There have been 11 Halloween movies made featuring the evil killer Michael Myers. When you have seen all of them, some of them are masterpieces, at least one to be honest and some are ranking from acceptable to the most forgettable horror movies you have ever seen. Then the story isn’t always following a continuation, but has flaws at some point, because some sequels have been put together by different people. Here I will share my thoughts, which sequels you should watch and therefore have the advantage of watching the series in full joy. It resembles mostly a ranking of the Halloween Movies made until now.
This is the first one made by John Carpenter and should be high on your watch list. When you had to decide upon seeing one sequel of this series don’t look further and pick up this one. This movie didn’t only influence a whole generation of filmmakers, giving life existence to horror movies. It is far superior to any other sequel of the series. The movie doesn’t even have to start. From the moment you hear the absolute gripping theme music, you are entering another world. What Star Wars theme music was to Science Fiction fans is Halloween’s song to horror fans.
Michael Myers is a real person here with evil intentions. The story is simpler as it gets and in no point, you think it isn’t realistic. The tension and the horror are building up slowly throughout the movie, until the end when Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) first meets Michael. You will not see crazy FX effects and there aren’t even many action sequences. Halloween doesn’t need them, it is frightening on its own merit. Myers is stalking some teenagers, lurks silently in the darkness and waits for the right moment to make his move. You know who’s the bad guy in this movie is and which his victim. The only piece missing is the good guy which takes upon the task to stop Michael Myers. It’s Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) who played in 5 sequels totally and his role consisted not only in stopping Myers but also hyping his image. When Dr. Loomis spoke about Myers being the pure evil, he made me believe absolute every word.
Grade: A+ (You have to see it, even if you think 1978 movies are relics destined for oldies like me, haha)
Halloween II (1981)
After so much praise about the first one, you can imagine that there isn’t a possibility the second to reach these heights. This achievement belongs solely to Terminator II who was a worthy successor to the first made movie. John Carpenter didn’t direct this movie but still contributed in writing and producing along with Debra Hill. The cast was also the same with Donald Pleasance and Jamie Lee Curtis plus some smaller roles.
The story provided a continuation from the first Halloween movie, having a similar feel and look. It was intended to give the series an ending and was introducing Laurie Strode as the sister of Michael Myers. Laurie was taken to the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital and Myers recovered from his shoot injuries caused by Dr. Loomis in a shelter. When he was ready he took action to finish his job and killing Laurie. Most of the plot and the upcoming murders will happen in the Hospital and it will also be the place where through an explosion Dr. Loomis and Myers will be killed. The end features a shocked Laurie to be transferred to another hospital. Those two movies could be viewed on Halloween together providing you a start and an ending.
Grade: B (It lacks the quality of the first, but provides a believable story and an ending)
40 years have passed since the first Halloween movie. John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis are back to it and the story is featuring a continuation from the 1981 made movie ignoring all the twists and holes of the last 8 movies. Laurie Strode still lives in Haddonfield but lives isolated in her house, which she made a fortress. She prepared for forty years for the moment when Michael Myers returns to haunt her and her family. She has a daughter Karen who things her mother has serious psychic issues and a granddaughter Allyson who tries to keep in contact with her.
Michael Myers was held for all these years in an institution until he achieves to escape on Halloween. The movie features many murders as Michael is paving his way to Laurie’s house where the ultimate showdown will conclude. David Gordon Green who was the director of this reboot tried and succeeded in establishing a thrilling atmosphere with some in-joke moments recalling past events. Jamie Lee Curtis shines again under the right set of conditions and gives this Halloween movie a worthy and much-needed contribution.
Grade: B- (40 years had to past until a sequel of this quality has been made. That’s a long time not only for Michael Myers sitting in an institution)
Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (1998)
We are entering a difficult territory. The storyline of Halloween becomes more blurry and Halloween H20 is mildly regarded the best among the rest. This one is ignoring the event of the 3, 4, 5 and 6 installment. I can say it was a good decision to do so. H20 tells the story of Laurie Strode played again by Jamie Lee Curtis 20 years after the first events. She is now living under another name, has a son (yeah no daughter and this son doesn’t exist in the 2018 made film) and is the headmistress of a private boarding school with high-security measures.
Laurie has been obsessed by Myers and her son John (Josh Hartnett) suffers from her mother’s fixation. He tries just to be another teenager who hangs around his friends and his girlfriend (Michelle Williams). As you can imagine Myers will return just in time for Halloween, leaving behind a bloodbath and of course Laurie was right to fear the moment. This movie relinquishes some of its realism, for an example his victims run to escape Myers but he always achieves staying close even though he walks. Jamie Lee Curtis has also a more powerful role, not playing the victim anymore but trying to end the horror once and for all. She gets Michael in the end, killing him and chopping his head to make sure he is and stays dead.
Grade: C (Somehow Kevin Williamson who wrote Scream, brought more from Scream into this than from the original Halloween movies. It was a good attempt but felt undercooked)
Halloween 4: The return of Michael Myers (1988)
This Halloween came after the third (of course) and tried to make forget the disappointing performance of it. No witchcraft or scientific bullshit but Michael Myers as the focal point trying to kill his niece Jamie Loyd, the daughter of Laurie. You have to thank Halloween 4 for being actually a good movie and enabling the Halloween series to become a real thing. The director Dwight Little did his best to capture the overall feeling of what makes a good slasher movie.
