Cory Angen
Throughout the month of October 2022 I went through with my (nearly) annual rewatching of all of the Halloween movies, this time in a lead up to the (hopeful) finale Halloween Ends. 

 I've compiled my thoughts about each installment in the chronological order of their release below, but I've also added a quick ranking at the top here so you can see where everything lands without having to scroll through the whole page. Enjoy!
*as of October 2022


The original and definitely best of the series. It's a classic in that it plays so much on the suspense and no on the gore of the kills themselves. Such a simple premise with not much backstory or lead up. This is honestly in probably my top 5 favorite movies of all time, so I'm obviously going to rank it pretty highly. It's really amazing what such humble beginnings would spawn over the course of the next 4+ decades. For better or worse.

I'll embed the first tweet in the live-tweet thread with each post, as to not bog down the page like I did on The Crows, but I will give some top-level highlights.

  • I like that we see adult Michael in his full get-up before it's explained how he got the jumpsuit and mask.
  • Annie is a terrible babysitter but Lindsey is a terrible child, so it's a wash (except Annie gets strangled and Lindsey gets out scot-free.
  • It's weird how little the roles that Dr. Loomis and Sheriff Bracket play in this first one considering they're such big players in later installments.

  • Ranking: 1/13

    Halloween II

    The first of many sequels actually does a fairly good job of following up the first one. It's a shame that they couldn't get Carpenter to come back and direct from the jump. It might have helped keep it even more faithful to the original. It definitely lost some of its luster with the push to make it match the gore and blood of the growing slasher genre. That said, there are some elements added here that will play big roles in the story as a whole.

  • These first two are the reason that the song Mr Sandman will always be creepy.
  • This one introduced us to the fact that Michael and Laurie are related. Definitely the biggest detail that does stay persistent throughout (almost) all installments.
  • If Michael would just speed up his walking, things would escalate a lot quicker.
  • The most unbelievable part of this whole movie is how dark and unstaffed the hospital is.
  • They got a lot more creative with the kills in this one.
  • Our first glimpse at Michael being a pretty serviceable electrician.
  • Michael gets shot in both eyes in the climax of this one which is just one of many details that will fall by the wayside in future installments.

  • Ranking: 6/13

    Halloween III: Season of the Witch

    I admire the attempt to go back to the anthology idea they had at the start, but after the cash grab of the first sequel, it was never going to work. The idea of a new Halloween-themed horror movie every year is such a cool idea, but when you've got a figure like Michael Myers, it's gonna be hard to sell anyone on a non-slasher Halloween movie. People like to think that if this didn't have the Halloween name attached to it that it would be looked at more favorable, but I don't really see that happening. The story has good bones, but it gets too weird without really explaining anything and just ends up feeling campy (and not in a great way).

  • The TV commercial jingle is so goddamn catchy.
  • The main character is one of the worst fathers/husbands you've ever met, which doesn't help in trying to root for him.
  • Cyborgs, Stonehenge, Celtic rituals and microchips all to get kids' heads to melt into bugs and snakes? Seems awfully convoluted…
  • Not a lot of characters or elements in this one that are worth remembering. Best just stick to the Myers storylines (even if they get confusing at some point).

  • Ranking:


    Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

    The (triumphant) Return of Michael Myers! Continuing with the familial connection via Laurie's daughter is a clever way to get by the starring actress not returning. Had Season of the Witch never happened and this movie stayed about the same, I think it would've caused the franchise to go in a different way and maybe avoided some (but probably not all) of the awfulness of the 90s installments. Minus any nostalgia, this is my favorite sequel in the original timeline.

  • First movie with The Shape but no Jamie Lee Curtis.
  • Lots of good bits in this one that would be utilized in other sequels/reboots later on.
  • Unusual kill methods include throwing a man into a transformer and stabbing someone through the chest with a double-barrel shotgun.
  • One of the best endings of any installment. Unfortunately, it was nixed by the next one.

  • Ranking: 4/13

    Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

    I got the title of this one wrong in my tweet thread, but it's understandable when you realize how awful of a sequel this was. All of the interesting aspects that were introduced in Halloween 4 were basically thrown out the window in order to keep Michael the main antagonist. I understand why they did it, but it definitely altered the overall story and thus made it a whole lot less interesting. This seemed to be the beginning of the major behind-the-scenes issues with the franchise. Too many chefs, as they say. From one of my favorite sequels in 4 to my least favorite in 5. What a fall from grace.

