Halloween (2018) is confusingly the third movie titled Halloween. Even though it’s a sequel not a remake, but that didn’t stop it from finally being a worthy follow up to the original. It only took 11 movies. After 9 years with no Halloween movies, it seemed like this franchise was as dead as other slasher franchises from the 80’s. However, some slashers just can’t stay down. So the unlikely comedy duo of Danny McBride and David Gordon Green brought us a surprisingly strong sequel that erases every movie that isn’t the original from existence.
Meaning Michael Myers has now been locked up for 40 years. Once Laurie Strode was Michael’s sister (not anymore) whom she killed on the same Halloween night. Then she was killed off screen leaving behind a daughter named Jamie. Then she was alive again with a son, seeming to kill Michael, but dying anyway. Then she was remade into a selfish brat (the less said about that the better). Now Laurie is alive once again. This time as a badass gun-toting shut in with PTSD. Jamie Lee Curtis is just as good as any of her other returns to the franchise.
After Michael’s inevitable escape, he goes on a killing spree which leads to a much anticipated final confrontation. Halloween (2018) manages to bring back the slow building dread that made the original a classic. Only with a higher body count and more graphic kills. There’s also three generations worth of final girls that all have their time to shine. Laurie’s now daughter Karen and her granddaughter Allyson all face the elderly Michael Myers. Save for a few cringy moments, a distracting lack of nudity, and some very out of place humor, Halloween (2018) is the best Halloween sequel we’ve gotten.
Michael gets his mask back
Preceded by: Halloween (1978) & Followed by: Halloween Kills
Halloween II (2009) is an awful sorry excuse for a Halloween movie. Which is saying something. Halloween II (2009) does what the original sequel did by starting where the last movie left off and taking place in a hospital. Oh wait, no it doesn’t. All that stuff is part of one extra long nightmare that doesn’t lead anywhere and is completely pointless. Almost like they give up halfway through to focus on something else. Halloween II (2009) is actually about Laurie’s connection with her brother Michael Myers.
When I said every character was unlikeable in the last movie, you ain’t seen nothing yet. I’m not even exaggerating when I say every character, victim, or otherwise is a horrible person with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Then again, what do you expect from Rob Zombie. Even characters that were sort of likeable aren’t anymore. Laurie is now a self-destructive brat and Loomis is a greedy jerk who only cares about personal gain. The only character who seems to have a soul is Laurie’s one surviving friend. Danielle Harris is once again the only person to care about in any of her appearances.
The excessive nature of the sequel is much worse than before. Making it the goriest film in the franchise. With nudity that’s too close to the violence. Michael Myers is also shown eating a dog. The plot contains many stupid moments. The ghost of Michael’s mom and his younger self appear with a white horse shot to look like one of Zombie’s music videos. There’s also an out of nowhere cameo from Weird Al Yankovic! Probably the worst offender happens only in the director’s cut. Halloween II (2009) is such a slap in the face to the legacy of this character. I know for a fact I wouldn’t have seen either of these dreadful remakes if I wasn’t such a dedicated franchise watcher.
Remake of: Halloween II (1981) & Preceded by: Halloween (2007)
Halloween (2007) is the movie we all knew was coming, but nobody wanted. All the long running horror franchises would force a continuation just by remaking it. Heavy Metal singer turned horror movie director Rob Zombie decided Halloween needed remaking. The only difference is that the movie is more of a prequel/remake. Michael Myers childhood is explored for a large majority of the film’s runtime. How he became a killer, why he wears a mask, and why he doesn’t talk? Which isn’t entirely a bad idea, until you see how the hard R Rob Zombie does it.
One of the biggest problems with Halloween (2007) is his interpretation of the characters. Instead of the normal suburban home life that Michael seemed to have in the original, his family is just a bunch of redneck a-holes. His mother and baby sister are alright, but his stepfather and sister are just evil. You’d almost feel sorry for Michael if he wasn’t killing animals. After killing the people that frankly deserve it, Michael is of course sent to the institution. Malcolm McDowell gives a surprisingly good performance as Dr. Loomis. In fact, several horror actors play a part. Even Danielle Harris returns as one of the original victims.
When all that’s over, the remake pretty much plays out the same as the original. Only with more unnecessarily gruesome violence, gratuitous nudity, constant profanity, and every single character being an awful person who deserves it. Save for a few characters who come close to being good, but still die. The new Laurie is sort of likeable, but she does things that bring that into question. Tyler Mane on the other hand is a huge and intimidating Michael Myers. Halloween (2007) is just way too extreme and uncomfortable to watch. The childhood stuff at least keeps it from being a shameless rehash and slash.
