Every Halloween Movie...Ranked

 

Tying a bow on "Halloween Week" on The Josh Odson Page.  The entire week I've been dedicated to bringing you anything and everything Halloween related in celebration of the original film's 40th anniversary and the release of the newest sequel.

Now that I've seen the newest installment of the slasher series, I can bring you the DEFINITIVE ranking of all 11 Halloween movies.  Most of them aren't very good.  But even when these movies are bad, they're fun to make fun of.


As far as the rest of film critics, Rotten Tomatoes has the movies ranked as follows:

11. - Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers - 1995 - (6%)
10. - Halloween: Resurrection -  2002 - (12%)
9. - Halloween 5: Revenge of Michael Myers - 1989 - (14%)
8. - Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 - 2009 - (19%)
7. - Rob Zombie's Halloween 1 - 2007 - (25%)
6. - Halloween 4: Return of Michael Myers - 1988 - (29%)
5. - Halloween 2 - 1981 - (31%)
4. - Halloween 3: Season of the Witch - 1982 - (45%)
3. - Halloween H20 - 1998 - (52%)
2. - Halloween - 2018 - (80%)
1. - Halloween - 1978 - (93%) 

But what do REAL film critics know.  I'm just a guy who loves these movies.  They mean a great deal to me.  Allow me to offer up the ACTUAL ranking of all 11 Halloween movies...

 

11. - ROB ZOMBIE'S HALLOWEEN II (2009)

The only movie in the series that I have never re-watched.  This movie got trippy.  The sequel to the reboot/remake was sort of the beginning of the end of Rob Zombie's successes as a director.  Watch him prove me wrong with "Three From Hell" in 2019.  This movie used a lot of dream sequences and symbolizes overshadowing what we came here for...Michael Myers.

 

10. - HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION (2002)

Busta Rhymes fights Michael Myers using Kung Fu.  Ummm...need I say more?  I will!  The only reason this movie isn't last is because it re-introduces the Laurie Strode character and kills her off.  It is something that needs to be done at some point in time, Jamie Lee Curtis can't live forever...Michael Myers can, but a glorified cameo role isn't the way to kill off the legendary scream Queen.  The main plot revolves around a reality show filmed inside the original Myers house.  Which is a neat enough premise.  But the execution is lacking GREATLY!

 

9. - HALLOWEEN 3: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982)

The wicked stepchild of the Halloween series.  What was supposed to be an annual anthology movie that doesn't involve Michael Myers.  The plan was different stories every year, none of them related.  OK, cool idea.  But you can't start that in the middle of another series.  Start your own thing.  Halloween 3 is the story of a warlock (yes, really) who creates a line of Halloween masks designed to kill children.  It's campy, it's weird, and in recent years fans have come around to embrace this peculiar little film.  It used to be my least favorite movie of all-time.  Even I have come around on it...a bit.

 

8. - HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS (1995)

The darkest film of the series.  Literally and figuratively.  The movie is filmed in darkness, until HD came along I could not make anything out in this movie.  It takes place in the shadows.  Paul Rudd (yes, Ant-Man) stars as Tommy from the original film uncovering the satanic roots of Michael Myers.  There's a baby we're trying to steal, there's a cult, and the final appearance of Dr. Sam Loomis (he passed away the same year).  It's really bad, and still the 8th best film in the series.  There's a producer's cut (affectionately referred to as Halloween 666) that makes this slightly better.

 

7. - HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS (1989)

Notable for two reasons.  The worst mask in the series.  Look at this thing.  Terrible.  And more notably, wastes the twist ending of the fairly tolerable 4th chapter.  We'll get into the twist ending of the 4th movie in a bit.  This installment revolves around a telekinetic bond between Michael and his niece.  It's utterly forgettable.  We're on the way up though!

 

6. - HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS (1988)

I would also accept this as the worst mask in the series, this isn't much better than Part 5.  The movie that brought Michael Myers back after the spin off that was Part 3.  Michael escapes an ambulance and stalks his niece after Laurie Strode was killed off in a car crash between movies.  The niece Jamie lives in a foster home and she needs a babysitter one Halloween night.  What could go wrong?!?!  A great twist was wasted in the fifth chapter, as Jamie (in a call back to the original film) walked up the stairs in a clown costume and murders her foster mom, hinting that she is now the evil one in the family.

 

5. - ROB ZOMBIE'S HALLOWEEN (2007)

Perhaps my most controversial selection.  This movie isn't bad.  I feel Zombie was placed in an unenviable position with remaking/rebooting the original.  If his job was to retell the story, let's throw out the question of why and assess the job he did.  Obviously you don't want to do a shot for shot remake (Psycho) so he had to make it his own.  And he did.  It's too violent.  Everyone in town is a disgusting human being.  But the back story he gives us is wonderful.  Showing Young Michael Myers in the mental institution was a great insight into how Michael Myers became the notorious masked killer.  Yes, I'm aware John Carpenter's point in the original was that there was no rhyme or reason to Myers.  He just killed for the sake of killing.  But since Zombie decided to give us the backstory, that's what I'm grading him on.  Malcolm McDowell gives a terrific performance as the new Dr. Loomis, as does Zombie's wife Sherri playing Michael's grief stricken mother.


Now here's where ranking these movies gets hard...

 

4. - HALLOWEEN 2 (1981)

Taking place immediately after the events of the first film, Halloween 2 sees Laurie getting medical attention at a nearby hospital while Dr. Loomis continues to hunt down Myers.  A high body count with one of the most notorious kills in series history (the reason why I legitimately don't get into hot tubs) sees the storyline of the movies begin to get convoluted by revealing that Michael and Laurie are brother and sister.  A plot that Carpenter admits he may have been drinking when he wrote that into this sequel.  While not a legendary movie, it does play the notes you want it to, and have a few shocking moments.  It rides the original's coat tails long enough to become an acceptable entry.

 

3. - HALLOWEEN H20 (1998)

Also, not a great mask in this one either.  Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role as Laurie Strode in this sequel that ignores the events of movies 3-6.  Laurie is a teacher at a boarding school under a new identity.  Josh Hartnett plays her son, Michelle Williams is the love interest.  LL Cool J is a security guard slash aspiring romance novelist.  It's a fun sequel that shows what a wreck the events of the first film made the Strode character, and delivers the final showdown between Michael and Laurie.

OR SO WE THOUGHT?!?!

 

2. - HALLOWEEN (2018)

Yes, it's that good.  Granted the bar wasn't INCREDIBLY high for Halloween sequels.  I think it is the superior choice.  Ignoring every other movie on this list, the 2018 sequel shows a Laurie Strode that was victimized in the first movie, and refuses to never have that happen to her again.  She lives in the woods, in solitude, with every gun and security feature known to man.  Michael breaks out of his mental facility and the two chase each other, building to a final showdown, that is incredibly satisfying.  Fans of the original will notice a ton of homages to the original movie.  Newbies to the series won't know what hit them.  It's a fun night at the movies delivering everything you loved about the original and nothing you don't need.

You know what's number one.  There was never a doubt, right?

 

1. - HALLOWEEN (1978)

My favorite movie of all-time.  When I saw this a kid in junior high, it unlocked a whole new world to me.  I didn't know movies could do this.  The sense of dread I felt watching this for the first time has never been equaled.  It is one of seven movies I have ever given a perfect score to.  I would not change a frame of this movie.  The suspense.  The mood.  The lack of violence.  The story.  This is a masterpiece that deserves all the attention it is getting.


CLICK HERE for a differing opinion from the folks at Variety.

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