Halloween

Halloween Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 303 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: On Halloween night in 1963, 6-year old Michael Myers stabbed his sister to death. After being in a mental hospital for 15 years, Myers escapes and returns to Haddonfield, Illinois to kill.

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. 100
    Halloween is an absolutely merciless thriller, a movie so violent and scary that, yes, I would compare it to “Psycho.”
  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. 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.
  4. 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. 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. Carpenter's brutally efficient exercise in tension and release.
  7. Reviewed by: Gary Arnold
    Oct 31, 2015
    37
    Halloween is a stab at a derivative minor classic. It's apparent where Carpenter got his horror devices - and a minor misfortune that he hasn't been able to synthesize them in a fresh or exciting way.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 72
  2. Negative: 3 out of 72
  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 evenGreatest 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. Aug 30, 2013
    10
    Revolutionary in fathering the slasher genre and catering to the masses without the blood and gore viewers are so sensitized by today. MovingRevolutionary in fathering the slasher genre and catering to the masses without the blood and gore viewers are so sensitized by today. Moving briskly at a pace in which the brooding fear of The Shape's attacks build you're left shivering in your seat as the excellent score carries the mood. Carpenter crafted an immaculate piece of Horror, without perverting art in the name of profit. Expand
  3. DavidN.
    Sep 2, 2007
    10
    The best horror film ever, a masterpiece.
  4. Dec 9, 2012
    10
    A brief retort to two common criticisms of this great, great movie.... 1) "Not a lot of big scares, lots of down time." These people have aA brief retort to two common criticisms of this great, great movie.... 1) "Not a lot of big scares, lots of down time." These people have a very loose grasp, if any, on the concept of building tension... To them, the scenes where the killer is peering in from the background are meaningless if they don't immediately culminate in a satisfying kill scene. This may seem funny to say, but this movie was made at a time when nobody knew who Michael Myers was or what he was capable of. Watching this movie through the eyes of a newcomer might help these people appreciate suspense. 2) "They don't give us a reason for all the killing" That's the point! It's scarier that way, if you don't even know what motivates the killer, then he becomes even less human. There's no emotion, no reasoning, just a body walking around, taking death wherever it goes. People who have a problem with this are simply too used to having each and every background detail spoon-fed to them to enjoy a movie that purposely leaves the darkest parts to the imagination. 3) I read one review calling this movie "cliched"... which hilariously overlooks the fact that Halloween *started all those cliches!* So essentially, this person blames this movie for being too much like the movies that copied it... have fun with that one.... Yes, this movie does have its shortcomings (acting, editing, modest production values) but it still stands as an understated masterpiece, and the granddaddy of a sub-genre all its own. The buildup and release of tension are timed as skilfully as any scare flick ever made, and the near-total lack of blood only serves to underline the fact that the world's first slasher flick got its teeth from real directing and storytelling as opposed to cheap visuals and gratuitous violence. JUST REMEMBER: this movie must be seen in full widescreen, otherwise the framing will ruin some key scenes. Expand
  5. Nov 1, 2012
    9
    This is a fun, scary movie. "Halloween" is the horror flick that provided the formula for all slasher flicks to come. Though by today'sThis is a fun, scary movie. "Halloween" is the horror flick that provided the formula for all slasher flicks to come. Though by today's standards it looks really low budget, it thrives in thrills, and the use of atmosphere rather than gore only intensifies our adrenaline. Jamie Lee Curtis gives a great performance (and the one that ruined her career for years), but the real star is director John Carpenter, who directs each scene who loads of tension. "Halloween" is constantly suspenseful, and a work of art among the horror genre-- just avoid all of the needless sequels. Expand
  6. Aug 27, 2014
    8
    John Carpenter has a masterpiece on his hands. It transcends all other (often annoying) Halloween-related slasher movies. Perhaps, the use ofJohn Carpenter has a masterpiece on his hands. It transcends all other (often annoying) Halloween-related slasher movies. Perhaps, the use of Jamie Lee Curtis as our leading lady makes all the difference. She's wonderful. Expand
  7. Nov 8, 2014
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I am a very easily scared person my sister has told me about scary movies and its scared me just so you get an idea of how easily frightened I am and quite frankly this movie was not scary I was only startled at two of the jump scares and it wasn't the big ones because I predicted where all of the other ones would be if i watch a horror movie and go home and walk into my house then go straight to my bedroom without turning any lights on i dont think a horror movie did its job and on top of the fact that this movie doesn't really have any good actors besides the professor who wasn't even that talented at that this movie was one of the worst movies I've ever seen and that's not an exaggeration Expand

See all 72 User Reviews

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