Every Film In The Halloween Franchise, Ranked

By Chad Langen | Published

halloween kills

Before the advent of Freddy Krueger’s nightmarish hauntings and Jason Vorhees’ brutal onslaughts, it was Michael Myers who introduced fear into the tranquil town of Haddonfield on Halloween night. Despite the straightforward plot of John Carpenter’s 1978 classic horror film, it spurred a franchise that has thrived for over forty years. With a series spanning 13 movies, including sequels, reboots, and even an unrelated offshoot, we’ve ranked each Halloween movie from worst to best.

13. Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

The eighth installment in the Halloween series, Halloween: Resurrection, is a major letdown. The film’s plot involves a group of students starring in a reality TV show filmed in Michael Myers’ childhood home, leading to predictable and uninspiring encounters with the legendary murderer.

The reason Resurrection is so disappointing is the unjustifiable explanation given for Myers’ resurrection following his apparent death in the previous movie, Halloween: H20.

The poorly crafted excuse undid the dramatic climax of H20, which is a direct sequel to the original Halloween movie, leaving us feeling cheated. Moreover, the disappointing handling of Laurie Strode’s fate can’t be overlooked.

Ultimately, Halloween: Resurrection has a flawed narrative and lack of respect for the carefully constructed horror legacy initiated by the original Halloween movie.

12. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Halloween III: Season of the Witch is the third installment in the Halloween franchise, and it took a complete detour from the series’ established storyline.

Straying from the previous two films, the movie features a standalone plot about a murderous mask-making company, with no connection whatsoever to Michael Myers. This abrupt change from the enthralling narrative of the original Halloween left us feeling perplexed and betrayed.

Instead of the much-anticipated progression of the chilling Michael Myers saga, we are served an unrelated and lackluster storyline in Season of the Witch. Its absence of the series’ fundamental elements has led to widespread disappointment and resentment.

Even now, the movie continues to be a point of contention for us, the devoted fans of the Halloween franchise.

11. Halloween V: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

Despite being a direct continuation of the iconic Halloween franchise, Halloween V: The Revenge of Michael Myers significantly deviates from the elements that made the original Halloween movie a horror classic.

The plot follows Myers as he relentlessly pursues his niece, Jamie Lloyd, introducing a telepathic connection between the two which is extremely gimmicky and ill-conceived.

The film’s narrative is disjointed, and the character development is lackluster compared to earlier entries in the series. For these reasons, The Revenge of Michael Myers is undoubtedly a low point in the series.

10. Halloween II (2009)

In this sequel to Rob Zombie’s controversial 2007 reboot of Halloween, an increasingly deranged Laurie Strode is once again targeted by Michael Myers, who is guided by visions of his dead mother.

The film’s overtly brutal violence, psychological introspection, and deviation from the narrative of the original Halloween movie left us severely disappointed.

Moreover, Zombie undoubtedly puts too much emphasis on character backstory, turning the once mysterious and terrifying Michael Myers into a more sympathetic and less frightening figure. Finally, the drastic change in Laurie Strode’s character from the previous film is a total misstep.

9. Halloween Ends (2022)

Halloween Ends, the much-anticipated conclusion to the saga of Laurie Strode and Michael Myers, unfortunately, falls short of expectations, leaving us with an unsatisfying finale.

The narrative is muddled and confusing, diverting from the series’ original blueprint established by John Carpenter’s classic Halloween movie. Despite promises to bring closure to the Myers-Strode saga, the film frustratingly underutilized Michael Myers, an iconic figure whose terror and mystique is central to the franchise’s allure.

The complex storyline of Halloween Ends becomes a burden, obfuscating key elements and causing the plot to lose momentum. Furthermore, the resolution feels rushed and unearned, devoid of the emotional payoff we were expecting.

8. Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

Halloween Movie

While Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers gets credit for aiming to address the enigma of Michael Myers’ apparent invincibility and his chilling Halloween night killing spree, the storyline is too convoluted and far-fetched.

Straying from the compelling simplicity of the narrative of the original Halloween movie, The Curse of Michael Myers is riddled with perplexing subplots. Despite some intriguing ideas, the movie’s execution is subpar, resulting in a confusing narrative that fails to enhance the legacy of the Halloween series.

