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

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

''Halloween'' -- a 1978 independent horror film directed and co-written by Creator/JohnCarpenter and Debra Hill -- 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 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:

* AllHallowsEve: [[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 20-something. 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.
* 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.
* 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, 1978.
* 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}}.
* 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... then shut them back off a few seconds later.
* 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.
* 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 (five people, one of whom dies offscreen, and two dogs).
* 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.)
* CompletelyDifferentTitle: In Sweden, the film became ''All Saints' Bloody Night''.
* 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.
* 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.]]
** [[spoiler: 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: Annie, Bob, and Lynda all end up this way.
* DisconnectedByDeath: Lynda
* 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 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 NotQuiteDead 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: 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.
* {{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.
* 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]].]]
* 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.
* 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: 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: 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]].
* 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.
** 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* PetTheDog: Myers gives one of Tommy Doyle's bullies a good scare after said bully taunts Tommy about the boogeyman.
* 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, Michael's actions don't meet Loomis's expectations.
* QuizzicalTilt: Michael does one after killing [[spoiler:Bob]].
* ShoutOut:
** To ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' (see below), ''Film/TheThingFromAnotherWorld'', ''Film/ForbiddenPlanet''...
** Annie's father, [[TheSheriff Sheriff]] Leigh Brackett, is named for the female screenwriter of ''Film/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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
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