Halloween (1978)



Critic Consensus: Scary, suspenseful, and viscerally thrilling, Halloween set the standard for modern horror films.

Movie Info

A young boy kills his sister on Halloween of 1963, and is sent to a mental hospital. 15 years later he escapes and returns to his home town in order to wreak havoc.

Rating: R
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Horror
Directed By:
Written By: John Carpenter, Debra Hill
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 27, 1997
Compass International Pictures

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as Dr. Loomis

as Laurie Strode

as Lynda

as Brackett

as Graveyard Keeper

as Dr. Wynn

as Michael at 21

as Michael at 6

as Boyfriend

as Laurie's Father

as The Shape

as Judith
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News & Interviews for Halloween

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Critic Reviews for Halloween

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (7)

Carpenter obviously knows the genre well and he builds a properly terrifying atmosphere through his well-paced direction. It's an effective entry for its intended market.

Full Review… | November 2, 2014
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

After a promising opening, Halloween becomes just another maniac-on-the-loose suspenser.

Full Review… | August 27, 2007
Top Critic

John Carpenter's 1978 tour de force, perhaps the most widely imitated film of the 70s.

Full Review… | August 27, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Perhaps not quite so resonant as Psycho to which it pays due homage, but it breathes the same air.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Sets the standard for slasher films and horror in general...

Full Review… | October 1, 2013
Cinema Crazed

Halloween still remains the greatest horror film of all time.

Full Review… | September 23, 2013

Audience Reviews for Halloween

A maniac stalks and kills young women.
The first hour of this film is spent "building suspense." With long pans, stalking shots, heavy breathing, and an effective but redundantly used score, the film thinks that we're waiting in anticipation, bundling our nerves, but I was just bored. At about the forty-five-minute mark, I couldn't wait to watch a blonde fuck and die. Even the kill scenes didn't serve up any suspense especially since i predicted who was going to die first about five minutes into the film.
Overall, while it's possible that time has turned all that was original about Halloween into a cliche, there is something to be said for films that withstand time's test, and whatever that is can't be said about this film.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

An unparalleled classic of the most horrific kind. If I have to pick the horror movie that has scared me the most, but made me appreciate what a good horror movie can provide, this is most definitely it. John Carpenter's film is masterfully filmed and directed with some of the most truly terrifying moments in cinema. The soundtrack has earned its place among the greatest in film, but even hearing it without the film on, it still gives me the chills. It really is sad that there has been so many mediocre to just plain awful sequels because I feel like sometimes people forget just how amazing this film truly is.

Josh Lewis

Super Reviewer



Hitchcock's masterpiece Psycho provided a lot of inspiration for Halloween and yet John Carpenter's film has been deemed even more inspiring to the slasher sub genre of horror film making and that's all a bit confusing. But it's definetely not a bad horror movie, it has some very good jumps, an absolutely spine tingling soundtrack and amazing direction from horror expert John Carpenter. However, despite a fine execution the film is very predictable and unambitious. The story has been done before, the acting is pretty terrible and the villian goes under developed because of an unfortuate half told back story. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and A Nightmare on Elm Street at least had some sense of personality. I dont want to give the impression I didn't enjoy watching it, I greatly admire elements of it such as the superb shooting and brilliant build up's. It works but it's not amazing.

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Halloween Quotes

– Submitted by John B (21 months ago)
– Submitted by Aaron B (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Nick S (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Judson P (2 years ago)

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