While Halloween is regarded as a classic film that introduced one of cinema’s most terrifying villains, the series as a whole is a confusing mess. After the first two movies, the third film had a completely new story since they wanted it to be an anthology series. Then 4, 5, and 6 introduced Jamie and the “Curse of Thorn.” In 1998, Halloween: H20 ignored and retconned 4, 5, and 6. Rob Zombie then came along and remade the original, which then spawned a sequel. In 2018, the franchise was revitalized with Halloween (2018), which retcons every single film except for the first.
We hope you’re still with us as that is extremely complicated to follow. With so many films under its belt, there is definitely a huge gap in quality from entry to entry. Some of them are great and others are pretty terrible. We’ve gone ahead and ranked the five best Halloween movies, but also the five worst.
10 Worst: Halloween H20
This one might be the controversial entry, but let’s be honest, Halloween: H20 is kind of boring. Most of the film just doesn’t feel as intense or suspenseful as the original. H20 completely removes all events from Halloween 4, 5, and 6 (understandably). It chooses to focus directly on the relationship between Laurie and Michael.
The problem is, the film takes forever to get going. While the ultimate showdown between the two siblings is fun to watch, it was just a little too late as we’d already checked out. That being said, the final scene is great, but even that gets ruined in the next one.
9 Best: Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers
Its reputation may be tarnished due to it being the start of the “Thorn Trilogy,” however, Halloween 4 is an excellent sequel. As the title suggests, this brings back the titular boogeyman after Halloween 3 was ill-received. It manages to capture the dark and dreary atmosphere from the original. Michael also ups his game up with some memorable kills.
Halloween 4 introduced us to Jamie Loyd, the daughter of Laurie Strode, and her foster sister Rachel. Actress Danielle Harris is wonderful as Jamie, adding in so much emotion that one doesn’t see too much from child actors. Unfortunately, just like with H20, Halloween 4 also has a great ending that is then ruined in the next film.
8 Worst: Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers
In Halloween 4’s shocking ending, Jamie ends up stabbing her foster mother to death. There were a ton of ways to expand on this, but the writers decided to go full-blown supernatural. Apparently, Michael and Jamie have a psychic connection, which she’s able to use and tell the cops where Michael is.
Dumb plot point aside, Halloween 5 also thought it would be a good idea to kill off fan-favorite Rachel early on. This may have worked, but it meant audiences had to then deal with Tina, one of the most irritating characters in the whole franchise. Halloween 5 may have some crazy kills, but it lacks in character development and atmosphere.
7 Best: Halloween Remake (2007)
It may have been an unnecessary project but Rob Zombie’s remake of the original is quite underrated. While it does bring in the brutal and trashy aesthetic Zombie is known for, this new Michael Myers is a terrifying force of nature (played by the 6’ 8” Tyler Mane). He’s a much more visceral version of the classic character, which makes his presence all the more frightening.
Even the backstory of Michael’s childhood is a welcome addition, even if we didn’t need it. It’s tragic and disturbing, but still effective. The remake also cast the legendary Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Loomis.
6 Worst: Halloween: Resurrection
In the first 15 minutes, Halloween Resurrection had already betrayed us. In H20’s powerful ending, Laurie decapitates Michael with an ax. In Resurrection, however, it turns out that this was actually a paramedic that Myers had swapped places with at the last second (because that makes so much sense). To add insult to injury, Michael kills Laurie in the introduction.
This then makes room for a bunch of annoying and unlikeable characters who go on a live internet show where they explore Myers’s childhood home, only to be picked off one by one. Oh yeah, this movie also has Busta Rhymes defeating Myers with Kung-fu...okay that actually is pretty hilarious. “Trick r Treat, motherf****r.”
5 Best: Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch
Being part of the Halloween franchise was both a blessing and a curse for Season Of The Witch. When the film came out, it was immediately dismissed since it had nothing to do with Michael Myers. However, it should be thankful for being an entry in the series as it would forever stay relevant.
Maybe if the movie was its own thing, it may not have gotten much recognition that it deserved. Halloween 3 is a fun, gory, and campy 80s horror movie that has gained a cult following in the years after. The storyline is bonkers for all the right reasons, and let’s not forget that weirdly catchy jingle.
4 Worst: Halloween 6: The Curse Of Michael Myers
Production for Halloween 6 was an absolute nightmare. There were a ton of rewrites and studio interference, which is on full display in this atrocious sequel. Halloween 6 builds upon the Cult of Thorn storyline introduced in Halloween 5. It’s revealed that Michael is a product of this Cult’s actions.
They need Michael’s genes to impregnate a woman and create and personification of pure evil. Yes, it’s as dumb as it sounds. It’s quite a shame that this was one of Donald Pleasence’s last roles. This movie also stars Paul Rudd, who is trying his best with the material he’s given.
3 Best: Halloween (2018)
After the failure that was Halloween: Resurrection, it would take over 15 years for the series to come back. Luckily, this sequel/reboot was a breath of fresh air. Halloween (2018) is a direct sequel to the original, which ignores all the cult stuff, as well as the revelation that Laurie is Michael’s sister.
Instead of a teacher living in fear in H20, this new version of Laurie is a total badass who is waiting for the day that Michael escapes and comes back for her. This culminates in an epic showdown of the two. Halloween (2018) is suspenseful, brilliantly directed, and well-acted all around. It was just what the series needed to get back on track.
2 Worst: Halloween 2 Remake (2009)
Fun fact: director Rob Zombie actually had no intention for his remake to have a sequel. It wasn’t until the studio decided they would continue this new rebooted series that Zombie signed on. Zombie should have just stayed away completely. This abysmal excuse for a movie is a slog to get through. Laurie has no redeeming qualities, and Malcolm McDowell’s Dr. Loomis has turned into a selfish jerk who only cares about book sales.
To top it all off, it introduces a supernatural element where Michael’s mother shows up as a sort of death angel, which deviates from the more grounded approach the remake had. Don’t watch this movie. Spend your two hours doing literally anything else.
1 Best: Halloween (1978)
The original Halloween will always be regarded as the greatest since it captured magic back in 1978. The premise may have been generic, but it was the execution of John Carpenter’s directing and score that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. Jamie Lee Curtis’s first role as Laurie Strode was a great protagonist for audiences to root for.
It’s an example of horror that doesn’t need gore to be scary. The series may have gone on to be a violent slasher series, but the original has barely any blood in it at all. Just the mere sight of Michael Myers was enough to send a chill down your spine.