Halloween (1978 film)

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Halloween is a 1978 American independent horror film directed, produced, and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut. The film is set in the fictional midwestern town of Haddonfield, Illinois. On Halloween, six year old Michael Myers murders his older sister. Fifteen years later, he escapes from a psychiatric hospital, returns home, and stalks teenager Laurie Strode and her friends. Michael's psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis suspects Michael's intentions, and follows him to Haddonfield to try to prevent this from happening.

Halloween was produced on a budget of $320,000 and grossed $47.3 million at the box office in the United States,[1] and $60 million worldwide,[2] equivalent to over $203 million as of 2010, becoming one of the most profitable independent films.[1] Many critics credit the film as the first in a long line of slasher films inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960). Halloween had many imitators and originated several clich├ęs found in low-budget horror films of the 1980s and 1990s. Unlike many of its imitators, Halloween contains little graphic violence and gore.[3][4] In 2006, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[5]

Some critics have suggested that Halloween may encourage sadism and misogyny by identifying audiences with its villain.[6] Other critics have suggested the film is a social critique of the immorality of youth and teenagers in 1970s America, with many of Myers's victims being sexually promiscuous substance abusers,[7] while the lone heroine is depicted as chaste and innocent hence her survival (the lone survivor is seen smoking marijuana in one scene). Carpenter dismisses such analyses.[8][9] Several of Halloween's techniques and plot elements, although not founded in this film, have nonetheless become a standard slasher movie trope.


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