At first, Jamie has been introduced to us, an 11-year-old kid which has hard times at school and living with a foster family in Haddonfield. They have also a daughter Rachel who will play a significant role later on in this film to protect Jamie. Michael Myers role will be more cheesy showing actual feelings behind his mask. This will not bother him getting at Jamie and anybody else who stays in front of him. Dr. Loomis will reappear in this once again, trying to make a connection to the first two sequels. The end will not be the best, as Jamie steps in Michaels footsteps. This dawn DNA thing.
Grade: C- (It’s worth your time, even with this disturbing end, just don’t make the mistake to believe Halloween 5 has to be watched too)
Halloween: Resurrection (2012)
Well, I’m not sure what to put in here, but think Halloween Resurrection isn’t the worse one of the remaining. I will not try to beautify things. This movie destroys the satisfying ending of H20, killing Laurie (think she read the script and enough with this, haha) in the prologue and makes Myers a dude who is returning to his home and killing everybody who disturbs his peace.
There are some nice killing scenes and some really idiotic moments. Busta Rhymes has a role in this movie playing the producer of a horror reality show where teenagers spend a night in houses of past serial killers. If you need to watch a horror movie featuring Myers without any relation to the old ones regarding the story or a story in a whole sense, this is a nice piece to past time.
Grade: D (This is a high grade, but considering what is still left, you can consider Resurrection to be a masterpiece among them)
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
This is the last one worth watching in this series. It moves away from the classical story as when they made this one, they regarded Michael Myers being dead (they believed the ending of Halloween II). They tried to make Halloween an anthology in which an evil corporation tries via witchcraft and science to kill families. This is an ugly film to watch, with some disturbing scenes. It is all the way totally serious, without any intention to be funny, making it look brutal, containing some really frightening imaginary.
Grade: D- (This depends on your taste. Without Michael Myers this just feels wrong but it is doing his job)
Halloween 5: The revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
OMG, you shouldn’t read any further than at this point. Really, just stop. Probably you liked somehow Halloween 4 and thought this should be watched as Jamie’s story will get further explored. This was my motivation and I regret this day until today.
I will give you some bits and hope you understand. Jamie has been admitted to a children’s hospital, she is mute since the events of Halloween 4 and she has some disturbing dreams, which in reality is some telepathic connection to her uncle Michael. Rachel her sister survived too and is there plus Loomis and her best friend Tina.
The cops in this one resemble somehow the Cops played in the comedy Police Academy and the only good thing is they will get killed. Lots of them. After Jamie finds her voice and screams Tiiinaaa! all over again, you wish she remained mute. You will not be scared at any moment in this movie and just hope everybody gets killed fast by Michael.
Grade: E+ (This isn’t the worse one yet)
Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007)
Directed, produced, screen played and written by Rob Zombie. Sheri Moon Zombie a hot blonde actress is the wife of Rob Zombie and the mother of Michael Myers in this movie. We will see how Michael Myers as a kid became the killer we all know. Zombie ignores here the original and inserts Michael in a family in which his father abuses him. Of course, Michael kills most of his family members and ends up in a psychiatric institution where his mother visits him. We will witness Michaels transformation and see him become the evil kill we know despite the efforts of his mother and Dr. Loomis.
There is also some Laurie Strode in this movie, but Zombie has been concentrating his energy too much on Michaels abusive childhood that the whole story lost on the mystery which made the original famous. Not to tell that this Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton) was nowhere near the quality of Jamie Lee Curtis and surely the story didn’t help her either.
Grade: E- (Watchable, if you can ignore the fact that someone named John Carpenter made a Halloween movie 1978 which was far superior to this one)
Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
This was a strange cinematic experience. A total mess with plot holes if I can say so. It tried to take the series to a new direction, giving a lead role to the little boy who Laurie Strode babysat in the original Halloween movie. When that boy grew up he has been obsessed with the event of that night and if it wasn’t for druid magic and pagan rituals to show up it would have been more believable. This movie has been really confusing to me and I spent more time to bash it than to actually enjoy the cool killing scenes.
Grade: F+ (A waste of time, but you can find a few good scenes and some aim in this one. That’s at least what I say to myself to justify watching it at some point in my life)
Rob Zombie’s Halloween II (2009)
I guess we have a winner. My gosh, the only good thing about this one, is the future potential to become a cult among fans. At some points it was so bad I had to laugh. Rob Zombie, directs, produces and wrote this piece again and his wife became a role in it, even though she died. She plays the main role as she is the ghost who appears to Michael Myers and pushes him to kill his family members. She also appears to Laurie as an angel and a white worse is also to see which symbolizes…. wtf knows.
Poor Michael has to deal with his life issues and walks randomly along corn fields. At some point, he gets stopped by a group of people in a car, who want to harass him. That was a big mistake and for me the best sequence of this movie.
We have also some scene in a hospital which takes some storyline from the original Halloween II. Zombie focuses more on Myers backstory which takes away the suspense and he tries to build a relation between Michaels and Laurie’s psychic condition. The end has Michael killed and Laurie stepping in his footsteps. She is moved to a psychiatric institution envisioning Deborah (Sheri Moon Zombie) and she obviously caught a heritable condition which will only heal when she murders all her family members.
Grade: F- (A fully deserved grade. I have watched many horror movies and rarely seen so much bullsh..t concentrated in one movie alone)
Hope this list will help you to decide which movies of the Halloween franchise to watch and if you have already watched the series let me know of your rank list. I’m sure some of you would likely shift a movie ahead of a few ranks or drop it below for a few spots, but then I’m 100% confident that the original Halloween of 1978 will be on top of your rankings.