Just take the word of an alter kocker: late October wasn’t always the time for scary movies. But after John Carpenter’s low-budget masterpiece became a hit, the Halloween horror tradition was established. Wait? Masterpiece? Let’s see. It has one of the great opening scenes — a 4 min. 7 sec. tracking shot, from the killer’s point of view, as he enters a house, picks up a kitchen knife, mounts the stairs, enters the bedroom of a nude teenager and stabs her to death, then returns outside to meet his justice — then settles into a stealthy game of killer and victim. Jamie Lee Curtis, in her first film, is the heroine. But the killer is the star, in all his insane resourcefulness. Best sequence: when he impales a guy on a downstairs wall (staring at his victim as if he’s a performance-art still life), then goes upstairs wearing a bedsheet and the victim’s glasses to dispatch a girl who thinks he’s just kidding. No kidding here: masterpiece.