Michael looks at a pumpkin
Remake of: Halloween (1978) & Followed by: Halloween II (2009)
Halloween: Resurrection is just an embarrassment. They couldn’t resist making another sequel after Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. A movie that by all accounts should have been a proper end to the franchise. Halloween: Resurrection came out in the early 2000’s and had the radical idea to make it about an online reality show. With a group of disposable sexed up teens being hooked up to webcams that connect them to the internet. So Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks run the show of course. That will in no way date the movie.
The idea of an online reality show where you enter the house where a killer lived makes no logical sense. Then again I can sadly see this idea possibly happening in real life. It just so happens that Michael Myers was there in time to kill them. The kills have gotten dumber with a lot more over the top deaths than we’re used to from this franchise. While the climax is just ridiculous. The series hits rock bottom the second Busta Rhymes fights Michael using karate. Capped off with the cringe inducing line “Trick or treat, motherf***er.”
The opening is the only thing in the movie that’s worth watching. Featuring Jamie Lee Curtis returning for the “final time” as Laurie Strode. Her defeat of Michael is annoyingly retconned so that he wasn’t the one she killed. SPOILER ALERT! Michael kills her about 5 minutes into the movie. Giving fans no reason to care about what happens next in this timeline. At the time, Halloween: Resurrection was finally the movie bad enough to kill the franchise that should have ended a long time ago.
Michael fights Busta Rhymes
Preceded by: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later was for a time the only good sequel in the Halloween franchise. There’s still no comparison to the original, but at least this one gets a lot right. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later is exactly as it sounds. It takes place 20 years after the events of Halloween and Halloween II. In fact, the movie completely ignores everything that happened in The Return of Michael Myers, The Revenge of Michael Myers, and The Curse of Michael Myers.
Laurie Strode is alive and not so well, she now has a Josh Hartnett son named John instead of a daughter named Jamie, and there’s no mention of all the messy cult stuff. Ignoring the last three films seemed like a good idea considering how bad they were. In Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Laurie lives in California with her son as a headmistress under an assumed name. Since it has been 20 years since the events of the first film, Michael Myers returns to finish his sister off once and for all. Killing any of the school’s teenagers that get in his way.
Some of the characters like LL Cool J’s are a bit more fleshed out than previous installments. Even Jamie Lee Curtis’ famous mother Janet Leigh cameos. The tone is slightly more meta and the teens are hipper thanks to the ironic influence of Scream. The best thing about the sequel is definitely the faceoff between Laurie and Michael. It’s a lot more physical then you might expect. SPOILER ALERT! the way she kills him at the end should have capped off the series. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later may have a weird title, (how is the formula for water scary?) but it’s a welcomed return to the roots of the original.
Michael sees Laurie for the first time in 20 years
Preceded by: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers & Followed by: Halloween: Resurrection
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers has no reason to exist. It was 6 years since Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. A movie that by all accounts should have been enough to kill the franchise. Turns out there’s still more they wanted to do with Michael Myers. Jamie is now older and gives birth to Michael’s grandnephew. Which means he has to go after the poor thing.
The new protagonist is actually Tommy Doyle, the boy Laurie Strode babysat in the first Halloween. It’s a clever connection and he’s even played by a before he was famous Paul Rudd. It’s just not enough to keep this entry from being both unnecessary, incoherent, and filled with more disposable teens being killed. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers attempts to answer the question of why Michael Myers can’t seem to die. One that makes as much sense as Dr. Loomis still being alive after having a massive stroke.
Apparently some mystical symbol and a vague cult ritual are responsible for Michael’s unkillable nature. The Cult of Thorn is made up of past characters that you’re not gonna recognize unless you’re some kind of obsessed fan. Tommy teams up with Lourie’s cousin Kara to stop Michael and the cult. SPOILER ALERT! They don’t even tell you if Michael Myers or Dr. Loomis survive in the end. Leaving this timeline ambiguous. At least it’s notable for being Donald Pleasance final appearance in the franchise before his death. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is a mess that desperately needed to be cleaned up.
Michael fulfills his purpose
Preceded by: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers & Followed by: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers is when things started to get ridiculous. With a rushed story that clearly shows in the final product. It takes place one whole year after Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. Apparently Michael Myers was in a coma for that exact amount of time, being tended to by an old man. What a coincidence that he just so happens to wake up just in time for next year’s Halloween. Although they do have a lazy excuse for why that might have happened.
They just ignore the last movies ending of having Jamie be a killer. Instead they make the aforementioned lazy excuse that she has a psychic link with her psychotic Uncle. Jamie is now mute and stuck in a trauma ward, but she’s still the best character in the movie. Her foster sister Rachel is offed in favor of Tina though. Michael’s motive is pretty much the same as before. Kill teens and end his bloodline. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers just feels like a lot of the same. If you thought the mask looked bad before, it got much worse.
