Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Emery
    78
    Not entirely without some laughable or dated scenes, Halloween remains an original that continues to inspire a genre and probe middle America's fears about what's really lurking in the laundry room after midnight.
  2. 90
    Carpenter displays an almost perfect understanding of the mechanics of classical suspense; his style draws equally (and intelligently) from both Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock.
  3. 100
    Halloween is an absolutely merciless thriller...I would compare it to "Psycho."
  4. 88
    Don't see "Halloween" in an empty theater on a weekday afternoon. See it on a weekend night in a packed house. "Halloween" is a film to be enjoyed with a boisterous crowd; it's an "audience picture," a film designed to get specific reactions from an audience at specific moments. With "Halloween," the most often desired reaction is screaming. It's a beautifully made thriller -- more shocking than bloody -- that will have you screaming with regularity. "Halloween" was directed by John Carpenter, 30, a natural filmmaker and a name worth remembering. [22 Nov 1978]
  5. Reviewed by: Chris Hewitt
    100
    Turn off the lights. Put on the widescreen version, showcasing Carpenter’s masterful framing and chill-inducing, Michael Myers-concealing use of shadows. Crank up the sound, and be scared witless by horror’s greatest director.
  6. Carpenter's brutally efficient exercise in tension and release.
  7. 100
    From a shock-and-suspense point-of-view, Halloween is the rival of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho." With only a few arguable exceptions (such as "The Exorcist"), there isn't another post-1970 release that comes close to it in terms of scaring the living hell out of a viewer... A modern classic of the most horrific kind.
  8. This low-budget horror film, sophisticated far beyond its budget, is the work of John Carpenter, an authentic prodigy whose style recalls both Martin Scorsese and the Brian De Palma of "Carrie," but who has a metaphysical, sophomoric sense of humor both of those directors lack.
  9. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    80
    There's nary a drop of blood on screen in this rollicking funhouse of a movie but there is enough sheer cinematic ingenuity on display to coax screams out of the most jaded gorehound.
  10. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    50
    After a promising opening, Halloween becomes just another maniac-on-the-loose suspenser. However, despite the prosaic plot, director John Carpenter has timed the film's gore so that the 93-minute item is packed with enough thrills.
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 187 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 62
  2. Negative: 2 out of 62
  1. Sep 25, 2011
    8
    Legendary director John Carpenter made his mark in the horror genre with "Halloween". Yes, its that good (and scary).
  2. Mar 12, 2011
    10
    Greatest horror film that has ever been made. This movie is amazing and will always be my favorite. It is so creepy and scary without even showing blood and gore. I can't imagine not loving this movie. This movie is horror! You can't top Michael Myers. John Carpenter is amazing!! Full Review »
  3. SFN
    Jan 8, 2011
    10
    this movie is amazing, the storyline is amazing, the actors are good, and the whole creation of micheal myers is awesome, John Carpenter is a genuis!!! Full Review »