The Halloween Franchise Ranked

The breathtakingly-ominous piano theme is one of the most recognizable in the history of moviemaking: the chilling death-march of a ghost-white, unkillable babysitter-killer who came to define the holiday of spookiness from its groundbreaking 1978 original to 40+ years later. All Myers films: ranked.

Halloween 1978 – Viscerally-bludgeoning with slow tension-building, atmospheric macabre, pure dread in omen-dark (iconic) piano theme with innovative synth choices, and bone-chilling slasher design, John Carpenter’s 1978 Halloween remains one of the top horror films of All-Time. 9.1/10.

Halloween 2018 – A brutal, deliciously-wicked proper slasher & sequel to Carpenter’s 1978 classic, 2018’s Halloween is old-school authentic Horror steeped in nostalgic touches & sadistic atmosphere with modern tricks, stylistic flair, & psychoanalysis. 8.8/10.

Halloween 2007 – A creative backstory rewrite of Michael, ballsy ultra-dark Rob Zombie tone, perfect Dr. Loomis, & fascinating psychoanalysis angle evolve into fine slasher thrills and the type of originality/risks we beg in reboots – despite poor child-Michael & Laurie castings. 8/10.

Halloween III: Season of The Witch (1982) – A standalone [supernatural] horror film in the anthology-style Carpenter originally intended for the series (separate movies with nothing in common besides the holiday and date), SOTW is a fantastic, well-concepted in techno-magic TV mask-life, and scary horror movie on its own merits deviating from series-formulas to deliver something fresh and original – one of the most underrated ever by the odd-duckling fan-expectations of a Michael it doesn’t even need and what might’ve saved the franchise from what came next. 7.6/10.

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later – An improving return to the duality of its two primal characters’ relationship & erasure of the series’ imbecilic/insulting non-Laurie direction, H20 overcomes its bizarre water-name and clichés to find a fine & well-plotted slasher with surprising fizz showing life may still be possible in this tired franchise. 6/10.

Halloween II 2009 – Tastelessly hyper-violent, senselessly brutal, & disgustingly dialogued while still forcing a sympathy plea, plus a still-awful Laurie/sell-out Loomis, despite a fantastic ending-twist & visually-stunning Soranis scenes, Zombie’s H2 is vulgar. 5.7/10.

Halloween II (1981) – A right-after sequel with stereotypical slasher scenes but bland hospital setting, problematic immortality/motive-giving characterization of Michael (makes him far less intriguing and scary roping him in with every other slasher instead of motiveless-evil), & thoroughly-uninteresting cast-of-characters devoid of Carpenter’s care. 5/10.

Halloween: Resurrection (2002) – Peddling an ahead-of-its-time script playing on society’s penchant for reality TV & internet (that could’ve made a good non-franchise slasher script with a mystery killer/reveal), creepy locational-setting, found-footage expansion, Busta Rhymes, and decent horror atmosphere but lack of energy, underwhelming Laurie finale, and mystery/psychoanalysis-angle unresolved, HR is one of the only inventive/good-premise sequels of the franchise but fails. 4.7/10.

Halloween IV: The return of Michael & Dr. Loomis plus an epic shocking final-twist, but head-scratchingly inane decision to give Laurie – the final girl of the series – an off-screen death brushed-off nonchalantly and cookie-cutter slasherisms from plotting to kills, haters of SOTW got what they [apparently] wanted: another mindless fast-food slasher series devoid of any thought or originality. Sigh. 4/10.

Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) – At least time-jumping away from the All-Time bad Halloween V with an early appearance by trying-Paul Rudd & final one by Donald Pleasance – plus interesting revelation twist about Michael’s supernatural instruction/motive, but thoroughly-confused plot, amateurishly-acted/written characters, limited Michael, half-assed direction, and some of the laziest kill scenes ever in horror, H6 isn’t much better. 2.5/10.

Halloween V: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1986) – Quite possibly one of the worst films EVER made & the worst slasher movie having Michael do nothing but stumble/stare for 2 hours, no plot/aim or capitalization on H4’s epic twist-ending, gratingly-obnoxious & unwatchable characters, & even turning its antagonist into a sports car driver & teen-lover, H5 is the rock-bottom of Horror movies. 0.5/10.