Featured ArticlesStar.png

"I met him, fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no conscience, no understanding; even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, 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."
Sam Loomis
Halloween (1978).jpg
Title: Halloween
Directed by: John Carpenter
Written by: Debra Hill
John Carpenter
Produced by: Moustapha Akkad
Irwin Yablans
Debra Hill
John Carpenter
Barry Bernardi
Music by: John Carpenter
Cinematography: Dean Cundey
Edited by: Tommy Lee Wallace
Charles Bornstein
Distributed by: Compass International Pictures
Released: October 25th, 1978
Rating: R
Running time: 91 min.
Country: USA
Language: English
Budget: $325,000 (estimated) [1]
Gross: $47,000,000 (USA) [2]
Next: Halloween II (1981)

Halloween is an independent American horror film directed by John Carpenter and released theatrically in the United States in 1978. Produced by Moustapha Akkad and Debra Hill, Halloween introduced the character of Michael Myers, a masked serial killer who murdered his own sister as a child, and returns to his home town of Haddonfield fifteen years later to continue his murderous rage. The film has become a staple in the slasher film genre and marked the screen debut of actress Jamie Lee Curtis.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Halloween Night, 1963[edit | edit source]

Michael Myers - 1963

Judith Myers is at home on Halloween night spending a romantic evening with her boyfriend. She is supposed to be babysitting her young brother Michael, but ignores him in favor of her date. Judith's boyfriend eventually leaves and she goes upstairs. Little Michael is stalking through the house wearing a clown costume. He goes into the kitchen and fetches a butcher knife then walks upstairs to Judith's room. He picks up a mask and places it over his head. He walks into Judith's room and stabs her repeatedly with the knife until she is dead. He then walks downstairs and outside onto the sidewalk. Mister and Mrs. Myers arrive home and find their son holding a bloody knife in his hand. His face is blank and expressionless.

October 30th, 1978[edit | edit source]

"He's gone! The evil is gone!"
Sam Loomis

It is a rainy night as Doctor Sam Loomis and nurse Marion Chambers drive to Smith's Grove Sanitarium. They are charged with transferring their patient, twenty-three-year old Michael Myers from the hospital to the Hardin County courthouse so he can stand trial for his crimes. Loomis warns Marion about how dangerous Michael is. Although the patient hasn't spoken a word in over fifteen years, Loomis fervently believes that he is a psychopath. He never wants him to get out of the sanitarium.

As they approach the main gate, they notice several of the patients outside wandering about in the rain. Loomis gets out of the car to check the gate, leaving Marion by herself. Michael Myers appears and leaps atop Marion's car. He reaches inside to grab her, and Marion guns the vehicle. She brings it to a quick stop however and exits the car. Michael jumps inside and drives off.

In the town of Haddonfield, Illinois, high school student Laurie Strode leaves her house and begins walking to school. Her father, a realtor, asks her to drop a key off at the Myers house. Along the way, she comes upon young Tommy Doyle, whom Laurie frequently babysits. She has plans to look after him on Halloween night. As Tommy launches a barrage of questions at Laurie, she turns to drop the key off at the Myers house. Tommy warns her that it is a "spook house". She slips the key through the mail slot, but there is someone inside the house staring through the window at her. Laurie doesn't notice the strange "shape" peering back at her, but it keeps a close eye on her as she continues walking to school.

Laurie, Annie & Lynda walk home from school.

At Smith's Grove, Loomis argues with hospital administrator Terence Wynn. He blames him for allowing someone like Michael to escape. Wynn doesn't understand how he could have orchestrated such a break out, citing that he doesn't even know how to drive a car. Loomis retorts with, "He was doing very well last night!" Loomis knows exactly where Michael is going – Haddonfield.

At Haddonfield Elementary School, a group of bullies antagonize the smaller Tommy Doyle. They circle around the boy (who is carrying a pumpkin) and begin chanting "The Boogey Man is going to get you". Tommy, scared, turns to run, but falls and smashes his pumpkin. The kids take off running, one of whom has a chance encounter with the Shape. The Shape, in reality Michael Myers, gets into the car he had stolen from the hospital and shadows Tommy Doyle.

