Halloween (1978)

A masterpiece of simplicity, this John Carpenter masterpiece lays down the gauntlet from the very beginning with a scene from the POV of the very young Michael Myers, who will grow up to be one of the most relentlessly terrifying villains in cinematic history.

We soon switch to the perspective of Laurie Stroke (Jamie Lee Curtis, above), who will grow into one of the most beloved scream queens — and survivors — in all of horror. Right up until her big faceoff with Michael Myers in last year’s Halloween Ends, reputedly her final appearance in the franchise.

It’s also relatively tasteful compared to the slew of inferior horror movies it inspired.