"Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through these links."
Dun dun dun… dun dun dun…. Dun dun dun… Do you hear that music? It's the familiar sound of John Carpenter’s synthy, spooky piano melody. That’s right—it’s finally time to watch the spooky season classic, Halloween. But which Halloween is right for you? There are more sequels than you can count on one hand, not to mention all sorts of spinoffs and prequels.
Luckily, you don’t need a degree in psychiatry—like our favorite recurring character Dr. Loomis—to decipher how to watch these movies. We’ve got your back. Halloween is, you might have guessed, set on the titular holiday. It all starts with one very evil boy, Michael Myers, who—without uttering a word—murders his older sister in cold blood. Myers is based on a real boy Carpenter saw at mental institution he visited on a school assignment. The look of evil in the boy’s eyes haunted him ever since. If you just felt a shiver crawl up your spine, you’re not alone.
Halloween has since become the gold standard for slasher films. Michael Myers, the indestructible killer, the suburban atmosphere, and the haunting soundtrack, are all mixed together to make the recipe for the perfect stew. No wonder the original Halloween ranks highly up in most horror-movie roundups, but what about the rest of the films? You can’t call yourself a Michael Myers fan if you haven’t seen them all. (Yes, that includes Halloween: Resurrection!) So grab your creepy Michael Myers mask and run down all 13 Halloween movies with us—and keep your fingers crossed that one day there will be more movies to add to the list.
It's the OG. The indisputable GOAT of the franchise. The film introduces us to Laurie, who seemingly gets mixed up with Michael Myers at random (more on that in a minute). He begins to stalk her, intent on killing her, but as the multiple movies suggest, Laurie doesn't go down without a fight. Of all the scream queens out there, Jamie Lee Curtis is the one to beat.
Halloween II (1981)
Picking up almost directly where the first left off, Michael and Laurie square up again—this time, ending in an all-out hospital brawl. And while neither of them make it out unscathed, the fate of a central figure comes to a close... for now.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
For purists, this film is garbage, largely because it doesn't even feature Michael Myers. For horror fans, it's become a cult favorite as the single standalone film in the franchise. There's witchcraft, Stonehenge, and commercials. Make of that what you will.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Like, well, most fourth installments (except Land Before Time, which is a perfect franchise), Halloween 4 will leave you feeling deflated. As the title suggests, it does feature the return of Michael Myers, but it spends most of its time chasing the high of the first film with little to no effectiveness.
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
Good for Donald Pleasance for, presumably, working a multi-film deal into his contract.
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
To be frank, we're still on the downward slope here, but Donald Pleasance returns as Dr. Loomis, offering a bit of consistency. This one also features Paul Rudd playing Tommy, the boy Laurie Strode babysat in the first film.
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
Great news: the timeline starts over with Halloween H20, which is an objectively terrible name for a subjectively decent movie. Following the events of 1981's Halloween II, the film brings back Jamie Lee Curtis, alongside a list of upcoming actors from 1998. Michelle Williams! Josh Hartnett! Joseph Gordon Levitt! I mean, LL Cool J is here, too. This is a party.
Michael Myers is beheaded (and survives). Laurie Strode is thrown off a building (and dies—after 24 years in the franchise??). Make it make sense!
Rob Zombie really said, "I'm going to take this concept and just create my own universe." Classic Rob. A bit of a reimagining based on the original, Halloween manages to give Michael Myers a bit more backstory (and falls heavily on Laurie Strode being Michael's sister), but truly had no chance of unseating the original.
Halloween II (2009)
For some reason, Octavia Spencer and Weird Al Yankovich are in this sequel. That's all I can remember because the rest of my mind is absolutely drenched in all the blood and gore that outweighs the rest of the movie.
In the 2018 reboot, Myers and Strode face off one more time. Reworking the timeline, this Halloween only incorporates the first film into its timeline. All these years later, Laurie is still vexed by Michael knowing he's out there, though her family thinks she's nuts. That's fine... until he actually does show up again.
Following up on the massively successful reboot from 2018, Halloween Kills surpassed expectations and made over $131 million at the box office. Though it appeared that Myers was quite literally toasted in that house fire, he is back and Laurie Strode has someone on her side that she's never had before: Judy Greer.
Did Halloween truly end in the finale to David Gordon Green's latest Michael Myers trilogy? We doubt it! But that didn't stop Jamie Lee Curtis from touting her last appearance in the horror series as the "final reckoning."
You Might Also Like