'The Shape' Shifts In Every Timeline! How to Watch the 'Halloween' Movies In Order

·12 min read

The Halloween franchise has one of the most confusing timelines. The series has been rebooted multiple times, with each reboot ignoring previous sequels and changing the overall storyline of the series. This can make it confusing for new fans trying to get into the Halloween movies. With Halloween Ends set to release this October, this is the perfect time to check out this guide to the various timelines in the Halloween franchise. Here's exactly how to watch the Halloween movies in order.

Related: From Tippi Hedren in The Birds to Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween: 11 Fierce Females in Our Favorite Horror Films

Halloween Movies In Order

The Original Halloween Continuity:

Halloween (1978)

Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode hiding from Michael Myers in "Halloween" (1978)<p>Compass International Pictures</p>
Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode hiding from Michael Myers in "Halloween" (1978)

Compass International Pictures

This series has some seriously complicated timeline issues, but one thing that is for sure is that the original Halloween movie comes first in all the timelines (except for Rob Zombie's remake). Released in 1978, this movie introduced Michael Myers and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and is generally considered to be one of the best horror movies ever made.

Related: See the Cast of the Original Halloween (1978) Then and Now!

Halloween II (1981)

Michael Myers creeps up on a nurse in "Halloween II" (1981).<p>Universal Pictures</p>
Michael Myers creeps up on a nurse in "Halloween II" (1981).

Universal Pictures

The first sequel to the original movie is set immediately following the events of the first movie. In Halloween II, Laurie Strode is taken to Haddonfield hospital to recover from her injuries while local police hunt Michael Myers. Unfortunately, the killer ends up following Laurie to the hospital and chaos ensues.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Michael Myers prepares to attack in "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers."<p>Trancas International Films</p>
Michael Myers prepares to attack in "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers."

Trancas International Films

Michael Myers has been in a coma since the events of Halloween II, but wakes up in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers when a careless ambulance driver mentions that Myers has a niece that he didn't know about. The killer wakes up, escapes, and terrorizes the town of Haddonfield once again while attempting to hunt down his niece.

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

Michael Myers in "Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers"<p>Magnum Pictures Inc.</p>
Michael Myers in "Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers"

Magnum Pictures Inc.

It turns out, Michael Myers didn't die at the end of Halloween 4. After spending a year catatonic in a homeless man's shelter, Michael wakes up in time for Halloween and hunts his niece again in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

Michael Myers in "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers"<p>Halloween VI Productions/Dimension Films</p>
Michael Myers in "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers"

Halloween VI Productions/Dimension Films

After disappearing for several years, Michael Myers returns, this time under the control of a cult, in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. He has a brand new grand-niece/daughter (yes, you read that correctly, and yes, it's gross). This movie features a young Paul Rudd and is also Donald Pleasance's last portrayal of Dr. Loomis (although new footage of him would be created for Halloween Kills).

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode with Michael Myers in the backseat in "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later"<p>Dimension Films</p>
Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode with Michael Myers in the backseat in "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later"

Dimension Films

The somewhat oddly-named Halloween H20: 20 Years Later is the series' first reboot. It ignores the events of Halloween 4, Halloween 5 and Halloween 6 and brings Jamie Lee Curtis back as Laurie Strode. She's been in hiding for the past 20 years, but apparently, Michael finally figured out where she is.

Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode with Michael Myers in "Halloween: Resurrection"<p>Dimension Films</p>
Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode with Michael Myers in "Halloween: Resurrection"

Dimension Films

One of the weakest films in the franchise, Halloween: Resurrection starts with Michael Myers finally killing Laurie Strode. He then returns home to just hang out when he finds a film crew filming a reality show in his old house. Michael spends the night picking off the cast members one-by-one and, at one point, has to kung-fu fight Busta Rhymes.

The Current Halloween Continuity Movies:

Halloween (2018)

Michael Myers terrorizes <a href="https://parade.com/1128377/stephanieosmanski/best-babysitter-websites-apps/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:babysitter" class="link ">babysitter</a> Vicky, played by Virginia Gardner, in "Halloween" (2018).<p>Universal Pictures</p>
Michael Myers terrorizes babysitter Vicky, played by Virginia Gardner, in "Halloween" (2018).

Universal Pictures

After nearly a decade of dormancy, Michael Myers returned to the big screen in this franchise reboot. Halloween (2018) completely ignores all of the sequels and only recognizes the events of the original film as part of its canon. This means that Laurie and Michael are no longer related and that Michael has been locked away since 1978.

Related: Jamie Lee Curtis On Her Return to the Halloween Franchise

Halloween Kills (2021)

Jamie Lee Curtis stars as Laurie Strode in "Halloween Kills."<p>Universal Pictures</p>
Jamie Lee Curtis stars as Laurie Strode in "Halloween Kills."

Universal Pictures

Halloween Kills takes place directly following the events of Halloween (2018). In fact, it takes place during the same night and follows various residents of the town of Haddonfield as they try to track down Michael Myers.

