Halloween (1978)

1h 31m / R / Thriller

The script for the original 1978 Halloween was written in 10 days, which… yeah, actually seems like plenty of time, come to think of it. It’s a pretty terse movie: silent killer menaces teens, travels with unsettling quickness but only when off camera, murders many, can’t be stopped. How many pages do you need?

But that simplicity is a virtue; Halloween’s premise is simple but contains everything necessary. It takes the tension and psychological terror of a Hitchcock movie, strips out everything but the bare plot, and renders the audience complicit and uncomfortable by forcing the perspective of the monster – the infamously masked Michael Myers – on them. It’s so powerful a filmic gut-punch that it ushered in a new Golden Age of slasher film, indelibly influenced the direction of a whole genre of movies for decades to come, and earned Jamie Lee Curtis a near-permanent No. 1 spot on the list of cinema’s top Scream Queens (an honor that had, up to that point, belonged to her mother, Janet Leigh, of Psycho fame.)

So come see Halloween on Halloween… the perfectly meta finale to our 10th annual Nightmare series.