Seventy-three miles outside of Haddonfield, Loomis pulls his BMW off to the side and makes a telephone call from a pay phone to Sheriff Leigh Brackett in Haddonfield. He warns him about Michael Myers and tells him that he is coming to Haddonfield. Loomis hangs up and inspects a nearby empty truck bearing the logo for Phelps Garage. He finds a set of discarded hospital robes in the bushes next to the truck. What he doesn't see is the body of a dead mechanic lying in the underbrush only a few feet away.

Later in the afternoon, school lets out and Laurie meets up with her friends Lynda van der Klok and Annie Brackett. Lynda complains about all of the new cheers she has to learn, while Annie huffs about how her boyfriend Paul dragged her into the boys' locker room. As they walk home, Laurie stops as she realizes that she forgot her chemistry book. A car slowly drives by and Annie shouts at the motorist. The car screeches to a halt then starts up again. The three girls resume their conversation and go over their plans for Halloween night. Laurie is babysitting Tommy, while Annie will be babysitting a girl named Lindsay Wallace three doors down. Lynda has a date with her boyfriend, Bob. They continue walking and Laurie suddenly sees the Shape standing just beyond a hedge. She is disturbed by the strange mask that he is wearing. Just as he quickly as he appeared, he disappears again. Annie, who didn't see the man, inspects the hedge and turns up nothing. She teases Laurie, telling her that she scared away yet another potential boyfriend. The girl's split up and each of them return to their respective homes.

Laurie sees the Shape

Laurie is still on edge about the image she saw. She goes to her house and walks upstairs to her bedroom. She looks out the window and believes that she sees the Shape standing in the backyard amongst the clothes lines. In the blink of an eye, she is gone again. The telephone in Laurie's room suddenly rings and Laurie answers it. All she hears is strange noises coming over the line. Startled, she quickly hangs up. The phone rings again and it is Annie Brackett. Annie wants to know why Laurie hung up on her. Apparently she had been chewing food the first time she called. She tells Laurie that she will pick her up at 6:00. In a few hours, Annie picks up Laurie and they drive off.

Meanwhile, Doctor Loomis arrives in Haddonfield. He goes to the cemetery and the graveyard keeper leads him to the grave of Judith Myers. When they get there however, they discover that the gravestone is missing. Loomis solemnly declares, "He's come home".

Annie and Laurie keep driving. Laurie has a pumpkin with her that she says she's giving to Tommy Doyle. She believes that carving Jack-o-Lanterns will keep him occupied. Annie intends on subjecting little Lindsay Wallace to six straight hours of horror films. Turning the corner, they pull up to Nichol's Hardware store where they find Annie's father, Sheriff Leigh Brackett, standing outside. An alarm is ringing and several other police officers are walking about the scene. Apparently, someone broke inside and stole some Halloween costumes. Annie and Laurie drive off and minutes later, Doctor Loomis arrives. He introduces himself to Sheriff Brackett.

While Annie and Laurie are driving, they begin discussing their boyfriend troubles. Laurie is an introvert and is too shy to ever ask a boy out on a date. She expresses an interest in a student named Ben Tramer. Little do the girls realize, but the Shape is following them around town in his stolen car.

Halloween night[edit | edit source]

"Death has come to your little town, Sheriff."
Sam Loomis

Evening falls and the Shape continues to follow Annie and Laurie. He pauses while Annie drops Laurie off at the Doyle house. Annie then pulls into the Wallace driveway directly across the street. The Shape gets out of the car and watches as Annie talks with Mister and Mrs. Wallace.

Meanwhile, Doctor Loomis meets back up with Sheriff Brackett. They go to the old, closed down Myers house. Wandering through the first floor, they find the partially eaten remains of a dog. Brackett cannot believe that a man would do this, but Loomis reminds him, "This is no man". The two men go upstairs and Brackett shows him Judith Myers' bedroom. Loomis tells Brackett about his history with Michael Myers. He details how he spent fifteen years studying Michael only to determine that there was nothing inside this child's mind but pure evil.

