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->''"It's Halloween. I guess everyone's entitled to one good scare."''
-->-- '''Sheriff Brackett'''

A 1978 independent horror film directed by Creator/JohnCarpenter (who also wrote the screenplay with producer Debra Hill), ''Halloween'' serves as the TropeCodifier for the SlasherMovie formula.

Halloween night, 1963: In Haddonfield, Illinois, six-year-old Michael Myers kills his teenage sister Judith with a kitchen knife without explanation. Young Michael ends up committed to Smith's Grove Sanitarium and placed under the watchful eye of Dr. Samuel Loomis (Creator/DonaldPleasence). Fifteen years later -- on the night before Halloween -- Michael escapes from the asylum and heads for home, with Loomis soon following in pursuit.

Back in Haddonfield, high school student Laurie Strode (Creator/JamieLeeCurtis) takes a job as a babysitter for Halloween. As the night of the masks draws nearer, she keeps seeing an eerie masked figure stalking her. While Laurie and her friends believe a schoolmate has played a Halloween trick on her, Laurie has no idea of the danger waiting for Haddonfield...

Produced on a shoestring budget, ''Halloween'' became a massive success on its release and [[FollowTheLeader inspired]] countless other slasher films in its wake. It also spawned a [[Film/HalloweenII1981 sequel]] and with that, [[Franchise/{{Halloween}} an extensive franchise]] as well as [[Film/{{Halloween 2007}} a remake/franchise reboot in 2007]].

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!! ''Halloween'' contains examples of the following tropes:

* ActionSurvivor: Laurie becomes this. Despite being a shy high school student, she's able to fight off the killer three times and does her best to protect the children.
* AdaptationalHeroism: Well, "heroism" is stretching things a bit, but the 1979 novelization portrays Michael Myers in a more tragic and sympathetic light.
* AllHallowsEve: Well, ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin duh]]''.
* AndStarring: A 19 year old Jamie Lee Curtis in her [[StarMakingRole Star-Making]] debut.
* AntiClimacticUnmasking: Michael is unmasked while struggling with Laurie, and he is revealed to be... a normal-looking young man. The most unusual thing about his appearance is the injury that Laurie inflicted to his left eye in the previous scene.
* AxCrazy: Michael is somewhat of a subversion, in that he is more calm and quiet than crazy, but is still a cold-blooded homicidal maniac without conscience who is driven to kill.
* BadPeopleAbuseAnimals: Michael kills a couple of dogs over the course of the movie.
* BeautyBrainsAndBrawn: Lynda the glamorous cheerleader is the Beauty (and the only one shown having sex), Laurie the studious babysitter is the Brains and Annie the reckless and loud-mouthed brat is the Brawn.
* BedsheetGhost: Michael kills Lynda while dressed as one.
* BigDamnHeroes: Loomis finally catches up with Michael, just in time to save Laurie.
* [[BigBrotherInstinct Big Sister Instinct]]: Laurie to Tommy and Lindsey. After all, she is their babysitter.
* BilledAboveTheTitle: "Donald Pleasence in John Carpenter's ''HALLOWEEN''"
* BlondeBrunetteRedhead: The three girls. Lynda is the blonde, Annie the brunette and Laurie auburn substituting redhead.
* BloodlessCarnage: There are only two shots with blood, and neither is particularly explicit.
* BookEnds: We open with a POV of Michael approaching his house on Halloween night, 1963 and we close with a shot of the Myers house, broken down and abandoned on Halloween night, 1978.
* BrakeAngrily: Michael speeds past the girls while driving Loomis's car, prompting Annie to call out, "Hey, jerk! Speed kills!". He slams the brakes, then drives away after a suspenseful {{beat}}.
* TheBully: Three mean kids tease Tommy about the Boogeyman in the schoolyard.
* BystanderSyndrome: While being pursued by Michael during the climax, Laurie bangs and screams for help at a neighbor's house. They turn their lights on, peer through a window... and then shut the lights back off a few seconds later.
* CallBack: Three kids tease Tommy about being scared of the Boogeyman. Later in the film, Dr Loomis scares away the three kids, as they were about to enter Michael's house.
* CatScare:
** Early in the film Laurie, walking home from school and having already caught a brief glimpse of Michael standing behind a hedge, is startled by Sheriff Brackett (who responds with the quote up top).
** Later there's a scene where Loomis and Brackett are exploring the abandoned Myers house and a broken gutter suddenly crashes through a window, causing a startled Loomis to whip out a handgun.
