I love horror films. I grew up with a mother who watched them all the time, and now that love has been passed down to me. One of those horror series that I feel everyone has to see is the Halloween saga, a horror movie franchise that has been ongoing since 1978, with the original becoming one of the best horror movies, in my opinion. And, it created one of the most iconic horror villains of all time - Michael Myers.
However, with how many entries there are in this series - with such creative horror sequel titles - which ones are truly the best and which ones would we rather have left on the cutting room floor? With several franchises, there are always those sequels that never should have happened, and the Halloween series is no different. Here is every single Halloween film (so far), ranked.
12. Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
In Halloween: Resurrection, we follow Michael Myers' continuous murderous rampage in his hometown, when his old, childhood home that has fallen apart is used for a live internet horror show.
This movie sucks. I’ll get right into it. The first ten minutes alone are some of the worst of the franchise. Laurie Strode is stabbed and then thrown off a psychiatric hospital's roof, giving her a weak death compared to everything she has been through in this series. Don’t even get me started on how Michael somehow survived a freaking beheading from the previous film in the franchise.
The only benefit to this film is that Halloween II director, Rick Rosenthal, returned to direct, but the movie fell flatter than Laurie’s body on the ground.
11. Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers (1995)
Set after the fifth Halloween film, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers follows Myers as he stalks the Strode family, who are the cousins of Laurie, in an attempt to kill the very last of her relatives.
This Halloween film was just a mess from beginning to end with what they tried to do with Michael’s strange supernatural powers. They attempted to somehow explain them away, but it all tumbled into one big confusing bundle of information. The only thing that that really drives this film for me is that Tommy Doyle (played by Paul Rudd) is a nice character to root for, despite him being no Laurie Strode.
It’s Paul Rudd - how can you not enjoy him? He’s delightful. If only he would have showed up in Halloween Kills.
10. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
In Halloween 5, Michael Myers returns to try and murder his niece, Jamie, one year after she was placed into a hospital for trying to murder her foster mother.
A lot of the films that came after the original movie sort of retconned this whole series, but Halloween 5 did it the most. They basically completely disregarded the ending of the fourth film. Jamie could have been evil. She could have been the next Michael. Instead, she’s a little girl who doesn’t speak and is plagued by visions - not very exciting.
While some of the other films here at least have scares, this one feels like a strange family reunion between Michael and Jamie - with lots of blood, but nothing to fear.
9. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
In Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, we follow Michael back to Haddonfield once he is out of a coma, to kill his niece, Jamie, who is the daughter of Laurie Strode.
After Halloween III failed to win over fans, because Michael Myers was nowhere to be seen, this film was set to be his big comeback, but it still fell flat in terms of scares and didn’t deliver quite as it planned. At the same time, it’s still better than some of the previous entries on this list.
Hearing about Michael’s return was definitely worth the wait, and Jamie was at least an interesting character in this one, but it’s nothing compared to what came before, or even, what came after.
8. Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007)
In this reboot, Rob Zombie’s Halloween follows the classic story of Michael Myers hunting down Laurie Strode and her friends on Halloween night, while also trying to explore the real reason why he wants to kill.
You know, I don’t care what anyone says - I actually enjoyed Zombie’s take on the franchise. Was it the best? No, it wasn’t. There are plenty of moments that furrow your brow and get you confused as to what the heck is happening. What I really like about this version of Halloween is that it’s not afraid to take chances.
It’s the same basic concept, but takes it a step forward and really explores Michael’s character in depth. It’s refreshing in a never-ending slew of bad sequels.
7. Rob Zombie’s Halloween II (2009)
In Rob Zombie’s Halloween II, we follow Laurie as she deals with the aftermath of the last film’s events, but watch as her paranoia slowly gets the better of her, while Michael is constantly on the hunt, searching for his sister.
To be honest, the reason I put the sequel here is because I genuinely like the premise of this one. I do think the acting is a bit flat compared to the other films, even the previous one, but the idea is still there.
While the first Rob Zombie film felt like it was Michael’s film, telling his story, this one feels a lot more like Laurie’s film. We see how the previous movie affected her greatly. With this being Rob Zombie, there’s a lot of gore and grittiness that some regular Halloween fans might find hard to view. But, again, I have to give credit where credit is due, because they really made a whole new story and the idea itself was intriguing.
In comparison to some of Zombie’s other movies, it’s not that great, but it’s certainly not the worst Halloween film there is.
6. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
In Halloween III: Season of the Witch, an apparent murder-suicide in a hospital emergency room leads to an investigation, showing that a disturbed toy maker wants to kill as many people as possible during Halloween by using an ancient Celtic ritual, stolen from Stonehenge, and Halloween masks.
This is definitely the black sheep of the Halloween family, for one specific reason - no Michael Myers. That led to fan uproar, and for them to bring him back in the fourth film (albeit poorly). However, after letting this film sit for years and years, re-watching it several times, I’ve come to actually appreciate it.
