When John Carpenter was filming one of his great successes, "Halloween," back in 1977, there was no way for him to know that he's building an empire that would last for at least half a century. The film cost about only $300,000 but could amass $70 million worldwide and was an immense success.
People wanted a sequel because the myth of Michael Myers was built and established. After two sequels, Carpenter was no longer involved in the game. But filmmakers preserved his legacy because of the popularity of the first Halloween produced by him.
Halloween has had a significant influence on the slasher genre. Originally, Halloween itself was inspired by another low-budget horror film, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The success of Halloween paved the way for other horror franchises, such as A Nightmare on Elm Street. The franchises continued their parallel journey, but Halloween has kept the title of "Godfather" of the slasher genre.
No wonder you wanted to know how many Halloween movies there are. It is because you're not alone. So far, there are 11 Halloween movies out there. And 12th is on the waiting list.
Here's a complete list of every film in the franchise. Some are terrifying, some are just okay, and only a few of them feature the actual screaming queen, Jamie Lee Curtis. In 2019, John Carpenter promised to deliver two more sequels, Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends. It's speculated that Halloween Ends might be the end of this fantastic franchise.
Here is a complete list of every movie in the franchise.
The original Halloween, directed and co-authored by Carpenter, is one of the scariest and merciless thrillers comparable to "Psycho." The movie revolves around a character aptly described as "evil personified" by another character. This vicious character, Michael Myers, is a six-year-old boy. Right in the beginning, he kills her sister and is sent away. His psychiatrist spends eight years helping him and then locks him up for another seven years. But the guy somehow manages to escape on the eve of Halloween and returns to the same place where he committed his first murder. There he goes on a killing spree.
Carpenter knows how to paint the picture, and his use of foregrounds is remarkably exceptional. He establishes a situation, makes his audience familiar with it, and then something looms up in the foreground.
Another significant thing about this movie is that everything looks normal until a human monster pops up on the screen.
In the end, Michael Myers, the invincible killer, tries to kill Jamie Lee Curtis. Donald Pleasence, who plays Dr. Loomis, the psychiatrist, fires six bullets at the killer. The killer dies, but his body disappears.
The movie laid the foundation for the slasher genre, still loved by millions of fans worldwide. It also served as an introduction to Jamie Lee Curtis, who played Laurie Strode in the film. Michael Myers emerged as a horror icon after the release of this iconic movie. Creepy and strange in every way, this movie is worth watching on Halloween night.
Remember to turn off the lights before you aim to watch it.
Halloween II (1981)
It's sad to witness that this movie is such a disgrace, a downfall from greatness. John Carpenter's original Halloween was a tremendous success and gave rise to several imitations.
The movie doesn't involve the refined imagination of the original; instead, it features new technology. It contains a close-up scene of a needle penetrating an eyeball. In one set, the perpetrator disfigures the face of a beautiful girl by plunging it into a pool of scalding water.
Besides the props I've mentioned, this film comes up with some new ideas. One of the nastiest gimmicks involves an intravenous tube. The killer employs this device to drain blood from one of his victims. We credit Filmmaker for this scene.
This movie takes place right after the events of the original Halloween movie because it's a direct sequel to it. Michael Myers chases Laurie Strode in hospital. He kills staff members one by one as he continues his chase.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
Although a sequel to Halloween II, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, is the most bizarre and confusing movie in the entire franchise, so much that some fans and most film critics don't count this film in the franchise and argue that it doesn't belong there. It is also the only movie in the franchise that doesn't feature Michael Myers as the perpetrator.
While it isn't easy to relate it to the original Halloween, it is not entirely unrelated because it's the tale of a toy manufacturer who prepares killer Halloween masks.
The original idea for the franchise was for it to be a catalog of different stories related to Halloween. But the character of Michael Myers became so popular that it became an essential part of every sequel that followed. As its popularity boomed, the original Halloween idea vanished. This movie tries to adhere to the original idea of the Halloween series.
Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
This film came with the return of Michael Myers and gained immense popularity because of it. The film does not correlate with Halloween III and is set ten years after the events depicted in Halloween II.
The most ludicrous part of this movie is at its beginning. There's no explanation for how Michael Myers survived what seemed like imminent death. He comes out of nowhere and goes on his killing spree.
Donald Pleasence plays Dr. Loomis for the third time in this movie, but this is the first film not to include Laurie Strode. According to this film, Laurie Strode died in a car accident, and this time, it's Jamie Lloyd, Laurie's daughter, chased by her uncle.
This film is fun to watch.
Halloween V: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
Many fans of the Halloween series believe that Halloween 5 became the hallmark of the downfall of this franchise. Although Halloween 4 ends beautifully, hinting at the birth of a new killer, Halloween 5 seems to ignore this suggestion and comes up with a dull and confusing Michael Myers story.
