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‘Halloween’ Franchise Movies Ranked

CR: Universal Pictures

Michael Myers is an enigma that will not go away. Even through remakes, we loop back around to the original series and want more. We want more Michael Myers and Laurie Strode.  The story has kept us held captive for years and coming back for these two characters.  None of us wanted to believe that Michael finally beat Laurie in Halloween Resurrection.  Laurie had to survive the fatal fall because she is Laurie Strode.  Michael can never best her.  In many ways she is the original Sidney Prescott.  Most other female leads of many horror franchises died in later sequels.  A fate no fan enjoys, but one that seemed an inevitable fate for most scream queens.  Not Laurie Strode.  While the reboot of the franchise ignores its predecessors, the film has made many friends of mine who refuse to watch horror films want to rush to theaters and see the most recent Halloween.  Despite my initial surprise to hearing these words from friends who hate horror, I look back on the franchise and realize why Michael Myers our love for Michael has lasted forty years.

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

Even typing this title I managed to get the horrid Silver Shamrock jingle in my head. My biggest problem with Halloween III is the pure fact that it does not belong in the franchise. What do people think of when they think of the Halloween franchise? Michael Myers. This is the only film in the entire franchise where Myers is not featured. I remember reading once the reason for not having Michael appear is because they were attempting to move on without him in the franchise. The truth is this just does not work. No matter how intriguing the concept lurking underneath the layers of this installment I cannot give this the credit it deserves. Is the concept frightening? Yeah. I hate the idea there’s a mask that no one cannot remove. Do I consider this a Halloween film?  No.  However, since it technically is part of the franchise, I have to include it on my list.

9. Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

This is my guilty pleasure film. I cannot understand my desire to watch this film every time I see it on a movie channel, yet somehow I always do. This year alone I have watched this film three times. I love this film’s concept. The idea of a bunch of young college students going into the Myers home on Halloween night and streaming a live broadcast online is brilliant. I feel like in many ways the film was ahead of its times. Could you imagine seeing this through the screen much like Unfriended or Searching? Can you imagine believing you are watching something fake, but it is actual reality?  No Real World editing anywhere in sight!  No fake Michael Myers anywhere in sight!  Plus, a horror film that has both Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks is not easy to find! With the addition of other nineties stars, the nostalgia hits me something fierce with this sequel.  I also often feel an opportunity was missed to somehow make Sara Moyer related to Myers.  Such a pity.

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

The inclusion of Michael’s niece has always been one of my favorite additions to the franchise. It has also made me feel that Michael just wanted to be an only child with no cousins, no nieces, no nephews.  No one. Period. He just needed alone time. Why do I feel this way? Because he tortured his niece to the point in Halloween 4 that this film opens with her mute!  She’s that traumatized! Of course after learning that the man trying to kill you is your uncle that could scar anyone.  The strange part of this installment involves Jamie’s odd connection to her uncle.  Though no one has ever shared a closeness with Myers, Jamie anticipates his every move because they are telepathically connected.  While this is a unique idea, this feature tends to lean toward to the cheesy side because of this connection.  However, nothing is creepier though than the above image.  To see a greater evil is coming in words from a child who cannot speak is chilling.

7. Halloween II (1981)

The hospital setting is one of the creepiest locations any horror film can choose. Nothing is creepier than walking around a hospital that feels abandoned. This is especially true at night time.  Add a serial killer to the mix and you have the ultimate horror story.  We also find ourselves with the narrative that created amazing story arcs within the franchise.  Laurie Strode is the sister of Michael Myers.  This narrative continues to intrigue me. Many theories are derived of why he is attempting to kill his sister alongside an amazing film.  The sequel made me debate who truly survived by the end of this and no true answers until the fourth installment within the series.  I cannot imagine having to wait seven years to find out if Myers or Loomis somehow made it out alive.  Plus, fans found themselves want to know more about Miss Strode.  That was another sequel though.

6. Halloween II (2009)

I heard for months why I did not need to view the Halloween II remake. I kept hearing that while people typically enjoyed the first installment in the Rob Zombie reboot that most people did not enjoy his sequel. I must disagree though. While not my favorite in the entire franchise Zombie dared to do something different with the story. While he plays on the notion that Laurie Strode is Michael’s sister, he dares to have Laurie end up in a psych ward by the end of the film due to the trauma.  I have read books where this occurs, but have not had the pleasure of seeing this in many films.  A small part of me wanted that to be the case in Scream 3.  A brother-sister killing duo.  Of course had that happened we would not have graced us with Sidney’s great line in the fourth installment.  Zombie dares to do what most will not to their lead characters and that makes me appreciate this sequel far more than I was expecting.