Halloween Ends (2022)

James Jude Courtney as Michael Myers and Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode in the official poster for "Halloween Ends"<p>Universal Pictures</p>
James Jude Courtney as Michael Myers and Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode in the official poster for "Halloween Ends"

Universal Pictures

Set to be released in October 2022, Halloween Ends will bring the current storyline to a close. Laurie Strode and Michael Myers will face off again, likely for the last time (again). It's unclear if the series will continue with this continuity after this movie or if the studio will reboot or remake the series again.

Related: Watch the Halloween Ends Trailer

The Rob Zombie Halloween Remake Timeline:

Halloween (2007)

Michael Myers terrorizes Laurie Strode, played by Scout Taylor-Compton, in Rob Zombie's "Halloween" (2007).<p>Dimension Films</p>
Michael Myers terrorizes Laurie Strode, played by Scout Taylor-Compton, in Rob Zombie's "Halloween" (2007).

Dimension Films

After the poor reception to Halloween: Resurrection, the studio decided to attempt a remake with Halloween (2007). Rob Zombie had recently started making horror movies, so he was tapped to helm the remake. This movie generally retells the story of the original, except with more of a Rob Zombie touch. (Unfortunately, there is no footage set to "Dragula" in the movie.)

Halloween II (2009)

Michael Myers in Rob Zombie's "Halloween II" (2009)<p>Dimension Films</p>
Michael Myers in Rob Zombie's "Halloween II" (2009)

Dimension Films

Rob Zombie returned to helm a sequel to his Halloween remake with Halloween II (2009). This movie gets weird and features Michael Myers hallucinating about his mom and a white horse. The film was poorly received and ended Zombie's remake timeline—and nearly the entire franchise along with it.

Non-Canon Halloween Movies:

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Tom Atkins as Dr. Daniel Challis and Stacey Nelkin as Ellie Grimbridge in "Halloween III: Season of the Witch"<p>Universal Pictures</p>
Tom Atkins as Dr. Daniel Challis and Stacey Nelkin as Ellie Grimbridge in "Halloween III: Season of the Witch"

Universal Pictures

After Halloween II, John Carpenter wanted to take the series in a different direction. Instead of following Michael Myers, it would instead be an anthology of scary movies focused on the holiday. While the idea didn't last and Michael returned in the following movie, Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a cult classic about a cult (funny how that works out!) trying to unleash deadly Halloween masks on the unsuspecting public.

Related: Every Halloween Movie Ranked

Halloween Movies in Chronological Order

  • Halloween (1978)

  • Halloween II (1981)

  • Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

  • Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

  • Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

  • Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (1998)

  • Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

  • Halloween (2018)

  • Halloween Kills (2021)

  • Halloween Ends (2022)

  • Halloween (2007)

  • Halloween 2 (2009)

  • Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1985)

How many Michael Myers movies are there in total?

Michael Myers has appeared in 12 Halloween movies. While there are 13 movies in the Halloween franchise, Halloween 3: Season of the Witch (1982) is completely unrelated to the rest of the franchise. Technically, Michael Myers appears in that movie when a TV airs a commercial for the first Halloween movie, but he is the antagonist in the rest of the franchise's films.

Is Michael Myers based on a true story?

No, Michael Myers is not based on a true story. John Carpenter created the character for the movie Halloween (1978). He was inspired by a child he met during a trip to a mental hospital who the director said had a blank expression on his face. The rest, however, is pure fiction.

Do we ever see Michael Myers' face?

Yes, Michael Myers' face is revealed in the very first film in the franchise, Halloween (1978). During the finale, Laurie Strode struggles with Myers and pulls his mask off, making his face briefly visible.

Michael Myers unmasked in "Halloween" (1978)<p>Compass International Pictures</p>
Michael Myers unmasked in "Halloween" (1978)

Compass International Pictures

Interestingly, Myers' face was removed from the scene when the footage was reused for the beginning of the sequel and hasn't been seen since (except for flashbacks to his childhood).

Will Sandin as a young, unmasked Michael Myers in "Halloween" (1978)<p>Compass International Pictures</p>
Will Sandin as a young, unmasked Michael Myers in "Halloween" (1978)

Compass International Pictures

We also get a glimpse of Michael Myers' face unmasked in Halloween 5: Revenge of Michael Myers, though it's still mostly in shadow.

Don Shanks as Michael Myers unmasked in "Halloween: Revenge of Michael Myers"<p>Magnum Pictures Inc.</p>
Don Shanks as Michael Myers unmasked in "Halloween: Revenge of Michael Myers"

Magnum Pictures Inc.

In Halloween (2007), we see a young Michael Myers without a mask.

