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HalloweeN Series: Ranking The Films Against Each Other (PART 2)

My opinions of the HalloweeN films continue with this second installment. To check out part one of this series, click here. I previously covered Halloween: Resurrection, Rob Zombie’s Halloween II, Halloween 5 The Revenge of Michael Myers, Halloween 4 The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween The Curse of Michael Myers. Having covered 5 movies already, this is how I rank the 4 remaining HalloweeN films (in ascending order).

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HalloweeN (1978) I know a lot of people are thinking I am crazy for having this as my fourth choice. I know this is the original that started it all. I just feel that they made better movies after this. I know, as does everyone else, how important and iconic this film is to the horror genre. It opens with a shocker, a little kid just murdered his sister. Back then, I am sure many people found that to be just the worst thing ever. I love seeing as he does, walking through his house, grabbing the knife, killing his sister. It was done very well. John Carpenter made something that became so legendary with this film. It was “The Strangers” for the 1970s. I hope everyone knows what I mean by that. All I am saying is that it was random, no motive, and realistic.

This movie jump started Jamie Lee Curtis’ career and gave birth to one of the biggest franchises in horror history. I could sit here for paragraphs telling you everything that became iconic from this movie, from Michael Myers jumping at her from behind the couch, Myers wearing a sheet over his head, to Michael busting through the closet, Laurie falling down the stairs, Michael sitting up behind her. It was that generation’s Scream in my eyes.

Michael Myers was everywhere, yet nowhere to be seen by the victims until he wanted to be seen. The one scene that sticks out to me most is when Laurie is running from the Wallace’s. Myers is right behind her. She can’t find the keys, the kids aren’t waking up. He is closing in on her, and just as you think she is a goner she gets inside. It was the most suspenseful scene in any movie ever. The only reason this isn’t my top 3 is because I felt that they made something better after this.

Favorite Character– Laurie. Jamie Lee became the scream queen mainly for this movie. She was the likable, brave young woman who fought off a murder. She is one of the ultimate heroines in any horror movie.

Favorite Death– This would have to be Bob. Michael Myers popping out with a knife, raising him up off the ground and sticking a blade into his body so deep that it held him up on the wall. It was something that became a trademark.

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Halloween H20  I think this movie was the redemption of the original Halloween series. A lot of people hated where parts 5 and 6 took the series. I feel H20 really took it back to the original. They paid homage to it in so many ways. The return of Jamie Lee was great and very welcomed. I wish it would have kept Jamie Lloyd mentioned in the story somewhere. I know that the Thorn story would have interfered, but there were ways around it.

It would have been interesting to see who exactly Jamie and John’s dad was, and if he was the same guy. I think this movie was good at showing you the aftermath of 1978, and how Laurie has only learned to cope by becoming an alcoholic. Her trauma had also affected her marriage and her relationship to her son. We all know Laurie wasn’t a weak person, so it’s nice to see she didn’t break down mentally like in Rob Zombie’s H2.

Kevin Williamson could really be felt in this movie, I think that’s about the only way this movie was ever going to work. Sort of a fresh take on things, I know he didn’t write the script, but he did do the original story. Much like the first one, H20 was a slow building movie. The opening scene was awesome, I liked how they incorporated some of the original cast. I liked seeing how he was right behind the nurse, just toying with her. The skate in the face was pretty cool.

I liked this Michael Myers mask. I’m not sure if it was the actual part 6 mask. The final version of the H20‘s mask was good, I’m very glad they decided against the plain white face, that would have been a repeat of Halloween 4 in my opinion.

Once the action starts at the school, it was great. By far the most gruesome scene was the dumbwaiter. Her leg got f*cked up! This movie brought another side to Michael Myers. He seemed a little more brutal in his technique than in the original. None of the deaths felt the same.

