Halloween ★★★★½

“It’s Halloween: everyone’s entitled to one good scare.”

How was I ever mostly indifferent to this film?!
The intro is utterly fantastic, Carpenter’s score is one of my favorites out there, and there’s a certain feeling the film holds that won’t be recreated by any imitators or a shot-for-shot remake. It’s a 91-minute capsule of everything that reminds us of Halloween, resurfacing our fondest memories of those chilling nights: the cool air caressing our necks, children daring to approach fake corpses, late night horror flicks with the blankets wrapped tight, pillow cases slung over shoulders and dragged through the streets, and mountains of candy being unloaded onto kitchen counters. And, of course, grisly murders at the hands of a remorseless force of nature. 

Michael Myers’ presence is harrowing from the beginning, and Carpenter’s famous lighting methods make way for the film’s most effective moments in terms of priming suspense. Not only are the shots fantastic, but this looming terror makes the inevitable much sweeter. Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance are clearly leagues ahead of the rest of the cast and some basic errors are present, but what was accomplished under such a tight budget cannot be overstated. Halloween is a treat of a slasher that increases in satisfaction with each bite.

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