5. Halloween (2007)

I avoided watching Zombie’s remake of John Carpenter’s original for years. I did not believe Zombie could even remotely live up to the original film. While this might come in at number five on my list, Zombie’s Halloween is one of my favorite remakes. The way he delved into Michael’s backstory is one that absolutely fascinates me. We learn of Michael’s early tendencies of psychotic behavior and then watch as the judge convicts him of first degree murder but sent to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium under the care of Dr. Sam Loomis. He gives us many reasons to believe that everything is okay. We believe he suffered from a psychotic break, but we soon learn that he is pure evil incarnate. No one can explain or assist Michael. That’s what makes Michael so frightening. Providing no explanation or reason for Loomis to discover. Pure evil exists in his eyes. Plus we have Danielle Harris back in the franchise but playing Annie this time, making my horror loving heart happy by default.

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

While Michael had no qualms going after Tommy or Lindsey, Michael primarily targeted teenagers and adults of the Halloween features until part four in the series. Audiences are introduced to Michael’s niece Jamie (Danielle Harris) and until later sequels we determined that his ambition was to murder her. He certainly puts his poor niece through the wringer. I also enjoy seeing the connection these two characters have together. I love the part where Jamie reaches up and touches Michael’s hand to realize that they are the same. The only bad thing about this is when Dr. Loomis debates momentarily whether he should kill Jamie. With such a dark ending that includes Jamie standing there with a knife in a clown outfit like all those years ago, this makes for one of my favorite installments and made me immediately want to know more about Michael’s dear little niece.

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

I remember seeing the previews to this sequel while in my last year of elementary school. I constantly found myself randomly doodling Michael when I had free time at school. It is a true miracle I was never asked to go see a counselor in hindsight. I begged my dad to take me to see this film in theaters. While I could watch them at home, neither of my parents thought I was ready to view one in theaters.  They both felt it would be too much for me but as soon as this came out on VHS I could rent the film instead.  For years it has remained one of my favorites. Michael’s true homecoming.  A movie that brings back so many characters from Michael’s past minus the one person we were all dying to see.  Plus, this was Paul Rudd’s first big screen film and he was playing an adult version of Tommy Doyle!  What’s not to love?!  Then with the addition of an ancient Druid curse and a cult makes this one of the most intriguing installments of the franchise.  I have also looked differently at trees any time water falls from branch and drips on me ever since.

2. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

I love H20 so much that I saw it in theaters twice. This is not just because I adored the entire cast at the time either. Knowing that this would be the first time I could see Laurie Strode back on the big screen was absolutely fantastic. The film did not disappoint either. Around every corner a unique death sequence and witty dialogue continued to keep us coming back for more twenty years later. Plus I found satisfaction in watching Strode finally kill Myers after all these years.  I think that’s what makes the explanation in Halloween Resurrection so upsetting.  We want to believe that Laurie has finally won the battle because she deserves a win! She deserves to be able to stand up and gain the power back that Michael took from her all those years ago that made her change her name.  The film is one of the smartest in the entire franchise and remains one of my favorite horror films.

1. Halloween (1978)

Nothing will ever beat the original Halloween. Every year I make it a goal of mine to watch the original film before the day ends. This has become increasingly harder on days over the years where Halloween falls on a weekday but this is an important tradition of mine. From the opening sequence to watching Michael sits up in the background when Laurie thinks she’s safe, nothing has come close to holding a candle to the original film. One of my absolute favorite scenes within the film though is Laurie sitting in her English class. Her teacher explains once one’s fate is decided nothing can change that person’s fate. I think in many ways this film says otherwise. While fate plays an important part in our lives, we can make adjustments to make sure our fate is not set in stone. The film proves that pure evil does exist.  Pure evil never goes away and by Michael surviving the shooting at the end of the film we are left to believe Dr. Loomis’ assessment is true.  Nothing scarier than the thought that pure evil never dies.

Halloween is a film franchise that continues to make people clamor for more. We are not ready to let go of Michael Myers even after all these years. The truth is we are also not willing to let go of Laurie Strode either. We want to know what happens to these two characters and in an odd sense we want these two characters to remain living despite the body count that always occurs when Myers is around. One thing is certain. Not many horror icons that have lasted two decades yet alone four on the big screen.

Make sure you check out the new Halloween currently in theaters. Also come back for my updated list after Halloween, which will include the 2018 release.

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