After nearly five decades, Michael Myers is putting down his knife. The well-loved Halloween franchise is coming to a close with the much anticipated Halloween Ends, which premieres in theaters on October 14, 2022. With all eyes on Laurie Strode and Michael Myers, what better time is there to rank every movie in the franchise? Yes, every movie, including the Rob Zombie remakes and the third installment that most fans don’t acknowledge. Here is my ranking for every Halloween movie, from worst to best.

Warning: there will be spoilers for all 12 movies.

12. Rob Zombie’s Halloween II – 2009

Young Michael Myers stares at the camera in a flash back in Rob Zombie's Halloween II

Halloween II is the sequel to Rob Zombie’s 2009 remake. Much like the original sequel of the same name, the story picks up directly after the end of the first movie. Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton) is bloody and injured, hobbling down the middle of the road. An ambulance takes her to the hospital, and the hunt for Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) is on. Unfortunately, this is pretty much where the similarities end.

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Is anyone here surprised this movie is in last place? No? I didn’t think so. While I am part of the small margin who liked Zombie’s initial remake, the sequel did not keep up the same momentum. Disappointment at every turn. The story went off the rails, the dialogue did not make sense at times and the atmosphere failed. I give this movie one star for the franchise and one star overall. Given how the film ended, with Laurie wielding a weapon and taking up the mask, I was hopeful to see a continuation with her becoming the killer. Sadly, that was not in the cards.

11. Halloween V: The Revenge of Michael Myers

Michael Myers' hand and druid mark in Halloween 5 The Curse of Michael Myers

Halloween V: The Revenge of Michael Myers picks up shortly after the end of the fourth movie. Michael (George P. Wilbur) finds his way back to Haddonfield and again goes after Jamie (Danielle Harris). Meanwhile, Jamie is in a specialized hospital after attacking her foster mother following Michael’s last attack. She has lost her voice. Soon, Jamie discovers a frightening connection to her uncle.

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By the time this film entered the famous franchise, the story had already descended into madness. At this point, the odd “origin” story began to emerge. Add into that the writers had Danielle Harris running and attempting to scream in multiple scenes almost identical to the previous installment. The kills were underwhelming, and the story was minimal.

10. Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers

Doctor Lumis stands over Michael's body in a hospital hallway

Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers is a direct sequel to Revenge. At the end of the latter, Jamie went with Michael willingly. Once we get to Revenge, Jamie has grown up in the intense druidic cult responsible for Michael’s origins. In the opening, she delivers a baby implied to be Michael’s. With the help of a nurse, she escapes with the baby. Unfortunately, her uncle finds her and kills her, but the baby is hidden. Enter Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd) and Doctor Lumis (Donald Pleasence).

Sadly, even Paul Rudd couldn’t save this movie. The ridiculous attempt at Michael’s origin story, coupled with Jamie giving birth to his child, is too much, full stop. It veers away from the basic slasher and tries to become something else. The only good thing about this installment is Rudd’s performance as Tommy. Possibly an unpopular opinion, but I think Rudd makes a better Tommy than Anthony Michael Hall. I would have loved to have seen him come back for Halloween Kills

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9. Halloween Kills

Jamie Lee Curtis stands near a glass door looking distressed while Judy Greer, also distressed, has her hand on the former's arm.

Halloween Kills is the second movie in the requel trilogy that began in 2018. This trilogy eliminates the canon established in all previous sequels. The town of Haddonfield turns into a lynch mob when Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney) escapes the facility where he served his incarceration after the original attacks. Laurie is injured and out of the fight for the most part. It is up to her daughter and granddaughter to take on The Shape.

Honestly, this movie is kinda terrible. If I have to hear the phrase “evil dies tonight” one more time, I might implode. I could not stand the way they wrote Tommy Doyle. It may be a credit to his acting or a criticism of the writing, but either way, Anthony Michael Hall made me want to punch him through the screen. I understand there was supposed to be an underlying message about mob mentality, but it got lost in the ridiculousness.

8. Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers

Michael approaches a woman and the POV is through the mask eyeholes

Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers is mildly better than Revenge and Curse. I want to stress the word mildly. It focuses on Jamie, Laurie’s daughter. Supposedly, Laurie and Jamie’s father died in a car accident, and Jamie is now living with another family. Inevitably, The Shape returns for his niece, and they have an odd connection. 

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All I can say about this movie is at least it seemed to be a direct continuation of the first and second films. Danielle Harris did a great job, especially for someone so young. However, the story started making less and less sense with little to no explanation for things. For example, why was Jamie supposed to have an intense psychic connection to Michael? Laurie didn’t, so why would her daughter? Also, how did Michael know who Jamie was? So many questions.

7. Halloween VIII: The Resurrection of Michael Myers

Michael peeps through the boarded up window of his old house.

