Halloween Ends, the maybe, possibly, hopefully final installment in the Halloween franchise dropped on October 14. I, like many of you, had a chance to see it and sit with it. Though, admittedly, I didn’t want to sit with it long… Anyway, as the actual Halloween takes place on Monday, I thought now would be a great time to do a rankings of all 13 films that carry the Halloween name. Selections appear in ascending order.
13. Halloween 2 (2009)
About: Woof. I have only ever walked out on one film in a theater, and it was this dreck from Rob Zombie. It’s overly violent with a ridiculous story. It’s the bar by which I measure dreadful horror films.
12. Halloween (2007)
About: Zombie’s first outing wasn’t much better. What makes Michael Myers imposing is that he’s a supernatural terror that can’t be explained. This film tries to find a psychological explanation for why he is the way he is. In doing so, to me, it betrays the entire point of the premise.
11. Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
About: Busta Rhymes is in this film, and I guess that’s cool… This film is a disaster, though, and it does Laurie Strode dirty. It’s the worst of the non-Zombie films.
10. Halloween Ends (2022)
About: The final piece of the David Gordon Green trilogy, this one tries something that doesn’t work. I think they want to make a commentary on society but the plane doesn’t land. This was a disappointing end to the franchise. And I do still hope it’s the end.
9. Halloween Kills (2021)
About: This film is also disappointing, but in an entirely different way than Ends. I went back-and-forth, but in the end I do believe this is the better of the sequels. That is really saying something.
8. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
About: I’ll be honest, I don’t have strong feelings about the three installments with Donald Pleasance and no Jamie Lee Curtis. I dropped this one to the bottom, but, again, you could probably talk me into a swap with the next installment.
7. Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
About: Is the story here ridiculous? Yes, I won’t argue otherwise. Also, Danielle Harris gets replaced in this one, which is weird. But, on the bright side, there’s some Paul Rudd.
6. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
About: This is where the franchise first starts to take a dip. It’s not incredible but it’s not terrible. It returns Michael Myers to the screen and fills in Jamie Lloyd, his cousin, rather than re-casting Laurie Strode. So, you know, at least that was a solid choice.
5. Halloween 2 (1981)
About: Fun fact, when John Carpenter originally created Halloween, he envisioned it to be an anthology franchise. The first installment, with Michael Myers and babysitters was so popular, they asked for a direct sequel. So, this film is pretty direct to the first one. But much like Jaws 2, it feels like a bit of a re-tread of a better, original film. It’s OK, not great, but better than much of what followed.
4. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
About: I mentioned the anthology concept above. With this third Halloween film, we move toward that anthology idea. In this case, we get a story about Halloween masks and druids. Yes, you read that correctly. This one is so detached from the world of the first two that we get someone in this film is watching Halloween on TV in the film. Anyway, I actually low-key LOVE this film for what it is. Sadly, it wasn’t popular, so after this they pivoted back to just being about Michael Myers.
3. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
About: This one returned Jamie Lee Curtis for the first time since Halloween 2. It takes place at a college campus and it’s actually really good. I enjoyed that Curtis’ mother, Janet Leigh, is also in this film. This was the first good film since the original with a solid cast and concept.
2. Halloween (2018)
About: Returning to this world 40 years after the original, Green’s first film wants to pretend all the other sequels didn’t happen. That might seem weird, but it works. We find an older, world-weary Laurie Strode (Curtis) biding her time and waiting for Michael to return. He does and the film is a perfect homage to the original and a heck of a good time.
1. Halloween (1978)
About: Of course, you couldn’t really have this list without the original, which remains the best. Carpenter and Debra Hill created something special here. Curtis is great and the concept is great. It’s a classic for a reason, and though a couple sequels over the years have been fun, nothing can top the original.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.