Halloween Movies Ranked

Halloween is one of the most well recognizable horror movie series of all time. But which ones are the best? Anthony Colavito breaks down each movie and ranks them worst to best.


Photo via The New York Times

Anthony Colavito, Editor in Chief

We are officially in the heart of the Halloween season, or as some people call it, “spooky season”. So what is the best thing to do during the creepiest time of year? Watching a horror movie is probably the most popular thing to do during the Halloween season, and many cable channels play horror movie marathons during the entire month of October. One of the most notable is AMC’s Fear Fest. And one of the most popular movie series they play is the Halloween franchise. Halloween is one of the most popular horror movie franchises of all time, and some people would even call it the best. With 11 entries into this series, and five different timelines to go along with it, the series has had its many ups and downs. So without further ado, let’s jump into the ranking of every movie in the Halloween series ranked from worst to best. Earlier entries in this list may not have as big of an explanation as entries later down the line. This is also a time to stop reading if you haven’t seen any of these movies, as there are spoilers ahead. 

11. Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2

Sitting at dead last on this list is Rob Zombie’s 2009 sequel in his Halloween series. You could really put both of Zombie’s entries to the series at the bottom of the list, but the first entry to Rob Zombie’s film had a lot going for it. The second one was just terrible. But the end of the movie really wasn’t great, and the direction of Laurie being the next Michael wasn’t all that great, and it kind of tied into the Cult of Thorn stuff (we will get to that later). Being able to see half of Michael’s face in most of the movie wasn’t great either. Yes, at this point the mask would be breaking down, but humanizing Myers is never a good thing. On a positive note though, Tyler Mane played an excellent Michael Myers in both films, especially for what Rob Zombie was going for when he painted the image of the Michael Myers character. But with not a lot going for it, this movie has to sit at the bottom of the totem pole for this list.


10. Halloween: Resurrection

This movie is just an absolute mess. Trying to be like the two most popular horror movies at the time, Scream and The Blair Witch Project, they just did this movie wrong. It all started in the beginning, where they just completely threw the great ending of H20 out the window. If they wanted to bring the series back, do the whole anthology thing, don’t ruin and discredit the ending to a great entry of the series. Laurie cutting off Michael’s head at the end of H20 was the best way to end the series. Enough of that, the characters in this movie were so bad and annoying that you were actually hoping Michael Myers killed them eventually. The whole webcam show in the Myers house plot was kind of dumb, as you knew they would all be picked off one by one for a final fight with Michael Myers and Busta Rhymes. Yes, Busta Rhymes. Shall we go into any more detail as to why this movie ranks so low? The whole thing is a mess and doesn’t make any sense. 

9. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

This was the sixth movie in the series and the fifth movie of the first timeline. And it is certainly the worst of that timeline. As mentioned earlier, this is where the Cult of Thorn is introduced, and it is absolute garbage. Michael having a “curse” that makes him kill everyone in his family is such a bad backstory as to why he kills. The movie opens up with Jamie Lloyd escaping a place where she had just given birth to a child, only for her to be chased down by Michael Myers in the opening sequence, which was not appreciated by fans, as she had become a fan favorite character in the last two entries to the series courtesy of child actor Danielle Harris doing a fantastic job playing the character. So like Resurrection, this movie takes a blow from killing a fan favorite character in the opening sequence. This movie was also the last appearance of actor Donald Pleasence, who passed away before the movie was released. Myers did look somewhat scary in this movie though, with some more brutal kills and with his 5th appearance in the movie, he didn’t fall into the trap that Jason Voorhees fell into, as Michael didn’t start killing everyone in site like Jason does in the Friday the 13th series. This was also the movie debut of Paul Rudd, who played a grown up Tommy Doyle and was a big part of the final chase scene at the end. This movie was just a mess, with many confusing storylines going on at once, it is really hard to enjoy this movie. 

8. Rob Zombie’s Halloween

Alright, Rob Zombie’s installments to the series are two of the worst, but as mentioned earlier, this movie had a few things going for it. Starting with some of the positives, but Zombie did a great job of portraying what Michael was like as a kid. You really felt bad for him with an abusive step dad, stripper mom who was never home, and constant bullying in school. And the Halloween night sequence was well put together. Michael’s mother is another character you feel extremely bad for, as she ends up killing herself watching old footage of baby Michael after he kills the nurse at Smith’s Grove. Another positive is that the mask looks fantastic in this movie, with the way it rots and deteriorates over the years. But the final sequence really tries to be the original movie in many ways, with the balcony scene with Michael and Laurie going off of it and some of the closing quotes about Michael being the boogeyman. Overall this movie honestly wasn’t terrible, even though die hard fans of the series will say otherwise. But there are much better entries to the series than this film. 

7. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

This series really could have ended in the previous movie, but of course it didn’t! All though the ending to H2O was much better than this ending, it still seemed to have the closure that H2O did. After being shot multiple times in the chest to the point where he falls down a mine shaft, Michael somehow survives this and floats down a river where he is recovered by a local hermit and Michael then slips into a coma. He wakes up a year later, killing the hermit and returns to Haddonfield once again. And for some reason, Jamie Lloyd is mute in this movie. They really did nothing with the shocking ending of Halloween 4, and this movie loses points for that. Having Jamie follow the same path as her uncle could have been such a cool concept, but Michael just continues to hunt Jamie down in this movie. This movie also first introduces the Cult of Thorn and man in black garbage, which takes many points away. Dr. Loomis is full on obsessed with Michael in this movie, and even uses Jamie as bait to capture him. Loomis has a stroke after capturing Michael. Michael is taken into custody and then broken out by the man in black. A lame way to end it as it seemed we had closure once again. Everyone thought this movie was bad, until they saw the next entry in the series. But this movie isn’t the worst to revisit, as entries like Resurrection are much harder to go back and watch. 

6. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

Halloween 4 is one of the most popular sequels of the franchise. Halloween 3 didn’t feature Michael Myers, and this outraged many fans. It wasn’t a bad movie by any stretch of the matter, but the fact that Michael Myers wasn’t featured upset many fans. What some people don’t know is that the director, John Carpenter, wanted to make the Halloween series an anthology series, with a different story every year. The original Halloween was supposed to be the only appearance of Michael Myers. So to make the fans happy, Michael Myers was brought back in the 4th installment of the series. And this installment made Michael not all that scary. He really showed that he has one target and one target only. He was going after Laurie Strode in the first two movies, but he was still killing a decent amount of people. In this installment, Myers is now going after his niece, Jamie Lloyd. Jamie is the daughter of Laurie Strode, who died in a car accident, making Jamie an orphan. Michael is still in a coma from his last on screen appearance, and he breaks free while being transferred to a new hospital and makes his way back to Haddonfield. After a relentless chase after Jamie and after killing a few lynch mob members, he is eventually shot multiple times before falling down a mineshaft in what seemed to be the death of Michael Myers. But at the very end, it shows a first person camera angle in a scene that seems very familiar. Jamie in her halloween clown costume masks up and stabs her mother with a pair of scissors. She is found at the top of the stairs holding the bloody scissors as the movie ends with Dr. Loomis screaming “no no no!” Going back to the point made earlier about Michael not being as scary, he really showed it in this movie. What made him scary in the original movie is that he could be stalking you no matter who you are. Now it seems like if you aren’t related to him or in his way of getting to his family members, you are pretty much off the hook. And it makes him not as scary. Otherwise, this movie is often fun to revisit, and wasn’t hard to do while revisiting all the movies for this article.

5. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Another fan favorite sequel of the series, H20 starts another timeline in the series. In this movie, the fourth, fifth, and sixth movies never happened. This movie picks up 20 years after the events of the first and second movies. This is a fresh start for fans of the franchise who may have stopped watching after the 4th or 5th installment. Jamie Lee Curtis returns to the series to reprise her role as Laurie Strode, who faked her death in a car accident and moved all the way out to California in order to escape the wrath of Michael Myers. This follows Strode’s new life as a teacher at a private school. But as we know, Michael followed her all the way out there. One of the biggest flaws of this movie is the Michael looks extremely dumb. The masks they used weren’t good at at all, and one of the masks was CGI and just straight up dumb. This movie would rank a little bit higher if the ending of this movie stayed. Laurie cutting her murderous brother’s head off at the end of the movie was a great way to end that timeline in the series, and if Resurrection was never made, it would rank a little higher than this.