Laurie reads to Tommy

At the Doyle house, Laurie reads Tommy a King Arthur story, but Tommy would rather have her read comic books. Annie calls the house to see how Laurie is doing. She tells her that she has set her up on a date with Ben Tramer. Laurie cannot believe that Annie would do something like and is completely embarrassed. She wants Annie to call him back to cancel the date, but she refuses. While in the midst of the telephone call, Tommy looks outside and catches a glimpse of the Shape across the street at the Wallace house. He runs back to tell Laurie that he has just seen the "Boogy Man", but Laurie naturally doesn't believe him.

At the house, Annie spills popcorn oil on herself and has to change her clothes. While she fumbles about for a robe and some detergent, Michael Myers spies on her from outside. The Wallace's dog, Lester, catches his scent and begins barking. Michael waits for the dog to come outside then kills it. Annie brings her soiled clothes to an exterior laundry shed in the back yard. She hears the door suddenly creak open and thinks that it might be her boyfriend, Paul. She goes and closes the door, but when she tries to open it again a moment later, she finds that it is locked. She begins calling out to little Lindsey Wallace, but Lindsey is in the main house engrossed in a scary movie and doesn't hear her. Paul calls the house and asks Lindsey to get Annie for her. Lindsey hangs up on Paul, but does indeed go out back to find her babysitter. She frees Annie from the locked room and tells her that Paul called.

Annie takes Lindsey across the street to the Doyle house and drops her off with Laurie and Tommy. Laurie doesn't like the idea of Annie unloading Lindsey on her just so she can go on a date with Paul, but Annie promises that if she does this favor for her, she might consider calling Ben Tramer and cancelling the pre-arranged date, thus saving Laurie a lot of embarrassment. Laurie finally relents and Lindsey goes into the living room to watch TV with Tommy.

The final fate of Annie Brackett

Annie goes back to the Wallace house to get her car keys. She enters the garage and gets into her car and notices that all of windows in the vehicle are completely fogged over. Michael Myers rises from the back seat and begins strangling Annie with his right hand. He then pulls out his knife and slashes her once across the throat, killing her. Annie's face falls onto the car horn.

At the Doyle house, Tommy Doyle decides to play a trick on Lindsey and begins hiding behind a curtain. While doing so, he happens to look out the window and sees Michael carrying Annie's body from the garage towards the front door of the Wallace house. He begins shrieking and shouts to Laurie that he has seen the Boogey Man. Laurie comes in from the other room to calm Tommy down and insists that there is no such thing as the Boogey Man. By now she is getting exasperated with Tommy and threatens to send him to bed.

Meanwhile, Doctor Loomis keeps a steady vigil over the empty Myers house. He sees a group of kids approaching, each one daring the other to go inside the supposedly haunted house. From behind the bushes, Loomis scares them off by throatily whispering, "Lonnie, get your ass out of here!". The kids run at the sound of his voice and Loomis leans back, a satisfied smile growing across his face. Sheriff Brackett appears and tells Loomis that he is losing faith in the doctor's assertion over the pending threat of Michael Myers. Loomis tells him about the missing headstone, but Brackett dismisses it as nothing more than a Halloween prank.

The killing continues[edit | edit source]

Michael Myers claims another victim.

Lynda Van Der Klok and her boyfriend Bob Simms pull up the Wallace house in Bob's van. They are both somewhat inebriated and there are empty beer cans strewn about the inside of the van. They want to spend some time with Annie, but are also hoping to find a place where they can be intimate with one another. They quickly discover that Annie is not around. Lynda calls Laurie to see if she knows where Annie is. Laurie tells her that she is off on a date with her boyfriend and now she is stuck watching Lindsey Wallace. Lynda tells Bob the news and they both smile knowing that they now have the house completely to themselves.

They go upstairs into the master bedroom and have sex. Afterward, Lynda asks Bob to go get her a beer from the van. He does so, but when he comes back inside, Michael Myers is waiting for him. He shoves Bob against the wall and stabs him with his knife, pinning him to the wall. Michael takes a moment to admire his handiwork as Bob's body hangs bleeding from the wall.

