13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Undisputedly one of the greatest scary films of all time
John Carpenter's Halloween was filmed over a period of just 3 weeks with a budget of just $300,000. A lot of compromises had to be made. The mask, for example, is a William Shatner one - all they did was spray paint it and widen the eyeholes, and to fantastic effect!
John Carpenter is such an excellent director. The first time I watched this movie I was about 12, and...
Published on 16 April 2005 by michger3
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Terrible DVD quality.
Don't see this and think I am saying it's a bad film. I am not! This is one of the horror greats, that thirty years later still has the ability to scare and shock, that in it's self is a tremendous achievement.
Having said that the picture and sound quality of this edition is awful. I was completely let down. When I saw the price I thought what a great deal,...
Published on 18 Dec 2010 by Mrs. T. Greenhough
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Undisputedly one of the greatest scary films of all time,
This review is from: Halloween (25th Anniversary Edition) [DVD] (DVD)John Carpenter's Halloween was filmed over a period of just 3 weeks with a budget of just $300,000. A lot of compromises had to be made. The mask, for example, is a William Shatner one - all they did was spray paint it and widen the eyeholes, and to fantastic effect!
John Carpenter is such an excellent director. The first time I watched this movie I was about 12, and it is my favourit horror film. I'm 17 now and no matter how often I watch it still chills me!
Donald Pleasance and Jamie Lee Curtis give outstanding performances in the film that started the "slasher" movie genre. Also PJ Soles and Nancy Loomis are very good as Laurie's naughty but unfortunate best friends.
It goes without saying that John Carpenter's musical score for the film is very catchy/nerve-shredding, in particular the deep piano "heartbeat" chords that start when The Chase begins.
Overall just the mere concept of an unrelenting force of evil, in the shape of a person who refuses to die, makes this film so creepy and a definite MUST for all horror fans. It hooks you!
It spawned seven sequels, and a ninth is in production I believe, but none of the sequels aspired to or ever will aspire to the same terrifying level as the original. I promise you that you simply must have this film!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real terror stands the test of time,
This review is from: Halloween [VHS] (VHS Tape)If I were asked to list the top scary movies of all time, I would place John Carpenter's Halloween at the top of my list. It is much scarier than Psycho and The Exorcist, in my opinion, and the likes of Jason and Freddy pale in comparison to Michael Myers. Its influence on the genre can hardly be overstated; countless slasher films have been released over the last two decades plus, wherein each filmmaker consciously or unconsciously has tried to duplicate the force and power of this 1978 masterpiece of terror and suspense. It is this movie's genre-defining influence that earns it first place in my rankings.
Is the movie scary? Yes, emphatically so. All these years later, with audiences having a number of other slasher films under their belt, Halloween may not seem as frightening as it had to have been when it was released, but it is deliciously scary nonetheless. The groundbreaking point of view shots Cameron employs only adds to the incredible suspense of the story. Watching this movie alone in a dark room is probably a pretty bad idea, as is going to bed immediately afterwards. Nick Castle's portrayal of Michael is brilliantly subtle, and the photography and soundtrack are superb. The image of the featureless, pasty-white mask hovering above a dark set of clothes is unnerving, and the early sightings of him in Haddenfield are amazingly effective-even when you know he is there, it is sometimes difficult to spot him. One of the best scenes later on has Michael creeping out of a darkened room; it is as if the mask just somehow emerges out of nowhere from the shadows. Even Michael's walk and method of suddenly sitting straight up out of a prone position are amazingly impactful. He really does seem to represent true evil, a force of nature that keeps coming and coming all the time yet is entirely human. He is everywhere and nowhere. The musical score is beyond outstanding; the famous Halloween theme is immediately recognizable whenever you hear it, taking you directly back to Haddonfield. Halloween was the first true horror movie I ever watched. I was probably around twelve at the time, and I decided I was going to watch my first horror film the proper way-in the dark, late at night. I am embarrassed to say that I never even made it through the opening credits. That jack o'lantern and incredibly creepy music scared the daylights out of me.
While Michael is horror's most terrifying killer, Halloween would not have seen nearly as much success had it not been for Donald Pleasance's character Dr. Loomis. Loomis' brilliant acting and forceful presence gives Halloween something its imitators don't have, and his almost philosophical musings on Michael's innate evil give this killer a depth that other slasher villains just don't possess. Jamie Lee Curtis, of course, was also fabulous in this, her first movie role. No other scream queen can boast of such advanced acting skills. I didn't think the acting jobs of the other teenagers were very good, but those characters were in the movie for one reason only, and it wasn't to steal the show.