  • Opening credits feature a butcher knife slashing but then it's revealed to be a mom carving a jack-o-lantern. Not as iconic as the original opening shot, but it's one of the better ones.
  • Loomis has lost almost all his credibility as a doctor and as a character.
  • How do you have a main character with such an iconic mask and continue to lose/mess up said mask from movie to movie? This mask is the worst.
  • There are buddy cops that have clown music set to their follies. It's an… odd choice.
  • Not one man in this series so far is a good person.
  • The Myers house looks the most unlike the original out of any of the versions we've seen.
  • Michael wears a different mask for a little while to complete a ruse and that just seems sacrilegious for how little it actually accomplishes.
  • Introduction of the Man in Black, who will continue the cult vibes of the next installment.

  • Ranking: 12/13

    Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers

    I actually give this one a little more credit than most. It follows what would be Laurie's granddaughter being tracked by The Shape and the cult he's amassed that was teased in the awful last one and made it kind of work (until the ending). Again, it would've been interesting to see where they would've taken it without the soft reboot of H20. I understand why this one isn't looked at favorably and why they veered from this storyline, but I enjoy it more than I probably should. It finally seemed to understand the level of camp was warranted and played to it nicely.

  • The feature film debut of a young Paul Rudd as an adult Tommy Doyle!
  • There are 2 different cuts of this one and both are equally confusing and bad.
  • Some of the worst men in the series are included in this one.
  • They gave Loomis a storyline of getting plastic surgery so they didn't have to save him from having to put on make up for his burns.
  • Why anyone associated to Michael still lives in Haddonfield, let alone America, baffles me.
  • Last of the original timeline and last featuring Donald Pleasance as Loomis. RIP.

  • Ranking: 5/13

    Halloween H20

    This was the first Halloween movie I ever saw and it scared the shit out of ~11yr old me. That definitely plays into why I rank this one so highly, but I also do think it's a good sequel to the originals. They omit everything from 4-6 and I think that's smart. I've read of how they planned to include all of that, and it would've worked, but keeping the story simpler made for a feeling more akin to the original. Like it seems with the majority of these, all the good things would be immediately undone with the next installment and that's a shame.

  • In the early moments, Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets stabbed in the face with a hockey skate.
  • Solid cast of people that would become pretty regular stars in the early 2000s here.
  • Leans a little heavy on the cheap jump scares, but most are fun.
  • Michael travels from Illinois to California in like 2 days, which is just impressive.
  • LL Cool J seems like an odd choice for the security guard, but he nails it.
  • We get a little Final Destination-esque tease with a garbage disposal, which is fun.
  • How the series should've ended. Even if they rebooted it or whatever, they should've stopped here and not made Resurrection.

  • Ranking: 2/13

    Halloween Resurrection

    While H20 was the first one I saw, Resurrection was the first one I remembered being released, so while there's some nostalgia there, but it's also not lost on me how dated and bad this movie is. Trying to fit into the early days of the internet being cool and some early looks at what found footage horror movies could've been really dates it feels amateurish in ways that later horror movies would be able to figure out better. Easily forgettable as the last one before the Rob Zombie attempts and definitely one to skip. I think the nostalgia is just enough for me to rank it higher than the new batch of sequels, but I feel like that will wear off over time. Maybe.

  • The very good ending of H20 is retconned pretty nicely at the beginning of this one, which is really its only redeeming quality. It goes south almost immediately after.
  • The only time we see an end to Laurie Strode, but no mention of her son who also survived?
  • The early 2000s internet slang and technology is used heavily and mostly correctly, which actually makes it hurt a little bit more.
  • Another solid cast of people that you'd see in other things in the later 2000s topped off by Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks.
  • Young people actors are much more skilled now than in the 70s & 80s.
  • Almost every scare/kill is predictable and it really just feels like a parody of the whole series.
  • The climax of the movie has Busta hit Michael with a roundhouse kick to the face and then says "Trick 'r treat, mothafucka!" before shocking his groin with electrical cables. It's really the peak of this movie, maybe the series.

  • Ranking: 8/13


    I was a fan of Rob Zombie's music, but not his first few attempts at horror films and this didn't help any back then. After giving it some re-watches, it's actually not as bad as I thought it was when I saw it in high school, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. There are some cool throwbacks to earlier installments and some interesting ideas about young Michael's psyche, but I don't think Zombie is a very good writer of dialogue and that shows. If he could've wrapped his story up in one movie, I think I'd think higher of it. But again, the push for a sequel ruined most of it.

