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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Halloween Horror Movie Month: Halloween (1978)


You had to know this was coming, especially on the day itself.

Michael Myers, who just escaped from a mental hospital, goes on a murderous rampage on Halloween night after returning to his hometown of Haddonfield, Ill. Inexplicably, his prize victim seems to be babysitter Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis). Psychiatrist Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is on a mission to stop Myers.

Now that the official day of Halloween is actually here, I thought what better way to end my little horror movie marathon by going out with the film that practically started it all.

John Carpenter basically did this film for about $300,000 and it shows but not in a bad way because this is how low-budget films should be. Carpenter starts this film off strong with some very creepy music and very creepy angles to get you inside the head and view-point of not only the teenagers, but the killer as well and it’s all so freaky. Carpenter also uses a great deal of suspense for this film where you think somethings going to pop out right away, and then it doesn’t but when you least expect it, it does. After seeing this about 10 times now, it’s not as scary but still done very well by the legend John Carpenter.

It’s also a very impressive film because it was one of the first teenage slasher flicks that created basically all of the cliches we see now (teenagers who have sex in any horror film, basically die) and although almost every single slasher flick is exactly like the other, it’s cool to see where it all got its start and why this is the classic it should always be remembered as. There’s also not that much blood and gore and I thought that this was so cool because instead of just throwing all of these blood and guts at your face with these kills, Carpenter focuses more on keeping you tense the whole time until the big scares come.

The direction is good but I do have to say that I feel like the script wasn’t one of the film’s major points of attention. The lines are really cheesy and just really bad to the point of where you’re just laughing at all of these characters, and it gets even worse when the film wants to be totally creepy but instead just has you cracking up by all of the cheesy lines. It was also pretty obvious when Michael Myers would go after a person and get ready to stab them until he missed by a whole mile to the right of that person.

I think the main problem that this film suffers from is the fact that it does get pretty old, pretty quick after you have seen it about 10 times.I mean I like this film I really do, but the fact that you can’t really re-watch this film just about all of the time is kind of a problem considering any horror film should be for a good time but it’s just too dated in some parts and won’t really have you as much as in suspense as it would for somebody who hasn’t seen it.

The acting is pretty bad especially Jamie Lee Curtis as the goodie-goodie Laurie. I guess I have to sort of take it easy because it was her first film, or at least her first leading role and although she has done so much better lately, I can’t help but remember how terrible she was in this. Donald Pleasence is also one crazy mofo as Dr. Loomis and basically makes you understand forever: When Donald Pleasence tells you that something is important, you better damn well listen to him. I don’t know who played Michael Myers but regardless, sporting a William Shatner and still being able to walk around killing little sex-crazed teenagers sounds pretty bad-ass to me.

Consensus: It may be very dated and not so fun the second or third time around, Halloween is still a classic because it creates plenty of tension, a great low-budget look, and still has some of the best damn horror-music in any film ever.

8/10=Matinee!! (but definitely watch it at night)

Happy Halloween everyone!

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8 responses to “Halloween Horror Movie Month: Halloween (1978)

  1. Vik V. October 31, 2011 at 11:06 am

    This movie is a masterpiece, I love it. I agree that the dialogue and some of the acting (although Pleasance I found awesome) is terrible, but I actually thought that strengthened the suspenseful moments, and especially the ending.

  2. Dan October 31, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    A great film but I still think John Carpenter’s best is The Thing.

  3. Sammy V November 1, 2011 at 5:08 am

    Great review. The first Halloween is SO much more effective than all the sequels and remakes. I think it did age pretty well. It still manages to creep me out.

    Oh, and you are right about The Thing being John Carpenter’s best work.

  4. Castor November 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    A classic! And that musical leitmotiv is unforgettable.

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