⭐⭐⭐⭐Rating: 4 out of 4.
As lean and efficient a piece of genre filmmaking as you’re going to find, which makes sense since director John Carpenter has often said he wished he had been alive and working as a director in the 1940s when narratively fat-free film noirs were everpresent. There’s obviously a lot I like about this horror classic, but the main thing is how Carpenter doesn’t even attempt to give Michael Myers a backstory. He wasn’t born into a Druid cult or the product of an abusive, white trash family. He is just a bad seed, a malevolent force of nature, a boogeyman. No explanation is provided and that makes him both unpredictable and frightening, similar to Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight (who, technically, did have several backstories, but they were most likely all fictions created by the Clown Prince of Crime himself). I also like how screenwriters Carpenter and Debra Hill dealt with potential plotholes, like the fact that Michael makes his initial escape in a stolen car after being locked up since age six. When a doctor is informed that Myers is headed to Haddonfield, he exclaims “now, for God’s sake, he can’t even drive a car!” Donald Pleasance’s Dr. Loomis retorts, “He was doing very well last night! Maybe someone around here gave him lessons!”