  • Everyone is just so unlikeable. Even Malcolm McDowell as Loomis turns at some point.
  • Danny Trejo as a hospital worker is a great cameo. I take it back, he's likeable.
  • Everything is so much more gruesome. It was towards the end of that era of "torture porn" horror movies and there are definitely elements of that in this.
  • Danielle Harris, who played Laurie's orphaned daughter Jamie in 4 & 5, makes a return as a high school student even though she's really in her 30s. She looks great.
  • Michael runs!

  • Ranking: 7/13

    Halloween II

    All of the bad things about Zombie's first go and very, very few of the good. He leans more into the spiritual side of things with adult Michael seeing visions of his mother and younger self (and a random white horse that's never explained). The dialogue is atrocious. This movie came out when I was 18 or 19 and I remember thinking back then that I could've written more compelling dialogue and I still think that's true. It seems like Zombie was taking it the way Halloween 4 was trying to with the transfer of evil, but it was such a clusterfuck to get there that I'm glad they ended it here.

  • Too many dogs are killed in these movies.
  • Sheriff Bracket seems like the only one trying to make the best of things. He's a good guy.
  • Almost the exact opposite of the original. All gore, no suspense.
  • Loomis goes on a talk show and the other guest is Weird Al for whatever reason.
  • Michael is unmasked throughout most of the movie and yells "Die!" at the end. Both weird.

  • Ranking: 11/13


    Technically the third in the franchise to be titled simply Halloween. That, coupled with the multitude of timelines and what is and isn't canon and I can understand why some people are done with this series. This sequel omits everything after the original. I was originally disappointed that they dropped the familial ties, but after the conclusion of this story it actually worked out in a cool way.  This one is my favorite direct sequel. The story that follows has it's hits and misses though.

  • Opening credits has a jack-o-lantern decaying in reverse and sped up. Best homage to the original in any of the opening title sequences.
  • It all begins with a duo true crime podcasters stirring the pot. Very on brand for 2018.
  • We meet a child of Laurie's named (unfortunately) Karen who is married and has a teenage daughter. Technically the third child of Laurie's we've met, but the only one that exists now.
  • Dialogue and acting are still better, but Laurie's granddaughter keeps calling her "Grandmother" and I simply cannot get over it.
  • There's a new cop and doctor to take the Bracket and Loomis spots. Both are well done.
  • Most of the men are shitty again.
  • The climax is great with all three generations of Strode girls getting even with The Shape (even if it's just for now).

  • Ranking: 11/13

    Halloween Kills

    In fitting with the original sequel, this one picks up right where the last one left off and it does a really good job of it. Again, lots of throwbacks to the omitted sequels and bringing back characters from the first one like Tommy, Lindsey and Nurse Marion. Since none of the events from 2-6/H20 happened (and nothing from Resurrection matters), there were plenty of callbacks to them, which was fun for us fans. It had all the makings of a decent sequel and then the ending kind of fell flat for me. Knowing there was another one coming sort of helped, but I still think it could've been handled better.

  • Anthony Michael Hall makes the 4th actor to play Tommy Doyle overall.
  • There are kids dressed in the masks from Season of the Witch, which is a fun detail.
  • Ben Tramer gets mentioned because he wasn't killed in 1978 (Halloween II).
  • A gay couple, both named John, are living in the Myers house (but not for long).
  • I'm all for having him survive to keep things going, but him doing so in the way he did at the end of this one just doesn't sit right with me. It's really the only negative critique I have.

  • Ranking: 10/13

    Halloween Ends

    With this being the latest and most recent release, my reactions are still fresh and I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. That being said, I didn't mind this one. They finally pulled the trigger on the transfer of evil and while it took a while to build and some of it wasn't great, I think they did a good job of ending the story of a 60+ year old serial killer. They'd have to brand it differently, but I could see them taking this chance to try the anthology thing again at least once. I think that'd be kind of fun. It'll be interesting to see what they do with the franchise next.

  • New creepy main character is named Corey. The 'e' is foreshadowing.
  • I said it before, but I don't know why Laurie (et al.) doesn't just move the hell away.
  • Is Laurie's granddaughter Allyson turning evil like her granduncle (and new boyfriend)?
  • You'd think Laurie wouldn't be one to decorate her house in Halloween stuff after all this.
  • It's not as gruesome as the Zombie movies, but there are a few visuals that are pretty gross.
  • Ending is proper and very satisfying. 

  • Ranking: 9/13

    The Crows
    Nightmares on Elm Street