Entertainment

The Truth: Ranking The Best “Halloween” Movies Of All Time

I have watched them all. I am the best movie critic in the world and I turned down a job at Rotten Tomatoes grading films so I could do it here for you truthers here at PTC. Truth below:

 

1.) Halloween (1978)

1978
Laurie Strode in Halloween 1978

The original Halloween is a masterpiece, full stop. None of the sequels have ever come close to replicating that feeling of dread, and few horror movies in general have done as much with so little—a man standing behind a shrub, a car creeping down a suburban street on a cloudy day. If John Carpenter’s score in the opening credits doesn’t forever ruin your ability to look at a jack-o’-lantern without feeling a little bit scared, then congratulations! You are Michael Myers.

2.) Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

1995
Michael Myers in Halloween 5: The Curse of Michael Myers

Like many beloved franchises before and after it, The Halloween sequels have a real knack for undercutting everything cool about the original; this one sets out to ruin the mystery of why Michael never dies. “He just doesn’t” had been working for nearly 20 years, but The Curse of Michael Myers makes it into a whole misguided thing involving witchcraft, runes, and human sacrifice. At least there’s a young Paul Rudd as adult Tommy Doyle, who, as you might imagine, is still struggling with post-traumatic “my babysitter almost got murdered in front of my face” disorder. But, Michael actually RUNS in this movie. Something we have never seen him do before. I think it’s the second best Halloween movie ever filmed.

3.) Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (1998)

Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later
Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later

H20 isn’t anywhere near as scary as the original Halloween, but it’s thrilling to see Jamie Lee Curtis back as Laurie Strode, and the introduction of a new setting—northern California, where Laurie is living under an assumed name—adds a much-needed jolt of freshness. It’s also just so perfectly ’90s that’s it hard not to love it: Josh Hartnett and a Dawson’s Creek–era Michelle Williams star as high schoolers, and LL Cool J plays a security guard who spends his downtime writing erotica. Perfection!

4.) Halloween (2007)

Young Michael Myers cutting his step fathers throat
Young Michael Myers cutting his step fathers throat

Rob Zombie’s version of Halloween is certainly more gory than any previous Halloween film. As a fan of gore in horror films, he turned Michael into an absolute murdering machine. Now, the second one is pretty silly, but this one was very good.

5.) Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Michael Myers climbs the roof of a house to kill Rachel
Michael Myers climbs the roof of a house to kill Rachel

When the Michael-less Halloween III failed to impress anyone, the writers brought him back for Halloween 4 and introduced Jamie, the daughter of Laurie Strode (who has died in a car accident) and the niece of Michael Myers. There’s an excellent, super-dark twist at the end, but it’s hard to get past the feeling of wanting Michael to pick on someone his own size.

6.) Halloween (2018)

Michael Myers looks on in Haddonfield
Michael Myers looks on in Haddonfield

I thought this movie would be better than it actually was. It had misplaced comedy and not enough plot building. Very over the top with the murders and simply did too much. He’s alive, by the way.

7.) Halloween II (1981)

Michael bleeds from his eyes as he chases Laurie Strode
Michael bleeds from his eyes as he chases Laurie Strode

The first Halloween sequel is one of the better entries in the franchise, but it nonetheless suffers from a serious case of not needing to exist. The original Halloween has a perfect ending—Michael strolls away from Tommy Doyle’s house unharmed, to wreak unknowable future havoc—but Halloween II posits that he just…walked over to the hospital and came after Laurie again. Like, an hour later. Still, Donald Pleasence is in fine scenery-chewing form here, and there’s a chillingly gruesome murder in the hospital’s physical therapy pool.

8.) Halloween II (2009)

Michael Myers choking the shit out of a girl
Michael Myers choking the shit out of a girl

Too much. Over the top with bringing back Michaels mom as an angel. Just not very good at all. The movie starts out good, but progressively gets worse as the movie goes on.

9.) Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

Michael Myers about to destroy Dr. Loomis
Michael Myers about to destroy Dr. Loomis

Halloween 4 ends with Michael’s niece Jamie attacking her foster mother, but Halloween 5 ruins that potentially scary twist by establishing an unexplained psychic connection between Michael and Jamie that implies he was possessing her. It’s like Harry Potter’s lightning bolt scar, but with more screaming. It never really works, and neither does the introduction of a secondary villain, the Man in Black.

10.) Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

Michael getting ready to slaughter 5 reality TV stars
Michael getting ready to slaughter 5 reality TV stars

In theory this movie has a lot of things going for it—Tyra Banks, Busta Rhymes, and a semi-interesting reality show premise—but in practice, it’s just lackluster, which is why it earned close to the last spot on the Michael Myers Halloween movie ranking. Though other Halloween sequels definitely overdid the “Michael’s here for his last living relative” thing, watching a bunch of annoying strangers try to outrun him is even less compelling.

11.) Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Some pumpkin head. I don't know.
Some pumpkin head. I don’t know.

I’ve never actually watched this movie from start to finish it’s so bad. Michael Myers isn’t even in the movie and just completely ruins the franchise. They should ban this movie and never allow it to be considered part of the series. It. Sucks. Balls.

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