He then takes a bed sheet and drapes it over his body. He places Bob's eyeglasses over top the sheet to fool Lynda into thinking that this is actually her boyfriend. He enters the upstairs bedroom wearing the sheet and Lynda chuckles. She attempts to arouse Bob by baring her breasts, but when the Shape betrays no reaction, she grows frustrated. She then demands the beer that Bob was meant to retrieve for her, but still, the Shape does nothing. Angrily, Lynda gets up and decides to call Laurie again. As she waits for Laurie to pick up the phone, the Shape discards the bed sheet and glasses and begins strangling Lynda with the telephone cord. On the other end of the phone, Laurie (believing the caller to be Annie) warns her against playing any more phone pranks. Lynda falls to the floor dead.

Michael goes after Laurie[edit | edit source]

"Was that the Boogey Man?"
Laurie Strode

As the evening wears on, Laurie Strode puts Tommy and Lindsey to bed. She decides to take a walk and strolls over to the Wallace house. She sees that none of the lights are on and wonders if Annie is still around. She goes inside and walks upstairs into the bedroom. She finds Annie's body sprawled out across the bed. The stolen headstone of Judith Myers rests at the head of the bed. Laurie begins to scream, and as she turns around, Bob's body flops down from the ceiling where it had been propped up. She then finds Lynda's body stuffed inside a dumbwaiter. Laurie runs into the hall.

Michael Myers appears and slashes Laurie across her right arm from behind. The impact pushes Laurie forward, and she falls over the bannister and down the steps, cracking her ankle in the process. She runs to the back door, but the handle is blocked with a garden rake on the opposite side, so Laurie has to smash the glass to release the handle. She manages to run outside and begins screaming for somebody to help her. She goes to the neighbors' house and begins pounding on the door, but they refuse to let her in. She then hobbles back to the Doyle house as Michael methodically stalks after her.

Michael attacks Laurie

The door is locked and Laurie cannot find her keys. She bangs on the door repeatedly, shouting for Tommy to let her in. She throws a potted plant towards Tommy's window to wake him up. Tommy awakens, but not sensing the urgency in Laurie's voice, takes his time getting downstairs. He finally lets her in and Laurie tells him to lock Lindsey and himself in the upstairs bedroom. After Tommy leaves, Michael appears in the living room. Laurie stabs him in the neck with a knitting needle. He falls to the floor and Laurie believes that he is dead.

Laurie hobbles upstairs to check on the kids. They ask her about the "Boogey Man", but Laurie assures him that the Boogey Man is dead. As if on cue, Michael Myers appears on the landing behind them. Laurie pushes the kids back into their room then runs into an adjacent bedroom where she hides in a closet. Michael comes after her and begins tearing through the panels of the closet. Cowering in terror, Laurie takes a coat hanger, straightens out the end and stabs Michael in the eye with it, forcing him to drop his knife. She then picks it up and runs it through his stomach. Michael falls backward and collapses onto the floor.

Laurie goes to the bedroom and tells the kids to go down the street to the McKenzie house. They both run out of the house screaming in fright. Doctor Loomis is in the vicinity and, realizing that Michael must be nearby, begins trotting towards the Doyle house.

Laurie takes a moment to collect herself. She stands up, but as she does so, Michael Myers rises as well. He comes up behind her and begins strangling her. Laurie struggles to push him off of her and manages to pulls away his face mask. Loomis bursts into the room and fires a shot at Michael, driving him back into the bedroom. He chases him upstairs and shoots him five more times. Michael stumbles backward onto the outside balcony and falls over the railing. Loomis tends to Laurie and tries to assure her that she is out of danger. Laurie asks, "Was that the Boogey Man?", to which Loomis replies, "As a matter of fact, it was." Loomis walks back to the balcony, but when he peers over the edge, he sees that Michael Myers is gone.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Characters[edit | edit source]

