After a promising opening, Halloween becomes just another maniac-on-the-loose suspenser. However, despite the prosaic plot, director John Carpenter has timed the film’s gore so that the 93-minute item is packed with enough thrills.
The picture opens 15 years earlier, on Halloween night in a small midwestern town. A young boy spies his sister necking with her boyfriend. As they mount the steps for her bedroom he slips on his Halloween mask, pulls out a butcher knife and does some cutting.
For the rest of the thriller the Hitchcockian influence remains, but the plot ambles along to a predictable conclusion. It is now the present, also Halloween. Donald Pleasence, a psychiatrist who has been caring for the killer during the years, is on his way to the state hospital to make sure that the maniac is never freed.
Of course, the maniac escapes, returns to the scene of the original crime and searches for suitable victims, in this case a trio of babysitting friends.