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Halloween
(1978)
Album Cover Art
1985 Original
1998 20th Anniversary
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed and Co-Performed by:
John Carpenter

Co-Performed by:
The Bowling Green Philharmonic

1998 Album Produced by:
Alan Howarth
Ford A. Thaxton
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
Varèse Sarabande (Original)
(1985)

Varèse Sarabande (20th Anniversary)
(September 22nd, 1998)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Both albums were regular U.S. releases, but the 1985 product is long out of print.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... on both the 1985 and 1998 albums if you seek a comprehensive collection of music from the 1978 horror classic.

Avoid it... if the catchy title theme cannot compensate for extremely stark, simplistic, and repetitive structures in a score that doesn't translate particularly well into a lengthy, standalone listening experience.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #651
WRITTEN 1/12/00, REVISED 7/28/08
Halloween: (John Carpenter) Writer and director John Carpenter labored for years to capture the same artistic success of his 1978 surprise horror hit Halloween. Countless sequels and a slew of substandard imitations resulted from that original classic. It was a fantastic triumph in both scaring audiences and earning massive returns, eventually grossing 150 times its meager $300,000 budget. Its numerous sequels immediately destroyed the mystique of "the shape," humanizing him with a name and a backstory; Halloween was successful because it represented a nameless evil relentlessly stalking and killing for a purpose unknown. He who eventually was revealed as Michael Myers is shown brutally killing his sister at the age of six, and his escape from authorities and return to Haddonfield, Illinois leads to attacks on a group of three teenage girls in contemporary 1978. Only the virginal Laurie Strode, famously portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis when she was still a nerdy youth, escapes the senseless wrath of the shape, but not before Carpenter throws countless effective scares at viewers. Often compared to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, Carpenter's masterpiece translates tension into success, avoiding the gore that would be spawned by the spin-off sequels and franchises. One of the film's most universally praised production elements is Carpenter's own music, which was brilliantly counter-intuitive despite being the best that the director could come up with on his budget. The score is extremely basic in its structure and rendering, repeating its four major motifs to such an extent that they became synonymous with impact of the film. Like John Williams' Jaws just a few years earlier, the stark theme to Halloween is among the most recognizable simplistic motifs of the 1970's, enduring through the franchise's two decade run. The ensemble was simple: a piano, a small string group, and an array of synthesized effects ranging from strings to agogo and other ominous, pitch-defying tones. The extremely sparse nature of their recording contributes significantly to the film's sense of loneliness and dread, with the piano shattering its stereotype of suburban comfort.



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VIEWER RATINGS
522 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.04 Stars
***** 112 5 Stars
**** 92 4 Stars
*** 120 3 Stars
** 105 2 Stars
* 93 1 Stars
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Filmtracks Sponsored Donated Review
Jonathan Jarry - July 28, 2008, at 8:53 a.m.
1 comment  (1350 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
1985 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 33:49
• 1. Halloween Theme - Main Title (2:55)
• 2. Laurie's Theme (2:05)
• 3. Shape Escapes (1:43)
• 4. Meyer's House (05:35)
• 5. Michael Kills Judith (3:11)
• 6. Loomis and Shape's Car (3:32)
• 7. "The Haunted House" (3:33)
• 8. The Shape Lurks (1:35)
• 9. Laurie Knows (3:02)
• 10. Better Check the Kids (3:27)
• 11. The Shape Stalks (3:10)
1998 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 51:46

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
Neither insert includes extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 2000-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Halloween are Copyright © 1985, 1998, Varèse Sarabande (Original), Varèse Sarabande (20th Anniversary) and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 1/12/00 and last updated 7/28/08.
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