Michael Myers chokes a woman in "Halloween 2007"
(the Weinstein Co)

All ‘Halloween’ Movies Ranked Worst to Best

Can you really have too much of a good thing? The Halloween franchise says yes. The original is one of the greatest horror movies ever. But did we need 12 more? The timeline got more jumbled up than the guts of those poor teens Michael Myers stabbed. Someone call the coroner, it’s time to rank the Halloween movies from worst to best.

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13. Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

Michael Myers peers in a window at Laure Strode in "Halloween: Resurrection"
(Dimension Films)

Generally when a movie has “resurrection” in the title, it should have stayed dead. Who does Michael Myers think he is? Jesus? Halloween: Resurrection was a sorry attempt to revive a franchise flirting with death. Its predecessor Halloween H20 may have given it a Frankensteinian jolt, but the cadaver flatlined with Resurrection‘s release. It’s a weird movie, all taking place on the reality TV set that gives the film a similarly “made for TV” feel. And the worst part? The great undoing of longtime Halloween protagonist Laurie Strode’s victory over Michael.

12. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

(Miramax)

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is a curse indeed—the lingering sort that just won’t go away. The film committed the same sin that the Star Wars prequels did: explained things that didn’t need to be explained. I didn’t need to know that Michael Myers is the undead product of some dark religious cult, just like I didn’t need to know about the midichlorians. Like the Force, it was better when Myers was a mystery! The unknown is scarier, after all. And speaking of scares, this film is light on them. The lack of sympathetic protagonists and the shoddy direction make the movie itself the most doomed of Myers’ victims.

11. Halloween Kills (2021)

Michael Myers steps out of a burning building in "Halloween Kills" (2021)
(Universal Pictures)

Halloween Kills … itself. Taking place minutes after the implausibly well done 2018 Halloween reboot, Halloween Kills manages to do just that to any sort of forward momentum the franchise had. The film is a lofty attempt to tackle the thematic dangers of mob mentality, but undercuts itself as a routine slasher. It wants to have its cake and stab it too, leading to a ponderous film that can’t quite decide if it wants to critique the horror genre or play into it. When in doubt, take a stab at the entertainment jugular. This film only manages to cut skin deep.

10. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

A hand touching Michael Myers' mask in "Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers"
(Magnum Pictures)

Forgoing the foreboding and flying headlong into slapstick, The Revenge of Michael Myers is a wannabe Keystone cops with no regard for its origins, its plot, or the audience’s patience. Don’t get me wrong, the slide whistle sounds over the bumbling cops do add a sort of “so bad it’s good” perversion in watching it, but like Scrooge before the business with the ghosts, my generosity ends there.

9. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Michael Myers wrestles a teen over a shotgun in "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers"
(Trancas International)

Michael Myers has been in a coma for a decade. Like the rest of the remakes, maybe he should have stayed in it. The Return of Michael Myers is about as welcome as ants at a picnic. This time, however, the small town residents have prepared—ineffectually, of course, but prepared nonetheless. The silver lining is this film’s final act, which actually serves up some good scares. Sitting through the first hour of the film justifying its remake existence is enough to make me wanna pull the plug on Michael’s life support for good.

8. Halloween (2007)

Michael Myers chokes a woman in "Halloween 2007"
(Dimension Films)

Props to Rob Zombie: Trying to remake one of the greatest slasher films of all time was a ballsy move, but the lackluster attempt only proved that the original was lightning in a bottle. Despite the added blood, gore, and overall brutality, Halloween 2007 proves that you need more of an idea than “let’s make it nastier” to really make a successful sequel. Yes, the deep dive into Myers’ tragic past was interesting, but the second half’s tepid killing spree just couldn’t make up for it.

7. Halloween Ends (2002)

Laurie Strode standing on the street with a young man in "Halloween Ends"
(Universal)

This is the way Halloween ends, not with a bang, but with baked goods. Halloween Ends serves as the ersatz Return of the King to the David Gordon Green remake trilogy. Despite serving as the final showdown between Laurie and Michael, the film sidelines the two characters for the majority of its run. Instead, it focuses on a new killer, who stepped into Michael’s bloodstained shoes only to find out they don’t quite fit right when someone else is wearing them. Go figure.