7. Halloween (2007)

Halloween Movie

Directed by Rob Zombie, Halloween is a controversial reboot of the classic horror franchise. It ventures into unexplored territory by presenting a detailed backstory for the enigmatic villain, Michael Myers.

While the attempt to humanize Myers is an intriguing concept, it doesn’t hold up against the allure of John Carpenter’s original Halloween movie, where Myers’ enigma is a significant part of his terror.

While we can certainly appreciate the depths Zombie goes to explain why Michael Myers is a cold-blooded killer, it undoubtedly dilutes the character’s menacing aura. Furthermore, the film’s brutal violence and emphasis on gore over suspense is surprisingly unappealing.

6. Halloween Kills (2021)

Halloween Movie

Even though Halloween Kills presents us with a more violent and sinister Michael Myers than ever before, the film disappointingly sidelines Laurie Strode, a central character and a series mainstay.

Despite her crucial role in the saga, which began in 1978 with John Carpenter’s original Halloween movie, she is largely absent from the narrative, confined to a hospital bed for much of the movie.

While the film certainly excels in escalating the terror, it falls short in maintaining the series’ crucial character dynamics.

5. Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Halloween Movie

There’s no denying that the biggest reason Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers is so cherished is because it successfully returns to the roots established by John Carpenter’s original Halloween movie.

After a detour with the third installment, this fourth entry brings back the infamous Michael Myers, reigniting the suspenseful terror we’ve come to expect. Moreover, the introduction of Jamie Lloyd, Laurie Strode’s daughter, adds a fresh layer to the narrative while keeping the familial link to the original movie intact.

Despite being a late sequel, The Return of Michael Myers is a successful revival of the series’ iconic villain, and we recognize its homage to the original movie’s atmospheric horror. It offers just the right mix of suspense, fear, and a gripping storyline.

4. Halloween II (1981)

Halloween Movie

Halloween II, directed by Rick Rosenthal, holds a special place in our hearts due to its successful continuation of the suspense and terror ignited by John Carpenter’s original Halloween movie. Picking up directly from where the first film left off, it sustains the tension and offers a deeper exploration of the enigmatic villain, Michael Myers.

The ongoing cat-and-mouse game between Myers and Laurie Strode in a deserted hospital provides the kind of nail-biting suspense we expect from a Halloween movie. Additionally, the revelation of Laurie’s connection to Myers adds a dramatic twist to the series.

3. Halloween: H20 (1998)

Halloween Movie

The seventh Halloween movie, Halloween: H20, brings back Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, who has been absent for multiple installments. Now living under a new identity, the film provides a satisfying continuation of Laurie’s story, renewing her battle with Michael Myers.

H20 mixes the franchise’s familiar elements of suspense and terror with a more contemporary setting, providing a rejuvenating update while maintaining respect for its source material. Ultimately, we love the film for its strong connections to the original film and its successful blend of old and new elements.

2. Halloween (2018)

Halloween Movie

2018’s Halloween, directed by David Gordon Green, is a successful reimagining and return to the roots established by John Carpenter’s original Halloween movie. Serving as a direct sequel to the 1978 classic, it disregards the intervening sequels to refocus on the fierce rivalry between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers.

Jamie Lee Curtis returns as a hardened survivalist, delivering a performance rich in intensity and depth. Moreover, the film’s suspense, along with its meticulous homage to the original’s iconic scenes, undoubtedly strikes a nostalgic chord. Simply put, 2018’s Halloween is a respectful revival of the franchise, capturing the original’s spirit while successfully updating it for a modern audience.

1. Halloween (1978)

Halloween Movie

It should come as no surprise that John Carpenter’s original Halloween movie, the film that started it all, ranks number one on our list. With its simple yet chilling plot about a masked killer named Michael Myers terrorizing a small town on Halloween night, it introduces audiences to a new kind of terror.

Halloween masterfully blends suspense, atmospheric cinematography, and a minimalistic music score that revolutionized horror cinema when it was released. Additionally, the film gave birth to the iconic final girl trope with the character of Laurie Strode. Furthermore, it set the stage for a long-lasting franchise and created a truly enduring legacy.