The extra features on the limited edition release are pretty good. The "Halloween Unmasked" featurette from 1998 delivers interviews with cast and creators (including an unmasked Nick Castle, who looks more like a professor than a "killer"). The extras also include several scenes shot in 1982 and added to the television version of the movie. The first of these provides more detail about Michael's original transfer to a minimum security institution and Dr. Loomis' attempts to prevent it from taking place. The second one is a great scene featuring Loomis telling the teenaged, pseudo-comatose Michael that he may have fooled the hospital administrators but he hasn't fooled him. The third offers a bit of unnecessary data on Michael's motivations. The fourth scene features some extended dialogue between the movie's three teenaged girls and is forgettable at best. What I found most interesting was the story of Halloween's origins. Many have forgotten or never even knew how much of a surprise hit this movie was in 1978. It was filmed over the course of just three weeks with a total budget of little more than three hundred thousand dollars. Donald Pleasance filmed all of his scenes in a mere five days. The history of Halloween is really remarkable, especially when you consider the importance and influence of this movie on the genre. John Carpenter managed to bring together everything a horror film needs to succeed, and the entire industry has been trying to match his efforts without complete success ever since.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death has come to your little town,
Well, Michael Myers wasn't dead, but on "Halloween" he returned to cause trouble for the people of his hometown, with all its dark houses and teenage victims. And John Carpenter's masterpiece lives up to its reputation: creepy, eerie, harrowing, and full of solid acting from Donald Pleasance and Jamie Lee Curtis.
On Halloween, 1963, young Michael Myers lurked outside the house while his sister had sex with her boyfriend. After he left, Michael put on a mask, picked up a knife, and stabbed his sister to death.
Fifteen years later, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is about to take Myers to a legal hearing, when Myers (Nick Castle) breaks open the psych hospital and escapes in Loomis' car. On Halloween, teenage Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) notices a silent, masked figure popping up and disappearing near her school, house, and neighborhood.
Despite this, she goes about her babysitting duties, even taking care of another girl's charge overnight. The only problem is, the girl is dead, and so is another pal and her boyfriend. Dr. Loomis is staking out Myers' old home, unaware that Myers is now prowling the house where Laurie is staying -- and there seems to be no way to avoid the knife-wielding "evil."
It sounds like a thousand knockoff movies made since then, but "Halloween" formed the original mold. And like any other groundbreaker, it is the most stripped-down, intense example of the genre -- little gore, little graphic violence, but the way it's handled is enough to make your hair stand on end, and make you go to bed with a gun under your pillow.
And Carpenter handles the spookiness beautifully -- initially, the story is pleasantly average -- teen gossip, small-town atmosphere, and chatter about boyfriends, dances and babysitting. It has the occasional spooky moment -- such as Myers popping out of a hedge to stare at Laurie -- but isn't really scary just yet. But as Myers starts bumping off teenagers, the plot darkens and twists.
Carpenter spins up a claustrophobic, trapped feeling, partly due to a shadowy old house full of windows and doors, any of which could be Myers' way in. You can't help but jump with every shadow. And Carpenter sprinkles the plot with unspeakably creepy moments -- Myers quietly slithering in a window above Laurie, or dressing as a ghost with only his heavy breathing to identify him.
Curtis was the original scream queen thanks to this movie, and she does an amazing job -- even when she's racing around pounding on doors and shrieking, she seems realistic. Pleasance is just as good as Loomis, who is determined and full of dread at what his patient is, but also has his moments of humour (like when he frightens some pranksters at the Myers house). And though we only see Myers' face a few times, his masked face, silent movements and heavy breathing are the stuff of nightmare.
"Halloween" was a more psychological, atmospheric kind of horror, and it did its job almost too well. The original slasher movie -- harrowing, eerie, and petrifying.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Terrible DVD quality.,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having said that the picture and sound quality of this edition is awful. I was completely let down. When I saw the price I thought what a great deal, however this is definitely a case you get what you pay for. On top of that there is NO special features, No scene selection, not even a language option. This is basically a VHS copy!
