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Universal acclaim - based on 10 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 147 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Fifteen years ago, Michael Myers brutally murdered his sister. Now, after escaping from a mental hospital, he's back to relive his grisly crime again, and again...and again. (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 100
    Halloween is an absolutely merciless thriller...I would compare it to "Psycho."
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 56
  2. Negative: 1 out of 56
  1. 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!! Expand
  2. Nov 11, 2013
    10
    This is an honestly suspenseful thriller it truly builds up right from the beginning. The fantastic simplicity of using the same soundtrack throughout lacks monotone and adds creepy familiarity, the neighborhood as the setting proves to be a falsely secure yet sunny environment. You're almost begging Michael Myers not to take off the mask which illustrates someone who looks human, but feels inhuman with those dark, merciless look in where his eyes should be. The colour is a muted, almost grainy tone, giving a more authentic 80's feel, with the shadow in the background disappearing with a second look which we unquestionably accept until the real thrills happen, as the haunting presence that contrasted with the setting is able to come out. Even when he does, Myers is still both intimidating and ruthless as he picks them off.
    The self-reference of a director undoubtedly feels out of place, but the psychiatric character of Dr. Loomis played brilliantly with undeniably precise questioning by Donald Pleasance. We can forgive his more likely ridiculous stance as he searches for his patient, because it is counter-acted by such an emotionless, inhuman embodiment of nature vs. nurture with no solid reason to kill.
    The running time was in tune with the story-line without frequent jump scares to provide nutrition, the kills worthwhile when they happen with a amazingly juicy one in the downstairs kitchen. It works with realism a quiet, normal neighborhood disrupted by, rather than a raging presence, a silent stalker that symbolically represents the real safety of our neighborhood which can be likewise seen in other twisted slashers such as A Nightmare On Elm Street. The killer that comes out from beneath its shell and strikes without warning. A 6 year old with no soul, a butcher knife and murder on his mind? That is an argument that writes itself.
    Expand
  3. Nov 14, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Bottom Line: Why appreciate Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street when you can appreciate this? Halloween started it ALL.

    The thing that truly makes this one a classic is that it is certainly a slasher, but it also manages to maintain the actual â
    Expand
  4. May 13, 2013
    10
    Talk about a classic. When people talk about the first slasher film, they actually say Psycho, but this is a close contender. Not that it's not as good as that film, in fact I think that Psycho is a bit better made compared to this, but I'm here to talk about Halloween. This is by far my favorite horror movie, and I'm a Jason fan above all. The killer is not what makes this film; entirely, some good casting and photography makes everything better. Sure by todays standards this not considered scary or horrifying, but then again what is? Anyways, ever so rarely do you get a timeless story for a horror movie, because by now they all run dry in trying to be in on the joke. But wasn't great when you could watch a horror movie and not have to watch them make fun of themselves and the clichés they follow? I'm always up for watching a movie, of almost any genre; drama is not my forte, but horror would be my first suggestion. I watched this with friends on Halloween, it was the start of my horror movie phase; in watching all the classic slasher films, and this one came out on top. If you must know the order of the other 3 main series would be: nightmare on Elm street, Texas chainsaw massacre, and ironically Friday the 13th. Like I said previously, the camera work works well with the suspense, adding to it and making it more "terrifying". Terrifying might be a bit extreme. The story is good, it was made at a time where the formula wasn't dried up yet. Along with timeless storytelling, it manages to create some interesting themes in it. Talking about suburbia and its effects on certain people, pro feminism in how it's a damsel saving the day. So this is not just a bunch of nostalgia for me, this is a well put together film by a talented writer(s), and I think this is the definitive horror movie that should be viewed by anyone who's interested in horror or just plain filmmaking. Expand
  5. Oct 10, 2013
    9
    The fun scare-fest that it is, Halloween fulfills all your expectations. It's creepy, messes with your mind, and suspense and horror are there. It avoids some horror movie clichés, but still uses some. But, maybe we can forgive that, since this movie was in 1978 when the clichés we see in horror movies nowadays were just starting out then. Expand
  6. Nov 6, 2010
    9
    an excellent horror movie
  7. Nov 1, 2012
    2
    Excessively overrated crap. How can I decently scare me when I know so little of the story? Why does Michael Myers kill? Why this girl? And why couldn't you integrate some additional stories, Mr. Carpenter? A good horror movie offers more than apparently purportless killings. Not scary, not intelligent, not good. At least I thought the Michael Myers characters was good. His mask and his groaning are pretty scary, you could've made a good film out of this. Expand

See all 56 User Reviews