John Carpenter’s 1978 tour de force, perhaps the most widely imitated film of the 70s. As a homicidal maniac stalks the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois, Carpenter displays an almost perfect understanding of the mechanics of classical suspense; his style draws equally (and intelligently) from both Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock. Though the film seems conscious of no significance beyond its own stylistic dexterity, its buried themes of sexual transgression and punishment appear to have touched something deep in the soul of the American teenager. The film, in its duplicitous way, makes a powerful plea for the comfort and security of puritanism. With Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, and P.J. Soles.