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Halloween (franchise discussion) (1 Viewer)

Caproni

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Halloween is an American slasher franchise that consists of multiple films, novels, comic books, and various other merchandise.

The Halloween movies were a yearly staple in my home when I was a kid. I have the strongest memories of Halloween 4 and Halloween 5 from this time, but I occasionally saw some of the others, like Halloween: Resurrection. I vaguely remember seeing the earlier movies, but I'm sure I did. It wasn't until I got older that I purchased all the movies in the franchise and I had them in my collection. I've since tossed them away, but I figured with it being "Halloween month", we could discuss the franchise together.

Halloween, the original John Carpenter 1978 classic, is practically a flawless masterpiece. It changed the face of horror movies in the late 1970s, and ushered in a host of imitators, namely Friday the 13th, which spawned its own endless supply of films. Halloween once tried to evolve into an anthology with Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), but when fan response was negative, the producers returned their main villain, Michael Myers, to the franchise with the fourth film.

Anyone have any favorite films from this franchise? Anyone have a ranking they'd care to share?

Halloween.jpg
 

JasonRoer

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I don't have a complete ranking, however, the original Halloween is my favorite horror film (up there with Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Frankenstein, Night of the Living Dead, and Nosferatu). The 2 films by Rob Zombie are at the bottom of the list for me. In between - I LOVE Halloween 3: Season of the Witch. Period. It is just so much ridiculous fun mashed together into one picture. I would watch it at any point in time if someone asked me to. I'm looking forward to watching it for this year's Scary Movie Challenge on the new 120" screen I just installed. I loved the most recent Halloween (2018), and I will be watching Halloween Kills on Saturday the 16th as a double feature with the aforementioned 2018 picture.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I have not seen all of the Halloween films but I think the first Rob Zombie one was my favorite - it was the right combination of seeing the right movie at the right time with the right company.
 

TravisR

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I don't really have a set ranking either beyond that the original movie is the best of the series (and my favorite movie of all time) but I can group them up.

Good Halloween sequels: I love Halloween II (1981) and while Halloween III: Season Of The Witch would have been better served by dropping the Halloween from its title, there's still a lot to enjoy about that movie. Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers is really good. The first Rob Zombie Halloween has some solid stuff in it and the 2018 movie is one of the better entries in the series.

OK sequels: Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers, whether in its theatrical or producer's cut, is not a good movie but I've come to enjoy it on some nostalgic level and the continuity loving nerd in me admires the attempt to tie all the goofy Thorn stuff together. Zombie's Halloween II has some cool stuff that doesn't really come together and my understanding is that last-second budget cuts really screwed the movie.

The ones I don't like: Halloween H20 is bland and only notable because it had a big enough budget to get the most famous cast in any Halloween movie by far. Halloween 5 is just lousy. Halloween: Resurrection is probably even worse than 5 but at least you can laugh at how bad Resurrection is.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Zombie's Halloween II has some cool stuff that doesn't really come together and my understanding is that last-second budget cuts really screwed the movie.

I remember seeing the trailer for that with my younger brother and it looked so damn cool that we went and rented the first Zombie one later that same day and we both thought it was spectacular. Then we saw Zombie II a few weeks later and it was like, what the hell happened - this was supposed to be good!

Still have yet to watch the extended cut of II though I have the disc. It can’t be as bad as I remember.
 

Bob Cashill

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It may be the zaniest franchise of all time, zigging and zagging, killing off characters then reviving them, establishing and reestablishing origins, etc. Jason went into space and fought Freddy but Friday the 13th still isn’t as weird.
 

Tommy R

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I haven’t seen Halloween III yet, unless you count about 20 minutes of it on tv a couple decades ago, though I have the 4K disc now and will be watching it this month. And I haven’t seen Zombie II, either. But here’s my rank of the rest:

Halloween (1978)
Halloween II (1981)
Halloween H20
Halloween 4
Halloween (2018)
Halloween 5
Halloween (2007)
Halloween 6
Halloween Resurrection

Resurrection is by FAR in the last spot. Just fucking awful. 5 and ‘07 are a toss up. Neither are good but I give 5 the edge simply for nostalgia. H20 and 4 are a bit of a toss up. Both really fun. ‘18 is my most neutral, not really a bad movie, but nothing really interesting about it either. I’d like the see the “Producer’s Cut” of 6 sometime. I have no idea what the word on the street is about if it’s any better than the theatrical cut or not.
 

