Where does “Halloween Ends” stand compared to other films of the franchise?

By Farah Bassyouni Oct 21, 2022

After 44 years and 13 movies, John Carpenter’s beloved “Halloween” franchise has, at least for now, ended. Nothing puts me in the fall spirit like watching Michael Myers terrorize that small Illinois town. 

Ahead of the conclusion to David Gordon Green’s reboot trilogy, I watched all 12 of the previous “Halloween” films and reflected on some of the best, strangest and stupidest decisions that were made throughout the long-running franchise.

 

Unwatchable

“Halloween II” (2009)

Rob Zombie’s reimagination of the story of Michael Myers is simply irredeemable. The movie mostly consists of Laurie screaming incoherently alongside muddy imagery of Michael’s mom and a white horse. This was the closest I came to ending my marathon of the franchise.

“Halloween Ends”

It’s hard to describe how disappointed I was with the final product of  “Halloween Ends.” I watched a lot of bad “Halloween” movies in preparation for this film, and I was prepared for the worst. Even with my expectations in check, “Halloween Ends” was worse than I could have ever imagined. 

Shifting to more of a “Twilight”-esque young adult romance than a slasher, director David Gordon Green disrespects fans of the franchise in the worst ways possible. I walked out of the theater with my jaw on the floor, not sure how this movie could have possibly been greenlit by a studio.

“Halloween III: Season of the Witch”

Audiences were shocked when “Halloween III” did not feature Michael Myers. I had the knowledge that Michael wouldn’t be in this movie before going in and I was excited to see what John Carpenter could do with an anthology film. The answer: nothing good.

“Halloween” (2007)

Billy Loomis said it best in “Scream.” “See, it’s a lot scarier when there’s no motive.” Michael Myers is scary because there’s no reason for what he does. Rob Zombie explains away Michael’s origins by placing him in a broken household and showing his descent into madness over time. If anything, Zombie’s films hurt Carpenter’s characters more than they help develop them.

 

So Bad They’re Good

“Halloween: Resurrection”

I laughed through this entire film, and that gives it a little bit of value. There are a lot of strange choices made for a “Halloween” movie, but it doesn’t get any better than Busta Rhymes kung fu kicking Michael Myers in an epic third act.

“Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers”

The fourth, fifth and sixth entries in the “Halloween” franchise have gained a cult following over the years, but I can’t really figure out why. The final installment of the trilogy isn’t necessarily offensive, but the film as a whole is just boring and lacks character.

“Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers”

“Halloween 4” has an incredibly strong opening. I loved the first hour of the film, but the third act is just too sloppy for me to say this is good. The Michael Myers mask was terrible, and the film ends up offering nothing to the franchise.

“Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers”

This might be the strangest film out of all 13 that I watched, and I respect that. The cops in this movie are accompanied by clown music, Michael cries and Dr. Loomis screams “Die Michael! Die!”

 

Enjoyable

“Halloween II”

“Halloween II” was pretty good. From a filmmaking perspective, this movie is the most technically sound of the original six sequels. There were times when the plot dragged on, and Laurie was sidelined in a hospital for the majority of the film, but Donald Pleasance’s performance as Dr. Loomis is unforgettable.

“Halloween H20: 20 Years Later”

“H20” is a divisive film among fans of the franchise because of the slightly goofier tone than is typical for a “Halloween” film. I really enjoyed the character work in this film. Seeing Laurie Strode after years of fearing Michael would return was done almost perfectly.

“Halloween Kills”

Say what you will about the tired plot and shaky character work, but this is Michael Myers’ movie. This is the most imposing Michael that’s ever been on screen. I get chills just thinking about the opening firefighter battle in this movie.

 

Incredible

“Halloween” (2018)

This single film accomplishes what David Gordon Green wanted to in his trilogy as a whole. Next time, Universal and Blumhouse should just quit while they’re ahead.

“Halloween”

This needs no explanation. The greatest slasher film of all time brought in $70 million on a budget of just $325,000. John Carpenter is a master of the horror genre and created one of the most terrifying villains of all time in his original film.

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