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Ranking the 13 Halloween Movies from Worst to Best

The Halloween Movies: All the 13 films ranked!

Ranking the Halloween Movies from Worst to Best

Our definitive list of all 13 Halloween movies, including this year’s contentious Halloween Ends.

When John Carpenter and Debra Hill’s independent horror film Halloween debuted in theatres in 1978, they had no idea it would still be running 44 years later. Their low-budget horror film about a masked babysitter killer made a young Jamie Lee Curtis the genre’s favourite scream queen and gave us one of cinema’s most iconic monsters: Myers, Michael ‘The Shape’.

Halloween was the most successful independent film of its time, spawning 13 sequels spanning five different time periods. With so many sequels, prequels, and reboots in its filmography, Halloween has undergone some significant stylistic and quality shifts over the years.

To honour John Carpenter’s enduring influence on rock and metal, we’ve compiled a definitive list of every Halloween movie. There will be spoilers ahead, so beware!

#13 HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS (1995)

Halloween Movies: HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS (1995)

Starring: Donald PleasenceMitchell RyanMarianne HaganPaul Stephen Rudd

Directed By: Joe Chappelle

Synopsis: This episode sees the return of the seemingly indestructible masked murderer Michael Myers (George P. Wilbur), who is after Tommy Doyle (Paul Stephen Rudd), a young man linked to the killer’s legacy and his ties to the Strode family. As the supernatural aspects of Michael’s macabre abilities are explored, his longtime foe, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence), returns in yet another attempt to stop the psychopath’s heinous rampages.

Critics Consensus: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers trades the simple, brutal effectiveness of the original for convoluted mysticism, with disastrously dull results.

#12 HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION (2002)

Halloween Movies: HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION (2002)

Starring: Jamie Lee CurtisBrad LoreeBusta RhymesBianca Kajlich

Directed By: Rick Rosenthal

Synopsis: He’s returned for more… When a group of teenagers wins a contest to spend the night in Michael Myers’ childhood home, which will be broadcast live on the Internet, they think they’re in for some fun and free publicity. But things go horribly wrong, and the game becomes a struggle to escape the house alive.

Critics Consensus: The only thing this tired slasher flick may resurrect is nostalgia for when the genre was still fresh and scary.

#11 HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS (1989)

Halloween Movies: HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS (1989)

Starring: Donald PleasenceDanielle HarrisWendy KaplanEllie Cornell

Directed By: Dominique Othenin-Girard

Synopsis: After a year in a coma, Michael Myers (Donald L. Shanks) awakens and stalks his way back to his small hometown in Illinois, determined to kill his niece, Jamie (Danielle Harris), who has been confined to a mental institution since Michael’s previous attempt to murder her. Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) teams up with Sheriff Ben Meeker (Beau Starr) to put a stop to Michael’s latest rampage, suspecting a psychic link between Michael and Jamie.

Critics Consensus: Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers finds the series embracing crude slasher conventions with pedestrian scares, disposable characters, and aimless plotting.

#10 HALLOWEEN II (2009)

Halloween Movies: Halloween II (2009)

Starring: Malcolm McDowellTyler ManeSheri Moon ZombieBrad Dourif

Directed By: Rob Zombie

Synopsis: Laurie Strode is at her breaking point a year after narrowly escaping death at the hands of Michael Myers (Tyler Mane), pushed to the brink by Dr. Loomis’ (Malcolm McDowell) revelation that she is Michael’s sister. Little does she know, the unstoppable killer has returned to Haddonfield and is determined to bring about a bloody family reunion, fueled by visions of their deceased mother (Sheri Moon Zombie).

Critics Consensus: Zombie shows flashes of vision in the follow-up to his Halloween reboot, but they’re smothered by mountains of gore and hackneyed, brutal violence.

#9 HALLOWEEN (2007)

Halloween Movies: Halloween (2007)

Starring: Malcolm McDowellScout Taylor-ComptonTyler ManeDanny Trejo

Directed By: Rob Zombie

Synopsis: Nearly two decades after being committed to a mental institution for murdering his stepfather and older sister, Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) escapes, determined to return to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois. On Halloween, he returns to his hometown with the unwavering goal of finding his younger sister, Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton). The only thing standing between Michael and a bloody Halloween night is psychologist Dr. Samuel Loomis (Malcolm McDowell).

Critics Consensus: Rob Zombie doesn’t bring many new ideas to the table in Halloween, making it another bloody disappointment for fans of the franchise.

#8 HALLOWEEN II (1981)

Halloween Movies: Halloween II (1981)

Starring: Jamie Lee CurtisDonald PleasenceCharles CyphersJeffrey Kramer

Directed By: Rick Rosenthal

Synopsis: Michael Myers (Jonathan Prince) has followed Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital, where she’s been admitted for Myers’ assassination attempt. However, the institution proves to be ideal for serial killers, as Myers cuts, stabs, and slashes his way through hospital staff to reach his favourite victim.

Critics Consensus: Halloween II picks up where its predecessor left off – and quickly wanders into a dead end that the franchise would spend decades struggling to find its way out of.