** Still later Loomis, keeping watch outside the Myers house, scares off a group of boys from nosing around... and gets spooked himself when Brackett comes up behind him and puts a hand on his shoulder.
* CatchPhrase: Lynda drops 'totally' into a lot of her sentences. Debra Hill claims it reached MemeticMutation levels with a few teens in one showing she went to.
* CerebusCallBack: Laurie gets scared early in the film by an ominous-sounding phone call... which turns out to be Annie. She later [[spoiler: overhears Lynda being strangled over the phone, and assumes it's Annie playing another prank]].
* CharactersAsDevice: Michael does nothing but murder people, for which he has no motive and from which he gets no benefit. He's simply a monster to threaten our main heroine. It's intentional in this case, as Carpenter set out to make Michael impossible to sympathize with or even understand.
* CharactersDroppingLikeFlies: Averted, compared to later slasher films. The movie has a much smaller bodycount than modern audiences are used to (five people, one of whom dies offscreen, and two dogs).
* TheCobblersChildrenHaveNoShoes: Downplayed, but Annie is the sheriff's daughter. She smokes weed, plans to have underage sex and abandons the girl she's babysitting.
* ColorWash: Cinematographer Dean Cundey used this to give the daytime scenes an autumnal brown tint and the night scenes an eerie blue one. (The 2003 DVD transfer of the film "[[DigitalDestruction fixed]]" this, much to the dismay of Cundey and the fans. Fortunately, the issue was largely rectified for the 35th Anniversary DVD/Blu-ray release in 2013.)
* ContrivedCoincidence: Loomis arrives at Smith's Grove to escort Michael to a mandatory court hearing on the very night (and at the very time) of his escape, thus allowing Michael to make off in his car.
* CreatorCameo: John Carpenter provides TheVoice of Annie's boyfriend, Paul.
* CurseCutShort: Subverted. Annie complains Paul is grounded and "can't come over tonight".
-->'''Laurie:''' [to Annie] I thought you were babysitting tonight?
-->'''Lynda:''' The only reason she babysits is to have a place to--
-->'''Laurie:''' [realizing she's forgotten something] Oh, ''shit''.
-->'''Annie:''' I have a place for that.
* CutPhoneLines: Laurie finds them at the Doyle house she's chased into towards the end after being chased there by Michael when he slashed her.
* CuteBookworm: Laurie.
* DamselOutOfDistress: Laurie's the first person in the entire film to escape from and injure Michael.
* DangerTakesABackSeat: How Annie gets killed.
* DaylightHorror: Michael Myers stalks Laurie Strode and her friends through the sunny, idyllic streets of Haddonfield in the middle of the day.
* DeathBySex: [[spoiler: Judith Myers, later Lynda and Bob. Annie is also killed on her way to have sex.]]
* {{Deconstruction}}[=/=]FreudianExcuse: Inverted in Myers. Actually, never is justified or deconstructs Michael Myers's personality. While appearing to be a shallow motiveless-serial-killer movie at first, it is notable for how it stresses just how strange Myers' behavior actually is. Behind the scenes, Nick Castle (the man behind the mask) reportedly tried to figure out just what would drive a serial killer like Myers and act accordingly, but Carpenter specifically insisted on the "soulless killing machine" approach. One of the main characters, Dr. Loomis, is an experienced psychiatrist who is both baffled and terrified at the seemingly causeless evil lurking behind Myers' eyes. The overall idea is that, by any realistic standard, there should be a reason for someone to be anywhere near as warped as he is.
** However, the two tropes are taken into account in the novelization of the film (from 1979).
* DiesWideOpen: [[spoiler: Annie, Bob, and Lynda all end up this way]].
* DisconnectedByDeath: [[spoiler: Lynda meets her end this way]].
* DramaticThunder: Michael's escape from Smith's Grove takes place during a thunderstorm.
* DramaticUnmask: In the intro, when the slasher-killer is unmasked to reveal... a six-year-old boy.
** And again at the end, when the adult Michael is briefly unmasked to reveal... [[AntiClimacticUnmasking a normal-looking man]].
* DullSurprise: Young Michael's parents' reaction to discovering him in front of the house dazedly clutching a bloodied carving knife. His mom even casually shoves her hands in her pockets.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Despite the genre it inspired, this movie is actually a fairly subtle PsychologicalHorror movie with relatively little blood and gore, and it frequently employs NothingIsScarier. It arguably has more in common with ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' than with movies like ''Film/FridayThe13th1980'', which it inspired.
