It’s that time of year again where we horror fans pull out the misadventures of Michael Meyers watch one of the greatest (and often frustrating) film series in history. This is a list of my personal rankings from worst to best. While I love the entire series as a whole, there are some films that are pieces of shit and others that are pure cinematic joy.
11.Halloween 2 (2009)
“The one where Laurie goes crazy”
Does anyone think this misfire is actually a good film? Laurie and her constant screaming are BEYOND annoying. The film is gratuitous in every sense of the word and why is every single character in this movie so damn unlikable? H2 presented writer-director Rob Zombie the perfect opportunity to make the Michael-Laurie story his own. He was no longer held to the convention of the original HALLOWEEN story. While he did add a David Lynch-vibe to the film the whole thing still felt as depressing as the predecessor. To say this movie was too over the top is an understatement. While I didn’t hate some of the choices that were made to Michael, the rest of the new characters felt empty, shallow and plain cringe-worthy.
Best Death: The box office returns
Hottest Guy: There weren’t any. Chris Hardwick had a cameo as an obnoxious TV personality for 20 seconds so I guess that counts.
10. Halloween: Resurrection
“The One where Busta Rhymes does a karate kick on Mikey.”
I don’t hate HALLOWEEN 8 as a movie. In fact, I like it better than some of the previous sequels
like parts 5 & 6. Michael was more brutal in this one than he had been in years, the plot was unique (for the time in a long time) and this one didn’t try to connect Michael to the druids. So why the low rating? Let’s see: boring characters? check. A very tolerable yet bland final girl? check. An off-screen kill of Tyra Banks for no reason? check. However the most egregious sin in the movie… is killing off Laurie Strode. What was the point? Why kill off such an important character in the franchise? It doesn’t propel the story nor does it allow a fresh take on Michael Meyers saga. This death hit hard and is why RESURRECTION is at the bottom of the list… of the original series.
Best Death: Katee Sackhoff’s decapitation scene was the best death in the movie.
Hottest Guy: Luke Kirby and Sean Patrick Thomas. I couldn’t decide.
8. Halloween (2007)
“The Remake that shall not be named”
Where do I begin with one? Rob Zombie made a Rob Zombie version of HALLOWEEN. The results depend on if you’re a fan of his particular style of film making. I am not. The first 10 minutes alone are so vulgar and poorly scripted it’s a wonder how production continued. I appreciated Zombie for making the characters and the setting his own and not making them picture perfect people with no problems, but fuck there was a lot of fuckin’ profanity. It was so distracting and the griminess of the characters made them instantly unsympathetic. A big source of criticism from the audience is the exploration of the early years of Michael Meyers. I didn’t mind this. It wasn’t needed but it didn’t take me out of the story
the way keeping an underground lair for did for Jason in his remake. Zombie wanted to make a grittier HALLOWEEN and to explore the mental state of an innocent kid turned cold-hearted killer, and he did. As much bitching and complaining I can do about this movie I have to admit that I do respect it. The overall look and brutality of this movie was intense and the film had a certain realism that’s been missing since the original film. This HALLOWEEN came out around the time a lot of horror movies were getting a PG-13 rating and Zombie made sure this wouldn’t fall in that category. Also, some of the casting choices were really successful. Bringing Danielle Harris back to the franchise as a different character was a welcome surprise and Tyler Mane gave an inspired performance as the adult Michael Meyers. I’m going to make a controversial statement: Tyler Mane is my favorite and scariest Michael Meyers in the entire franchise. Don’t shoot me.
Best Death: The bully who picks on young Michael had a simple yet effective death scene.
Hottest Guy: Nick Mennell who played Bob in this version.
7. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Meyers
“The one where Jaimie is psychic or something.”
Ugh. Where do I begin with this one? I’ll start with the positives first. I’m glad that Michael is the killer and not Jaimie as the premise of Jaimie being the new killer was set up in the last film. Also, this film had a unique look and sense of direction thanks to director Dominique Othenin-Girard. There were some fine moments of suspense. That’s all I got. This film is an utter mess. We get annoying kid characters, dumb cops in a dumb homage to a superior film, dumb characters, and a dumb decision to kill off a major character to only be replaced by an extremely annoying character. Logic is also non-existent in this film as well- don’t even get me started on why a homeless man nursed a comatose Michael for a whole year. Also, why was Rachel oversexualized and seemed oblivious to this being the one-year anniversary of the trauma she and Jaimie suffered? And let’s not forget that this film introduced the ludicrous man-in-black plotline that part 6 had to deal with. Seriously why did they kill off Rachel only to have the annoying as fuq Tina as the lead? Most of the acting is subpar, to say the least and the script was completely convoluted. Hell, even Michael and Dr. Loomis look bored in this flick. With the exception of Rachel, I was on Michael’s side for all the kills.
