Friday, April 10, 2009

Halloween (1978 film)

----Haunted Six----



Halloween (1978 film)


Halloween is a 1978 American independent horror film set in the fictional suburban midwestern town of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween. The original draft of the screenplay was titled The Babysitter Murders. John Carpenter directed the film, which stars Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis, Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, and Nick Castle, Tony Moran and Tommy Lee Wallace sharing the role of Michael Myers (listed in the credits as "The Shape"). The film centers on Myers' escape from a psychiatric hospital, his murdering of teenagers, and Dr. Loomis' attempts to track and stop him. Halloween is widely regarded as a classic among horror films, and as one of the most influential horror films of its era. In 2006, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Halloween was produced on a budget of $325,000 and grossed $47 million at the box office in the United States, equivalent to over $150 million as of 2008, becoming one of the most profitable independent films ever made.Many critics credit the film as the first in a long line of slasher films inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960). The movie originated many clich├ęs found in low-budget horror films of the 1980s and 1990s. However, the film contains little graphic violence and gore.

Critics have suggested that Halloween and its slasher film successors may encourage sadism and misogyny. Others have suggested the film is a social critique of the immorality of young people in 1970s America, pointing out that many of Myers' victims are sexually promiscuous substance abusers, while the lone heroine is depicted as chaste and innocent (although she is seen taking a puff at marijuana joint, and her two best friends are sexually active and are substance abusers). While Carpenter dismisses such analyses, the perceived parallel between the characters' moral strengths and their likelihood of surviving to the film's conclusion has nevertheless become a standard slasher movie trope.

Plot

On Halloween night 1963, six-year-old Michael Myers (Will Sandin) murders his seventeen-year-old sister Judith (Sandy Johnson) with a large kitchen knife at their home in Haddonfield, Illinois. Almost immediately after, his mother and father arrive home and find him in a trance-like state. They send him to Smith's Grove - Warren County Sanitarium and he is placed under the care of child psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence).

Eight years of treatment lead Loomis to suspect that Michael is nothing less than pure evil. Seven years of trying to keep Myers locked up ends upon his attempted transfer to be prosecuted as an adult. Myers (now 21 years old) escapes from Smith's Grove, steals the institution's car, kills a truck driver for his jump suit, and returns to Haddonfield.

Loomis knows where he is going and pursues him. In Haddonfield, Myers stalks teenager Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and some of her friends. At various points throughout the day Laurie sees a man in a white mask (from her classroom window, behind a bush while she walks home, and in the clothesline from her bedroom window).

Later in the evening, Laurie meets her friend Annie Brackett (Nancy Kyes) who is babysitting Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards) across the street from where Laurie is babysitting Tommy Doyle (Brian Andrews). After arranging to pick up her boyfriend, Annie sends Lindsey to stay with Laurie at the Doyle house before being murdered by Myers. Tommy sees Myers carrying Annie's body into the Wallace house and thinks he is the Boogeyman. Laurie dismisses the boy's terror and sends Tommy and Lindsey to bed. Myers later murders another friend of Laurie's, Lynda Van Der Klok (P.J. Soles) and Lynda's boyfriend, Robert "Bob" Simms (John Michael Graham) after they have sex in the empty Wallace house.

Laurie worries for her friends' safety after receiving a strange phone call from Lynda at the Wallace house. She walks across the street and discovers the three bodies plus Judith Myers' missing tombstone. She is attacked by Michael Myers but escapes back to the Doyle house. Laurie stabs Myers in the neck with a knitting needle, in the eye with a clothes hanger, and with a knife in the torso, but he continues to pursue her. Eventually, Loomis spots Tommy and Lindsey running from the house and finds Myers in the upstairs hallway. Loomis rescues Laurie from being strangled by Myers, shooting him six times and causing him to fall from the house's second-story balcony. Upon looking out the window for Myers' body, however, Loomis discovers that he is nowhere to be found, and the film abruptly ends.

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