by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
Carpenter's Shock & Suspense Thriller "Halloween" Screens as Flashback

John Carpenter's "Halloween" (1978) marked the debut of serial killer Michael Myers and the screen presence of Jamie Lee Curtis. Although rated R in the 70s which ushered new visual extremes ("Exorcist" 1973; "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," 1974), you won't find blood and gore. Cinematic ingenuity substitutes and the scares rival Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho," as audience members enjoy jolts, jerks, and lots of hold your sweetheart close moments. You might just soil your clothes too, if you didn't empty before the tingling bells begin.

Described as a what's lurking in the laundry room thriller, Carpenter's killer dashes out of a mental institution. The violence is mostly implied which heightens the scream meter.

Legendary film critic Gene Siskel wrote, "Don't see Halloween in an empty theater on a weekday afternoon. See it on a weekend night in a packed house. Halloween is a film to be enjoyed with a boisterous crowd; it's an "audience picture," a film designed to get specific reactions from an audience at specific moments. With Halloween, the most often desired reaction is screaming. It's a beautifully made thriller -- more shocking than bloody -- that will have you screaming with regularity."

Carpenter's Shock & Suspense Thriller "Halloween" Screens as Flashback

His TV thumbs up partner, Roger Ebert called it  "an absolutely merciless thriller, a movie so violent and scary that, yes, I would compare it to “Psycho.”

Several horror film fans rank it above "Friday the 13th" and "Nightmare on Elm Street," which prompted slasher sequels time after time.

One fans write, "This film scared the crap outta me first time I saw it, I was probably 10 or 11 at the time. These days I still appreciate it for what it was. A cult classic, first of it's kind, genuine terror and tension filled fun. This movie was atmospheric and eerie. The score is really what gets to you, making the hair stand up on the back of your neck. I cannot think of a better tense moment in any horror film than the scene from Halloween when Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) is struggling to open the front door, calling for help, while Michael walks closer and closer, almost reaching her. If that didn't make you hang on to the edge of your seat the first time you watched it, then nothing will."

You have an opportunity to see the digitally enhanced "Halloween" Sunday , Oct 30 and Wednesday, Nov 3 as part of Marquee's Flashback Cinema series. Shows are at 2 & 7 p.m. each day.