Arthur is an avid television and movie fan with horror being his favored genre. If you can name it, he has probably seen it. Twice.
Halloween is one of the most iconic horror movie franchises ever and spurred the boom of slasher films throughout the 80s. Not to be outdone by imitators, Halloween managed to spew out 7 sequels as well as two remakes over the years and some have been better than others. I have taken it upon myself as a horror fanatic who watches these movies year round to rank them from worst to first for the casual viewer that is only looking to catch one or two this Halloween. Just a heads up; if you have not seen every film in this franchise there may be some spoilers ahead.
Halloween 3: Season of the Witch
There is a funny story behind this abomination and the involvement of a horror legend. When the studio approached John Carpenter to make another Halloween movie he agreed under one condition; that Michael Myers was dead and they would take the franchise in another direction. This lead to a B-movie script with terrible acting that wasn't even fit for a Tales from the Crypt episode. If you must know, the plot centers around a factory that is pumping out killer masks set to murder every child this Halloween. The only salvageable part of this master - piece of crap is that they try to tie it into the franchise later in the series. The best part of this whole movie is the catchy jingle they use to sell the masks.
Halloween 2: 2009
I was not as down on Rob Zombie's Halloween remake as everyone else was, but I can not say the same for its sequel. This movie is an absolute head scratcher from start to finish. There is not a whole lot of story here, just a large lumbering man (assumed to be Michael) murdering people on his way back to Haddonfield. Eventually, he and Laurie end up in the same place and Laurie somehow channels Michael - a set up for Halloween 3: The Rise of Laurie Strode. The entire thing is cheap, confusing, and boring which makes for a pretty useless horror film.
The one good thing that comes out of Resurrection is that we get to see the end of the Michael and Laurie beef. The problem is that they then take the movie in a whole other direction, completely disregarding canon up until this point. Basically, a group of writers sat at a desk and said, "We need to make a film about young sexy people getting murdered in a house."
"But, who is the killer?"
"Didn't Laurie chop his head off in H20?"
"This is Hollywood, they can bring him back!"
And so they did with a terrible excuse for why he is still alive and an even worse excuse for why he is still killing people.
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
This isn't a necessarily bad entry into the series, it just wasn't that good. The movie suffers from being a generic repeat of its predecessor with a few caveats that are not even worthy of a mention. Michael inexplicably comes back again and terrorizes the same survivors of the same town until Doctor Loomis inevitably saves the day again. Like I said, the problem with this movie is it is simply a rinse, wash, and repeat of Halloween 4.
Like I wrote before, I did not hate Rob Zombie's take on the legend of Michael Myers. I actually enjoyed a slightly deeper look into the mind of Myers (I am a sucker for a prequel.) The movie was ultra-violent in true Rob Zombie fashion and he does a great job making Michael into a real life serial killer that will haunt your dreams. Though Carpenter has recently had some not-so-nice things to say about Zombie, I think this is one reboot that is worthy of its original.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Now we are getting down to the nitty-gritty. When Moustapha Akkad was able to take the franchise in whichever direction he wanted to he smartly chose to bring Michael back, but he needed a reason to do it. With Laurie Strode out of the picture they needed a new angle for the Michael charachter. That is when Akkad and the writers decided to introduce the character of Jamie Lloyd, Laurie Strode's orphaned daughter. Michael now has a new muse for his murderous rampage and the town of Haddonfield is again at his mercy. It is actually one of the better horror villain comebacks ever executed.
There are so many things wrong with this movie that it almost negates how great of a movie it really is. As far as sequels go they did everything right on a production level. The got Jamie Lee Curtis back, and they released the movie 20 years after the original for some great publicity. While the overall story is a great homage to the original, even seeing Laurie finally put away her demon, there are so many small things wrong with this movie that it really turns off the serious fan. One example is the fact that there is no mention of Jamie Lloyd, they say that she faked her death, but her son knows her true identity so shouldn't he know about his big sister?
Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers
If you have just been skimming this piece then you may have missed two key pieces to the Halloween 6 puzzle. The first thing is that Halloween 6 is a prequel, and I am a sucker for prequels so that is the reason that this movie is so high on the list. The other reason is that they manage to tie in the worst film of the series to make this one of the best films in the series. They finally give an explanation behind Michael's super human abilities and the reason why he won't just stay dead. A cameo by Jamie Lloyd and a grown up Tommy Doyle also help to pull this movie together to make it, not only one of the best films of the franchise, but one of the best B horror movie sequels ever. If you ever have the chance make sure you check out the secret (not so secret anymore) producer's cut of the film which is like an entirely different movie.
It feels a little cheesy putting 1 and 2 at the top of the list, but that is what's going to happen so lay off. They actually did a really good job with the sequel, which was still being helmed by John Carpenter. They brought back Jamie Lee Curtis and started the sequel exactly where the original ended so there was no reason for any back story. Another genius move was to move the setting of the movie to a hospital which is full of victims along with plenty of instruments of murder for Michael's *AHEM* extra-curricular activities.
Though it is now common knowledge, it wasn't until this second movie that the mythos of Laurie being Michael's sister came about.
Was there ever any doubt that the original would top the list? This movie literally ignited an entire decade of slasher films and brought about the acceptance of mainstream horror. It may not have been the first slasher film, but Michael Myers was definitely the first slasher who became a household name. This film alone has caused countless sleepless nights and made droves of girls swear off babysitting for good. There may not be a more menacing or recognizable horror figure than Michael Myers and it all started in 1979 with this film. It is one of the horror greats and one that deserves its name and a regularly scheduled viewing every October.