* TheEndOrIsIt: Michael Myers is shot repeatedly at point-blank range and then falls from a second-story balcony. But when Loomis goes to look, [[NeverFoundTheBody the body is gone]]. Turns out he really was the Boogeyman. And the parade of sequels begin...
* EnemyRisingBehind: One of the movie's most famous scares has a NotQuiteDead Michael Myers slowly rising up behind an exhausted Laurie.
* EnfantTerrible[=/=]CreepyChild: Michael in his childhood.
* EvilDetectingDog: Lester, the Wallaces' German shepherd, barks at Michael hiding behind the bushes... until [[spoiler:Michael strangles him]].
* EvilMakesYouUgly: Averted. The only time Michael is unmasked, you see the face of a normal, 20-something guy.
* EvilPhone:
** Subverted when Laurie -- already starting to freak out after having seen Michael watching her in several places, including her own backyard -- answers a ringing phone but gets no response from the other end save for munching noises. She hangs up, the phone rings again, she warily answers... and it's Annie, who wants to know why she hung up before (and explains that she couldn't talk with a mouthful of food).
** Played straight later on, when Michael strangles Lydia with the phone cord just as she calls Laurie. Michael then picks up the phone to listen to Laurie's frantic cries, before calmly hanging up.
* FaceOfAnAngelMindOfADemon: Once Michael Myers appears on screen as a child. It may be hard to believe that child with a harmless and innocent appearance is the psychopathic AxCrazy SerialKiller of the whole movie. Even after being unmasked towards the end of the movie, he resembles nothing so much as a normal, even handsome, young man.
** In fact, actor Tony Moran is credited as the 22-year-old Michael, while Nick Castle--who plays Michael during most of the film--is only referred to as "The Shape". Michael with the mask on really ''is'' the Boogeyman.
* FailedASpotCheck: Loomis hangs around the Myers house for ''hours'' before noticing that the car Michael stole from the asylum is parked a little ways down the street in plain sight.
* {{Fanservice}}:
** In the opening scene, we get a glimpse of Judith topless and in panties through Michael's mask before he stabs her.
** Later we see Annie topless and in panties (albeit from the back), after she gets hot butter on her clothes and removes them before changing into a [[SexyShirtSwitch man's dress shirt]].
** Lynda also gets a scene topless... though it quickly turns into FanDisservice when Michael starts strangling her.
* FinalGirl: Laurie Strode is the TropeCodifier for a shy, virginal and more moral girl surviving - while her rebellious, promiscuous friends die.
* TheForeignSubtitle: ''The Night of Masks'' (Finland), ''The Night of the Witches'' (Italy), ''The Night of Horror'' (Germany).
* TheGhost: Ben Tramer, Laurie's crush. [[spoiler:Until [[Film/HalloweenII1981 the next film]].]]
* GirlishPigtails: Little Lindsay Wallace wears her hair like this.
* GoingByTheMatchbook: Dr. Loomis finds a garage mechanic's abandoned pickup truck, and in it is the same matchbook carried by the nurse who was with him when Michael Myers escaped the previous night; she left her matches in the car Michael stole, and they wound up in the truck of the guy he stole his jumpsuit from.
* HalfEmptyTwoShot: Used when Michael emerges from the closet to attack Laurie.
* HandOrObjectUnderwear: Judith reflexively covers her breasts when she spots little Michael in her bedroom, then keeps them there in a vain effort to defend herself from his attack.
* HiddenDepths: Laurie Strode -- sweet, nerdy, pure, virginal NaiveEverygirl... and can hold her own against a psycho killer.
* HollywoodDarkness: ''Halloween'' was one of the first horror movies to use the blue filter for night scenes.
* HorrorDoesntSettleForSimpleTuesday: As the title suggests, the movie takes place on Halloween, with only a single scene (Michael's escape from Smith's Grove) not definitely happening on October 31.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: Bob is pinned to the wall with a knife.
* ImplacableMan: Michael cannot be reasoned with and keeps on trucking through multiple stabbings, gunshots and a multistory fall.
* ImprovisedWeapon: A knitting needle and a coat hanger.
* InstrumentalThemeTune: Composed by [[DoItYourselfThemeTune John Carpenter himself]].
* IntroOnlyPointOfView: The first several minutes of the film are shown from Michael's perspective as he walks around his house, fetches a kitchen knife, and murders his sister. This style makes TheReveal that [[EnfanteTerrible he's only six years old]] all the more shocking ([[ItWasHisSled at the time, anyway]]).
* InvisibleParents: Laurie's father only appears for a few seconds toward the beginning of the film, and her mother isn't seen at all.