The story of this film was set one year after Halloween 4, but it failed to keep to the plan. The film introduces a novel origin of Michael Myers with astonishing supernatural abilities. The film involved a rushed production that resulted in an inconsistent pattern, which is evident in the entire movie.
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
It is also one of the most nonsensical films ever made in the Halloween series. It's one that managed to kill the entire series in a manner that the original Halloween revived again. It inherits a nonsensical, cult storyline from its predecessor and portrays Michael Myers hunting the son of his niece.
This film introduces the Cult of Thorn that wasn't adopted in the subsequent sequels. People in the cult seem to support Michael Myers after torturing him. It's not even clear why he began his killing spree. The entire movie is an unsolved puzzle, even in the end. But some fun scenes appeal to some fans.
What's most significant about this movie is that it features the last role of Donald Pleasence as Dr. Loomis. He died soon afterward. This film also marks one of the historical roles of Paul Rudd, who plays the role of a young adult. Despite featuring such iconic actors, this film could not save itself from falling into its ultimate pitfall.
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
This film was named so because of its release 20 years after the release of the original Halloween. Halloween H20 marks the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode. It's crucial since this film is the direct sequel of the original Halloween, ignoring all the craziness that came after that.
The ending of this movie is remarkable. If it were the last movie of the series, it would have been the best in the series. It provides a decent and memorable end to the saga of a remarkable character, Michael Myers. This movie is worth your time if you're a Michael Myers fan.
In this film, Laurie is living under a false name when Michael Myers returns to seek revenge. This film also features some new actors as teenagers. Overall, this film marks a decent return to the original concept of the Halloween series.
I will advise you to watch it as the sequel to the first "Halloween." You'll enjoy it the most!
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Most fans believe that this film was pure garbage, despite some claims that it was an effort to revitalize the series. Although Jamie Lee Curtis returns in this movie, she appears for a short time. She is killed off in the opening scene of this movie.
Another significant drift from the original storyline of the first Halloween comes when the movie focuses on a ridiculous reality show. Contestants compete in this reality show to get a chance to spend a night in Michael Myers' childhood home.
The film introduces a reality TV show that takes place in Michael Myers' house. The reality show films people's experience of spending a night in the home of a serial killer.
As reality shows were gaining popularity in those days, this film tries to use the fame of these shows to attract some audience. However, filmmakers failed to realize that every reality show fan is not fond of horror movies.
They also failed to appeal to genuine fans of this franchise. Overall, this movie marks another low point in the series.
In 2007, Rob Zombie came up with his brilliant addition to the Halloween franchise. The Film experts and Halloween fans stamped it as a reboot of Halloween and was the first serious effort towards modernizing the old script and storyline. The film also focuses on the history and development of Michael Myers.
The film was successful in presenting Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Loomis. But this version of Dr. Loomis is a little different from the original Donald Pleasence version. The film seems to follow the same storyline and patterns as the original Halloween and won the applause of those who wanted to see more violence in the first, classic version.
Overall, this is a brilliant effort that is reminiscent of the old, classic version of Halloween and an attempt towards modernization. The use of technology, gritty surroundings, and Rob Zombie's take on the storyline are some of the few things that make this film great.
Add it as the third in your Halloween movies list.
Halloween II (2009)
In 2009, Rob Zombie released another film that followed the same timeline as his first reboot film. In the beginning, the film seems to remind you of the same story as the 1981's sequel. But it ends up in uncharted territory with a strange twist.
The film introduces some parapsychological elements in Michael Myers' character. These elements relate to familial connections between him, his mother, and Laurie Strode.
After several disappointments, including two reboots from Rob Zombie, this film is a direct sequel to Carpenter's original Halloween movie. This movie sets a new timeline that is just after the events of the first Halloween movie.
Since it's a direct sequel to the original film, it's understandable that it ignores all the craziness that came after the first Halloween film. For these reasons, some fans call it one of the best of the entire franchise.
The film is set 40 years after the events of the original Halloween movie. While living an independent and successful life, Laurie is not so unmindful of the return of Michael.
Instead, she prepares for his return, and she was right about it. The real sequel was marked as brutal and bloody and was thought of as a real resurrection of the series.
I won't remind you now this movie should be at number 4 on your watch list.
Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends
After the tremendous success of Halloween 2018, John Carpenter announced two sequels with titles for Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends. Halloween Kills intends to follow the end of the preceding movie in which Laurie and her family prepare to organize the town against Michael Myers.
Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends are scheduled to be released in the ninth month of 2021 and 2022, respectively. Good luck if you like them, for they will be last on your list!
You can wait for more in the decade.
You might find many horror movies claiming to be Halloween. But the actual Halloween series with many successful or failed sequels only has 11 movies as released, while the 12 is expected in 2022.
However, if you have been searching “how many Halloween movies are there;” to add some to the watch list, I would advise you to watch those first, which have been credited as the best. It’ll save your time and prevent you from disappointment.