The only redeeming quality is a long awaited showdown between Dr. Loomis and Michael Myers. Starting with Michael’s pursuit of Jamie inside his house, followed by a trap set by Loomis. SPOILER ALERT! Loomis has a massive stroke and Michael gets arrested. Until a lingering man in black breaks him out for some reason. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers should have killed the franchise, but we’ve still got a lot more to get through.
Michael faces Dr. Loomis
Preceded by: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers & Followed by: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers finally brings Michael Myers back to the franchise. After their misguided attempt to make the franchise an anthology with Halloween III: Season of the Witch, they ditched their ghost story idea and just brought the iconic slasher back. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers takes place 10 years after Michael’s apparent death by incineration at the end of Halloween II. Michael Myers discovers he has a niece named Jamie and he sets out to find and kill her.
Going through the same basic setup of killing someone for a jumpsuit and finding another Shatner mask at a store. Dr. Loomis is also somehow alive and desperately trying to track Michael down. Jamie Lee Curtis does not return, because Laurie apparently died between movies. Kind of a disappointing end to the iconic final girl. Overall, this was a fairly lackluster follow up that never strays too far from the formula. Attacking another group of teens. The only difference is having part of the town try to stop the killer with vigilante justice.
Meanwhile the Michael Myers mask seems to have gotten worse. Now it looks more cheap than creepy (it even turns blonde briefly). Though I will say that Danielle Harris as Michael Myers young niece Jamie is a worthy character in the franchise. Her final girl foster sister Rachel is ok too. SPOILER ALERT! having it end with Jamie seeming to become the next Michael Myers was a shocking image that could’ve been an interesting change of pace. Still, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers isn’t quite that clever.
Michael attacks his next victim
Preceded by: Halloween III: Season of the Witch & Followed by: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
Halloween III: Season of the Witch having nothing to do with Michael Myers sums up the movie completely. The Halloween franchise was originally meant to be an anthology series. With every movie having a different storyline that centers on Halloween. If that’s the case then why make Halloween II a direct follow up to the original Halloween? Let’s just say that it was a gamble that didn’t pay off. I’m not even sure how to explain this movie it’s so needlessly complicated.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch takes place several days before Halloween. With 3 masks (a witch, a pumpkin, and a skull) being the hottest selling costumes. A doctor and the daughter of a murder victim investigate the company that made the masks named Silver Shamrock. While there, they discover an evil plot to kill children using the masks via the most annoyingly catchy TV commercial ever. Through an illogical witchcraft ritual and using well-dressed robots as bodyguards. As a Halloween movie, Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a disappointing detour. It just doesn’t work without Michael Myers. Plus the plot has a ridiculous amount layers to it.
As a standalone movie, Season of the Witch has cult value. I suppose it does work if you don’t think of it as a sequel in a franchise. It’s a lot more violent and has a completely different pace that makes it stand out. So if you’re just here to see the famous slasher, you might want to skip Halloween III: Season of the Witch. However, if you just want to see a campy ridiculous Halloween themed movie, Season of the Witch just might peak your interest.
Silver Shamrock masks
Preceded by: Halloween II & Followed by: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Halloween II is a sequel 3 years in the making. Yet the movie actually takes place mere seconds after the first Halloween. By the end of the first movie, Michael Myers was shot several times, but disappeared. Leaving Dr. Loomis to desperately search for his whereabouts exclaiming that he isn’t human. Meanwhile a traumatized Laurie Strode is taken to the hospital for the rest of the night. Michael Myers, of course, goes on a killing spree and continues to single out Laurie in particular.
Halloween II is notable for being set in a hospital. One of the scariest locations you can set a horror movie. As a sequel to a classic, Halloween II just can’t hold a Jack-O’-Lantern’s candle to the original. Some of the kills are just there to increase the body count. Even if they do help to make Michael more threatening. Laurie on the other hand, doesn’t really have anything to do but lay in bed most of the movie. Though I do think they did a good job of making Halloween II feel like a direct sequel in terms of scares.
SPOILER ALERT! Laurie being revealed to be Michael Myers other sister was a good twist. Giving them a far greater connection that gives reason to his stalking. The ending definitely felt like a logical conclusion to the series. With everything taking place in one long Halloween night and wrapping up Jamie Lee Curtis’ involvement in the franchise (for now). Overall, Halloween II isn’t a game changer, but it should be enough to satisfy fans of the franchise.
Michael stalks Laurie
Preceded by: Halloween & Followed by: Halloween III: Season of the Witch