Best Death: I guess the greaser guy, also named Michael (?!) taking a rake to the head. I guess.
Hottest Guy: N/A. This movie couldn’t even deliver with any eye candy. What good is this thing?
6. Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Meyers
“Donald Pleasance’s final film”
After the disaster known as HALLOWEEN 5, it took 6 years and a new production company before another sequel came. What we got is something that’s slightly better than the last film. I think. I honestly don’t know. This film connects Michael to the druids and he’s no longer just an evil man, but now a puppet who kills people connected with his family(?). Jaimie is back as a teen mom, this time played by JC Brandy, for about 15 minutes and Donald Pleasance is back with a little more pep in his step than the last outing. We’re also reintroduced to Tommy Doyle- the kid Laurie babysat in the original film, this time played by a young Paul Rudd. ‘CURSE’ is noted for having two slightly different versions, the Theatrical Release and the previously hard to find Producer’s Cut. While the latter is better than the former, it’s still…a subpar horror movie released in a post-CANDYMAN and pre-Scream mid-90s world. I can’t say I hate this movie as much as it’s predecessor or some of the later installments but with a forced plotline, a sloppy script and shoddy acting ‘CURSE’ lives up to its title.
Best Death: Kim Darby’s stalk and kill sequence was effective and hard to watch. She was one of the few likable characters.
Hottest Guy: Paul Rudd, of course.
5. Halloween 3: Season of the Witch
“The one without Michael Meyers”
Stop the bitching. HALLOWEEN 3 is a solid film. In an attempt to make a horror anthology film series, HALLOWEEN 3 was meant to start a tradition of a different Halloween-themed film each year. Since people bellyached that this one didn’t include Michael Meyers doing the killing, the audience balked and it was years before we got another HALLOWEEN film. This installment has an evil organization deliberately killing kids on Halloween night as some sort of ritual. It plays more like an early-80s homage to INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS than a typical slasher. This film even acknowledges the acts of the original movie as part of a fictional movie and features a cameo from Nancy Keyes from the first 2 films as an entirely different character. It doesn’t hold a candle to the original classic but it doesn’t have to. HALLOWEEN 3 is an entertaining film that is more disturbing that its reputation has you to believe. Plus that song!
Best Death: 3 words: spiders, heads, and explosions. Most of the deaths in this installment rank amongst the best in the series.
Hottest Guy: Tom Atkins was a hot guy for 1982.
4. Halloween H20
“The SCREAM version of HALLOWEEN.”
H20 came out riding along the coattails on the success of SCREAM. Like most knockoffs, this film’s very DNA was lifted from SCREAM. You have overly articulate teens discussing their life’s musings; there’s the meta-humor (I’m looking at Janet Lee getting into the same care she drove in PSYCHO) and there’s the presence of a star of a WB program (to be fair it’s now A-List Michelle Williams). H20 open to positive reviews, but in the years since fans have discovered this movie to be the sheep in wolves clothing it is. While there are moments of calculated suspense and fine performances all around, this flick feels more like it’s trying to prove how sophisticated it is instead of trying to be frightening. Still, Michael is just Michael and not some killer druid connected to an ancient cult. Jaimie Lee Curtis is back in fine form in one of her best onscreen performances. Also, the third act is pretty suspenseful. The film is fine and is one of the better installments in the series, but it also feels incredibly safe. It would’ve been interesting to see the original screenplay from Kevin WIlliamson (from SCREAM fame of course) that incorporated the events from HALLOWEEN 4,5, & 6 to maintain some continuity.
Best Death: The opening scene with Nurse Marion finding her house ransacked only to be killed by her old friend Michael was well executed.
Hottest Guy: Josh Hartnett. I mean, look at him.
3. Halloween 2
“The one with the bad wig.”