TravisR

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I remember seeing the trailer for that with my younger brother and it looked so damn cool that we went and rented the first Zombie one later that same day and we both thought it was spectacular. Then we saw Zombie II a few weeks later and it was like, what the hell happened - this was supposed to be good!

Still have yet to watch the extended cut of II though I have the disc. It can’t be as bad as I remember.
Eh, it may be as bad as you remember. :laugh: The ending is garbage and bringing back Michael's mom was a bad idea (I get he wants to work with his wife but still...) and that's enough to keep the movie from being good. However, I do like Laurie being super messed up after the first movie (just like in the 2018 movie, the people that survive the first movie would be unbelievably damaged by what happened to them), Laurie's new friends are fun characters, there's a great bunch of character actors, Tyler Mane as Michael is scary because he's as big as a wall, there's some decent old rock songs in there, and the scene where one character encounters Michael again is great because their shocked and utterly horrified reaction plays as very real to me. Unfortunately, the movie is like a number of Rob Zombie movies- there's some really cool stuff but what's bad is bad enough to make the movie not come together.


I’d like the see the “Producer’s Cut” of 6 sometime. I have no idea what the word on the street is about if it’s any better than the theatrical cut or not.
The producer's cut is better but that don't mean it's good. :)
 

Michael Elliott

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I plan on seeing HALLOWEEN KILLS this Thursday. Every time a trailer or television spot comes on I turn my head and cover my ears so I'm pretty much going in not knowing anything about it.

I love the franchise. My "movie room" is full of HALLOWEEN items, although I'd probably say Jason is still my favorite.

My rankings:

HALLOWEEN (1978)
HALLOWEEN (2018)
HALLOWEEN II (1981)
HALLOWEEN 4 (1988)
HALLOWEEN: H20 (1998)
HALLOWEEN III (1982)
HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION (2002)
HALLOWEEN (2007)
HALLOWEEN 5 (1989)
HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS (1995) producers cut
HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS (1995) theatrical
HALLOWEEN II (2009)
 

Michael Elliott

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Zombie's HALLOWEEN II should have been a masterpiece. There are just so many awful things in it that it's easily my worst of the franchise. The stupid white horse. Michael's mask is beyond awful. The trauma aspect is something that was very fascinating but Zombie just couldn't pull it off. I really wish he'd start directing screenplay's from other people. The brutality of his two films are unmatched but on the whole I think both are pretty bad movies. I still watch them rather often but it's more as a freak show than me actually enjoying them. I love Zombie as a musician but as a screenwriter I just think all of his characters sound the same. There's no real personality in any of them.
 

JasonRoer

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Zombie's HALLOWEEN II should have been a masterpiece. There are just so many awful things in it that it's easily my worst of the franchise. The stupid white horse. Michael's mask is beyond awful. The trauma aspect is something that was very fascinating but Zombie just couldn't pull it off. I really wish he'd start directing screenplay's from other people. The brutality of his two films are unmatched but on the whole I think both are pretty bad movies. I still watch them rather often but it's more as a freak show than me actually enjoying them. I love Zombie as a musician but as a screenwriter I just think all of his characters sound the same. There's no real personality in any of them.
Agree 100%. Zombie seems to think that every killer in the universe is an uneducated redneck with an enormous vocabulary of vulgarity. Meanwhile - here in the real world, Ed Kemper has a 145 IQ and is incredibly well spoken and polite, even today after a stroke, and Bundy was a charming wannabe attorney - also well spoken. There are plenty of other examples of this.

I think Devil's Rejects is Zombie's best film so far, though I haven't see 3 from Hell, so I can't be certain. I'm considering trying to fit it in this year's challenge. We'll see.
 