But as I said don't get me wrong the film in it's self is fantastic, but this edition is is terrible. I would say spend the extra few pounds and get the two disk edition.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNBELIEVABLE!!!,
This review is from: Halloween (2 Disc Special Edition)  [DVD] (DVD)This is by far the best horror movie i have ever seen in my life, Michael Myers brings a whole new meaning to the word "Evil". He is the most violent, heartless, craziest killing machine and there aint no stopping him. If u dont have this tittle and call urself a true horror movie fan, then i really do feel sorry for u becuase u aint experianced horror yet. Not only does this movie have great horror scenes BUT it has a excellent story line aswell, and it is impossible to watch it and get bored....Myers is here....and he aint going no where!!
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where Is Halloween : The Curse Of Michael Myers?,
This review is from: Halloween: The Ultimate Collection (Six Disc Box Set) [DVD] (DVD)Halloween is one of the best horror sagas ever! Unlike it's companions Friday The 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street this series has managed to stay sane over it's many sequels while the others have just become completely stupid.
This boxset contains Halloween 1,2,3,4,5 and Halloween H20 (which is basically Halloween 7)! Here is what happens in the films . . .
Halloween - When a young boy named Michael Myers stabbed his sister to death he was issued to an asylum. 15 years laters he escaped though and travelled back to his hometown of Haddonfield to continue what he started.
Halloween 2 - With Michael still on the loose Laurie Strode is very cautious to be 'put to sleep' at Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. Of course Michael shows up at the hospital and after killing all the staff he and Laurie are left alone in the large building.
Halloween 3 : Season Of The Witch - A new company who make Halloween masks come to a small town and of course are greeted by many happy children. But the masks turn out to be more horrifying than imagined when it's discovered once you put one on it kills you!
Halloween 4 : The Return Of Michael Myers - When serial killer Michael Myers hears he has a niece living in Haddonfield he breaks loose from a hospital transfer and once again brutally murders many teenagers when Halloween night falls.
Halloween 5 : The Revenge Of Michael Myers - After her violent behaviour little Jamie has been issued to a child clinic and has lost the ability to speak. Michael regains his health one year after being blown down a mineshaft and hunts down his niece and her new friends to pay for what she did to him last year.
Halloween H20 - It's been twenty years since Laurie Strode was attacked by Michael Myers. She now has a teenage son and runs a private school! She has a fake name and has even faked her own death to make sure Michael never finds her again but he does and he's determind to finish what he started twenty years ago. But this time Laurie is determind to put evil in it's place once and for all!
This boxset is really good except for some reason it doesn't contain Halloween : The Curse Of Michael Myers which is the sixth Halloween film. The film is available on video now but for some reason isn't being released on dvd until October. Also the newest Halloween film Halloween Resurrection is being released on video and dvd in October as well! I hear that Halloween 9 is under development. I can't wait to see it.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True horror,
The film is directed by John Carpenter, who at this time was churning out cult classics every year or two. Carpenters use of the camera as the killers view set a trend that continues to this day. Of course 'The Shape' as he came to be known, is a truly nightmarish creation. He wears a mask, which apparently was originally a Captain Kirk mask which one of the crew adapted! He's virtually indestructible, totally inhuman and one of the scariest killers ever.
Jamie Lee Curtis is pretty good, but the main reason to watch this from an acting point of view is Donald Pleasence who plays Dr Sam Loomis. Pleasence's role is crucial to the film, as some of the lines he has to deliver are, well a little clunky, such as
"He's gone from here, The evil is gone".
However Pleasence delivers them, good or bad, with conviction and gives a fantastic performance.
Another reason this film works is Carpenters creepy musical score, which racks up the tension at all the right points.
I'll give the final word to Dr Loomis:
"I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face and, the blackest eyes... the devil's eyes! I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... evil!"
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic splatter flick of the night HE (first) came home,
This review is from: Halloween [VHS] (VHS Tape)Each year on October 31st, this is the film I have playing when the little ghosts and goblins come knockin' on my door begging for sweeties. But I did not know until today that the mask Michael Meyers wears in "Halloween" was a William Shatner mask from the movie "The Devil's Ram" spray-painted white. See? There are just soooooo many levels of horror to this film, which has not been equaled let alone surpassed by all the low-budget splasher flicks that have come down the road ever since.