When Laurie finally comes face to face with him again, it was awesome; that moment when she realizes her worst nightmare had just became a reality. It was nice to see how she had grown: she was still afraid yet she knew she had to confront Michael Myers especially for the sake of her son. When she finally got the axe and tried hunting him down, it was great. Hearing her scream his name with the score playing loudly behind her still gives me goosebumps. There is a reason that Jamie Lee is the ultimate scream queen.

One of the most iconic parts in this movie was when Myers comes down from the ceiling. How he got up there, I have no clue. But it was just awesome and creepy. I think when she impales him with the axe and he reopens her shoulder wound, they both realized it wasn’t going to be easy to kill each other.  So once everyone thought it was over, Laurie knew better.

I love how Laurie takes the van and hauls ass out of there. After they go flying off the cliff, and he is trapped, there is a nice moment where he reaches out for her. I always wonder what he was thinking. Was it just so he could pull her close to kill her? Was it that he finally felt bad (probably not) or that he knew he was about to die? Either way, seeing that they both still cared for each other in a way was interesting.

Laurie quickly snaps out if it and chops his head off. The nails on a chalkboard screech pours through the speakers, Michael’s head rolls towards the screen. Laurie’s breathing hard knowing she finally ended it. The bass is loud and the theme begins. I can’t think of a more epic ending than that. The Laurie Strode story finally came full circle, and it was great to know she was the one who ended it all. It was the only way it needed to happen. So to me, this film took what the originals had, built on it and really gave us an evolved Laurie and Michael. This to me is the ending of the series. Like I stated earlier we didn’t need Resurrection. This was the perfect Halloween sequel we had been waiting for since 1981.

Favorite Character– Laurie. It was great seeing how she evolved and how much stronger she was now. Something I don’t think even she knew until she was tested.

Favorite Death– Sarah…her leg being crushed, her trying to crawl her away. It was great, Myers pushes her neck down and stabs that enourmous blade into her back.

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Halloween II (1981) I want to start off by saying this movie made me terrified of hospitals. I think out of the originals this one scares me the most. Michael Myers looks scarier. His mask is messed up from the past few hours, he is dirty, he is even more pissed off now. This really did feel like a continuation. Besides some of the bushes and grass, the direction was on point. The cast was great, you really couldn’t tell John Carpenter didn’t direct the entire thing.

A lot of people feel this movie changed what made the first film scary by showing the blood and gore. I think it was bound to happen. For one, there is more light in this movie. You can’t hide behind the darkness. Yes, Michael’s methods changed, but so did his circumstances. He wasn’t walking around with a giant butcher knife. He had to be a little creative and brutal at times. The hammer in the head was great, the hot tub scene is awesome to me. One of the worst things ever, for one to drown, but to have your skin being boiled off too? That nurse must’ve done something really f*cked up in her life to deserve that.

The needle in the temple was disturbing. It showed that Michael Myers was smart, and the way the scene was shot was great. His mask slowly comes in to the light, and bam. This installment also brought a death everyone wanted to recreate: Myers stabbing the nurse in the back and raising her up, then her shoes fall off as she finally dies. It was genius to me. Who knew a scalpel could be so dangerous?

I’m really glad they decided to go with the same Halloween night in 1978. Although the original idea of Myers coming after Laurie in her apartment building was good, no one has done a hospital setting quite as well as they did with here. It made hospitals creepy. This also brought the brother storyline into play. It gave the film a deeper meaning to me. A lot of people hate that they chose to go that way, but it made it more disturbing. Myers wants to kill her because he didn’t get to as a child. Kind of like finishing the work he started.

Michael Myers‘ movements were very robotic, not to the extent that you can say “that’s not the same person.” Once he finally finds Laurie it got intense. The scene where she is waiting on the elevator may be even worse than the kids not opening the door in the original.

