Dystopic Dares: Halloween Film Review

Directed by John Carpenter
Screenplay by
John Carpenter, Debra Hill
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Nick Castle, Tony Moran

Halloween opens with a young Michael Myers stabbing his older sister to death after witnessing her sleeping with her boyfriend. Years later, Myers breaks out of a secure psychiatric facility and returns to his former home town. He dons a mask and goes on a murderous rampage, seeking to end the lives of teenage boys and girls driven by an unknown motive on the night of All Hollow’s Eve.

Halloween definitely cast the mould for most, if not all of the successful slasher horrors that proceeded it, which is incredibly impressive considering its minute budget. The cinematography and plot formulation are iconic, and of course Carpenter’s soundtrack is one of the most recognisable in film history.

The characterisation left a little to be desired – I found myself not particularly caring whether most of the teens lived or died – but its subtlety, especially in regards to the details on Myers, promotes genuine fear in the audience.

Dated naffness aside, Halloween is just as horrifying 40 years on. A real inspiration for budding filmmakers and a nightmare experience for anyone with a phobia of home invasions.


E.J. Babb created Dystopic in 2012 after requiring an outlet for her love of dystopian and apocalyptic fiction. She is the author of These Unnatural Men, FOREGROUND and The Festivities of Morkwood.

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