- The creepy floating jack-o-lantern in the opening credits. It actually gets more eerie with age, as pumpkin carving becomes more and more elaborate and cartoonish. By contrast, this jack-o-lantern's face looks crude and unsettling.
- The musical score is both delightful and absolutely bone-chilling.
- The moment when you briefly see Myers standing in the street in the broad daylight, before he steps behind a hedge. It really sets up the predator/prey dynamic between him and Laurie. She is being watched...... Probably even more scary because some real-life serial killers claim to operate in this way.
- The scene when Laurie finds the bodies of all of her friends throughout the house. And then you see Michael slowly materialize right behind Laurie in the closet. Word of God makes it even scarier. It's not him walking into the light, but simulating your eyes adjusting to darkness. He was standing there the whole time.
- The scene just before the end credits is especially unnerving. After Loomis shoots Myers over the balcony and we see his lifeless body resting below, he takes a second look and he's gone. The final scene of the film is nothing but a montage of all the places Michael has hidden throughout the movie, with Michael's breathing heard over the main theme, practically stating that he could be anywhere.Laurie: It was the Boogeyman...Dr. Loomis: As a matter of fact... it was.
- Myers himself qualifies. A man who kills for the sake of killing, plus the eerily expressionless mask he wears. How Dr. Loomis describes him doesn't help. At all."I met him, 15 years ago; I was told there was nothing left; no reason, no conscience, no understanding in even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, of good or evil, right or wrong. I met this... six-year-old child with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and... the blackest eyes - the Devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up, because I realized that what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... evil."
- Loomis's look of resignation and completely unhappy acknowledgement that he was right at the end of the film; his speeches to the police chief aren't hyperbole, he was right, and now the monster he's tried his best to keep locked up is now loose.
- The fact that he's got no reason to kill. While serial killers generally have something motivating their murders, Myers has been messed up since childhood. He doesn't even kill For the Evulz. Instead, it's extremely unsettling and pure nightmare fuel. When six-year-old Michael is unmasked, he has this sort of confused look on his face, like even he doesn't know why he did what he did.
- The shot after Michael had killed Bob. Michael just looks at the corpse and studies it, tilting his head to one side. What is going through Michael's head? The actor was told to look at the corpse like he would a butterfly collection.
- Something similar occurs right after this. Michael starts violently strangling Lynda as she tries to call Laurie. Laurie listens to Lynda crying out in pain, and initially assumes her friends are playing a joke on her before becoming genuinely worried. Once Lynda's dead, Michael picks up the phone and just listens to Laurie as she starts to panic.
- Laurie is able to grab the knife away from Michael and stab him, and he falls to one side. Laurie tells the kids to run out of the house and get help, and then just rests there in the doorway, thinking it's all over. And then Michael slowly sits up and turns his masked head at her. This is really sold by the score, which is nightmare fuel in itself in some ways. Just how perfectly timed the dun - dun-dun! fits the action is stunning, but then that is a Carpenter trademark. Even the way Michael sits up is unnatural and creepy.
- The way Michael is integrated into so many shots. There's one scene where Annie is in the kitchen talking on the phone. Directly behind her is a pair of glass doors leading outside. Michael can be briefly seen watching her through the glass.
- An injured and terrified Laurie runs to a neighbor's house, bangs on the door, and screams for help. Someone inside turns on the lights, goes to the window... and then drops the blinds and turns the lights off, completely ignoring her. Realistic? Unfortunately... yes. Therefore all the more terrifying.
- Michael wearing the bed sheet. The image Michael appearing in the doorway is bad enough. Then you factor in that he just killed Bob and put his glasses on the ghost in order to trick Lynda so he can kill her without her even realizing a killer is in the room. Probably the first genuinely frightening example of a Bedsheet Ghost.
- Also, Linda died believing that her boyfriend was strangling her.
- The opening scene where young Michael has just murdered his sister and wandered out into the street, just as his parents are coming home, finding their son wearing a creepy clown mask and clutching a bloody kitchen knife. And once the mask is removed, Michael just has a blank stare of confusion.
- Every murder in the movie is filmed in a particularly unnerving way. Whether it's the disturbing POV sequence as young Michael stalks and stabs his own sister to death, the incredibly creepy manner in which he kills Annie and Lynda, or the way he easily overpowers Bob, lifts him off the ground and impales him into the wall.
- Michael's escape after the film's opening is a brief scene, but no less nightmarish. The mental patients wandering aimlessly outside in the dark, looking eerily like ghosts. Loomis immediately realizing something is wrong and exiting the vehicle to find out what's happening, only for Michael to leap on top of the car and attack Marion when she rolls down the window, causing her to spin her car out of control. The way Michael smashes the car window with his bare hand. And it's pitch black and raining hard during all of this.Dr. Loomis: He's gone, he's gone from here! The evil is gone!——
- Rare heroic example: Laurie stabbing Michael in the eye with a coat-hanger hook during the finale. It can certainly make a viewer wince, especially if they themselves have ever had a similar injury.
- We just expect Michael to look horrific or grotesque, except he looks like a normal person. Yikes.
- Annie's death. She heads out to the car, realizes the door is locked, heads back in for her keys, then gets in the car... and you can see the split second where it occurs to her that A) she never actually unlocked the car door, and B) the windshield is fogged up. You know, the way it might be from the breath of someone inside the car. Before she even knows what's happened, Michael springs out of the backseat and strangles her for a good 20 seconds before slitting her throat (the fact that he just let her squirm around for that long shows how sadistic Michael really is).
- The little boy Laurie is babysitting looks out his living room window a few moments later and sees Michael carrying Annie's body back inside. Imagine being that kid.
- If you're keeping an eye out, you can trace Michael's movements throughout this scene from brief glimpses. There's even a bit beforehand where Annie is locked out of the house while doing laundry, and it becomes apparent in retrospect that Michael himself locked her out.
- Loomis and the Sheriff checking out the crumbling old house where Michael is hiding out.Loomis: What is that?Sheriff: A dog... it's still warm.Loomis: He got hungry.Sheriff: Come on, it could have been a skunk.Loomis: Could have.Sheriff: A man wouldn't do that.Loomis: This isn't a man.
Nightmare Fuel / Halloween (1978)