In alphabetical order

Annie Brackett
Main article: Annie Brackett. Annie Brackett was a high school student and a friend of Laurie Strode. She was hired to babysit Lindsey Wallace on Halloween night, but dodged her chores in favor of going out with her boyfriend, Paul. Michael Myers killed Annie in her car by first strangling her, then slitting her throat.
Ben Tramer
Ben Tramer was a high school student whom Annie Brackett tried to set Laurie Strode up with. Laurie was too shy to agree to go on a date even though she liked him.
Bob Simms
Main article: Bob Simms. Bob Simms was the boyfriend of Lynda Van Der Klok. He drove a van and made love to Lynda at the Wallace house. Michael Myers killed Bob by stabbing him through the chest with a knife, pinning him to the wall.
Danny was the boyfriend of Judith Myers. Note: His name is revealed in the first issue of Halloween: The First Death of Laurie Strode.
Graveyard keeper
The graveyard keeper told Doctor Loomis about the Charlie Bowles murder that took place in Russellville. He also brought him to the plot of Judith Myers only to discover that her tombstone had been stolen.
Judith Myers
Main article: Judith Myers. (1947-1963) Judith Myers was the older sister of Michael Myers. Michael killed her on Halloween night, 1963 in her bedroom with a butcher knife. Fifteen years later, he stole her tombstone and brought it to the Wallace house.
Keith was a young boy and one of several bullies who antagonized Tommy Doyle at school.
Laurie Strode
Main article: Laurie Strode. Laurie Strode was a high school teenager and friend to Annie Brackett and Lynda Van Der Klok. She was hired to babysit Tommy Doyle on Halloween night. That evening, Laurie went to the Wallace house where she discovered the murdered bodies of Annie, Lynda and a boy named Bob Simms. Michael Myers tried to murder her and chased her back to the Doyle house. Laurie managed to severely wound Michael, stabbing him three times in the eye, neck and stomach.
Leigh Brackett
Main article: Leigh Brackett. Leigh Brackett was the sheriff of Haddonfield, Illinois and the father of Annie Brackett. He disbelieved Sam Loomis’ claims of an escaped mental patient stalking the streets of Haddonfield, but humored the man by agreeing to a stake out of the old Myers place.
Lindsey Wallace
Main article: Lindsey Wallace. Lindsey Wallace was a young girl who was being babysat by Annie Brackett. Annie tried to duck out of babysitting her and dropped Lindsey off with Laurie Strode at the Doyle house. Along with Tommy Doyle, Lindsey had a terrifying encounter with the Shape.
Lonnie Elamb
Lonnie Elamb was a grade school student who dared to trespass on the Myers estate on Halloween night. Doctor Loomis, hiding in the bushes nearby, scared Lonnie and his friends away from the house.
Lynda Van Der Klok
Main article: Lynda Van Der Klok. Lynda was a high school cheerleader and a friend of Annie Brackett and Laurie Strode. She was dating a boy named Bob Simms. Michael Myers murdered Lynda by strangling her with a telephone cord. Laurie Strode came upon Lynda’s body later that evening.
Marion Chambers
Main article: Marion Chambers. Marion Chambers was a nurse employed at Smith's Grove Sanitarium. She was present the night when Michael Myers broke out of the hospital. Michael attacked Marion and stole her car, but Marion escaped unscathed.
Michael Myers
Main article: Michael Myers. On October 31st, 1963, Michael Myers murdered his sister Judith. He spent the next fifteen years locked up inside of Smith's Grove Sanitarium. On October 30th, 1978, Michael broke out of the hospital, stole a car and drove to Haddonfield where he began stalking and murdering specific individuals. Before a near fatal encounter with Doctor Loomis, Michael succeeds in killing four people.
Mister Riddle
Mister Riddle is an elderly man who lives in Haddonfield and, according to Laurie, is a pervert.
Morgan Strode
Morgan Strode is the father of Laurie Strode and the owner of Strode Realty. He asked Laurie to drop off a set of keys at the Myers house.
Paul was the boyfriend of Annie Brackett. He was grounded on Halloween night, but found a way to get out of it and arranged to meet with Annie. Annie was killed however before the two could go on their date.
Richie Castle
Richie Castle was a grade school student and a bully who antagonized a smaller student named Tommy Doyle. Richie had a brief encounter with the Shape.
Sam Loomis
Main article: Sam Loomis (Halloween). Sam Loomis was a psychiatrist who worked at Smith's Grove sanitarium. For fifteen years, he analyzed the behavior of his most troubling patient, Michael Myers. He spent eight years trying to reach him and another seven trying to keep him locked up. Loomis believed that Michael was pure evil. Loomis tracked Michael back to the town of Haddonfield after the latter escaped from Smith's Grove. He met up with him on Halloween night and shot him six times in an effort to save the life of Laurie Strode.
Terence Wynn
Main article: Terence Wynn. Terence Wynn was the administrator of Smith's Grove Sanitarium. Doctor Loomis heavily criticized Wynn’s security measures on the night that Michael Myers broke out of the hospital.
Tommy Doyle
Main article: Tommy Doyle. Tommy Doyle was a young, impressionable boy who believed that the Boogey Man came out on Halloween night to attack people. Laurie Strode babysat Tommy Doyle and the two carved a jack-o-lantern together and watched scary movies. Tommy soon discovered that the Boogey Man was real when Michael Myers came to his house to kill Laurie. Tommy, along with a girl named Lindsey Wallace survived the terrifying encounter.