Why is John Carpenter's film a classic? I think a lot of the credit goes to the two stars in front of the camera. Donald Pleasence certainly brings legitimacy to the role of Dr. Loomis, who keeps warning people who simply refuse to listen. But Jamie Lee Curits is perfect for the role of Laurie Strode. Compare here to the virgin character (i.e., the girl who survives) in all the other splatter flicks (e.g., any "Friday the 13th"), and she is just so much more real than they any of the rest of them. You certainly believe she would be a damn fine baby-sitter. It is almost hard to believe she goes out to be a femme fatale in films like "True Lies" because she is so much the good girl next door in this one.
As a director John Carpenter definitely has fun, as evidenced from the opening tracking shot, a homage to the opening of Orson Welles' "Touch of Evil." Actually, "Halloween" is replete with homages to various films ("Sam Loomis" was a character in "Psycho"). But what Halloween does better than any other film in this genre since "Psycho" is use music, which Carpenter wrote. Yes, it is very primitive (compare the music used for the climax of "Halloween" with the more sophisticated stuff used for the same scene when it is used to open "Halloween II"), but it is used effectively throughout the film to create a consistent sense of unease. You have to wonder if Carpenter was thinking in those terms as he shot the film. The film is remarkably free of blood and gore.
"Halloween" was shot in 21 days on a budget of $300,000 and then went on to become the highest-grossing independent film ever made. I remember the massive word of mouth that this was actually a "good" horror film, something rare to be treasured like "The Exorcist" while Hollywood puts out all those schlock films. You might think there are better horror films that have come out since "Halloween," but most of you are not going to get to your second hand to need fingers to count them.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have purchase,
By A Customer
This review is from: Halloween (25th Anniversary Edition) [DVD] (DVD)I have been a keen DVD collector now for quite some time, yet no DVD in my collection is as impressive as this feature packed Anchor Bay edition of Halloween. The film itself has a straight-forward storyline you will probably already know; a psychopath who killed his older sister when he was six years old escapes from the authorities and heads to Haddonfield, Illinois on one Halloween night 15 years later. Jamie Lee Curtis, in her first major film role, plays 'scream queen' Laurie Stode, a shy American teenager who babysits children. Little do her and her friends know, but a certain Michael Myers looms in the shadows of their neighbourhood...
There is fantastic support from British actor Donald Pleasance, portraying Myers' doctor who heads to Haddonfield to stop his crazed patient at all costs.
Halloween has already been released several times on various editions of 'Special Edition' DVD. This however is the most recent update, and is the most comprehensive DVD to buy for this classic. It contains a very impressive 80 minute long documentary, which goes into extreme detail on how the picture was made (for $320000 and over a 21 day period to be exact!). It has interviews with director John Carpenter, producer Debra Hill, Jamie Lee Curtis and many more of the Halloween team. There is also a seperate featurette which goes back to the actual film locations, which is really fascinating as most are now unrecognizable. Commentary from John Carpenter, Jamie Lee Curtis, theartical trailers and much more cram the second disc full.
I can not praise this film highly enough. Not only is it the most nerve-wracking and scariest film ever made, yet it comes in a delicious package which is a must for fans of cinema. No DVD collection in the world would be deemed 'complete' without this remarkable film. Just do not watch it alone.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HALLOWEEN (1978) Blu-ray edition,
This review is from: Halloween [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)There isn't much I can add to what has already been said about this classic movie. It is not only head and shoulders above most other horror films, but it ranks as one of the best movies of the 1970s. Perhaps inevitably it helped to spawn a genre of slasher films, sequels and remakes, not a single one of which comes anywhere close - in terms of imagination, characterization, direction or acting - to the power of the original. Despite its reputation, teenagers seeing this for the first time may even be surprised at the lack of gore, and at the restraint shown by John Carpenter in telling this simple but highly effective horror tale. A masterpiece.
Halloween fully deserves the Blu-ray treatment, and diehard fans will be hugely impressed by the picture quality. Extras include:
Audio Commentary with Writer/ Director John Carpenter, Actress Jamie Lee Curtis and Producer Debra Hill
Fast Film Facts
Halloween: A Cut Above The Rest Featurette
All of these, to the best of my knowledge, have been included in previous packages. The audio commentary is an incredible listen for anyone who loves this film. But the main reason for me buying this version was for the absolutely stunning picture quality. I have watched Halloween (1978) many, many times before, and I love the clarity of this version.
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Halloween [Blu-ray]  by John Carpenter (Blu-ray - 2007)