Halloween is a 1978 American independent horror movie starring Donald Pleasance as Dr. Samuel Loomis, Tony Moran as Michael Myers, and Jamie-Lee Curtis as Laurie Stroud in her movie debut. It was directed and produced by John Carpenter, who also wrote the music for the movie. Halloween was made for only $325,000 but earned $47,000,000 at the US box office and $64,000,000 worldwide on its release. By 2010, it had made $203,000,000, making it one of the most successful independent films ever made.
The plot of Halloween centers on Michael Myers who, as a small boy, murders his sister on Halloween night and is sent to a home for the mentally ill. For many years, he is cared for by Dr. Samuel Loomis. Dr. Loomis eventually comes to the conclusion that there is nothing that he can do to help Michael Myers because Michael is pure evil. Fifteen years after Michael is sent to the asylum, he escapes, returns to his hometown and begins killing again.
Halloween went on to inspire numerous other low-budget imitation "slasher movies". It would also go on to launch a franchise which includes the films Halloween II (1981), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1996), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), Halloween (2007), Halloween II (2009), Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills (2021), and Halloween Ends (2022).
In 2005 Halloween was declared to be culturally and historically significant and selected for preservation by the National Film Registry of the United States' Library of Congress.
The film was rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Halloween takes place in the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois. On Halloween night 1963, six-year old Michael Myers, wearing a clown costume, takes a sharp knife from the kitchen, goes upstairs to the bedroom of his fifteen-year-old sister and stabs her until she is dead. He then goes and stands outside his house. His parents find him later, still clutching the blood-covered knife, with a blank expression on his face.
Michael is sent to the Smith's Grove Sanitarium, where he spends the next fifteen years. He stops talking altogether and becomes increasingly withdrawn. Michael is treated by Dr. Samuel Loomis but, after several years, Loomis comes to the conclusion that the purely evil Myers is beyond help.
On the evening of October 30, 1978, Michael Myers escapes, steals a car and heads back to his hometown of Haddonfield. Dr. Loomis follows him, to try to prevent him from killing again.
On the morning of October 31, teenage Laurie Strode is told by her father, a real estate agent, to drop off a key at the old Myers' house. On the way, she meets eight-year old Tommy Doyle, a boy who she will babysit that evening. Tommy warns her that the old Myers' place is a "spook house" and thinks that he can see somebody inside. Unknown to Laurie, Michael Myers is inside watching her.
Laurie meets up with her friends Annie Brackett and Lynda Van Der Klok. The three girls talk about their plans for the evening. Lynda will be meeting her boyfriend Bob. Annie has to babysit little Lindsey Wallace but also hopes to spend time with her boyfriend Paul. Several times during the day, Laurie notices a man, wearing a black jumpsuit and a white mask, who makes her feel uneasy.
The girls see Sheriff Lee Brackett, Annie's father, and several other officers outside the local hardware store. The sheriff tells them that the store has been broken into and a few items, including a Halloween mask, have been stolen. The sheriff is aware that there is a dangerous killer loose in the town, having been approached earlier by Dr. Loomis, however, he keeps the information quiet to avoid panic.
In the evening, Laurie Strode is babysitting Tommy Doyle and Annie Brackett is babysitting Lindsey Wallace in the house across the street. Annie sends Lindsey over to the Doyles' house, so that she and her boyfriend Paul can have the Wallaces' house to themselves. They are later joined by Lynda and her boyfriend Bob. The masked Michael Myers lurks outside the Wallaces' house. He kills the Wallaces' dog before going inside and murdering the four teenagers.
Laurie puts Lindsey and Tommy to bed and goes out for a walk. She notices that no lights are on at the Wallaces' house and goes in to investigate. She enters the bedroom and finds the dead bodies of her four friends. In the hallway she is attacked by Michael but manages to escape and eventually makes her way back to the Doyles' house.
Michael follows Laurie back to the Doyle house. She fights back and thinks that she has killed him twice but each time he rises up again. Laurie tells the two children to go to a neighbor's house and they run out screaming. Dr. Loomis hears the noise and realizes that Michael is the cause of it. He enters the Doyles' house and shoots Michael repeatedly. Michael falls off a second-story balcony and onto the lawn below but when Dr. Loomis goes to look at the corpse, he finds it has vanished.