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Thriller . Horror

A psychotic murderer institutionalized since childhood for the murder of his sister, escapes and stalks a bookish teenage girl and her friends while his doctor chases him through the streets.

Actors: Nancy Stephens , John Michael Graham , Brian Andrews , Kyle Richards , Charles Cyphers , P.J. Soles , Nancy Kyes , Jamie Lee Curtis , Donald Pleasence , Arthur Malet
Directors: John Carpenter
Country: USA
Release: 1978-10-25
More Info:
  • James Berardinelli

    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.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Chris Hewitt

    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.

    Empire Full Review
  • Dave Kehr

    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.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Staff (Not Credited)

    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.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Mike Emery

    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.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Jay Scott

    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.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Bruce Fretts

    Carpenter's brutally efficient exercise in tension and release.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Staff (Not Credited)

    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.

    Variety Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Halloween is an absolutely merciless thriller, a movie so violent and scary that, yes, I would compare it to “Psycho.”

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Gene Siskel

    Don't see Halloween in an empty theater on a weekday afternoon. See it on a weekend night in a packed house. Halloween is a film to be enjoyed with a boisterous crowd; it's an "audience picture," a film designed to get specific reactions from an audience at specific moments. With Halloween, the most often desired reaction is screaming. It's a beautifully made thriller -- more shocking than bloody -- that will have you screaming with regularity. Halloween was directed by John Carpenter, 30, a natural filmmaker and a name worth remembering. [22 Nov 1978]

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Ron Pennington

    Carpenter creates excellent tension throughout and he avoids excessive blood and gore in the murder sequences. The violent actions are mostly implied more than graphically depicted, which serves to heighten the effect.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Gary Arnold

    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.

    Washington Post Full Review
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