With Michael Myers being resurrected once again in the new movie it seemed like a great time to revisit the 40-plus years worth of films from the franchise and see where this new entry stands in the horror canon. Halloween Kills, Universal Pictures / Via giphy.com Halloween Kills is the second in the current trilogy of films being directed by David Gordon Green and is the TWELFTH movie in the Halloween franchise. These films have gone through a lot over the years: sequels, reboots, remakes, and even ~requels~. For the uneducated — or perhaps simply confused — this timeline is the FIFTH iteration since John Carpenter's original release in 1978. Check out this handy flow chart for clarification: There is (at least) one more film to be released, , set to drop in 2022. But until then, these are all the films ranked from worst to best. Though kill counts are included, they are more for ~educational~ purposes and do not play a role in scoring... However, kill Halloween Ends creativity does. Universal Pictures / Via giphy.com Proceed at your own risk; SPOILERS AHEAD! Universal Pictures / Via giphy.com 12. Halloween II (2009)
There is so little that feels like a
Halloween movie in this Rob Zombie sequel that it is hard to even consider it part of the franchise. Laurie doesn’t act like Laurie, Loomis is a jaded asshole, and Michael Myers barely even wears his mask. The infamous killer ends up walking alone down deserted roads, sporting an old prospector beard, and seeing visions of his dead mother and a white horse. Zombie was trying to do something new with this film, but the final product is nothing that anyone asked for. In a franchise with lots of bad sequels, this one is the hardest to sit through. (Kill Count: 19) Story: 1/10 | Kill Creativity: 2/10 | Execution: 2/10 Average Score: 1.6/10 Dimension Films 11. Halloween: Resurrection
With Laurie Strode being killed off very unceremoniously in the prologue, all that is left for this film to do is wade through the tropes of a haunted house movie. Adding insult to injury, this installment exploits the early 2000s fresh love of reality TV by showing most of the film through security footage and fuzzy body cam video. With sister Laurie out of the way, all Michael has to do with his time is pick off a bunch of brainless fame whores who are hanging in his old house. The story is thin, and it shows in the uninspired execution.
(Kill Count: 10) Story: 2/10 | Kill Creativity: 2/10 | Execution: 3/10 Average Score: 2.3/10 Dimension Films 10. Halloween (2007)
Rob Zombie deserves some credit for expanding on the original film; doing a remake of a flawless classic, you are doomed to fail no matter what you bring to the table. The film spends so much time dwelling on adolescent Michael Myers being studied by Dr. Loomis in the sanitarium (almost half of the two-hour runtime!) that by the time we get to the real story in (present-day?) Haddonfield, it seems like Zombie is rushing to include all the scenes and beats of the original film. The inclusion of Michael's cliché redneck childhood home only makes the film less palatable. With Donald Pleasence long since passed away, Malcolm McDowell is a great choice to portray Loomis, and he is the one thing that makes the film halfway watchable.
(Kill Count: 20) Story: 3/10 | Kill Creativity: 3/10 | Execution: 3/10 Average Score: 3/10 Dimension Films 9. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
This movie is a mess.
Though this sixth film features the final appearance by Donald Pleasence's Dr. Loomis and the introduction of fresh-faced Paul Stephen Rudd, it isn't enough to make this convoluted story watchable.
It is evident that after
Halloween 5 introduced open-ended concepts like The Cult of Thorn and the ominous Man in Black, by the time this chapter had to be written, no one knew how to write themselves out of a corner. The story (which involves cult worshippers, the supernatural, incest, and a Scooby-Doo-style reveal of the MIB) is so convoluted that even the release of a re-edited Producer's Cut could not make sense of the messy plot. And the unfulfilling ending that seemingly damns our hero Dr. Loomis with the thorn tattoo of evil leaves a bad taste in the viewer's mouth. (Kill Count: 17) Story: 2/10 | Kill Creativity: 5/10 | Execution: 3/10 Average Score: 3.3/10 Dimension Films 8. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
This film continues the story of young Jamie Lloyd after surviving the pursuit of Michael Myers in
Halloween 4. Jamie is now institutionalized, speaking very little and experiencing a telepathic link to the masked killer. The standard kills of ignorant teens are included of course, but things get muddy with the introduction of the supernatural and unanswered questions raised about The Cult of Thorn and the Man in Black — who for some reason breaks Michael out of jail, whisking him away to the mess that will be Halloween 6. Danielle Harris is a talented young actor who holds her own in parts 4 and 5, but it's not enough to raise these films higher in the ranks of not-so-great sequels. Story: 4/10 | Kill Creativity: 6/10 | Execution: 4/10 Average Score: 4.6/10 Galaxy International Releasing 7. Halloween III: Season of the Witch
It feels shameful to include this in with the other films, since this one does not even feature Michael Myers. Long before the likes of
American Horror Story, John Carpenter and his team experimented with the idea of making Halloween an anthology film series. Season of the Witch is the result of that experiment; a film with a decent concept that suffers from the audience being confused by Myers' absence, replaced by a lackluster leading man and an unexplainable sci-fi finale. Masks that kill kids with the help of television has merit, but it is not enough to live up to the franchise named Halloween. Perhaps if this movie were to stand alone, outside of the original classic, it would have had a better chance. But SotW suffers from so much fan resentment, it is hard for it rise above the ashes of its predecessor. (Kill Count: 17) Story: 5/10 | Kill Creativity: 7/10 | Execution: 3/10 Average Score: 5/10 Universal Pictures 6. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
After the backlash over
Season of the Witch, producers were eager to resurrect the man behind the mask to bring its core fanbase back to the theater. Halloween 4 acts as the third installment in the Myers/Strode timeline, where Laurie is long since dead and her young offspring Jamie is left to deal with her Uncle Michael. Somehow Dr. Loomis and Michael survived the explosion from Part 2, and things are once again getting bloody in Haddonfield.
