[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/halloween-1978-poster.jpg]]

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

'''''Halloween''''' -- a 1978 horror film directed and co-written by Creator/JohnCarpenter -- 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 the asylum during a thunderstorm and heads for home, and Dr. Loomis soon follows in pursuit.

Back in Haddonfield, high school student Laurie Strode (Creator/JamieLeeCurtis) has 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...

The film became a massive success on its release and [[FollowTheLeader inspired]] countless other slasher films in its wake. It also spawned [[Franchise/{{Halloween}} an extensive franchise]] and [[Film/{{Halloween 2007}} a remake/franchise reboot in 2007]].
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!! ''Halloween'' contains examples of the following tropes:

* AllHallowsEve: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Duh]].
* AndStarring: A 19 year old Jamie Lee Curtis in her [[StarMakingRole Star-Making]] debut.
* AxeCrazy: Michael is really a subversion, he is more calm and quiet than crazy, but is still a cold-blooded homicidal maniac without conscience who enjoys killing.
* BedsheetGhost: Michael kills Lynda while dressed as one.
* [[BigBrotherInstinct Big Sister Instinct]]: Laurie to Tommy and Lindsey. After all, she is their babysitter.
* BloodlessCarnage: There are only two shots with blood, and neither is particularly explicit.
* BrakeAngrily: While stalking Laurie and her friends throughout the day, Michael does this after being told "Speed kills!" by Annie. He drives away after a suspenseful {{beat}}.
* 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.
* CharactersAsDevice: Michael does nothing but murder people, for which he gets no benefit and has no motive for. 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.
* 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.
* 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.]]
* {{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).
* DisconnectedByDeath: Lynda
* DramaticUnmask: At the end, Michael Myers is finally unmasked to reveal... 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 and then falls out of a window. 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 presumed-dead Michael Myers slowly rising up behind an exhausted Laurie.
* EnfantTerrible[=/=]CreepyChild: Michael in his childhood.
* EvilDetectingDog: Lester the family dog barks at Michael hiding behind the bushes.
* EvilMakesYouUgly: Averted. The only time Michael is unmasked, you see the face of a normal, 20-something guy.
* EvilPhone: Michael strangles Lydia to death with a 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.
* {{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]].
* FinalGirl: Laurie Strode.
* TheGhost: Ben Tramer, Laurie's crush. [[spoiler:Until [[Film/HalloweenII1981 the next film]].]]
* GoingByTheMatchbook: Dr. Loomis finds a plumber's abandoned pickup, 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.
* 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
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: Bob is pinned to the wall with a knife.
* ImplacableMan: Myers cannot be reasoned with and keeps on trucking through multiple stabbings, gunshots and a multistory fall.
* ImprovisedWeapon: A knitting needle and a coat hanger.
* IntroOnlyPointOfView
* KickTheDog: Michael kills two of them.
* 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.
* 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.
* PetTheDog: Myers gives one of Tommy Doyle's bullies a good scare after said bully taunts Tommy about the boogeyman.
* ShoutOut: To ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' (see below), ''Film/TheThingFromAnotherWorld'', ''Film/ForbiddenPlanet''...
** Annie's father, [[TheSheriff Sheriff]] Leigh Brackett, is named for the female screenwriter of ''RioBravo'' (one of John Carpenter's favorite films).
* 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.
* SpiritualSuccessor: In many ways, the first film is this 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 neighbors house and the approaching Laurie echoes the scene where Lila walks towards the Bates home.
* StonersAreFunny: Annie has a few amusing moments.
* 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'', serves as this for the entire slasher film genre.
* UncommonTime: The score uses deliberate repetition of 5/4 to unsettle the audience.
* ValleyGirl: Lynda is "Totally!" a proto version of this.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: In the 1979 novelization based on the film, Michael Myers is portrayed as this.
** In the original film, however, this is absolutely avoided.
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