* IronicNurseryTune: Chanted by a bunch of unseen kids after the opening credits.
-->"Black cats and goblins and broomsticks and ghosts\\
Covens of witches with all of their hosts\\
You may think they scare me; You're probably right\\
Black cats and goblins on Halloween night\\
Trick or treat!"
* KickTheDog: Michael kills two of them, and it's implied that the first one was [[EatTheDog for food]].
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Myers gives one of Tommy Doyle's bullies a good scare after said bully taunts Tommy about the boogeyman.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: In the original, Michael's either a) a literal supernatural boogeyman who can't be destroyed, or b) just an extremely tough and resilient psychopath. The film's ambiguous enough to allow either interpretation, though the ending strongly suggests the former. The sequels explicitly make a supernatural explanation canon.
* MeaningfulBackgroundEvent:
** During Annie's attempt at washing her soiled blouse, Michael can be seen watching her through the windows.
** He also lurks in a similar way while she chats on the phone with her boyfriend.
** While Laurie is [[TemptingFate telling Tommy and Lindsey that she killed Michael]], Michael's shadow can be seen behind her as he comes upstairs to attack her again.
* MonsterClown: Michael's childhood Halloween costume.
* TheMountainsOfIllinois: Can be seen in the background as Loomis is talking in a phone booth.
** Some [[MisplacedVegetation palm trees]] are also visible as Laurie and Tommy are walking to school.
* MurdererPOV: Sometimes accompanied by VaderBreath.
* [[NiceMeanAndInBetween Nice, Mean, and In-Between]]: The three girls again. Laurie is the Nice, responsible bookworm. Annie is the Mean, rebellious brat. Lynda is the In-Between - still rebellious but considerably nicer than Annie.
* NoEnding: [[spoiler:Michael is shot several times and presumed dead, but vanishes without a trace moments later. End of movie.]]
* NothingIsScarier: Used throughout the film, most effectively in the final scene: Michael's [[VaderBreath ominous breathing]] grows louder and louder as we see shots of some of the places he's been during the final act, until... the credits roll.
* OffscreenTeleportation: Michael is very effective at sneaking around, which only adds to just how chilling he is. During a scene where he's watching Annie, he's briefly seen standing in the open doorway behind her as the camera follows her away from it--it goes back a second later, and he's gone (eagle eyed viewers and [[FreezeFrameBonus still framing]] allows a viewer to catch a brief glimpse of his shadow as he flees, though).
* TheOner: The opening scene is one continuous shot until the DramaticUnmask.
* OrphanedSetup: A non-joke variant comes when the cemetery keeper begins to tell Loomis about another grisly past incident from the next town over, but gets cut off before he can finish.
** According to a comic book tie-in regarding said story, it was just as well that it was left unfinished.
* PeekABooCorpse: Laurie finds all three of her murdered friends in a 15-second span near the end of the film, the last two via this trope. This setup was mercilessly poached by future [[DuelingMovies franchise nemesis]] ''Franchise/FridayThe13th'' for most of their climaxes.
* PoliceAreUseless: Downplayed compared to other slasher movies. Sheriff Brackett takes Loomis's warnings seriously and joins him on an all-night stakeout of Michael's old house. Unfortunately, [[WrongGenreSavvy Michael's actions don't meet Loomis's expectations]], and he and Brackett only belatedly realize what's happening.
* PomPomGirl: Lynda's EstablishingCharacterMoment is talking about all the new cheers she has to learn.
* QuizzicalTilt: Michael does one after killing [[spoiler:Bob]].
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: The original script had the murders take place over several days. Due to the low budget, filmmakers minimized the amount of set and costume changes and had the story happen only on one night. This also wrote the title, as they decided to place the plot on Halloween night.
* ReCut: The 1981 Creator/{{NBC}} broadcast featured a new cut of the movie with less violence, and 12 minutes of additional scenes shot during production of [[Film/HalloweenII1981 first sequel]] with mostly the same crew, and Pleasence, Curtis, Soles, and Kyes reprising their roles. They were all toward the beginning of the film, and mostly just exist to pad out the runtime, and to tie the story more directly into the sequel. This cut was used for almost all TV broadcasts until the late 90s, when the film was first remastered. Around that time, an "extended cut" was also released to VHS and DVD that was basically the original theatrical cut with the additional scenes included. These scenes were also included as a separate bonus feature on the 2013 Blu-ray, but, due to fan demand, the full "extended cut" was included in the deluxe boxset in HD as a bonus feature (with the added scenes in SD). Fan reaction to these scenes is mixed. They're generally accepted as canon, but some (including Carpenter himself) think they hurt the movie's pace, and establish too much backstory. There are also fans that can't watch this movie without them. Since they set up the future sequels, they work better when this film is viewed more as the first entry in the franchise instead of a standalone feature.