The idea was to kick off an anthology series of Halloween films, and when you don’t think about Michael Myers, the movie has a decent plot and a great sci-fi/horror twist. I put it at five because there's no Michael, the monster that we know. If this was released as its own film away from the Halloween name, it would be even more of a good movie.
5. Halloween Kills (2021)
You know, I really had high hopes for Halloween Kills, but it ended up not being as great as I expected.
Acting as a sequel to the 2018 Halloween (which is further down this list), we follow Laurie and her family after their terrifying encounter with Michael Myers, but despite the fact that Laurie’s home had burned down, Michael made it out alive - and he’s still looking for revenge. Now, it’s up to their family to survive the night (still) and somehow make it out alive.
Halloween Kills does some things right. It certainly amped up Michael Myers’ brutality, with several gory moments that made me, a seasoned horror veteran, turn away from the screen and not want to look. I liked the family aspect and the continuation of three generations of Strodes working together. But there are so many things that just made this movie rank lower on this list than I wanted it to.
For example, the Halloween Kills ending still peeves me nearly a year later after viewing the film, and it only makes me wonder how that’s going to tie into the last entry in the trilogy, Halloween Ends, which is supposed to be the end of Laurie Strode’s story in the Halloween saga.
It makes me wonder exactly how they’re going to pull off this last film when Halloween Kills felt like a less than stellar sequel to the glorious return that Halloween had in 2018, but here’s hoping that it ends well and that it ends up ranking higher on this list when it comes out.
4. Halloween H2O: Twenty Years Later (1998)
In Halloween H2O: Twenty Years Later, Laurie Strode returns to the Halloween franchise, 20 years after the original film. It centers on Laurie living in fear of her brother, who attempted to kill her all those years ago.
The wonderful scream queen herself, Jamie Lee Curtis, returned for this film, and I have to say, this is definitely one of my favorites in the series. I’m glad they went the route of basically ignoring all the previous sequels - even Jamie, Laurie’s supposed daughter - and made this more like a direct sequel to Halloween II.
I loved seeing Laurie as a badass fighter instead of someone who was just running away, it gave her an excellent amount of character development. The pièce de résistance? Watching Michael get his head chopped off. It’s definitely one of the better films.
Let’s pretend the next one in the series doesn’t exist.
3. Halloween II (1981)
In Halloween II, we pick up directly where the last film left off, where Michael Myers, somehow alive, follows Laurie to the local hospital and watches her every move to try and kill her, while his psychiatrist chases after him.
I really loved the sequel to the original film for two reasons. One, it’s a direct continuation, something this series has had some problems with, and it really keeps the story going without putting too much time between films. Secondly, they introduced the twist that would drive the series later on - that Laurie was indeed Michael’s sister.
This would be a twist that would be carried over from film to film, driving this plot for so long that it spawned several movies. Since John Carpenter was directly involved with this film, it feels like the best representation of what a sequel should be to the original Halloween. It’s a fun one, for sure.
2. Halloween (2018)
In 2018's Halloween, we follow Laurie, who is suffering from PTSD, as she prepares for a final showdown of sorts against Michael Myers, forty years after she survived his massacre.
I freaking loved this sequel to Halloween. To me, this is my official and only amazing Halloween sequel because it feels like they really put thought and time into making sure this movie made sense. Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie, and Nick Castle returns as Michael, which was fantastic, and it felt like no time had passed.
Plus, Laurie Strode’s family actually felt very resourceful and purposeful in this one, all of them having their own individualized roles, which makes the plot a lot more compelling than just Laurie and Michael facing off again and again. When Michael somehow breaks free from that burning house - oooh, the chills I felt.
1. Halloween (1978)
In the original Halloween, Laurie Strode is terrified on Halloween night when her friends, as well as herself, are hunted down by a horrible masked killer, Michael Myers.
Nothing can replace the original Halloween film, directed by John Carpenter. There’s something that’s just so perfect about this movie. It’s one of the best '70s films in my opinion, and a masterclass in what a horror film should be with the perfect amount of creepy (yet fantastic) theme music, bloody scares, and plenty of other positives. You know a film is good when it’s made forty years ago, yet it can still creep you out and scare the wits out of you like it did back then.
It’s so basic, with a killer hunting down a babysitter, trying to murder her, but it’s everything else involving the film that makes the original Halloween stand out above the rest.
Michael isn’t like other monsters. He doesn’t yell or scream or get angry - he’s just there, always following, always watching, always on the hunt, and Halloween does it best, making you feel his presence.
It’s creepy and spooky and thrilling in all the right ways. And that’s why it’s the absolute best.
I’m so excited for all these upcoming horror films that I’m going to need to start re-watching this series - maybe even find it in me to re-watch all these films.
Spooky season - and Halloween Ends - is right around the corner, so you know what time it is: snuggle up on the couch and have an entire day of binge-watching Michael Myers killing people. Sounds like fun.