HALLOWEEN 2 picks up right where the original left off with Donald Pleasance’s Dr. Loomis searching for Michael Meyers after shooting him “6 times!” The bulk of the movie takes place in a hospital that, apparently, only has one adult patient. Michael finds his way to the hospital, finds Laurie, she runs, an explosion ensues and then that’s the end of Myers. At least it was supposed to be. HALLOWEEN 2 is very well made sequel to the classic original. While the suspense and simplicity of the first film were exchanged for cheap jump scares and lots of blood, this film is still fun to watch. With engaging performances all around, the expanded cast is (mostly) likable and deliver stronger performances than some of their predecessors. Interesting to note- this is the film that makes Michael and Laurie siblings which, depending on what sequel and timeline, potentially derails the series. It forced a connection between these two characters which is why we have another sequel with Jaimie Lee Curtis coming that asks us to forget every installment after part 1 again, including her return in H20 and Part 8.
Best Death: Nurse Jill’s death has always been my favorite. As she’s pursuing a drugged-up Laurie, Michael appears behind her, killing her with a scalpel while Laurie watches in fear. The subtly and quietness of this scene has always gotten to me.
Hottest Guy: Lance Guest as Jimmy. Not many guys can pull off a curly ‘fro.
3. Halloween (2018)
“The one that made Michael scary again”
Considering the movie JUST came out less than 12 hours ago, I’m not going to post any plot points, spoilers or even an official review just yet. However, I will say the new HALLOWEEN is the movie that H20 wish it could’ve been. It’s a riveting reunion between Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. The movie offers a few things that you wouldn’t expect for an 11th installment in a franchise. It examines the trauma Laurie Strode experiences, even 40 years later. It also explores the effects of that trauma on the rest of her life including her family. Michael Myers is also damn scary in this one. In fact, he’s brutal. Not in a grindhouse, exploitation sort of way a la Rob Zombie’s version of Myers (which served well for those films). However, here, in this HALLOWEEN, Myers is back to being the shape. The characters were also more likable and intelligent than we’ve seen in this series in years. They’re supported by a smart script and inspired direction.
Best Death: 3 words: “Sensor Lights” & “gate”
Hottest Guy: Miles Robbin’s Dave served as a nice successor to the original’s Bob.
2. Halloween 4: The Revenge of Michael Myers
“The first one with Danielle Harris”
HALLOWEEN 4 picks up 10 years after Michael’s first rampage. While Laurie Strode is presumed dead, he still goes after her daughter to continue his reign of terror. Dr. Looms is also back, this time more vigilant than ever, in his pursuit of Meyers. HALLOWEEN 4 has a lot going for it. While the other sequels relied on more gore, mythology, and violence, this installment exercised its finesse in subtlety and atmosphere. Echoing the original’s simplistic approach by having Michael Meyers hide in the shadows, this sequel also doesn’t go out of its way to overexplain things. We also have realistic teenage characters, led by Rachel (Ellie Cornell) who’s Jaime’s foster-sister. The characters felt real and most of the action, mostly with the exception of telepathic Michael, felt credible as well. HALLOWEEN 4 is a much better sequel than it should be. It perfectly evoked the mood of the original while bringing the setting and characters into the 80s. My biggest criticism is Michael Meyers himself. While this is one of my favorites in the series, this is also the worst Michael portrayal in the series. He doesn’t look physically imposing and seems more like a mannequin.
Best Death: While not an actual death, the rooftop sequence is superb.
Hottest Guy: Sasha Jensen (who’s also in one of my other favorite movies, DAZED AND CONFUSED) was the standard “hot guy” in this one.
- Halloween (1978)
“The one that started it all.”
This is a simple story about a bogeyman who stalks and kills a group of friends. What can I say about the original HALLOWEEN that hasn’t already been said in the last 39 years? It’s a perfect film. The writing, direction, and score are all legendary. The suspense is in overdrive. Michael Meyers is literally the ultimate face of evil. The story isn’t convoluted (yet). HALLOWEEN set the standard for what a modern slasher should be. It still holds ups almost 40 years later and never feels old. This film is in a complete class all by itself and it achieved a level of perfection that none of its sequels nor imitators could match.
Best Death: Bob’s death is very effective. Even though he’s just stabbed, it’s the quizzical look that Michael Meyers gives his body as he examines him that’s extremely creepy.
Hottest Guy: Bob was the only eye candy (at least as far as I’m concerned). Too bad he had such little screen time.