Halloween Series Ranked
What better way to celebrate the Halloween holiday than exploring one of my favorite film series. The Halloween films most certainly have their ups and down, but there’s something about them that keeps me coming back for more and more. Other than Halloween Resurrection, I have zero problem popping any one of these films in on any given day of the week any time of the year. Alright, let’s get to the meat and bones! Here they are, the Halloween films ranked worst to first, in my humble opinion of course.
Despite having Halloween II director Rick Rosenthal at the helm, Halloween Resurrection ended up being a trainwreck. I don’t know any self-respecting Halloween fan that was happy with this movie, its terrible plot, and even worse acting. People trash Halloween III and say it’s “not part of the series”, but let’s be real here, this movie is the one that deserves that distinction.
It’s a little unfair to place this film so low because I don’t actually hate it. I enjoy the “man in black” storyline, I enjoy Danielle Harris immensely, and the look of the film isn’t bad. What drags it down is A) Don Shanks is not my favorite version of The Shape, B.) The goofy cops are a serious distraction and unnecessary, and C.) It suffers from a universal decline in the slasher genre in the late 80’s.
Rob Zombie’s Halloween II
I know this one is a bit polarizing. It’s one of those love it/hate it kind of movies and while I don’t hate it, I don’t love it either. I love the hospital sequence that kicks off the film and I enjoy Zombie’s take on The Shape, but he hit a brick wall for me with the horse. Creating some sort of cerebral space in Michael’s head was just too much for me, I guess I’m too much of a purist. I do like the grime of Zombie’s two films though.
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
You’re either a fan of the Druid-esque Thorn storyline or you’re not. Where you sit on that plot point probably affects where this film sits in your own personal countdown. I found it to be interesting, and I thought this movie “felt” like the best Halloween in years. Unfortunately it was filled with characters I couldn’t care less about.
Halloween 4 has a bit of a bad reputation, but if you go back and watch this in relation to the rest of the series, I think you’ll be surprised at how well it holds up. It would honestly be higher on my list if George P. Wilbur weren’t the worst version of The Shape in existence.
Rob Zombie’s Halloween
I see Zombie’s take on Halloween as less of a reboot and more of a “behind the music” approach to The Shape’s storyline. I enjoyed getting a backstory, I thought it was genuinely creepy, and Zombie’s version of Michael was the most brutal until the latest Halloween hit screens. That being said, I know Zombie’s style is a turn-off for some. I’m not surprised when I see this film lower on lists because of this.
Another great film that’s no longer relevant to the storyline arc, but boy was it a fun one. At the time of its release it was by far the best the Halloween series had been on the big screen in two decades. Jamie Lee Curtis was great, though the film feels a bit dated by the 2000’s vibes, and let’s face it, those vibes aren’t as cool as the 80’s. That’s the only real detractor here.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Say what you want to, Halloween III is a very good movie. Does it belong in the storyline canon? Nope. It still has one of the best soundtracks of the entire series, a setting that is unrivaled by any outside of the original two films, and it just “feels” right! It honestly deserves to be in the top half of the list for having Tom Atkins in it alone.
Halloween / 2018
I don’t think anyone was prepared for how sleek and how mean the latest iteration of The Shape was going to be. This film had heart, albeit a dark one, it was surprisingly funny, and it was a love letter to the original film without being hokey or a ripoff. Sure, storyline-wise it negated every other film on this list, but it did so with gusto!
Halloween II and the original classic go hand in hand for me. The way they flow directly into each other is pure genius and I think it feels the closest to the original because of it. I absolutely love this film, though some decry the increased violence compared to the original. You’ve got to remember, Friday the 13th had just upped the ante, and no film after that was going to get by like the original did at that point.
You cannot, and will not beat the original. It was such an iconic film and there’s no denying the impact that it had on horror/slasher films to this day. It’s not just my favorite in the series, it’s my favorite film of all time.