02 October 2014

Halloween (1978)
92 min.
Directed by John Carpenter.
With Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Nancy Loomis, P. J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, Nick Castle, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens, Will Sandin, Tony Moran.
John Carpenter's modern horror masterpiece.

Halloween night, 1963. In the sleepy midwest town of Haddenfield, six year old Michael Myers brutally knifes his sister to death.

Committed to a state asylum, the deranged boy watches in silence as 15 years pass.

He's waiting. Waiting until can he find an opportunity to escape from his private hell. And he does...on Halloween night.

Soon, Michael begins a spree of slashing terror in Haddenfield, his victims the town's unsuspecting teen residents (Soles, Loomis, Graham et al).

He seems unstoppable, that is until he finds his match in innocent and shy-faced babysitter Curtis.

This timeless splatter classic has surprisingly little blood, but instead successfully relies on Carpenter's genius at creating atmosphere.

There's a reliable bag of shocks and suspense, perfectly carried out by its unassuming first rate cast. It's no surprise that Curtis established her reputation here as the slasher genre's preeminent queen; her portrayal of the virginal Laurie is simply iconic.

Halloween is flawless from any angle, and it sparked a nigh unimaginable number of ripoffs, variations and imitations (among them Friday the 13th in 1980).

Not surprisingly the commercial success of Halloween sparked its own franchise. Equally unsurprising, each successive sequel moved further and further away from the simplicity and integrity of Carpenter's original.

But nothing can tarnish the lustre of this 1978 classic.

Followed by Halloween II in 1981, which was itself followed by six more installments. Not to mention two remakes: of the 1978 original, and the 1981 sequel, respectively.

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