Not much new being brought to the franchise, but even though it's a bit of a cheat, it feels good to have a scarred Donald Pleasence back to chew the scenery and call out to
"Michael!!" with that manic and gravelly voice. Future screen queen Danielle Harris is a fresh addition to the story and fills the shoes of Jamie Lee Curtis the best she can. (Kill Count: 17) Story: 5/10 | Kill Creativity: 6/10 | Execution: 5/10 Average Score: 5.3/10 Galaxy International Releasing 5. Halloween Kills
There are some creative ideas floating around in this new entry...some of them work, but most of them don't. It is an entertaining movie, but it suffers from feeling like the middle chunk of a trilogy, a stepping stone for what is to come next in
Halloween Ends. Laurie Strode is mostly side-lined in this chapter; assuming the filmmakers are saving her up for a big showdown with Myers in the next (final?) installment.
It is worth the price of admission to see a computer-resurrected version of Donald Pleasence in his iconic role of Dr. Loomis. Pulling smaller original characters like Tommy, Lonnie, and Lindsey out of the background to feature them as leads is a smart use of the original source material. The gore factor, brutality, and kill creativity are second to no other film in the franchise.
Is it a good movie? Not particularly, but it is nowhere near the worst in the series. Even with its flawed directing, questionable dialogue and acting, and a muddled
Twilight Zone–style ~message~ about mob mentality, this movie can easily be rewatched more than the entries below it on this list. (Kill Count: 25+) Story: 5/10 | Kill Creativity: 10/10 | Execution: 4/10 Average Score: 6.3/10 Universal Pictures 4. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
In yet another Halloween timeline, this film picks up 20 years after the events of the first and second movies. Laurie has moved on with her life and has a teenage son and a good job, but she is still haunted by the fear that Michael may someday return. Which of course is exactly what happens on the anniversary of
the night he came home.
Though not incredibly original in its concept or kills, focusing on Laurie's physical and mental battle against The Shape for the first time in nearly two decades was exactly what the waning franchise needed. It felt fresh yet reminiscent of what brought people to the fright fest in the first place. The film gives Laurie a chance to face her fears, literally, and gives her the prowess to kill the man behind the mask. Even though the following film retroactively undoes Michael's death, this film still works as both a stand-alone film and a worthy sequel to parts 1 and 2 from so long ago.
(Kill Count: 7) Story: 7/10 | Kill Creativity: 6/10 | Execution: 7/10 Average Score: 6.6/10 Dimension Films 3. Halloween (2018)
This "requel" acts as a reboot of the franchise, while being a direct continuation of the 1978 original. Co-writers David Gordon Green and Danny McBride ignore 40 years of bad sequels, jumbled plotlines and Strode/Myers blood ties in order to make a fresh yet loyal addition to the canon. This film feels like both a love letter and an evolution, keeping the characters interesting, the kills entertaining, and the production value as high as it's even been.
(Kill Count 17) Story: 6/10 | Kill Creativity: 7/10 | Execution: 10/10 Average Score: 7.6/10 Universal Pictures 2. Halloween II (1981)
Horror sequels rarely live up to the original, but
Halloween II is one of the exceptions. It continues the story immediately after the first left off and proceeds to give us everything we wanted and more. Not only do we get Michael Myers stalking and stabbing his way through Haddonfield, but the kills are more creative, and the story evolves with the revelation that Laurie and Michael are siblings — no wonder he has such a beef with her. For better or worse, this Strode/Myers blood connection became a major story component to most of the sequels that would come out for decades. Once again, Donald Pleasence’s Dr. Loomis is determined to stop The Shape, even if it means sacrificing himself. John Carpenter and company managed to raise the stakes…and then bring them down hard into the audience’s chest. (Kill Count 10) Story: 7/10 | Kill Creativity: 8/10 | Execution: 9/10 Average Score: 8/10 Universal Pictures 1. Halloween (1978)
How can you deny the original? Not only did this film pave the way for a generation of slasher films featuring the likes of Freddy, Jason, and Chucky, but it changed the
shape of the entire horror genre to this day. The movie stunned audiences with revolutionary Steadicam POVs, John Carpenter’s simple yet iconic synth music, and a mass of horror tropes before they even existed. Take knockout performances by newcomer Jamie Lee Curtis and veteran Donald Pleasence and combine them with a dead-eyed William Shatner mask, and you have horror cinema gold.
It may not have the most creative or highest kill count, but much like its predecessors
Psycho and Jaws, sometimes less is more. Michael Myers lurking behind a shrub in the middle of the day is more terrifying than anything Jigsaw ever did in the dark. The Shape in a ghost-white sheet and thick glasses remains an iconic and haunting image.
Somehow John Carpenter and Debra Hill were able to tap into the complex root of our fears with a simple and frightening film. And horror cinema will never be the same again.
(Kill Count 6) Story: 10/10 | Kill Creativity: 7/10 | Execution: 10/10 Average Score: 9/10 Compass International Pictures Well horror fans, what do you think? Did this list get you all bent out of shape? Unmask your thoughts in the comments section below. Compass International Pictures / Via giphy.com Psst! Did you hear that Tasty has its very own Halloween TV special? premieres Thursday, October 21 only on Peacock. Check it out! Snoop & Martha's Very Tasty Halloween Peacock