This week sees the release of the latest film in the Halloween series, Halloween Kills, which is a direct sequel to the 2018 film Halloween. While it’s true that these movies ignore the entire franchise except for the first two movies, there’s still a lot of fun to be had in the rest of those sequels. Sure, some of them are bad, but many of those are delightfully bad. Either way, if you want to catch up on your Halloween lore, here is every film in the franchise and where to buy, rent, or stream them.
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John Carpenter’s original masterpiece, and still in the conversation for the best film in this series.
Halloween II (1981)
I have always admired how this film picks up immediately where the first one left off and just keeps telling the story of the same Michael Meyers killing spree.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
Halloween III is a weird beast. Not connected to the rest of the franchise, it has a whole new story and cast. It was born out of John Carpenter and Debra Hill believing that the series had the strength to be an anthology series, but with two Michael Meyers appearances in the can, that was not to be. Somewhere out there in the multiverse is a place where this idea worked, and I would like to see the films we got in that franchise.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Meyers (1988)
They might as well have subtitled this one “we’re sorry we didn’t use him in the third one.”
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Meyers (1989)
I am not going to lie; this is where the holes in my own canon start to show up. I’ll be using this list myself to catch up on this one, which I have never seen.
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Meyers (1995)
Likewise, with Halloween 5, I don’t believe I have ever seen Halloween 6. Something I shall rectify this week, hopefully.
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
I actually have a lot of feelings about H20 but if I have to boil it down to just one thing, then let’s boil it down to this: relative quality of the film aside, this one has the absolute worst mask.
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
He kills Laurie in the first scenes, and Michael Meyers then returns to his childhood home, where some teens are filming a reality show. Yes, this was made in 2002, why do you ask? I kid, but I actually have a soft spot for this one. Yes, it’s dumb, but sometimes I like dumb movies.
The first of the two films that Rob Zombie made in the franchise is uneven. The film’s first half is better than the second, but the whole thing isn’t that scary, which is disappointing. Gory, yes. Scary, no.
Halloween II (2009)
Rob Zombie seems to have a thing for gore, and this film is a good example of that. That’s all it really has going for it, though.
In hindsight, ignoring all of the other sequels in the franchise was probably the best move that filmmakers David Gordon Green and Danny McBride made. It freed them up to explore the characters that we actually care about and the effect that that fateful 1978 night had on the family Strode. Jamie Lee Curtis is excellent, as are Judy Greer and Andi Matichak as the three generations of women facing off against Michael, who himself is at his scariest since the original film.
Halloween Kills (2021)
We don’t know how exactly Michael survives to appear in this film, but it probably has something to do with him being an unstoppable, soulless killing machine and the fact that the 2018 film made a ton of money. With the same creative team and cast returning, though, who is to complain? Halloween Kills will be out this Friday, October 15th, and when it is available to stream, you will find links here.
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