In our inaugural year for Anatomy of Fear, we couldn’t NOT share our thoughts about one of the most important franchises in horror history. So where do we fall on these rankings?
Most of the films in this franchise I hadn’t seen in their entirety until a few weeks ago. The original I’ve seen a bunch of times, but the rest not so much. So take my opinion as that of someone that does not have the rose colored glasses of nostalgia to rely upon.
11. Halloween 2 (2009) – This is the only entry that actually made me mad that it exists, so…
10. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers – Tragically incompetent storytelling to follow a killer ending to the previous film. I understand why this film is so derided.
9. Halloween 3: Season of the Witch – Despite an interesting premise and the addition of the always-awesome Dan O’Herlihy, it is riddled with problems and the third act is incomprehensible.
8. Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers – This one is incoherent and plagued with plot holes. I would rank it lower, except that I’m a sucker for the 90’s, and this movie is 90’s as hell.
7. Halloween 8: Resurrection – Most people would rank this one last, and while I grant it’s a very flawed film, it’s ridiculous premise and over the top silliness works for me. It may be seen as an indicator of a franchise that has run out of ideas, but if it were made with today’s technology and given a rewrite or two, it would have become an instant classic.
6. Halloween (2007) – While I utterly hated how far its sequel veered from its source material, Rob Zombie’s remake/prequel is a valiant effort to expand and deepen the mythos of the series.
5. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers – It is easy to forget that bringing back Michael after the failed attempt to turn the franchise into an anthology series could have gone terribly wrong. Thankfully, this one had some great writing and a good cast, even if the promising possibilities it created were soon undone by the following film.
4. Halloween 2 (1981) – What I love the most about this film is that it takes place on literally the same night as the previous film. Jamie Lee Curtis isn’t given a whole lot to do in this one except crawl around a cry a lot, but it’s still a worthy successor to the original.
3. Halloween H20 – Despite the stupid title (I seriously thought this would be about how water is Michael’s weakness!)… This one is pretty great. It’s no where near Scream in its wittiness and meta humor, but it still has plenty of those clever moments the 90’s was known for. (“Put that mask away… Halloween is over!”)
2. Halloween (2018) – I absolutely loved this film. People make fun of the title, but it makes sense: They really tried to make the best Halloween movie they could make. It’s not just a sequel or a remake, it’s a combining of all the best moments in the series, including the original. With the huge cast, big budget, and Carpenter’s official endorsement, I believe they came pretty darn close. Also, Carpenter’s new music is pretty sick.
1. Halloween (1978) – The classic is the best because it didn’t need to rely on the inventiveness of kills, or stick to any conventions. Instead, it created those conventions, for better or worse. The town of Haddonfield really feels like a real place in this movie because the film lets us spend time with all these characters in their natural daily lives. You really get a sense that the film is as much about the holiday of the film’s title as the story we’re being tol. Also, even though Carpenter’s music is used in pretty much all the films, it was utilized the best in the original.
Ok, let’s see how much different I can be from Alan here!
11. Halloween Resurrection
I don’t think this one requires tons of explanation. While I don’t hate it quite as bad as most people because I’m ok with some of the cheesiness, it’s still a bad movie. Even Busta couldn’t save it (or is he the reason it’s bad? 3/10
10. Halloween 5 – The Revenge of Michael Myers
It pains me to rank anything with Danielle Harris low, as she is amazing, but this movie is rough. Even she couldn’t save it. 4/10
09. Halloween 6 – The Curse of Michael Myers
I love me some Paul Rudd, and I love me some 90s. And I don’t hate this one. I’m not a fan of where this storyline started going, and am glad that H20 came out when it did a few years later, but I still have fun with it
Admittedly, I still need to see the producers cut of this and I’m curious how it would impact my rating. 5/10
We’re now getting into territory where I enjoy pretty much everything, and I’m sure that some of my opinions will make hardened horror fans mad at me.
I’m a fan of most Rob Zombie films. I think he has a great visual aesthetic, and sometimes his dialogue suffers, I can let that go because I like the look of his films. I haven’t seen this one in a few years, and owe it a rewatch, but I remember liking it; unlike most, I like the backstory we get in the first part, and then the craziness that happens here. I’ve never been too worried about what is considered “canon” for this franchise because it went off the rails right away, so maybe that’s why I don’t mind the RZ entries.
07. Halloween H20
If you read what I said about part 6, I love the 90s (the good and the bad). This, I think, was one of the good. From Josh Hartnett, to LL Cool J, teen angst, bad clothes; it all reminds me of high school, which I graduated from in 1997. It’s a fun, easy-to-watch film that I can put on any time and have fun with it.
Apparently, Alan and I agree on this one. I don’t need to repeat what I already said about H2, but I’ve never been concerned about canon here. I don’t mind backstory on Michael, and I think it does a good job at showing things that can form a psychopath (both nature and nurture).
05. Halloween 4
This is the movie that started my crush on Danielle Harris, and have been a fan of her ever since. Good cast with characters I generally cared about, and some interesting thoughts about transference of evil (which we saw a bit of in franchises in the 80s)
04. Halloween 2018
I loved the new one. It just delivered. I didn’t have the highest expectations, and it exceeded them. From when the movie was announced, I didn’t see one single trailer or read anything about it, and would walk out of every theater that showed the trailer leading up to it.
Great brutal kills, good performances, good score. Good times. But you can’t please everyone, which is obvious with how divisive this film has been. I think it’s the hipster effect, which we also saw with the new It movie and the latest Star Wars entry. People just refuse to give things a chance, and it’s usually for a reason that makes very little sense. You can like old and new things. It’s totally ok.
03. Halloween 3
This one confused the hell out of me when I first saw it since it was way before the internet, and I just wanted to know where the boogeyman was. But it had its own fun masks, and a fun, bonkers storyline. Tom Atkins and Stacy Nelkin: weirdest couple, but it works. Really fun movie, and there’s zero chance of the Shamrock theme not getting stuck in my head.
01 (tie). Halloween 1978
Here’s where I’ll lose some of you, and maybe I’m cheating, but I don’t have a favorite between 1 and 2. Some days I like 1 better, some days I like 2 better. This of course is the “daddy of them all”, and created one of the coolest boogeymen we’ve ever had. Great use of music, and one of my favorite scenes ever in a horror film.
01 (tie). Halloween 2
I love Halloween 2. I honestly think it’s scarier, and love the mood in it. Just feels creepier, and again, this is all based on how I feel about the film. Not speaking technically which is a better film, but this one has always had a stronger impact on me than the 1st. But as mentioned in my writeup for 1978, I go back and forth between the first two movies.
That’s it from me. How did we do?