Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasance, P.J. Soles, Nancy Loomis

The formula, by now, is legendary: Take a group of promiscuous high schoolers, throw in one vestigial virgin and one psychotic killer and watch the horror unfold. John Carpenter's Halloween didn't invent the slasher picture, but it set the bar for all those that would follow in its footsteps.

Shot in 20 days and for just $325,000, the film is noted for its camerawork, which has the audience identifying with the villain for the first part of the film (a device used to similarly creepy effect in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and Bob Clark's Black Christmas). While the implications of this have been debated by many over the years-feminists have come down on both sides, some calling the film a triumph for women, others calling it degrading-Carpenter himself has dismissed all definitions of Halloween as anything but what it was intended to be: a horror film, plain and simple. And a groundbreaking one at that. —JW

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