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Updated Ranking Of The Halloween Movies

Prior to the release of “Halloween Kills” (out today in theaters and on Peacock), I decided to rewatch all of the Halloween movies. I had previously ranked the movies through the Rob Zombie ones 5 years ago, but I felt it was time for an update to include the latest 2 movies. Of course, there’s some ranking shuffling as well. Enough of my yammering, on with the list!

1. Halloween- The best Halloween film and one of the best horror films ever made. The music, the cast, the cinematography, the build-up, the direction by John Carpenter, the atmosphere, the intensity- it’s all perfect.

2. Halloween 2 (1981)- Laurie’s long night of hell continues in this sequel which picks up seconds after the first film. I appreciated the movie continuing story elements from the original while also offering up some surprising developments ala the Laurie and Myers connection and the Samhain mention. 

3. Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers- A deeply underrated and atmospheric sequel that is surprisingly quite psychological in terms of delving into the characters of Loomis and Jamie.

4. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later- For all the hubbub about “Halloween” (2018), H20 still did a better job following up the original. The film’s exploration of Laurie’s PTSD and Laurie’s motherhood (with her being an overprotective mother to her son) is really engaging as is Laurie confronting Myers in a satisfying manner (well, until “Halloween: Resurrection” screwed that up). The all-star cast featuring Michelle Williams, Josh Hartnett, Janet Leigh, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and LL Cool J doesn’t hurt either. The only downside is the violence is a bit watered down here with many of the deaths happening off screen.

5. Halloween Kills- The sequel to 2018’s “Halloween” sure doesn’t waste any time. There’s a lot more going on in this sequel both in terms of events and themes. Loved the major ties to the original 1978 “Halloween” and appreciated that this was more of Haddonfield story than anything else. I do find it hilarious that as much as this one ignores the other sequels, it sure borrows plenty from them. There are major plot threads from “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” and even “Halloween: Resurrection” here.

6. Halloween (2018)- This sequel ignores everything past the original and retcons the continuity for better or for worse. There are elements of this movie that don’t work at all for me such as the podcasters, “The New Loomis,” and the overabundance of homages. With that said, there’s a lot to like here with John Carpenter’s incredible score, the babysitter (Vicky) and kid (Julian) segments, the motion sensor death, Laurie Strode’s character development, the Strode family (Allyson and Karen), and the intense ending.

7. Halloween 3: Season of The Witch- The divisive sequel that has nothing to do with Michael Myers has actually grown on me over the years. The first hour and the downbeat ambiguous ending are undeniably engaging, but the movie loses me a bit with the robots, Stonehenge and Celtic stuff.

8. Halloween 6: The Curse Of Michael Myers- There are elements of both the theatrical edition and the more complete Producer’s Cut that I admire. I was also a fan of seeing the character of Tommy Doyle return (played by Paul Rudd in his debut). Outside of that, I was not a fan of Jamie’s character end (especially without Danielle Harris in the role) and I still don’t care about the Cult of Thorn story arc.

9. Halloween: Resurrection- The derided sequel certainly undercuts H20 with the opening sequence and features an irritating Busta Rhymes far too prominently, but there are some aspects of this movie that hold merit. Not only did the movie dissect reality shows, but it was also ahead of its time with the live streaming event plotline which has become a major part of modern culture these days. The back and forth blend of film and webcasting doesn’t quite work as a whole here though visually. The notion of Michael going home to find his home occupied was also a curious plot that wasn’t explored enough (although it is touched upon in “Halloween Kills” too amusingly).

10. Halloween 5- Everything good about the fourth entry is washed away in this fifth entry that somehow gets worse with each viewing. The new characters are dull, the editing doesn’t fit the franchise, Michael Myers is shown too much, and the continued plot threads from 4 are fumbled.

11. Halloween (2007)- Rob Zombie deserves credit for doing something different. The first half of this movie actually works fairly well as it delves into Michael’s childhood (although I could do without the white trash family angle). The second half, however, falls apart completely as it feels more like a rushed remake of the original with some alterations here and there.

12. Halloween 2 (2009)- An ugly and unwatchable sequel. I loathed what Rob Zombie did with the characters of Laurie and Loomis. Plus, the violence is brutal (and not in an entertaining way) and the vision and dream sequences fell flat completely.

October 15, 2021 - Posted by | List | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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