Aged 6, young Michael Myers (Will Sandin) slashes his own teenage
sister with a kitchen knife after she had sex. He is immediately admitted
to the loonie bin.
17 years later, Myers (now played by Tony Moran) breaks out of the
loonie bin and decides to head back to his hometown, to pick up where he
left off, meaning killing teenagers, preferably after they had sex. And
what do you know, tonight is Halloween, just like it was 17 years ago,
when young Michael killed his sis.
Soon enough, Michael has picked out a few suitable victims for his
cause, Annie (Nancy Loomis), who rather thinks about ways of meeting with
her boyfriend than taking her babysitting seriously, her best friend Lynda
(P.J.Soles), who just seems to be thinking about good spots to screw with
her boyfriend Bob (John Michael Graham), and Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis),
the highschool virgin and good babysitter, whe doesn't only look after
Tommy (Brian Andrews), the boy she's supposed to babysit, but also Lindsey
(Kyle Richards), who was actually Annie's responsibility ...
Of course, Michael Myers has little problems slaughtering Annie, Lynda
and Bob, who are way too preoccupied with sex to notice there's akiller
around, but with Laurie it's a different matter entirely, she is capable
to take care of Lindsey & Tommy and at the same time run, hide and
fight back ... but in the end it's Doctor Loomis (Donald Pleasence), the
only one who actually understands Myers because he was his doctor and who
has been tracking him down from the loonie bin, who gets the honour of
shooting Myers dead, just as he prepares to attack Laurie for the
umpteenth time. However, when Loomis and Laurie look out of the window
Michael has fallen out of onto the hard pavement, his body full of
bullets, Michael's body is gone ...
A bare-to-the-bones horror thriller, and taken by its story's merits a
pretty stupid one ... but John Carpenter's expertise as a suspense
director makes this one worthwhile nevertheless. Carpenter shows his
mastery in giving daylight shots of your average suburbia (not exactly the
most threatening place) a menacing, agoraphobic atmosphere and fills the
weak storyline with tons and tons of suspense (without ever retreating to
clumsily quote Alfred Hitchcock). And Carpenter's own minimalistic
soundtrack only helps in giving the film its unique atmosphere.
Recommended (even though I think most of you ahve already seen it).
By the way, this film is credited with having started the
stalk-and-slash cycle of the late 1970's/early 1980's, a cycle of films
that more or less follow the same plotline but never again managed to
reach the cinematic heights of Halloween. The cycle's most
prominent film might be Friday the
13th, also from 1978.
That said, Halloween was hardly the first film to follow the storyline
of teens being bumped off by an unknown killer, earlier examples include Teen-Age
Strangler from 1965 and Black Christmas from 1974. But of
course, the influences for Halloween can be traced to even further
back, to Tobe Hooper's Texas
Chainsaw Massacre (1974), the Italian giallo films, the films of Mario Bava,
Hitchcock's Psycho from 1960, Robert Siodmak's The
Spiral Staircase from 1946, the old dark house movies of the
1930's, ... - none of which of course makes Halloween a less