TravisR

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Zombie's HALLOWEEN II should have been a masterpiece. There are just so many awful things in it that it's easily my worst of the franchise. The stupid white horse. Michael's mask is beyond awful. The trauma aspect is something that was very fascinating but Zombie just couldn't pull it off. I really wish he'd start directing screenplay's from other people. The brutality of his two films are unmatched but on the whole I think both are pretty bad movies. I still watch them rather often but it's more as a freak show than me actually enjoying them. I love Zombie as a musician but as a screenwriter I just think all of his characters sound the same. There's no real personality in any of them.
The talent behind and what does work in Halloween II (2009) puts it miles above Halloween 5, Resurrection, or even H20 for me. Granted, that talent might also be an argument for expecting more than was delivered by Halloween II but I can say some good stuff about HII and I'd be hard-pressed to do that for those other three.

As an aside, Rob Zombie's most disappointing movie to me is The Lords Of Salem because it seems like it's right on the edge of being really great but couldn't get there. He's made worse movies but none of them were so close to being good like Lords was.
 

Michael Elliott

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Oh wow. I rewatched Zombie's H2 a few months back and I found it to be awful. His first film has somewhat grown on me overtime but I just can't get much out of part 2. I think the greatest moment in the film is the horror in Danielle's face when she sees that Myers is back for her. Outside of this I pretty much didn't care for any of it. I understand the approach that he was going for but I just thought it was all poorly done due to the characters. Loomis you hate. Laurie you hate. You pretty much hate everyone as there's just no one there to really like.

I agree with you on THE LORDS OF SALEM. It seemed like it wanted to be THE SHINING but to me it just didn't capture any intensity.

I always enjoy seeing fans debate H20 compared to 2018. I actually think I liked Laurie's character a tad bit more in H20.

Even RESURRECTION is one that I appear to be the only fan of. Not really a "fan" but I thought it was okay for what it was.

HALLOWEEN 5 is the one that keeps getting worse each time I watch it yet I was dumb enough to order the 4k, which should be here tomorrow and it'll probably be watched then too haha.
 

TravisR

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Oh wow. I rewatched Zombie's H2 a few months back and I found it to be awful. His first film has somewhat grown on me overtime but I just can't get much out of part 2. I think the greatest moment in the film is the horror in Danielle's face when she sees that Myers is back for her. Outside of this I pretty much didn't care for any of it. I understand the approach that he was going for but I just thought it was all poorly done due to the characters. Loomis you hate. Laurie you hate. You pretty much hate everyone as there's just no one there to really like.
Yeah, that's easily the best scene in the movie.


HALLOWEEN 5 is the one that keeps getting worse each time I watch it yet I was dumb enough to order the 4k, which should be here tomorrow and it'll probably be watched then too haha.
I'm with you there. And I'm such a dope that I was mad that I didn't get on the day it was released. There's a point when being a fan of a series turns into masochism and I think I've crossed it. :laugh:
 

Caproni

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I have only seen the eight movies in the original franchise, so I cannot rank anything outside of those films.

Based on my personal preferences, I'd place the movies in this order, from worst to best.

#8 HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION (2002)
It's no contest for me that this movie is the worst of the original franchise. The way that Halloween H20 was retconned with this movie is unforgivable. Even if they wanted to kill off Laurie, this was not the way to do it. After the victory she claimed at the end of the previous film, this was a disgusting, unjust way to write her out of the movies (although only temporarily). The acting and writing in this movie is horrendous. This doesn't even really feel like a "Michael Myers movie". It just feels like a generic early 2000s horror film with Myers fitted in after the fact. And the way Myers is belittled by Busta Rhymes is laughingly bad. Like seriously? One thing I will give this movie credit for, however, is the rather stylized cinematography. The camerawork is quite good, even if the story itself is lacking.

#7 HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS (1989)
I'm not going to try and convince anyone that this is a good movie. There's one reason I've edged this over my #8 pick, which can be summed up into one word ─ nostalgia. Halloween 5 does commit a lot of the same cinematic sins as Halloween: Resurrection as it completely ruins everything that we were left with at the end of Halloween 4. Had the series taken a brave turn by allowing Jamie to be the new killer, it would've been a unique one. I understand why they didn't, though, because they felt that by leaving Michael Myers out of the movies would hurt the box office appeal. The portrayal of Myers in this fifth outing is not the best, and the side characters are duds. Tina, who basically becomes the main character after Rachel and Jamie are killed and sidelined, respectively, is often called one of the worst characters in horror history. This movie doesn't have a lot going for it, and it really is one of the less memorable films in the franchise.

