Halloween is as pure and undiluted as its title. In the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois, a teenage baby sitter tries to survive a Halloween night of relentless terror, during which a knife-wielding maniac goes after... more » the town's hormonally charged youths. Director John Carpenter takes this simple situation and orchestrates a superbly mounted symphony of horrors. It's a movie much scarier for its dark spaces and ominous camera movements than for its explicit bloodletting (which is actually minimal). Composed by Carpenter himself, the movie's freaky music sets the tone; and his script (cowritten with Debra Hill) is laced with references to other horror pictures, especially Psycho. The baby sitter is played by Jamie Lee Curtis, the real-life daughter of Psycho victim Janet Leigh; and the obsessed policeman played by Donald Pleasence is named Sam Loomis, after John Gavin's character in Psycho. In the end, though, Halloween stands on its own as an uncannily frightening experience--it's one of those movies that had audiences literally jumping out of their seats and shouting at the screen. ("No! Don't drop that knife!") Produced on a low budget, the picture turned a monster profit, and spawned many sequels, none of which approached the 1978 original. Curtis returned for two more installments: 1981's dismal Halloween II, which picked up the story the day after the unfortunate events, and 1998's occasionally gripping Halloween H20, which proved the former baby sitter was still haunted after 20 years. --Robert Horton« less
Anton Tobias | The vast cornfields of the Midwest | 08/02/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"On October 14th Anchor Bay/Starz Entertainment will release a Halloween 30th anniversary edition of the film. I, for one, being a longtime Halloween enthusiast, haven't been this dissapointed since Rob Zombie got to cash in on and destroy this classic film with one of the worst renditions ever made.
Again, and in typical Anchor Bay fashion, consumers are being offered the same Halloween product in a new package. Look closely, every single DVD disc included in this set has been a prior release from Anchor Bay.
Even the Blu-Ray disc has been out for months. This is disgraceful and Halloween fans deserve better.
The original Halloween was released thirty years ago, so why is Anchor Bay releasing Halloween 4 and 5 with this set? They were filmed in the late 80's. The answer is greed and laziness. Anchor Bay is jumbling every Halloween release they've ever produced into one pathetic boxset in order to cash in yet again.
This has to be the laziest attempt at a Halloween special edition ever. Thirty years of triumph deserves so much better and this company is just slapping together a lame Halloween boxset at the last minute and calling it a thirty year editon.
Even the Micael Myers mask included in this set is cheap and has been available for years at any local Spencer's gift shop. It has no resemblance to the original mask what-so-ever. Nothing in this boxset is worth spending money on.
This was the perfect opportunity for Anchor Bay to release some of the "lost Halloween footage" found a few years ago burried in boxes. All of John Carpenter's Halloween footage that was not used in the movie was found and Halloween fans have been long awaiting to see just a few frames from this holy grail of unused film stock.
Will any of this footage be available on this boxset? Nope. Just the same tired releases from a company that doesn't know how to show this classic film the proper respect it deserves.
A Comparison Between Halloween's Two Most Popular DVD Versio
Eric Ericson | Venice, Florida USA | 07/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Halloween. What a perfect title for a Horror movie. It's hard to believe back in 1977 that there had never been any movie, let alone a Horror film, that incorporated that title. And what good usage it got. Written, directed, and even musically scored by John Carpenter (with great assistance by then girlfriend Debra Hill), this was truly a film that brought Horror to it's roots, leaving an impact that only George Romero's Night Of The Living Dead did ten years earlier. Showcasing a deranged killer by the name of Michael Myers who in childhood murdered his sister in cold blood on Halloween night, only to escape his asylum to return to his Illinois home to hunt down babysitter (and eventually known little sister) Jamie Lee Curtis 15 years later, was truly an amazing film that never exploited the genre, keeping the imagination and terror flowing within the viewers mind rather than blatantly on the screen. For it's time it was the number one profitable independent film ever made, and after almost thirty years, it still terrifies and never grows old. A true classic film. Every single DVD collector should own it....
But which one?