* RedHerring: Loomis stakes out the old Myers home, thinking that Michael will return there out of instinct. He's wrong.
* SceneryPorn: Some of the best cinematography in a Carpenter film, such as leaves blowing around on an autumn Illinois sidewalk.
* SexyDiscretionShot: Judith and her boyfriend make out on the couch, then head upstairs. From Michael's POV outside, we see the lights in her room go out, telling us that they're having sex.
* ShoutOut:
** Several to ''Film/{{Psycho}}''; see SpiritualSuccessor below.
** Laurie and the kids watch ''Film/TheThingFromAnotherWorld'' and ''Film/ForbiddenPlanet'' on television.
** Annie's father, [[TheSheriff Sheriff]] Leigh Brackett, is named for [[Creator/LeighBrackett the female screenwriter]] of ''Film/RioBravo'' (one of John Carpenter's favorite films).
** The opening scene is inspired by the similar [[TheOner single-take opening]] from ''Film/TouchOfEvil''.
* SlashersPreferBlondes: Lynda, although it's semi-averted by having brunette Annie get bumped off first. Michael's sister Judith is another aversion.
* SmokingHotSex: Lynda and Bob light up in bed after their sex scene is done. Useful for TV edits of the film where the toplessness can be cut without losing the context of the scene.
* SpeedSex: Only a few minutes pass between when Judith and her boyfriend head upstairs to when we see him leaving.
* SpiritualSuccessor:
** In many ways, this film can be seen as one to ''Film/{{Psycho}}''. One of the two main characters is played by [[Creator/JamieLeeCurtis Janet "Marion Crane" Leigh's daughter]], and the other [[NamesTheSame has the same name as Marion's lover]]. Many of the stylistic choices are also clearly influenced by [[Creator/AlfredHitchcock Hitchcock]], like a repetitive {{Leitmotif}} used for a butcher knife-wielding bad guy; the camera work in Michael's first kill, where we never see knife penetrate flesh, and the cuts between the Wallace house and the approaching Laurie echoes the scene where Lila walks towards the Bates home.
** [[WordOfGod Carpenter]] stated that much of the film was strongly inspired by ''Film/TheThingFromAnotherWorld'', one of his favorite films. Naturally, the characters are watching it on television. [[invoked]]
* StealthHiBye: Pulled off repeatedly by the Shape, most notably [[spoiler:in the ending]]. Especially egregious at an earlier point of the film; Laurie sees Michael staring at her from a neighbor's yard, but after a close-up on Laurie that lasts all of a few seconds, he's gone without a trace, with no sign that Laurie had even taken her eyes off of him.
* StonersAreFunny: Annie has a few amusing moments while high on marijuana.
* ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight: The Shape (aka Michael Myers) is repeatedly compared to the boogeyman, apparently unkillable, and deeply enigmatic. He also seems to particularly target teenagers who are [[DeathBySex transgressive against social norms]]. In a subversion of this particular trope, he doesn't show much if any interest in actual children.
* TimeSkip: After the opening, the film skips from 1963 to 1978.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: The original theatrical trailer gives away the first scene's twist: that the killer is the victim's six-year-old brother.
* TropeCodifier: ''Halloween'', alongside ''[[Film/FridayThe13th1980 Friday the 13th]]'', serves as this for the entire slasher film genre.
* UncommonTime: The score uses deliberate repetition of 5/4 to unsettle the audience.
* VaderBreath: Michael is constantly heard breathing heavily beneath his mask, [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness a trait that was fazed out in later films]].
* ValleyGirl: Lynda is "Totally!" a proto version of this. Amusingly enough the movie ''was'' filmed in California.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: After the opening prologue, we never see Michael's parents again or learn what happened to them. (In ''Halloween II'' it's finally revealed that they were killed in a car accident in 1965... and [[spoiler:their youngest child, Laurie, was subsequently adopted by the Strodes]].)
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: In the 1979 novelization based on the film, Michael Myers is portrayed as this. In the original film, however, this is absolutely avoided.
* YouCantFightFate: Lampshaded by Laurie's English teacher during a class lecture... right after Laurie, gazing idly out the window, has caught a glimpse of Michael watching her from across the street.

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-> '''Laurie Strode''': Was that the boogeyman?\\
'''Dr. Loomis''': As a matter of fact...it was.
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