We’re still a couple of months away from Halloween, but it’s never a bad time to discuss the films of one of our favorite horror franchises- especially with a new installment AND a playable Michael Myers just around the corner. We’ve ranked the films from worst to best, and we look forward to seeing how your list would differ in the comments and on social media!
10. Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Resurrection is fun in all the wrong ways. The type of film that’s so bad that it’s hilarious, this eighth installment of the famous horror franchise finds the series at a new low. Between Busta Rhymes getting into a karate fight with Michael Myers, bad actors giving worse performances, and blatantly undoing the terrific ending of H20, Resurrection is by far the worst film of the series. (The scene with Busta Rhymes dressed as Michael and shit-talking the REAL Michael is damn entertaining though.)
9. Halloween II (2009)
While Rob Zombie’s Halloween II is undeniably one of the worst movies of the series, it scores points for its ambition- even if it eventually proves detrimental to the film. It features a bearded, totally brutal Michael in what is basically an arthouse slasher flick, as well as what may be the most harrowing and heartbreaking death of any film in the series (thanks to Brad Dourif’s consistent excellence). Still, these things can’t save the film from its own convolution and senselessness. Zombie took one hell of a swing, but unfortunately missed.
8. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
Revenge is a staple of the Halloween season, and there’s always going to be a part of me that loves it for that reason alone. It’s awfulness is hard to deny, however. Essentially copying the film that came before it to capitalize on its success, H5 is rather uninspired and bland, hitting every generic slasher note along the way. And Michael’s mask is terrible.
7. Halloween (2007)
Rob Zombie’s Halloween fills in the gaps of Michael’s evilness and attempts to humanize him, which is something many fans have taken issue with. The director utilizes in-your-face brutality like no other film in the series, but lacks in the tension and scares that made John Carpenter’s original such a classic. Neither a particularly good or bad horror remake, Zombie’s film just ends up feeling unnecessary.
6. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
For my money, there’s never been a scarier version of Michael Myers as the character presented in Curse. The sequence at the beginning of the film, as well as the hospital chase that it closes with, are among the most frightening scenes in slasher movie history. A troubled production and re-shoots caused the movie to come across as muddled in its ambition, which has paved the way for the divisive response to the film among fans. While I personally love the film, the flaws created by the studio ultimately doomed it to a lower ranking on the list.
5. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
H4 marks Michael’s return to the series after being absent for the third installment of the franchise. It also begins the Jamie story arc that ran for three films. Like Revenge, Return is a go-to in October… and unlike Revenge, it’s actually a good one.
4. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
If H20 had been the very last time we saw Michael Myers in a film, I’d have no complaints about it. Picking up 20 years after the events of the series’ 2nd film, we find Laurie raising a son and struggling with the paranoia of Michael’s return. Featuring a great opening scene and a sequence of Jamie Lee Curtis being a damn badass, H20 is a fitting conclusion that was erased by an inferior film.
3. Halloween II (1981)
Though it’s definitely standard slasher fare in comparison to the original, it’s hard to deny the effectiveness of the series’ 2nd installment. Picking up right where the first movie left off, we find Michael stalking Laurie Strode to and through a hospital, picking off doctors and nurses in the process. It’s impossible not to think of this film when visiting a hospital, and that’s a testament to its effective utilization of the setting.
2. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
By far the most underrated film of the series, Season of the Witch leaves Haddonfield and Michael Myers behind as the filmmakers attempted to take the franchise in an anthology route. Featuring a unique story, a prominent sense of dread, a FANTASTIC score, and unforgettably classic performances by Tom Atkins and Dan O’Herlihy, Season is a masterpiece that was unappreciated in its time.
1. Halloween (1978)
It had to be this way. John Carpenter’s ’78 film is one of the greatest horror films ever made and paved the way for the decade of slashers that followed it. To this day, it holds up as a masterclass of terror and sustained suspense that continues to influence horror filmmakers almost 40 years later. You either love Halloween, or quite frankly, you’re wrong.