Not in the sense of sequels, but rather in which version of the original should you add to your collection. You see, this film has had the DVD distribution rights by Anchor Bay Entertainment (now known as Starz), and they have re-released this classic now a total of six times. So I would like to compare the two most popular versions to see which one should be for you, the "Restored" or the "25th Anniversary"
Starting with the "Restored" version, this DVD was authored way back in 1999. However, it was personally restored by Halloween original cinematographer Dean Cundey, trying to preserve as much of the look of it's original theatrical run. This version has been released a whopping three times. But for the film's "25th (2003) Anniversary", Anchor Bay remastered the film yet again for another release "Halloween 25", this time taking the remastering process in their own hands, something of which Cundey was not happy with. You see, comparing the two's video, you'll notice that each are different. One point is brightness and sharpness. In the Cundey version, overall picture is dark and not as sharp while for 25 the white levels have been raised and it's overall color saturation has been lowered. To me, while the original with it's dark blue hue running throughout looks good, at times it's hard to see certain shots in the dark. The 25th version has fixed that, even going as far as making the film look more natural. As for sharpness, the 25th beats it by far. Audio wise, each film seems on the same level, so a tie there, but it's the video that should be considered when purchasing: the Cundey-more true to the original film/the 25-a sharper, more realistic picture.
Next would be the use of the disc space. Restored is one of those discs that wanted to cater to the early 2000's audiences of giving them both a widescreen and a fullframe on the same disc. Because of this, the bitrate is pretty small for both presentations. However, the 25th is a 2 disc set that only offers on Disc One the Widescreen presentation, and it's Divimax as well. But to be honest, it's bitrate isn't up to say Superbit quality. It's better, but with a total of four audio tracks to choose from, the entire dual layer disc is only used by 75%, and that other 25 could have went to more video bitrate, but alas it's not. But to me, the bitrate still is higher on the 25, not to mention it's compression is four years younger than Restored, so 25 wins again.
Finally is Extras, Restored has a 30 minute documentary called Halloween Unmasked 2000, narrated by Twisted Sister's Dee Snider. Why is he on here than just being a popular fan, beats me. But on 25's second disc is a whopping 87 minute documentary called A Cut Above The Rest which expands on the original and gives much greater detail on the film. 25 also includes another ten minute featurette called On Location, going back to view all the houses and such that were used in the film that Restored does not include either. And if that wasn't enough, 25 has the original Laserdisc commentary by John Carpenter with additional vocals with Jamie Lee Curtis and Debra Hill. This might be the best extra 25 has over Restored, because it's got to be one of the most personal commentaries I've ever heard. Carpenter doesn't hold anything back, a must listen. And sure, both have the same trailers, TV Spots, and such, but again to me 25th Anniversary wins this one too.
But the main reason why I'm writing all this is because back in 2007, Anchor Bay decided to stop releasing the 25th Anniversary and instead re-issue the Restored version. Why, I'm not sure. Dean Cundey was never happy with 25, and maybe his name on the back of Restored's box was a selling-point, I don't know. Maybe the 25's cover was confusing buyers because it looks a little like sequel H20's version? But I do know for your money, the 25th Anniversary is still the best way to go. What's sad is to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the classic film, Anchor Bay is yet again double-dipping it's audience by releasing a six disc collection featuring Parts 1, 4, 5, the NBC-TV edit, the 25 Years Of Terror special and a Blu-Ray version of the original. But again, both the DVD and Blu-Ray (BD version rumored to be a video-hybrid of both) are from the 1999 Cundey master (but the Blu does have the Cut Above special and commentary too). It would have been nice if the DVD was the 25 so fans could have both versions, but no, 25th Anniversary seems lost now.
In conclusion, if you want the best overall 1978 Halloween package, go with the 2003 25th Anniversary Edition. More extras, a more realistic picture, and a commentary to die for. Ratings-wise then from me is:
Restored: (8.5/10) 25th Anniversary: (9.5/10)
Thanks for reading, RedSabbath"
A Great, Scary, Classic Made Even Better!
