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Plot summary: A man disguised as William Shatner alarms neighborhood teens.
It is a mystery to me that John Carpenter's third movie, his most celebrated and most influential, the one movie that made him a director star, is also his most boring. It is slow, oh so very slow, slow even for Carpenter's trademark style of building atmosphere and tension. There is practically no gore or spectacle here, which means no appreciation for the special effects which normally are the bread and butter of the slasher genre, and that made Friday the 13th such a success two years later. There is also no comedy, nothing to amuse or distract. There are a lot of things this movie is not, which should not be held against it, of course, but we are only left with a blood-thirsty psychopath stalking teenagers - in slow motion - for 91 minutes. I was left deeply dissatisfied, even when I knew what to expect on the way in. I can appreciate the historical value of the movie in popularizing the slasher genre and introducing scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis. I can also appreciate Donald Pleasence's outstanding monologues and John Carpenter's moody synth score, but the picture as a whole, apparantly scary in 1978, can't hold a candle to some of the slashers that followed in its footsteps. It is definitly not scary and certainly not entertaining. It has simply been reduced, over the years, to a historical artifact.
this movie made the slasher genre. psycho invented it, but halloween perfected it and brought it into the mainstream. horror movie trying to emulate halloweens style continued to get made through the 80s into the early 90s, and it had a huge impact on the horror genre in general. a great film and worthy of being higher on the list. above re-animator anyway.
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Currently in 16 official lists, but has been in 19