With the new movie out in theaters and all the buzz it’s generating, it’s got me to thinking. I’ve been guilty of it myself, assigning all the credit for the original film and the creation of the franchise, to John Carpenter. How often do we see the original film referred to as “John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN”? This is appropriate, yes, but HALLOWEEN wasn’t *just* John Carpenter’s movie. Debra Hill co-wrote the screenplay and produced, and she was very much a hands-on presence during filming. (Literally. That opening segment with little Michael taking the knife out of the drawer to go upstairs and murder his sister? That was Debra Hill’s hand.) Carpenter and Hill were a couple at the time, and it has been said the movie is as much hers as it is John Carpenter’s. I think that’s fair.
Haddonfield was the name of Ms. Hill’s hometown (just not in Illinois) and she was the one who wrote the dialogue for all the female characters. She also drew heavily on the Celtic mythology that would become so much a part of the film’s subtext. “the idea was that you couldn’t kill evil, and that was how we came about the story. We went back to the old idea of Samhain, that Halloween was the night where all the souls are let out to wreak havoc on the living, and then came up with the story about the most evil kid who ever lived.”
From this point onward, whenever I mention the original HALLOWEEN and credit its creators, I’m going to refer to it as “John Carpenter’s and Debra Hill’s HALLOWEEN”. She deserves the credit for her work.