MisterSteak’s review published on Letterboxd:
Tense Tracking Shots and Anticlimactic Deaths: The Motion Picture
If I were to rate this based on its historic status in the timeline of horror cinema, I'd raise it by at least a star, but on the same playing field as so many others that came after, and based on personal enjoyment, it gets a 3.
The film is very good for a scary hour and a half, and the filmography is, as I expected from Carpenter after watching The Thing, quite effective. But what keeps this, and any horror of its ilk, from getting a full 5 stars from me is that there is no further takeaway from the film other than being scared for the duration of it. Usually, the simplest way to check that box for me is simply to give the killer a meaningful motive, but in the case of this film, the motive just seems to be sadism and insanity. Also, the characters weren't given time to be developed very much at all, even Laurie, really. That said, they were still likable enough for what that's worth.
A film that pioneered and inspired so many tropes of the slasher genre will obviously fail to be terribly original. However, I can't help but let that color my enjoyment of the film, so that also contributed to my rating.
That adds up to 3 stars. A very decent classic film that is deserving, historically, of being a must-watch of the horror genre.