The 1978 Halloween is an excellent horror movie (open spoilers)

Just finished watching the 1978 version of Halloween. This is really a good movie, far better than the typical slasher flick. Donald Pleasence really adds to the movie as he tells the story of Michael Myers as the movie unfolds.

Two things that stand out.

  1. The body count isn’t really high for a slasher movie. There’s time to build up suspense between the killings.

  2. The end scene doesn’t go on and on. I’ve always disliked horror movies that have a half hour chase scene at the end of the movie.

I guess I’ll try the original Friday the 13th next

Along with the original film, I also enjoyed its sequel, Halloween II. The following sequels were terrible.

I think that Halloween is about as close to a perfect movie as it gets. I’ve watched it more times than I can count, and I never get tired of it. It gets the genre so right on its first try that pretty much everything else is a step down.

How Rob Zombie managed to do a remake thirty years later with hundreds of slasher movies in between that is worse than the original in every single way is beyond me.

1/ The music is GREAT!!! Simple but scary.

2/ Jamie Lee Curtis’ premiere. Excellent.

3/ Simplicity, but even better for the story, this is something that coulld have actually happened! :eek:

This is in my top 5 of all time. But I’m a horror slut.

I thought it was boring. Nothing really happened. At least in Psycho, in addition to people getting slashed, you have a plot. The plot here seemed to be horny teenagers have sex or get naked and then get killed. What was the point?

A movie like that doesn’t have any staying power unless there’s a character to identify with; Jamie Lee Curtis did a great job playing a strong character. Dozens of mostly-forgotten movies that followed just didn’t have any characters to really care about. In some of them, people actively rooted for the killer because the teenagers just seemed too stupid to live.

Oh, and if you were a boy who grew up in the '70s, seeing P.J. Soles topless was a weird experience that caused funny feelings belowstairs.

Gotta ask: What else does a teenager think of? Other than getting killed, I mean? I don’t know about you, but…
And I agree: Teens in movies are too stupid to be killed. We call them fodder. I used to cheer for the killers as well.

I think the movie was excellent in 1978 but since everyone learned the lessons of Halloween and copied the good parts the weaknesses show through. In particular the leisurely pacing of the film is a real problem; there’s about forty minutes around the beginning of the film where nothing is really happening. It’s not building dread particularly well since it’s obvious that Myers isn’t going to attack while it’s bright and sunny; the viewer winds up just getting bored waiting for events to move forward.

I have a great deal of respect for those early John Carpenter films but I think The Thing is his real masterpiece.

I’d vote for Carrie as top John Carpenter, but there’s nothing wrong with the others mentioned so far.

Did you just now discover Halloween? Hooh boy, you’ve got a lot of disappointment ahead of you if you think all the horror movies from that error are going to live up to it. You should’ve watched Halloween last, not first. :slight_smile:

I rediscovered it. Sure, I watched it on cable back in the 1980s. But, since I saw it available on Blu Ray, I decided to give it a chance as an adult.

Carrie is Brian De Palma.

My favorite Carpenter is definitely The Thing, but something about Halloween just works so well on me. The slow pacing doesn’t bother me at all - I really think it adds to the atmosphere. It taps into some kind of nostalgia factor that surrounds the Halloween time of year for me.

And I maintain that the shot at the end of Laurie, where Michael Meyers just quietly sits up in the background, is one of the most supremely terrifying cinematic moments.

The first Halloween movie was great. The remake was ok too. But my favorits were Halloween 4 and 5 (Halloween 5 being the best).

Michael Myers kicks ass!

Well, when I was a teenager, I thought about things like good plotting, characterization, suspense, etc. I mean, I prefer books/movies like Psycho, the Exorcist, the Devil’s Advocate, Rosemary’s Baby, the Stepford Wives…stuff that makes you think. There just wasn’t much to think about in this movie.

  1. The theme was written by John Carpenter.

  2. Jamie rocks.

  3. If it happened, we do NOT want to know where.

The man plays to his strengths. His films are visceral and usually clean. Also kudos for early use of Steadicam. The film was shot in 1977, 2 years after Steadicam broke into public use. First use, near as I remember, of Steadicam as " scary floaty creepy eyes of killer " p.o.v.

If people didn’t have such fond memories of the original Halloween, I suspect that many would enjoy Rob Zombie’s remake more. I, for one, consider Zombie’s remake superior in many ways. Both films are flawed in various ways, no doubt about it. The original always will get the upper hand simply for having come first.

The original Friday the 13th? You may find that a bit of a letdown. Just sayin’.

It seems I remember that Halloween was the first movie to present us with the point of view of the killer. Before, all horror movies were victims-running-from-killer POV. True, Cartooniverse?

I disagree: the problem with Zombies remake is that it’s only a slasher film for about the third act. The other two thirds are practically a psychological drama in the tradition of “Henry: portrait of a serial killer” (No, I actually mean it. Yes. I’m not kidding.)

There’s no way that movie could satisfy virtually anyone: the lovers of gore and teenagers running away have to endure an hour of Zombie’s deconstructing the American family, only to find a fairly stereotypical slasher at the end, and the sort of audience that would get the first part will enjoy it but be severely let down by the crappy b-movie ending.

I’d say that the biggest problem with Zombie’s movie isn’t that he departed from the source material but that he did so abysmally and without any sort of conception of what made the film good in the first place, but YMMV.

Halloween goes in my All Time Top Ten. I got the shiveries just reading this thread. I’ve watched this movie every year since I was fourteen and his still creeps the shit out of me every effing time. It’s brilliant, as far as I’m concerned.