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The original working title for this film was The Babysitter Murders.
  • Body Count: 5
  • Halloween was remade in 2007 by director Rob Zombie. To distinguish between the two versions, the original is sometimes referred to as John Carpenter's Halloween.
  • Halloween was the highest-grossing independent movie ever made at the time it was released. [3]
  • Throughout most of the shooting scripts, the adult Michael Myers is referred to as "The Shape".
  • The mask that Michael Myers wears in this film was purchased from a department store and was originally patterned after William Shatner's character, James T. Kirk, from the popular Star Trek television series.
  • Halloween pays homage to the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock thriller Psycho in this film. Leading actress Jamie Lee Curtis is the daughter of Janet Leigh who played Marion Crane in Psycho. The character of Sam Loomis is named after the character played by John Gavin in Psycho.
  • Mickey Yablans, who plays Richie (the boy who smashes Tommy Doyle's pumpkin and runs into the Shape), is the son of producer Irwin Yablans.
  • In the scene where Loomis first meet Leigh Brackett, Michael can be seen driving the stolen car in the background.
  • There are some discrepencies concerning Michael Myers' age in this film. The film asserts that the adult Michael Myers is twenty-three years old as per the closing credits of the movie, but also stipulates that the Michael seen in the movie's prologue is only six-years-old. A span of fifteen years takes place between the prologoue and the main body of the film, which would make Michael either eight-years-old in the beginning of the movie, or twenty-one years old when he first breaks out of Smith's Grove. Halloween II corrects the flaw and establishes that Michael Myers is twenty-one years old during the events of the first two films.
  • This film makes the first use of the "I'll be right back" cliche. The notion is that whenever a character leaves a room saying, "I'll be right back.", they are summarily killed off moments later. Bob Simms says this line of dialogue to Lynda Van Der Klok moments before he is stabbed to death by Michael Myers. The "I'll be right back" cliche is one of several such horror film tropes referenced by genre enthusiest Randy Meeks in the 1996 Wes Craven film Scream.
  • Tommy Doyle's Halloween costume is an Alphan space uniform from the 1975 science fiction series Space: 1999. [4]
  • Producer/screenwriter Debra Hill doubled for young Michael Myers in the scene where he picks up the knife.

Taglines[edit | edit source]

The night HE came home.

The trick is to stay alive.

Trick or Treat... or die

HE came home for Halloween.

Everyone is entitled to one good scare.

Index[edit | edit source]

Featured characters

Supporting characters


Minor characters








Time eras


Body Count[edit | edit source]

Order Victim Details
1 Judith Myers Butcher knife
2 Mechanic Undetermined chest injury
3 A dog Undetermined; partially eaten
4 Lester, the dog Undetermined
5 Annie Brackett Strangled, then cut her throat
6 Bob Simms Stabbed through chest with knife
7 Lynda Van Der Klok Strangled with telephone cord

Related pages[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Halloween logo.jpg
Film Series
This article relates to the films within the Halloween franchise. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Halloween Films category.
Featured ArticlesStar.png

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.