Director – John Carpenter (Escape from New York, Christine)
Starring – Donald Pleasence (The Monster Club, Phenomena), Jamie Lee Curtis (Prom Night, The Fog), and Nancy Kyes (Halloween III: Season of the Witch, The Twilight Zone)
Release Date – 1978
Rating – 4/5
4K Release – 3/5
There is several dozen essential horror films that all fans are required to watch. Of those films there is maybe a dozen that you are expected to like. In 1978 John Carpenter took a William Shatner mask and forever changed the face of horror. Some credit this film with creating the slasher sub-genre. Others know this is far from the case but still respect the film and give it credit for setting the standard for a boom of films that would last for almost a decade.
I love Halloween along with the sequels and remake. I do draw the line at the follow up to Zombie’s remake but my love for the series should be noted. Halloween is usually one of the first horror films, along with Evil Dead, to get released on a new format.
When I was a kid and VHS had been out for years Halloween was released on Laserdisc. Then I remember picking up the DVD release when I first started collecting and a few years ago Scream Factory released the amazing Halloween boxset on blu. Now that 4K Ultra HD is out Halloween was once again rereleased. I was lucky enough to get one in to review.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows teenager Laurie Strode (Curtis) who is gearing up for Halloween where she expects to be babysitting and possibly going to a party after. However, things seem a little off in her life when she suspects she is being followed by a man in blue overalls and a white mask. Her fear becomes reality on Halloween night when he attacks her friends one by one making his way to her and it is revealed by a psychiatric doctor that he is Michael Myers, an escaped mental patient, and Laurie’s biological brother. **Spoiler Alert**
Halloween raised the bar for subsequent slashers when it was released in 1978. In fact, slashers would follow this formula for two years before Friday the 13th changed it and created a new slasher formula that would still be used until today. Halloween is essential for any horror fan or slasher fan alike.
The acting in this one is great. The film centers around Jamie Lee Curtis’ character and she is a strong lead. This is the reason she is often credited with creating the final girl scenario in slashers. She does a fantastic job but the real star of the film is legendary actor Donald Pleasence. He is fantastic in this role just like every other film I had seen that he was apart of. The supporting cast is solid as well but no one holds a candle to Pleasence.
The story for this one is a slower burner in terms of slashers but Carpenter does a fantastic job building tension and creating atmosphere. The film is the embodiment of Halloween which adds to the appeal. The slow tension and Halloween look comes crashing down in an energetic final act that always puts the viewer at the end of the seat.
Finally, this film has the typical slasher kills with none of the flair that we get from the slashers that soon followed. The kills had minimal effects that are not bad but they still work for the kill. Overall, Halloween IS the movie to watch during October. As the holiday approaches it is the perfect movie to spin especially now that its on 4k Ultra HD.
The Night SHE Came Home Featurette
On Location: 25 Years Later Featurette
TV Version Footage
Fast Film Facts
Halloween: A Cut Above the Rest Documentary