4. Halloween 3: Season of the Witch

You might be wondering, “how does a Halloween movie without Michael Myers rank so high on this list?” And that is because this movie took the series in a whole different direction and gave fans of the series something different. And yes, there are fans of the series who swear that they hate this movie because of the fact that Michael Myers doesn’t appear. But read this, then go back and rewatch this entry. It is really worth the watch and gives you a taste of the direction that John Carpenter wanted to take the series. The Silver Shamrock company making Halloween masks that kill children is a spooky concept that really shows how this was meant to be an anthology series, and some fans would agree that it would be cool to see that. 

3. Halloween (2018)

The newest installment of the Halloween series sits in the top three of our list. This movie disregards every other movie in the series besides the original. And similar to H20, this is another fresh start for the franchise, and it knocked it out of the park. Michael looks the best he has ever looked since the original two movies, and he is scary as all hell. He returns to Haddonfield after his new psychiatrist makes the bus he is being transferred on crash. We also learn that Laurie has spent her life since that night in 1978 preparing for him to return so she could kill him once and for all. You have to give credit to the end of this movie, in the fact that the ending was so open ended. The three generations of Strode women, who you learn about and really grow to like throughout the movie, trap Michael in a basement that was set on fire to later explode. Laurie’s entire house is one big trap for Michael, with secret rooms on every corner and weapons in each direction you turned. But the end shot of Michael looking up from the basement that is engulfed in flames at this point is one of the best in the series. And we weren’t sure whether Michael actually died because during the end credits, you could still hear him breathing through the mask. The way this movie was setup and produced was great, and can we talk about that minute and a half shot of Michael going through that house on Halloween night? A pure masterpiece of production and camera quality. This movie is always good to watch directly after revisiting the original. 

2. Halloween 2 (1981)

In the movie that takes place the night of the original, Halloween 2 does a great job of detailing more of the night he came home. Michael survives being shot by Dr. Loomis and falling off the balcony in the previous movie. And most of this movie takes place in the hospital where Laurie Strode is being treated for her injuries in the last movie. Michael still looks really scary, as he looks a bit taller and a bit more built in this movie. The mask is still the same as the original, with a few modifications since the original due to it aging for three years. This movie made the connection that Laurie Strode and Michael Myers are siblings, as Laurie was adopted by Michael’s family after her parents died. This explains why Michael is going after Laurie. Michael eventually gets to her, getting a few cool kills in the process, like the jacuzzi scene. They are led to an operation room, where Michael stabs Loomis. Loomis hands his gun over to Laurie to distract Michael, and she ends up shooting him in the eyes in one of the most iconic scenes in the movie. With blood coming out of his eyes, Michael is swinging for the fences, this gives Dr. Loomis enough time to open up gas so it fills the room. He directs Laurie to get out as he lights a lighter and blows the whole room up. The best part is, Michael is still walking. He escapes the room on fire, which was actually done by the stunt actor which is one of the best pieces of stunt work in horror history. He approaches Laurie before falling to the ground in what was supposed to be his death. And this is also where the Michael Myers saga was supposed to end, and it would have been a great ending. 

1. Halloween (1978)

Okay but is there any surprise here? We all knew that John Carpenter’s 1978 masterpiece would sit atop the throne of this list. Everything from the camera angles, to the score, to the production of the characters were great. The movie opens with a first person perspective of a six year old Michael Myers masking up and stabbing his sister Judith. 15 years later, the bus of his mental institution crashes and Michael steals a car and heads home to Haddonfield. The audience meets Laurie Strode, a high school student who is a babysitter in Haddonfield. She is being stalked by Michael throughout the day, and he eventually gets to her after getting through some people. The ending sequence is one of, if not the greatest chase scenes in all of horror history. The suspense leading up to it is fantastic, and the best image of the movie is Michael coming out of the shadows to take a slash at Laurie. It really shows why he is called “the shape”. Michael chases Laurie into a closet, where she stabs him in the eye with a clothes hanger, then she grabs his knife and stabs him. The audience and Laurie both think he is dead, then he hits the famous sit up for the first time, which sends chills down your spine every time you see this movie. He eventually gets back to Laurie, but it gives Dr. Loomis enough time to get to him and shoot him as he is putting his mask back on. Michael falls over the balcony and is presumed dead once again, but they look back and he has disappeared. Another thing that they should have done with sequels was incorporate Michael’s breathing into every scene he is in. That sound can give anyone nightmares and makes Michael seem more monster than human. But with all of this being taken into account, Halloween is the best of the series and perhaps one of the best horror movies of all time. Halloween walked so other horror movies could run.