Once we reach the end, it was only right for the guy everyone blamed to end it all. I think Dr. Loomis finally understood that Michael Myers can’t be stopped when he stood back up from being shot. Sure that lead to his crazy obsession later, but it was what brought him to blow them both to hell. When Laurie shot Michael’s eyes out one would think it would be over. But no, he starts swinging, showing no signs of giving up. It was another moment where you ask yourself, “what is it going to take to stop this guy?” After Loomis blows the place up and you can start to see Michael walking out of the flames it was just one more thing that showed his determination. Nothing was going to stop him until the fire got to be too much.

So I think out of the first two HalloweeN films, this one is more memorable. If you think about it since it’s a continuation and it serves as the final act to the entire story. Plus, every time I go in a hospital I kind of expect to see Michael following me down a deserted corridor.

Favorite Character– Michael Myers. He was his scariest in this movie to me. Everything about him was perfect. None of the other entries have made him this terrifying to me.

Favorite Death– I think it’s a tie between Jill and Karen. The stab in the back became iconic, but the scalding water was horrible to me. So for me it’s a tie.

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Rob Zombie’s Halloween Yes, this is my top pick. I’m sure a lot of people disagree with me. Im just going to explain why I like it. To be honest, when I heard Rob Zombie was making Halloween 9 I didn’t like the idea. I thought that he would turn it into white trashville. While the first half of the movie was that indeed, the rest wasn’t.

I’m not sure what makes Michael scarier: not knowing why he snapped, or seeing what could have caused it. Regardless, Rob’s beginning was good. When little Michael finally loses it, it was brutal. He was so vicious. Beating people with branches and bats, slicing their throats open, and making sure they know he did it.

The film gave us a little more insight on the parents of Michael Myers. While it wasn’t a typical family, it was a family. Seeing Debra Myers, or hearing her, blow her head off was sad. Her family had fallen apart in the worst way. Overlooking the fact that every other word was f*ck or cunt, and looking at the way the story was told, the kills, and the direction, I could appreciate it.

It also gave some insight on why he wore a mask. In the original films,  no one really knew what Michael’s face looked like after a while. Once it switches to Michael as an adult, it was great to me that they made him a beast. It was the only way to top the original. There is something about a 7 foot tall guy with a white mask and a giant knife that makes it more intimidating.

It was great having Danielle Harris back, I think she was a good Annie. I didn’t really care for Linda, and I think Laurie was portrayed very well. Scout Taylor-Compton might not have been the best actress but she was good enough. Malcolm McDowell was great as Dr. Loomis, I think he was on the same level as Donald Pleasence. it’s a shame they turned him into a crazy, money hungry ass in the sequel.

Brad Dourif was a great addition to the cast. He was a fresh take on Brackett in my opinion. Seeing Michael Myers put on the rotted mask for the first time was great, it really made the mask more terrifying to me. It gave it more of a raw and mean look to it. Out of all 9 films featuring Michael he looks the best in this one. He might not have been as much of a shadow stalker as he was in the originals, but he had his moments, especially when he is just standing behind Lindsay. Then he is following the girls throughout the night.

Michael Myers was his scariest in this movie to me. Everything about him was perfect. None of the other entries have made him this terrifying to me. I personally like that he was more brutal when he struck. It gave a pay off after watching him wait for his opportunity. One of the best scenes is when Laurie finds Annie, it was hectic. Then Myers chases her back across the street, bursts through the door and finally takes her away. I also like that he didn’t want to kill Laurie (at first) but wanted to be with her. Once she stabbed him though, it was like all hell broke loose. He was busting through walls, breaking through ceilings, he was unstoppable.

When we finally got to the ending and Michael breaks through the car window, it was intense. All the way up until he tackles Laurie off the roof. When she gets the gun, and shot after shot its empty, I was like sh*t. How long is this movie gonna be? Then he grabs her and the gun finally goes off. The blood shoots up in her face, she is screaming because she just killed someone. It ended on an intense note. It didn’t give us a few more scenes of closure, it ended with her covered with blood screaming her head off.