Brett Michael Roberts | Renton, WA USA | 10/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This new, Extended version of Halloween is something no fan should be without! 12 minutes of additional footage (4 scenes) has been put into the original version, and the result is awesome. These scenes were not deleted. They were really shot in 1980, when the film was released on cut TV. The scenes were shot using the cast and crew of Halloween II (another must see!) and directed by John Carpenter, himself. These scenes include:#1 A very well made scene where Dr. Loomis (Doneld Pleasance) has an intense conversation with two sanitarium officials. He begs that they move Myers to a maximum security ward, saying that the boy is dangerous and has an instinctive forsce within him. The officials are unimpressed by what Loomis says, and simply keep Myers in the minimum security ward. #2 A scene directly following the previous added scene. Loomis walks into young Michael's cell. For about 1 minute he simply stares at the boy, who stares out the window. Loomis then says "You've fooled them, haven't you Michael? But not me!"#3 This scene is after Myers escape. Loomis walks with a nurse into Michael's room, which is completely trashed. The nurse shows him that the word "Sister" is carved in the door. (If you've seen Halloween II, then you know what this means).#4 This final additional scene is my personal favorite. In this scene we get a bit more of Jamie Lee Curtis, a bit more of PJ Soles, and a bit more of Nancy Kyes/Loomis. Lynda (Soles) comes over to Laurie's (Curtis) house, and they have some girl chat. Then, Annie (Kyes/Loomis) calls and asks (unsuccesfully) if she can borrow some of Laurie's clothes. I really love this new version of Halloween. It just feels more complete. I know that these scenes WERE NOT in the original version, but it's way better off with them in there. John Carpenter has said he hates these scenes (as some other reviewers may tell you) but that is HIS opinioun. I love these scenes. They make the movie make a bit more sense. For example, the scene wher Loomis fights with the officials really shows how hard he tried to get them to move Michael. Later on he talks about how much he tried to get them to move him, and this added scene shows you how right he is. The scene with "Sister" really helped connect this to the 2nd (making a great double feature). And the scene with Lynda, Annie and Laurie shows a bit more of their personal lives. Awesome. This version was only available on either the two tape Special VHS editions (where they were AFTER the movie) and on the THX Two Disk Anchor Bay Limited Edition (which is 150 bucks to buy on Amazon used!). I tried really hard to find that two disk limited edition, but I was to late. So this here DVD is like a dream come true. Thank you Anchor Bay! I suggest (unless you have the two disk version) that you buy one now, before it, too, goes out of stock!Halloween is Rated R for Small Violence, Brief Nudity, and brief Language. The new scenes contain nothing to offend parents who were OK with their kids watching the other version.If you found my review helpful, be sure and give me a vote! Thank you!"
An Absolute Classic
Guido | NY United States | 03/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The original Halloween is one of the greatest horror movies of all time and my personal favorite. Even though I've seen it numerous times I can't get enough. On Halloween night in 1963, six year old Michael Myers brutally murdered his sister in the small town of Haddonfield Illinois. Now, 15 years later, he has escaped from a mental institution to reek havoc amongst the trick or treaters. Jaime Lee Curtis stars in her first role as Laurie Strode and is pursued by Michael Myers throughout the entire movie. Donald Pleasance plays Dr. Sam Loomis (Michael Myers doctor) and warns Haddonfield Police of Michael's return. Hesitant to believe the wild accusation Dr. Loomis must hunt Michael down before he can do anymore harm. Halloween will scare and delight you at the same time. The music score for Halloween is still creepy almost 25 years later and is synonymous with the movie. If you only see one horror movie in your lifetime, see this absolute classic, Halloween."
What The Set Will Include. Realease Date October 7th.
Mike Liddell | Massachusetts | 07/21/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I found the information below online and figured I'd pass it along. There have been a ton of versions of Halloween released so I'm up in the air on this one but it does seem like a decent set and if the price seems too much consider that the hard to find extended edition which is (included in this set)on Amazon brand new is going for $109 and it's the only brand new copy, Halloween : Extended Edition.
INFO FROM MOVIEWEB You can bring back Michael Myers (and his mask) back to DVD this October. Halloween is coming to DVD in a 30th Anniversary edition set on October 7. This six-disc set will be priced at $89.97 SRP and includes a lot more than just movies.
The set will include the extended edition of Halloween, which has been out of print for many years, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5, Halloween 25 Years Of Terror documentary, plus the Blu-Ray version of Halloween and a special collectable Michael Myers mask. No special features on theses discs have been released yet. I'll add once I see them. "