Halloween (1978)

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.

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: October 25, 1978
DVD Release Date: October 27, 1997
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Critic Score: 93% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

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

Ron Pennington
Hollywood Reporter

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.

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Tom Milne
Time Out

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

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Gregory Weinkauf
Huffington Post

Narratively anemic - but earns its hosannas primarily in terms of atmosphere and performances, both verging on brilliant.

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Variety Staff

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

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

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

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Mikel Zorrilla

A movie that laid the foundation for slasher films and also created one of the most legendary film history psychopaths, Michael Myers. [Full review in Spanish]

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

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

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Gary Arnold
Washington Post

Since there is precious little character or plot development to pass the time between stalking sequences, one tends to wish the killer would get on with it.

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Heather Wixson
Daily Dead

Why Halloween works is because even in its minute flaws, there's an inherent charm to the basic effectiveness and fundamental workmanship on display & it's hard to say that about many films who have tried to follow in its footsteps ever since.

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More reviews for Halloween

Flixster Audience Score: 89% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
Like the classic Texas Chain Saw Massacre that came out some years before, this terrifying and ruthless classic of the 1970s has become a major influence on the… More
Jim Hunter
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… More
Christopher Heim
Still holds up after all these years. One of my all time favorite horror films that relentlessly delivers on the thrills and suspense. John Carpenter during his… More
Josh Lewis
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… More
Mark Walker
The "slasher film" is now a commonly known sub-genre among horror films and has developed a devoted fan base. Many would say that Alfred… More
Directors Cat
[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img] Hitchcock's masterpiece Psycho provided a lot of inspiration for Halloween and… More