#6 HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS (1995)
This movie is very frustrating. As the concluding chapter of what's known as the "Thorn trilogy", this movie is a big 'ol mess. Apparently the people in the writers room got off their rockers and figured it would be a good idea to completely destroy the origins of Michael Myers. They basically make him the pawn of a Druid cult. The side characters are pretty bad as well, even though I enjoyed getting to see Dr. Loomis back for last outing. Paul Rudd brings back Tommy Doyle from the original film, and his creepiness leads to my understanding of why many are divided over his performance. Despite all the issues with this film, I'd readily admit that this movie contains one of the best portrayals and looks of Myers, and it boasts a fine, creepy atmosphere. The lighting and camerawork in this movie is exceptional. It's probably the most visually appealing of the original franchise. But because the story and characters are dreadful, this movie falls short on many levels.

#5 HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982)
OK, here's the deal: I'm not one of those fans that hate this movie simply Michael Myers isn't in it. But I am one of those fans that edge down their lists in rankings because I think of Halloween as a "Michael Myers franchise". This is a very good movie, and it's quite underrated if I were to be honest. Had the producers not decided to throw Halloween III in the title, this movie would've been heralded a classic back in the 1980s when it was originally released. Tom Akins is good in the lead, and Colonel Cochran is easily one of the best horror movie villains of all time. Don't bypass this movie just because Myers isn't in it. It has a lot of good going for it; atmosphere, story, characters.

#4 HALLOWEEN H20: 20 YEARS LATER (1998)
Erase the fourth, fifth, and sixth films out of your mind, and watch this as a direct continuation of the original Halloween II. The best thing about this movie is that Jamie Lee Curtis enthusiastically returned to her iconic role as Laurie Strode. This a good ending to the original two films, making a nice little trilogy concluding the Laurie/Michael story. I hear a lot of criticism concerning this movie and its decision to move from Haddonfield to California. I think the decision to move to California was a wise one. For one, if Laurie had assumed a new identity, she needed to get away from her hometown in hopes that Michael would have a harder time finder her. The side characters here are really good, and we get good performances from Josh Hartnett, Michelle Williams, and LL Cool J. The third act showdown between Laurie and Michael in the school is great; it's the reason to see this movie! As long as you can block out how they horrendously retconned it all in the follow-up, you'll be alright.

#3 HALLOWEEN II (1981)
This is a genuine sequel: It picks directly up where the original movie stopped. That's what sequels should do. Myers looks a little different because Nick Castle has been replaced with Dick Warlock, and therefore the portrayal is also different. Michael now moves in a more robotic, Frankenstein-type manner, which I guess ends up working out well for the route this movie decided to take. This second film amps up the gore, and plays down the character development and story. Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance are both back this go-round, but Curtis is basically relegated to last 20 minutes. I know a lot of people don't like the third-act reveal of Michael and Laurie being siblings, but I don't really mind it too much. I've never known the series without the bloodline ties, so it doesn't bother me that we get it. Halloween II is a good follow-up to the original, and even if every direction taken wasn't the best one, I think we practically the best we were going to get from producers and writers that didn't want to make a sequel in the first place. Enjoy it for what it is.

#2 HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS (1988)
I watched this movie the most as a child. I remember watching it every single year with my parents at Halloween. I think this movie does a very good job at recapturing the look, style, and feel of the John Carpenter original. It's interesting that the franchise decided to make a little girl, Jamie Lloyd, the main character this time out. Danielle Harris a very good little child actress, and I really like Ellie Cornell as Rachel and Beau Starr as Sheriff Meeker. They are very good additions to the story, and Donald Pleasance is probably at his finest here as Dr. Loomis. The events of the second film are briefly skidded over, and this movie more or less tries to be a follow-up to the original. The final shot of this movie is classic, but if you know the franchise, you know what the outcome is. In hindsight, this is probably my favorite movie of the original franchise, even though I can agree that it isn't necessarily the best of the batch.