#7 HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS (1988)

Halloween Movies: HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS (1988)

Starring: Donald PleasenceEllie CornellDanielle HarrisGeorge P. Wilbur

Directed By: Dwight H. Little

Synopsis: Michael Myers (George P. Wilbur), who appears to be unconscious, is being transferred from one hospital to another when the ambulance crew mentions his surviving niece, Jamie (Danielle Harris). Myers sets out to find his one living relative, who is fortunately being cared for by a kind and resourceful foster sister named Rachel, after slaughtering his attendants (Ellie Cornell). Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) remains on the killer’s trail.

Critics Consensus: Halloween 4: The Return Of Michaels Myers may bring the series’ masked killer back into the fold, but fails to offer the visceral scares and inventiveness of the original.

#6HALLOWEEN KILLS (2021)

HALLOWEEN MOVIES
Halloween Movies: HALLOWEEN KILLS (2021)

Starring: Jamie Lee CurtisJudy GreerAnthony Michael HallAndi Matichak

Directed By: David Gordon Green

Synopsis: Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) are rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries after leaving masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in Laurie’s basement. Laurie believes she has finally killed her lifelong tormentor. However, once Michael escapes Laurie’s clutches, his ritual bloodbath resumes. Laurie inspires the entire town of Haddonfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster as she fights her pain and prepares to defend herself against him. The Strode sisters join a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage in taking matters into their own hands, forming a vigilante mob that sets out to hunt Michael down once and for all. Evil will perish tonight.

Critics Consensus: Halloween Kills should satisfy fans in search of brute slasher thrills, but in terms of advancing the franchise, it’s a bit less than the sum of its bloody parts.

#5 HALLOWEEN ENDS (2022)

Halloween Movies: HALLOWEEN ENDS (2022)

Starring: Jamie Lee CurtisAndi MatichakJames Jude CourtneyWill Patton

Directed By: David Gordon Green

Synopsis: Laurie Strode is making her final stand. After 45 years, the most acclaimed, revered horror franchise in film history reaches its epic, terrifying conclusion as Laurie Strode confronts the embodiment of evil, Michael Myers, for the final time in a final confrontation unlike any captured on film before. Only one of them will make it.

Critics Consensus: Halloween Ends — for now, anyway — with a frequently befuddling installment that’s stabbed, slashed, and beaten by a series of frustrating missed opportunities.

#4 HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982)

Halloween Movies: HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982)

Starring: Tom AtkinsStacey NelkinDan O’HerlihyRalph Strait

Directed By: Tommy Lee Wallace

Synopsis: Emergency department of a hospital Dr. Daniel “Dan” Challis (Tom Atkins) and Ellie Grimbridge (Stacey Nelkin), the daughter of a murder victim, uncover a horrifying plot by small-town mask maker Conal Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy), a madman planning a Halloween mass murder based on an ancient Celtic ritual. The ritual includes a stolen Stonehenge boulder, the use of Silver Shamrock masks, and a triggering device hidden in a television commercial – all of which are intended to kill millions of children.

Critics Consensus: Its laudable deviation from series formula not withstanding, Halloween III: Season Of The Witch offers paltry thrills and dubious plotting.

#3 HALLOWEEN H20: 20 YEARS LATER (1998)

Halloween Movies: HALLOWEEN H20: 20 YEARS LATER (1998)

Starring: Jamie Lee CurtisAdam ArkinJosh HartnettMichelle Williams

Directed By: Steve Miner

Synopsis: Former babysitter Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is pursued by persistent knife-wielder Michael Myers two decades after surviving a massacre on October 31, 1978. Laurie now works as the headmistress of a private school in Northern California under an assumed name. But it’s not far enough to get away from Myers, who soon finds out where she is. Laurie’s peaceful community is filled with dread as Halloween approaches, and for good reason.

Critics Consensus: Halloween: H2O is the best of the many sequels, yet still pales in comparison to the original Halloween.

#2 HALLOWEEN (2018)

Halloween Movies: Halloween (2018)

Starring: Jamie Lee CurtisJudy GreerAndi MatichakWill Patton

Directed By: David Gordon Green

Synopsis: On Halloween night 40 years ago, Laurie Strode survived a vicious attack by crazed killer Michael Myers. Myers escapes from a mental institution after his bus transfer goes horribly wrong. Laurie now faces a terrifying confrontation when the masked madman returns to Haddonfield, Illinois – but this time, she’s prepared.

Critics Consensus: Halloween largely wipes the slate clean after decades of disappointing sequels, ignoring increasingly elaborate mythology in favor of basic – yet still effective – ingredients.

#1 Halloween

Halloween Movies: The best goes to Halloween (1978)

Starring: Donald PleasenceJamie Lee CurtisNancy LoomisP.J. Soles

Directed By: John Carpenter

Synopsis: Michael Myers, a six years old, brutally murdered his 17-year-old sister, Judith, on a cold Halloween night in 1963. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. On October 30, 1978, however, a 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and flees Smith’s Grove while being transferred for a court date. He returns to his quiet hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, in search of new victims.

Critics Consensus: Scary, suspenseful, and viscerally thrilling, Halloween set the standard for modern horror films.

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