Halloween VIII: The Resurrection of Michael Myers picks up after H20. Laurie has been committed to a mental institution after chopping off an EMT’s head, believing it was Michael Myers. A reality TV show is taking place inside the old Myers home. The participants are supposed to investigate and try to determine what made Michael a killer. Of course, nothing is ever as it seems.

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Many fans of the franchise do not like this particular entry. While it is far from one of the best Halloween movies, it isn’t the worst. It has decent acting, a realistic plot (something many of its predecessors lack) and good sets. It also has solid continuity. My biggest fault with it may seem minor to some. When the show participants get to the house, they notice the jars or herbs are fresh even though no one has supposedly lived there since Michael killed his older sister. However, what would Michael have needed with herbs, and where would he have gotten them? It later shows he was eating a live rat, with no herbs used or needed.

6. Halloween 2018

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) cleans a gun in Halloween (2018).

Halloween 2018 is the requel fans have waited for a long time. However, it is not as simple as it may first appear. This installment does away with the canon from every single previous sequel. Considering Laurie dies in Resurrection, this move was somewhat necessary, but ALL of the other installments? Regardless, it follows Laurie reuniting with her estranged family, and once again, she must face her brother.

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I wanted to like this one. I really did. In the end, I wanted more from the film, maybe too much. The OG Final Girl was back, and there was a new story; it should have been everything I wanted. Sadly, it did not live up to my expectations. I will say the kills are brutal, and Michael seems stronger than ever before. Another point in the film’s favor is that it did away with the weird druid origins.

5. Halloween III: Season of the Witch

A young boy wears the pumpkin mask from Silver Shamrock

Halloween III: Season of the Witch is not, in any way, shape or form, about Michael Myers. It is an entirely different story and not even in the same universe. Instead, it is about the Silver Shamrock company and the cursed masks they create. The film focuses on one family, in particular, and the children’s Silver Shamrock masks.

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Before you come for me, hear me out. Most people count this movie out because it does not include Michael. However, if you look at it as its own thing, it is a fun horror film. The story is good, the effects are decent, the acting is solid and the plot is intriguing. By taking it as a standalone, it changes everything, and it is well worth watching. I am a fan and hoped to see more of this story somewhere along the line.

4. Halloween (2007)

Laurie sits at a table with Tommy

Halloween (2007) is a direct remake of the original John Carpenter film. Rob Zombie created this iteration, and Scout Taylor-Compton takes over Curtis’s role as Laurie. The story remains essentially the same, with a few particular intricacies unique to Zombie.

Yes, it is a remake, and yes, I like it. I enjoyed the grittier, more visceral take on the classic horror movie. Zombie dives into the details of Michael’s life outside the moments he tries to murder Laurie. Some issues exist with the film, but overall, I enjoy this version and have watched it multiple times. While it is not the classic that the original is, it is a bloody, gory, gritty horror.

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3. Halloween II

Laurie Stode (Jamie Lee Curtis) wears a white nightgown while looking scared in Halloween II.

Halloween II picks up after Laurie is taken to the hospital to seek treatment for injuries sustained from Michael’s attack. Unfortunately, the danger is not gone. Michael makes his way to the hospital and slices through doctors, nurses and other patients until he finds his real target, Laurie.

This movie is the perfect follow-up to the original. The continuity is there in all respects. Essentially, this sequel is more of a continuation, a part two, if you will. It has all of the best qualities of the original with the added benefit of more story.

2. Halloween 2000 (H20)

Jamie Lee Curtis holds a gun in H20

Halloween 2000 (H20) takes place 20 years after the original murders. Laurie is now the headmistress at a private school under an assumed name. She has been raising her now teenage son alone. All these years, Laurie has been dealing with the ramifications of that fateful night. Every night, she hopes the past remains in the past. Eventually, her deranged brother finds her and her new family. 

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While this movie is not canon to the previous three films, I prefer it over the other timeline. The story is stronger, the atmosphere is closer to the original and the kills are better. In my opinion, this is the story that needed to be told after the original sequel. The Jamie storyline would have been better off left alone.

1. Halloween (1978)

Young Laurie Strode wearing a black turtleneck and cream cardigan while looking pensive in Halloween.

Halloween introduces the world to Michael Myers. As a young boy, Michael killed his older sister on Halloween night. Years later, he returns to Haddonfield to kill his younger sister Laurie. On his way, he will kill anyone in his path, especially those connected to his sister. Against all odds, Laurie survives, making Jamie Lee Curtis horror’s first official Final Girl.

Of course, the original 1978 film takes the number one spot — the crowning achievement. This film is a classic for a reason. Carpenter and his team created an epic atmosphere, a creepy villain and an intriguing story. No matter how hard the production companies tried, none of the sequels or requels come close to living up to the original’s standard.

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The only question remaining is where Halloween Ends will fall on this list. Will it topple the original or knock Zombie’s sequel out of last place? Here’s hoping it will be better than Halloween Kills.

Which one of these films is your favorite? How about least favorite? Let us know in the comments. Happy spooky season, horror nerds!

This article was originally published on 10/1/22.