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Although it might be hard to believe, there have been exactly ten Halloween movies so far, starting with the original, which was released back in 1978. For many true fans, it is only this first entry by John Carpenter that actually counts. It introduced the legendary character of Michael Myers, a psychotic killer with a mask who stalks unsuspecting teenagers and babysitters. There have been a number of sequels and reboots that it can be quite difficult to keep track. That’s why we’ve created a comprehensive list of all Halloween movies in order for you to go through quickly and find the entry you want.
This is the first film in the franchise – the one that started it all. John Carpenter wrote the screenplay and directed the film, which basically set the bars for all the future horror films about a serial killer. Admittedly, Carpenter borrowed quite a few elements from Italian masters of horror but, at the same time, created genuine American horror experience. That is why people consider him to be one of the greatest American horror directors.
Halloween II 1981
Three years after the original film, another Halloween film came out that Carpenter only wrote but didn’t direct. While the film is considered somewhat decent when it comes to sequels, many agree that it came out too late. After Carpenter created the original, many directors tried to imitate him. Halloween II simply got drowned in a sea of horrors of the early 80s.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch 1983
By the film three, Hollywood producers realized that the franchise needed to be innovative to still be relevant among other horror flicks of the 80s. That is why they hired a completely new person to direct and write Halloween III – Tommy Lee Wallace. The thing is, he did exactly what was asked of him. He created a whole new, unrelated story, which was OK but not what the fans expected. The fact that it didn’t feature Michael Myers simply buried any film’s attempt.
Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers 1988
The disappointment in the previous film was so strong that it took another 5 years for the franchise to come back, this time explicitly telling the audience that Mike Myers (not the actor) will certainly be back. The movie’s “plot” is, of course, not really mind-blowing, but at least we got to see Myers do what he does best – kill his victims in new and interesting ways. Obviously, the film did a lot better than its predecessor and put the franchise back on the map.
Halloween V 1989
The success led to the next film, the next year, but involved a lot less creativity. The fifth move was basically the same as the fourth one. Like in the previous, Mike goes on a killing spree to find his niece and put her in the ground. The main problem with this film is the lack of any innovation. It felt far too familiar and expected.
Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers 1995
The 90s were quite another time when it came to horror films. The fans started demanding something other than just brutal violence. The 90s asked for story twists, references, a fuller story of the entire franchise, etc. Unfortunately, the writers of the sixth film weren’t up to the task. The Curse of Michael Myers’ story was so messed up that no one could actually understand it. Like the Icarus, the screenwriters flew much too high only to plummet to the ground.
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later 1998
It is only in the late 90s that the Halloween franchise finally managed to keep up with the times, while still staying true to the original. The first draft of the script was reportedly written by Kevin Williamson, who made a name for himself thanks to the legendary and often parodied Scream. The film even brought back Jamie Lee Curtis, giving some sort of legitimacy to the whole film.
Halloween: Resurrection 2002
Four years later, yet another sequel appeared under the name Resurrection. It was clear at this point that there can’t really be two decent Halloween films one after the other. They either rush things or hire wrong people to do the job so even Jamie Lee Curtis’ comeback doesn’t mean anything. Michael Myers is yet again unkillable and people have started to be annoyed by that fact.
The entire series was rebooted in 2007 by the notorious Rob Zombie of the White Zombie band. It was the time when the origin stories were quite popular, so he went along with it. The only problem is that the franchise, despite being all over the place, has some ardent fans who don’t really love changes. Rob’s Mike Myers was a more complex, motivated character and something quite new. Although it’s not actually a bad horror movie, Halloween 2007 was mostly disliked for being a reboot. It was, however, quite successful at the box office, which led to yet another sequel.
Halloween II 2009
Rob Zombie made another film two years later, but this time the studio decided to offer him as much freedom as he wanted. Like his previous installment, this movie isn’t bad but doesn’t feel like it belongs in the Halloween franchise. Changes that angered a lot of fans included showing Michael without his mask and uttering a couple of words. The audience wasn’t ready to forgive that.
While we wait for the 11th entry in the franchise, take a look at this list of Halloween movies in order and let us know which one is your favorite and why.