6. Halloween II (2009)

A bloody masked Michael Myers in "Halloween 2"
(Dimension Films)

Rob Zombie learned from his mistakes in his second Halloween remake. But was it enough to make for horror movie greatness? Not quite. The film suffers under the weight of its own ambitions, laden with motion sickness-inducing dream sequences about white horses and Michael Myers’ mom. The saving grace of the film is the performances of Scout Taylor-Compton as a traumatized Laurie and Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Loomis—who is making a financial killing as an author by capitalizing on the tragedy of the previous film. As for the gore? Bloodthirsty fans of the franchise will be pleased to know it’s the most violent yet.

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

Three kids sit on the couch wearing Halloween costumes in "Halloween 3: Season of the Witch"
(Universal Pictures)

Halloween III: Season of the Witch was a risky departure from franchise familiarity, and its efforts were rewarded. The film has almost nothing at all to do with any other entry into the Halloween canon, and its fresh start proved to be eerily effective. Michael, Laurie, and Loomis don’t exist in this film, or rather, they exist as the movie characters they are. When not watching the original Halloween on TV, doctor Dan Challis investigates a conspiracy about a Halloween mask-making company called Silver Shamrock. The result is an enthralling walk down mystery lane.

4. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

Michael Myers stands over a victim in "Halloween H20"
(Trancas International)

After the universally maligned Curse of Michael Myers, the masked killer seemed like he was gonna stay dead for good. Instead, the producers of H20 decided to kill what really needed killing: the legacy of previous three movies. Films 4 to 6 don’t exist in the universe of H20, allowing the writers to craft a story free of Druidic curses. Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode, or what’s left of her after she faked her death, changed her name, and moved to another city. Despite freeing herself from Michael Myers, Michael Myers is not free of her. The masked killer comes back into Laurie’s life in a thematically powerful statement about the nature of mental trauma. Who knew Halloween could get deep?

3. Halloween (2018)

Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer in 2018's 'Halloween'
(Universal Pictures)

Like H20, 2018’s Halloween killed the franchise’s convoluted legacy to create room for a brand new Laurie-centric story. Jaime Lee Curtis returns once more for a stellar performance as the franchise’s beloved heroine. In this film, the events of the original Halloween were a one-time thing. Michael never returned after that night in 1978. Laurie, however, carries his memory with her well into the modern day. Halloween 2018 serves as another insight into the complex realm of mental trauma and gives us the strongest Laurie-centric character piece to date.

2. Halloween II (1981)

An exhausted woman leans up against a wall in a hospital gown in "Halloween II"
(Universal Pictures)

Halloween II was the only other Halloween film on this list that original director John Carpenter touched with a ten-foot pole. It takes place only hours after the original and features Michael Myers chasing Laurie through the lonely halls of a hospital. The film capitalizes on the themes that made the first Halloween great: the mind-your-own-business-while-your-neighbors-get-stabbed nature of suburbia and the lack of safety that it provides. The film also expands upon Laurie and Michael’s relationship. No longer does it seem like she was a random victim like the rest. This time, Michael targets her. This time it feels personal.

1. Halloween (1978)

Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode hides from Mike Myers in 'Halloween'
(Compass International Pictures)

John Carpenter’s Halloween is not only the greatest film in the franchise, but easily one of the greatest horror movies ever made. Suburbia is rocked by the presence of a deranged killer who escaped from a mental asylum, and no adult, teen, or family dog is safe. From the moment after the opening credits, the foreboding is there, due in no small part to the film’s impeccably creepy score.

Halloween has easily some of the most groundbreaking sequences in horror movie history. The killer’s POV shot from the opening of the film has been copied ad infinitum by subsequent horror movies across the decades. And the reveal of the then-six-year-old killer? Too spooky. This sequence is only topped by the witheringly frightening chase scenes where Michael Myers stalks Laurie through the silent suburbs. Purposefully or not, the film made a salient point about the nature of the suburban living: no one cares about their neighbors.

Suburbs promise each and every American their own little kingdom to govern, a quiet little house whose windows can remain shut to the outside world. Neighbors getting murdered by a man with a knife? Not my problem. The police will surely handle it. The thesis of Halloween? In an unfeeling society, no one is safe from harm, even in their own home.

(featured image: Dimension Films)


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Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.