#1 HALLOWEEN (1978)
I don't really know if you can be a fan of this franchise without acknowledging that the original John Carpenter film is the best of the batch (and yes, I'm quite aware that opinions can differ). This film is revolutionary in many ways. It helped initiate the slasher genre that dominated cinema in the 1980s, and helped launch the careers of John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis (who has relished her status as "scream queen"). The subtlety of this movie is its strength. It plays well in the quietest moments and amps up the suspense to its advantage. The acting is really hit-or-miss, but the production is very well done given the small budget. Nick Castle is still the best Myers actor we've seen thus far, and Donald Pleasance has never been more iconic as Dr. Loomis than he was in this film. For many years, although the record has since been broken, this was the highest-earning independent film ever made. It's almost a flawless slasher, and it definitely gave filmmakers the blueprint on how to make a good slasher (even if they didn't always follow it). You cannot go wrong with the original. It never fails to satisfy.
 

Reggie W

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For me the first three pictures have been staples of October over the years. I saw all three in cinemas and have those sort of fond nostalgic memories of them and of watching them again and again.

While the third film gets a bad rap because it departs from Michael in his mask menacing people, I actually was disappointed when the series did not proceed to present different stories all taking place on or around the holiday. I'm a fan of the third picture and what it was attempting.

I've never really been able to abide pictures that tell the same basic story again and again. Something about this slides my brain deep into boredom mode and I get fairly aggravated with this practice. Essentially because they generally fail at doing what made the earlier pictures work because they have totally missed what made them work. Sequels become very "thing" focused over being full stories that are well thought out. So, you just need the guy in the mask, the big shark, the alien creature doing what they did before...everything else is just tossed as being not important.

I grew up with pictures like Jaws, Halloween, Friday the 13th and basically saw their sequels getting worse and worse as a result of a desire to do little more than cash in on the first picture's success. I will say because these were smaller budget affairs at least there was the fun of the filmmakers screwing around a bit because they could and this has made some of these pictures fun to go back and look at now. I mean they eventually sent Jason from the Friday the 13th pictures into space...kind of hilariously stupid but the filmmakers seem to understand that due to the stagnation of a guy just chasing different people around film after film...well...have him do it in space.

Halloween 4 was where I quit on the franchise. First I was really turned off by the return of Michael and abandoning the idea that they would tell different stories. Second, it was just a lousy film that attempted to ape the first two films but in a far less interesting way. So, outside of my theater viewing of Halloween 4, I've never watched the entire picture again. Just caught bits and pieces of it on TV showings.

Halloween 5 I have never seen.

Halloween 6 is where things become interesting again. First it is a long bizarre odyssey to getting 6 made that even includes a Quentin Tarantino script that had Michael Myers and a character called The Man in Black going on a road trip down Route 66 and slaughtering people along the way. Also funny was they approached John Carpenter to come back and make Halloween 6 and he hilariously said he would if he could set it on a space station. Those scripts obviously did not get made but when they finally settled on an idea for The Curse of Michael Myers it was a weird one involving cults, incest, sacrifices, ancient runes and essentially a bunch of other strange stuff. One big issue some Michael Myers fans have with it is it reduced Michael to just a pawn of the cult leader.

There is more than one cut of Halloween 6 The Curse of Michael Myers, in fact I think there are three but the one I have seen is known as The Producer's Cut and was released on Blu-ray I think through Shout Factory.

I only watched this for the first time sometime in the last couple of years upon deciding I would visit some of the Halloween and Friday the 13th franchise films I had skipped when they were first released.

I actually enjoyed The Producer's Cut of 6 as it was just bat shit enough to be entertaining. Not sure how it falls into the different "time lines" of the franchise but apparently it is part of the "Thorn" trilogy which I guess plays out in Halloween 4-6 and provides some sort of backstory of where Michael came from and what he is.

I've not seen either of the Zombie pictures but did see the most recent Halloween picture which I guess ignores all the other sequels and is meant to be a follow-up to the original Carpenter picture. I thought this film was OK.

So, as of writing this I can say I am a fan of 1-3 and then 6.
 
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Tommy R

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You know, if Halloween II were made today, with Michael burning to a crisp at the end, the internet would go stark raving mad if he were brought back to life for a Halloween III and people would lament that an anthology route would be better.
 

DFurr

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My list in order of favorites:

Halloween
Halloween 2
Halloween 4
Halloween H20
And the new ones with Jamie Lee Curtis.
The rest I don't watch.
 

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