I think this version deserves to be on top because it made Michael Myers scary again, which was something that was lost along the way. It also managed to do so in a different way. He looked awesome and intimidating. Danielle Harris was back, along with some great cast members. The film was was loud, intense, rough, and jumpy. It was an entirely different take on the original, which was quiet and slow. So even though a lot of the same events happen, this film unfolded in a different manner. In a way the remake and the original complement each other. I don’t think John Carpenter could have captured the brutality and fast pace that Rob Zombie was going for, and I don’t think Rob could have done the slow eerie movie John made either. So I’m sure people are going to disagree and honestly that’s great. What is this forum for if not for discussion?

Favorite Character– Annie. Danielle did a great job introducing her to a new generation.

Favorite death– The baseball bat. It was brutal seeing and hearing young Michael Myers cave the other kid’s head in with a bat. Judith’s death was right up there with this though.

So how would you put the films in order, whats your favorite? Which do you hate? Would you give them all great reviews? Let me know what you think? Where would you take the series from here? Or where do you want to see it go? I have given my opinion on that, and posted a 4 part story of how I think the next chapter should play out. I can’t wait to see what you guys think!

 

Related articles
HalloweeN Series: Ranking The Films Against Each Other (Part 1)
Halloween: H20 Discussion
Similarities between HalloweeN II and Halloween: Resurrection
Revisiting Halloween Resurrection
Survival of Dr. Loomis: HalloweeN to Return of Michael Myers

  • Michaelantern

    Halloween at #4? Rob Zombie’s remake at #1? For all the credit I gave you after part one of this list, I have to now give you an equally sincere “are you crazy?” lol

  • KillerWithAkirkMask

    I can understand why you thought this way about the films. Although Halloween was the one that started them all, people and kids of this generation do not find the movie scary. In my opinion, it was a terrifying for it’s time and a masterpiece of cinema. When I went to go see Halloween when it came back to theaters a few months ago, people were actully laughing at it. I can see why you had it at number four. The only thing I would have to disagree with is the remake at number one. I didn’t hate the remake but Michael was no boogyman. He was just a kid that had a bad life and just lost it. I can see what Zombie was going h for trying to give Michael a backstory. But holy crap the first hour of the film was just anoying as hell! Michael screaming like a little girl and being such a momma’s boy little bitch. But after all of that, the movie was descent. Except for our main characters. They were all sex crazed dumbass teenagers! As for the Halloween remake, it was a descent movie but it was definately not the best.

  • johnb92

    looking back at this…as i wrote it a while back…i would change the order and Halloween 2 1981 would be my top pic. Out of the original series, it was the scariest to me. The remake however would be #2

  • drewkrotz

    In my opinion, there are only two Halloween films worth talking about. Halloween 1 (1978) and Halloween 2 (1981).
    Ranked in that order.

    Have a nice day

  • Nice write up and we will all have our own list in our own order. Thanks for taking me down memory lane. RZ part 1 was well played but I still say the first is the best and like your first lover, the one you will never forget. ROCK ON

  • johnb92

    Thanks man, its nice to see that people can appreciate someone’s opinion regardless if they feel the same way or not.

  • I am just glad you take the time to write and it is always fun to open dialogue on the best killer in town…..Mr Michael Myers

  • Dan

    I agree with your list up until the top 4. Halloween 1978 was in my opinion the best for many reasons, but I like that there is no relation between Michael and Laurie. The randomness of his deciding to follow her, the way Nick Castle moves and the way the mask fit him loosely, as well as the perfect movie score all adds to it. Then , I would pick. RZ Halloween , H20, and H2 would be my fourth pick. I liked the mask being dirty, but his robotic posture and walk is stale and not scary to me. RZ’s Hallowen and H20 provided a Michael that was menacing and fluid in his movements and posture. Which is also credit to the directors for getting great shots. But H2 is still a classic, and those first two films are ingrained into my mind. Just loved catching those movies on TV as a kid.

  • The original should’ve been #1

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