Halloween is the first slasher movie. Yeah, I know about Black Christmas, The Town that Dreaded Sundown, Peeping Tom, Texas Chainsaw, and so on, and those flicks are awesome and arguably represent the birth of the slash, but you gotta draw the line somewhere, and this is where I draw mine.
John Carpenter’s masterpiece is the alpha and omega of slasher. It has it all: A faceless man, that weird, queasy sex=death thing, uncomfortable “killer’s point-of-view” shots, an “is he really dead?” trick ending, and everything in between. Every shot and sequence in this movie has been stolen, parodied, and reinterpreted so often they’ve become shorthand for “slasher” movies altogether. And amazingly, despite being turned into cliches by every horror-hack in the world, Halloween’s scares are still scary. It still works, even after all these years.
Where to watch: AMC+, Hoopla, Redbox, Shudder