and Charles Cyphers as Sheriff Leigh Brackett.
Of course all the usual horror movie clichés are here, including my pet favourite; walking into a dark room and NOT turning the lights on. Despite this I still very much enjoyed the way Carpenter slowly builds up the tension. The horror is in what he doesn’t show on the screen and that is what makes this a properly scary movie. The best pictures, I find, are those you make up in your own imagination and Carpenter allows us room to do that. As I’ve already said, it’s quite dated, but that doesn’t detract from it, it’s still a great horror film and one I have no problem in deeming… Recommended.
My score: 7.9/10
IMDb Score: 7.9/10 (based on 76,702 votes at the time of going to press).
If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
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 blank, 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 because I realized what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... *evil*.
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.
Annie Brackett: I HATE a guy with a car and no sense of humour.
Lindsey Wallace: I'm scared!
Laurie: There's nothing to be scared of.
Tommy Doyle: Are you sure?
Tommy Doyle: How?
Laurie: I killed him...
Tommy Doyle: [shouts] But you can't kill the boogie man!
Official (John Carpenter) Site: http://www.theofficialjohncarpenter.com/pages/themovies/hw/hw.html