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My Ranking of the Halloween Movie Franchise

I was late to the horror genre.  I always stayed away from it, but in the last 20 years and even more so in the last few years, I’ve become more a fan of it and am still discovering horror movies.

Having said that, Halloween is definitely my favorite horror movie franchise.

There is just something about it that really grabbed me.

And I’ve been showing my girlfriend Mariah all of the Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th movies (yes she’s been patient watching these) and we discussed ranking them so I decided to do just that on this site.

Of course, these are only opinions and it’s OK to agree or disagree.

I really like most of them, I’ll admit, but there are few that I’m not wild about.

So, here is my ranking of the Halloween movies:

  1.  Halloween (1978)-This is the first movie of what became a franchise.  It will always be the template.  Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, all the cast are great.  The killer, Michael Myers, is human, but yet, he’s unstoppable, and he gets more unstoppable as these movies go on.  Directed, co-written (along with Debra Hill), and scored by John Carpenter.  It’s just a straight up thriller with a simple but solid story.  For such a low budget movie, it was still ambitious with great camera work and editing.  Even the mask of Michael Myers is a William Shatner mask, which I love.  I will say after having revisited these movies, the mask kept getting changed and it should not have been.  I’m fine with them, but the first one, and a few of the way later ones are the only ones that truly got it right.  Anyway, back to this movie.  To be a horror movie, there’s almost no blood at all in this.  No gore.  And it works!!!!  And it stands alone.  You really don’t need to see any of the others because it’s it’s own story.  However, if you like this, I recommend watching the others.  Great movie and no other Halloween movie will top this.
  2. Halloween 4:  The Return of Michael Myers-This is my 2nd favorite.  After a solid sequel and a movie that had NOTHING to do with the franchise, other than it’s on Halloween night (I do like it though), the franchise hit the reset button with this movie.  Like the first, I think the story is solid and the actors are good.  Donald Pleasence returned after being absent in the 3rd movie.  And if you’re a fan of Halloween as a franchise and of the killer, Michael Myers, then I think you should like this one.  If not, fair enough.
  3. Halloween:  The Curse of Michael Myers-This is the 6th Halloween movie.  It was also Donald Pleasence’ last movie.  There are two versions of this movie.  The theatrical cut, which most people probably know if you’ve seen these, but there is also “The Producer’s Cut”, which was heavily bootlegged for years, but eventually, was released.  Personally, I really like The Producer’s Cut more than the theatrical one.  The story is mostly the same, however, there are big differences, especially the endings of both.  I think The Producer’s Cut flows better, and there is more of Donald, which is always welcome.
  4. Halloween 3:  Season of the Witch-The 3rd movie of the franchise, HOWEVER, it has nothing to do with the first two or any of the later ones.  It really is it’s own story.  The only mistake I see with this movie is the title.  It should’ve just been called Season of the Witch and maybe it would’ve been more successful.  But at this point, you had two hit movies featuring the killer Michael Myers, Donald Pleasence as Dr. Loomis, and Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, and none of them are in this.  It has nothing to do with those movies.  That doesn’t bother me, but it bothered a lot of people.  I’ve seen trailers of this movie and this is very clear, but somehow, the audience did not get that message and went into theaters with expectations and got none of them.  Having said that, I think it’s a great, scary movie.  Everyone did a great job in front of and behind the camera.  I was hooked immediately.  I think it’s one of the scariest.  Luckily, this movie has become a cult hit with a lot of people, but many will always hate it because it has nothing to do with Michael Myers.  Fair enough, but I think if you watch it as a stand alone horror movie, then I think you would like it.
  5. Halloween 2 (1980)-This is the 2nd Halloween movie, if you hadn’t guessed.  It picks up right where the 1st one left off, continuing the story of Michael Myers, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis).  I’m actually ranking this one higher than I initially intended because it was never one of my favorites, but in more recent times, I’ve given it a little more attention and I think it is a very good sequel, but not as good as the first one.  Jamie Lee is in it a lot less, which I don’t like, but all the kills that Michael does in this are very good.  His mask looks very wicked in this one. This one is definitely more explicit in it’s violence.  And the storyline definitely changes and I don’t mind it.  It’s not my favorite and I don’t love it like many do, but it is a very good sequel and could have been the end.  It was intended to be the end.  Hence why Halloween 3 is so different.  But the reset button was pushed for 4 and beyond.