Daeg Faerch as a young, unmasked Michael Myers in "Halloween" (2007)<p>Dimension Films</p>
Daeg Faerch as a young, unmasked Michael Myers in "Halloween" (2007)

Dimension Films

In Rob Zombie's 2009 Halloween II, Michael Myers' face is visible—withered and bearded, but generally unscarred. Played by Tyler Mane, he even utters a single word: "Die."

Tyler Mane shows his unmasked Michael Myers face in Rob Zombie's "Halloween II" (2009).<p>Dimension Films</p>
Tyler Mane shows his unmasked Michael Myers face in Rob Zombie's "Halloween II" (2009).

Dimension Films

In the newest franchise, Michael Myers appears unmasked in an early scene from Halloween (2018), but we don't see his face. In Halloween Kills, we catch a brief glimpse.

Nick Castle as Michael Myers without the mask in "Halloween Kills"<p>Universal Pictures</p>
Nick Castle as Michael Myers without the mask in "Halloween Kills"

Universal Pictures

Why is Michael Myers obsessed with Laurie?

The truth is, it depends. In the first movie, Michael became obsessed with Laurie after he encountered her dropping off a key at the old Myers house. A special version of the film edited for TV, however, included extra scenes suggesting that Laurie was his sister. This was confirmed in Halloween II (1981). This remained the story until 2018's reboot, Halloween, which removed the family connection from canon. In the new continuity, Michael isn't necessarily just obsessed with Laurie, and instead just kills whoever he encounters.

Why did Michael Myers start killing?

When Michael Myers was six years old, he randomly snapped one night and killed his sister. Originally, the early films explained that Michael is just evil. Later movies introduced the concept that Michael was being controlled by a cult, but this storyline was retconned in newer films. Generally, Michael Myers started killing because he's just a really bad dude.

Does Michael Myers have a weakness?

Generally speaking, Michael Myers is a regular human being and has the same weaknesses as any other human. He doesn't seem to react to pain, however, and has shown an ability to keep walking even after being shot. However, a fatal blow will take him down ... but like Chumbawumba, he still seems to get back up again.

Did Michael Myers have a baby with his niece?

This did happen in at least in one of the franchise's timelines. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) begins with Michael's niece, Jamie Lloyd, giving birth while being held captive by a cult. She escapes and is pursued by Michael Myers. Before he kills her, she says that he's the father of her baby.

What mental illness did Michael Myers have?

According to Dr. Loomis, Michael's doctor, he doesn't have any mental illness. He's just pure evil. There's nothing to cure because he's just empty on the inside. Other doctors, however, have stated that Michael Myers shows symptoms of catatonia, psychopathy, and sociopathy.

Why does Michael Myers tilt his head?

Michael Myers tilts his head because it's one of the only ways that the actor playing can express himself. Michael is famous for wearing a mask that covers his entire head, and his eyes and mouth aren't visible. This means that the actor has to convey the character's thoughts through body language only, and the head tilt was likely the creepiest thing they could come up with.

Who is Michael Myers' face?

Interestingly, the mask Michael Myers wears in the first Halloween movie is actually a Captain Kirk mask, based on the likeness of William Shatner. The filmmakers bought the mask from a store and made some minor alterations, messed up the hair and painted the skin white. Since the first movie, production crews have had to remake the mask and over the years, it has looked less and less like Shatner.

What is Michael Myers' real name?

Michael Myers' real name is Michael Myers. Generally speaking, he is played by different actors in most of the movies. Nick Castle portrayed him in the original Halloween, however, and returned to portray him in some scenes in Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills.

Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney attend the costume party premiere of "Halloween Kills" at TCL Chinese Theatre on October 12, 2021, in Hollywood, California.<p><a href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/1346281912" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amy Sussman/Getty Images" class="link ">Amy Sussman/Getty Images</a></p>
Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney attend the costume party premiere of "Halloween Kills" at TCL Chinese Theatre on October 12, 2021, in Hollywood, California.

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Who is Laurie to Michael?

In the first movie, Laurie was just a teenage girl Michael randomly encountered and became obsessed with. In the sequel, it was revealed that she was his sister. Halloween (2018), however, retconned this, and Laurie is once again just an unlucky person who randomly got targeted by a serial killer.

How old is Michael Myers?

The first movie, Halloween, says that Michael Myers was six years old in 1963. This would make him 65 years old in 2022. He's surprisingly strong for his age and is capable of overpowering much younger victims.

Why does Michael Myers wear a mask?

The movies have never provided a concrete reason why Michael Myers wears a mask. The original Halloween shows Michael putting on a mask as a young child before committing his first murder.

John Carpenter has referred to Michael as a complete mystery, leaving fans to speculate as to why he wears the mask. It's possible that he just likes the mask.

Why do they call Michael Myers the shape?

The end credits of the first Halloween movie refer to Michael Myers as "The Shape." This was because John Carpenter referred to the killer this way in the script, treating the killer as an inhuman shape moving through the shadows. Since then, the nickname has stuck and Michael will often be referred to as "The Shape."

Next, check out the 50 best Halloween movies of all time!