The ‘Halloween’ Franchise Ranked

This article was contributed to The Film Magazine by Kieran Judge of and Horror Reviews by the Collective.

It’s one of the most famous franchises in horror history, and Michael Myers’ mask is recognisable anywhere.

With Blumhouse adding in their own entry to the series in 2018, and quickly making the new movie a box-office record smasher (it’s the highest grossing movie with a female lead over 55, for example), it was about time to revisit and readjust 2018’s published list to include the latest film. So here they are, all 11 movies ranked from worst to best.

12. Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

Jamie Lee Curtis Halloween Resurrection

It’s Halloween night, and there’s a live-streamed challenge to see if several teenagers (read as ‘cannon fodder’) can survive the night in the haunted Myers house. Of course, unknown to them, Michael has returned to get knife-happy once again, and we have our blend of found-footage and campy slasher flick.

I try to find something in every film that gives it a redeemable quality. I think this movie’s might be that Jamie-Lee Curtis is in it for five minutes and that, as the eighth film in the franchise, we just want to see Michael going on a killing. The found-footage style live stream stuff is a nice twist on the slasher film (remember that The Blair Witch Project came out three years before), but it utterly fails to provide any kind of scares.

You don’t care about the characters, the plot is so thin it’s transparent, and suddenly the little house in the middle of the street is a gothic mansion up on the hill, away from everyone where no one can hear you scream. The film finally buried this line of sequels for good, and for good reason. Time to return to the drawing board.

11. Rob Zombie’s Halloween II (2009)

Rob Zombie Halloween Sequel

Following up on Rob Zombie’s remake (or re-imagining) of the original film, Zombie uses the original sequel to provide a nightmare sequence to open the film, before going off his own new direction. Myers’ body went missing two years before, Dr. Loomis has a new book out that is milking Myers for every cent possible, and Laurie keeps getting visions of Michael returning to Haddonfield.

The main trouble with this film is that it’s just badly directed. As many people have noted, Zombie is great with visuals, but he can’t direct dialogue for love nor money. Some of the shots in this movie, such as Sheri-Moon Zombie’s ghost approaching the farm house in the moonlight, are beautiful. Unfortunately, beautiful cinematography doesn’t make up for the movie itself.

The action sequences are shaky and Michael’s visions of his mother are ridiculous; and he doesn’t even wear his mask half of the time, which goes against everything Michael Myers stands for. The script turns Laurie into being a whining, average slasher chick you don’t care about, and Dr. Loomis is transformed into an egotistical writer that doesn’t care about anyone except himself. As a fan-film, this might have been seen as competent, but as a high-budget movie from someone that has got directing clout, it fails on every conceivable level.

10) Halloween Kills (2021)

Oh, what went wrong? The most recent entry into the Halloween franchise slots into this list at number 10.

This unadventurous sequel to the 2018 film sees Laurie in hospital, recovering from the aftermath of the previous film’s nightmare. Michael escapes the inferno which Laurie trapped him in, and he embarks on a boring and endless rampage through Haddonfield.

In Scream 2, Randy says that the rules for a horror movie sequel are that: 1) the body count has to be bigger, and 2) more blood, more gore. If those were the only things needed for a sequel, then we would say ‘Well played Halloween Kills, you’ve knocked it out of the park.’ But as we all know, you need more than that to make a good film, and Kills seems to have forgotten all the rules of good filmmaking and good storytelling.

It lumbers from one violent murder to the next, forgoing plot and sense and reason for fake thrills with no build-up, thought, or effort. Past characters are brought in seemingly purely for fan service reasons, a storyline about paranoia and fear is attempted but is ridiculously far removed from the killings taking place, and the ending is possibly the worst of the franchise. Halloween Kills deserves never to be seen again.

Recommended for you: Scream Movies Ranked

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