  6. Halloween 5:  The Revenge of Michael Myers-Many people seem to dislike this one, but I still think it’s good and a good follow-up to Halloween 4.  Some of the actors from 4 return in this one and it picks up where 4 left off.  Donald Pleasence’ character Dr. Loomis is wayyy more aggressive in this one, but I think it works because he’s always been obsessed with tracking down Michael and either wanting to kill him or putting him back into the asylum.  So I’m fine with it.  I like it and I’m not apologizing for it.
  7. Halloween H2O:  Twenty Years Later-This movie is set 20 years after the first one (and it was released 20 years later in 1998).  Jamie Lee Curtis is back as Laurie Strode for the first time since Halloween 2 and this movie ignores every movie past 2, in terms of storyline.  I really like this one.  And I especially love the ending.
  8. Halloween (2018)-This movie ignores every Halloween movie past the first one, again Jamie Lee Curtis returning as Laurie Strode for the first time since Halloween:  Resurrection.  This was a great return to the franchise after Rob Zombie’s interpretations of the characters from the original first two movies.  It’s simple, straight forward, definitely bloodier than the original, but a very good story and seeing Jamie Lee back is great.
  9. Halloween Kills-The perfect sequel to the 2018 Halloween.  Continues that storyline but goes further with it.  Anthony Michael Hall is awesome in this.  I really like this one a lot.  I could rank this one higher, but I give some of the others seniority.  But ask me some other time and I’ll probably rank this one higher.  I did rank it higher recently, but for this post, this is my ranking of it.  But it is great and I thoroughly enjoyed this one.  These first two movies of this latest trilogy I think are great.  The last one not so much, but I’ll save it for last because that’s where it belongs.
  10. Halloween (2007)-This is Director/Writer Rob Zombie’s interpretation of John Carpenter’s original classic.  Rob added a lot more to the story, but also told the original story as well.  He did a great job, I think.  I really like this one.  
  11. Halloween 2 (2009)-The sequel to Rob Zombie’s first Halloween movie.  Great follow-up, although I definitely prefer the Unrated Director’s Cut, particularly with it’s ending.  Initially, I didn’t like this one, but after seeing Halloween Ends, I thought it can’t be that bad, and I was right.  It’s actually very good.  The originals are the best, as they usually are (I HATE remakes) but if you do something different with it, which Rob did, then I appreciate that.  I’m glad Rob did these.
  12. Halloween:  Resurrection-This is the follow-up to Halloween H2O:  Twenty Years Later.  Actually let me rephrase that:  the first 10 minutes is a follow-up.  The rest of the movie is something else.  Jamie Lee Curtis returns for the beginning and (spoiler alert) her character is killed by Michael Myers.  Then the movie is basically about a bunch of students doing an internet reality show inside Michael Myers’ home and he just happens to be there.  It’s silly, but it’s fun, so I still enjoy it.  It’s definitely the most laughable of the franchise, but it’s still fun so I dig it.
  13. Halloween Ends-The final movie of this new trilogy.  True story:  I was so excited to see this, after enjoying the other two so much.  I’m not kidding when I say this, but after about 10-15 minutes, I was browsing the internet and the movie was just on in the background until I saw something that grabbed me.  That’s not good.  I initially thought why would you write a story about this new character in the last of 3 stories and make this character the star?!  Why not establish this character in the 1st story and build them?!  Having said that, I gave it a few more watches, and I’m starting to understand it more.  I’m going to give my girlfriend Mariah all the credit for that, though, because she got this story from the get go.  We talked about it, and she helped me understand it more.  Usually, I can interpret a movie well, but this one took a little time.  After initially hating the script, I now think it’s a pretty smart, creative idea.  All of the actors are great and the kills are well done.  Jamie Lee Curtis is great as always. and if this is her final Halloween movie, then she did great.  Still, I wanted more Michael Myers.  Oh well.  This may be the most creative one of all, story wise, but it’s still my least favorite. 

OK that is my ranking of my favorite horror franchise.  I could say so much more about them, but I’ll leave it at that.

I hope the future Halloween movies are good and I look forward to seeing them too.

How would you rank these?  Thoughts?

One Comment

  • Mariah (The Girlfriend)

    Since we both decide to rank these movies, Lucas asked if I would also comment with my list.


    Halloween (78)
    Halloween (Zombie)
    Halloween IV
    Halloween V
    Halloween III
    Halloween (2018)
    Halloween II (81)
    Halloween II (Zombie)
    Halloween H20
    Halloween Ends
    Halloween Kills
    Halloween: Resurrection
    Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

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