The Halloween franchise supposedly came to an end with Halloween Ends, and the famous franchise has had ups and downs over its decades-long run.
With the Halloween franchise's dramatic conclusion, Halloween Ends, having hit theaters on October 14th, Michael Meyers is once again on the minds of horror fans.
Halloween Ends takes place four years after 2021's Halloween Kills and reunites audiences with Laurie Strode, who decides to let go of her fear and embrace life. All is well until Corey Cunningham is accused of killing a young boy he was babysitting, and the uproar forces Laurie to confront the evil head-on, once and for all. With decades worth of scares under its belt, the franchise has many solid entries for audiences to enjoy, even if they aren't all quite equally revered by fans of the series.
The second movie in the reboot series from Rob Zombie, Halloween II is an oft-forgotten entry in the franchise. The plot follows Laurie as she struggles to comprehend Michael's return to Haddonfield, her home; meanwhile, Michael prepares to reunite, once more, with his sister…
While the IMDb rating is not great, Halloween II certainly has its moments. The cinematography is as greasy and grimy as the characters, and the kills are visceral. Rob Zombie really knows how to make an unsettling movie where the world is disgusting and lifeless, and fans of his previous movies should be sure to check it out.
The fifth entry in the original run, Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers is, along with its sequel, the most maligned entry in the series. The movie takes place one year after the events of the previous entry and tracks Michael Myers as he attempts to kill his now-mute niece.
Moving away from Laurie Strode and focusing instead on Michael's niece makes the movie feel more dangerous, as the niece is much younger and far less capable than Laurie. What's more, with an interesting dynamic between the mute niece and Michael, the movie sets itself apart from other, more conventional slashers.
A seasonal cult classic, Halloween III: Season Of The Witch is a unique entry in the franchise. Ditching Michael Myers altogether, the plot instead follows kids desperate to get ahold of Silver Shamrock masks, but behind the mask is an elaborate conspiracy that needs to be uncovered.
Certainly not to everyone's tastes, Halloween III is unashamedly different, and it's the sort of sequel audiences would never get nowadays. It focuses instead on a supernatural story, leaning into the more fantastical elements of the holiday, and manages to both amuse and frighten. One for those who are sick of the slasher formula.
Halloween Kills is David Gordon Green's previous effort in the renowned franchise. The movie picks up where 2018's Halloween left off, returning audiences to Haddonfield, where an angry mob vow to end Michael Myers' reign of terror once and for all.
While the upcoming Halloween Ends proves that the mob wasn't successful, that should not discount this entry for audiences. The movie is slick and brutal as ever, with a steady flow of kills from the get-go. It also features some set pieces that are genuinely unsettling and bound to get audiences on the edge of their seat.
Bringing Michael Myers back into the series, Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers saw a return to formula. The movie follows a weakened Michael Myers returning to Haddonfield 10 years after his original massacre, set on killing his 7-year-old niece.
Introducing the niece character into the series canon, the movie continues the motiveless terror of Michael Myers, and the end results are surprisingly solid. The masked killer feels positively ghostlike, never truly human, and his endless pursuit of this little girl, who delivers a great performance, are truly monstrous.
As the title suggests, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later takes place 20 years after the original massacre. The movie follows Laurie Strode, now the dean of a school who has taken a new name to protect herself and those around her, as she must battle Michael in a showdown for the ages.
Despite being ridiculed for its silly title, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later is actually one of the stronger entries in the franchise. There's a looming sense of dread that builds up to the third act, which pits Laurie and Michael against each other in a battle to top all battles. Audiences should keep an open mind; this movie is really entertaining.
The first entry with Rob Zombie as director, this 2007 picture works as both an origin story and as a remake. The movie tracks Michael Myers as he leaves the mental hospital 15 years after his committal, and he immediately returns to Haddonfield to wreak havoc on the town he once knew.
Leaning more into Michael's backstory than any entry gone before, the movie seeks to discover why Michael became the way he is. This approach to Myers' character is certainly a divisive one, but it has its fans, and Zombie's uncompromisingly bleak approach makes this entry one of the most brutal in the franchise.
Picking up straight after the original, Halloween II reunites audiences with memorable "final-girl" Laurie Strode as she is rushed into Haddonfield Mental Hospital. Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis hunts for Michael Myers, who just so happens to be hunting Laurie…
The franchise is all about scaring audiences witless, and Halloween II excels at this. Placing its protagonist in a mental hospital, where she knows she cannot escape, only goes to make the danger all the more real. As if that wasn't enough, it's the very same mental hospital Michael was kept in.
Bringing the franchise back from the dead, this 2018 reboot does the original justice and then some. The movie takes place 40 years after the original and follows Laurie Strode, who's struggling with her past trauma, as she is once again confronted by Michael Myers.
Touching more on the human aspects than any entry that came before it, the movie focuses heavily on Laurie's trauma and how she struggles to keep a healthy mindset whilst also being part of a family. It's still a slasher at heart, though, and the movie is packed with suspense and creative kills.
The original entry in the franchise that started it all, Halloween is a classic of the slasher genre, and an all-time great of horror. The movie is set in Haddonfield on Halloween night, as Laurie Strode and her friends are terrorized by 'The Shape,' a sadistic, seemingly motiveless killer.
The only entry with John Carpenter as director, the original entry in the franchise is leaps and bounds above any other. Laurie Strode is a horror icon, excellently played by Jamie Lee Curtis, and the movie's POV shots put you in the shoes of a serial killer. For those unacquainted with this movie, get out and watch it.
Next: 10 Horror Movies To Watch Before Halloween Ends
Toby Smith is a graduate of the University Of Chichester. He left with a degree in Creative Writing And Screenwriting, and plans to pursue a career as a screenwriter. His writing has been shortlisted for literary competitions, and he hopes to, one day, be competing for awards with his scripts. He wants to bring his undying love for the movies to ScreenRant, covering subjects that are rarely discussed, or outside of mainstream convention. Despite insisting he's happy, his favourite movies include: Scenes From A Marriage, A Short Film About Killing, and Dead Man's Shoes. The jury's out on that one, but here's what is obvious: he is, to quote Jean-Luc Godard, "a film addict – absolutely crazy about cinema."