In 1978, John Carpenter directed the first Halloween movie and changed horror forever. It redefined the slasher genre and kicked off one of the longest horror franchises ever, having 13 movies. When Randy discussed the rules you have to abide by to survive in Scream, Halloween was on the TV, giving him and us the guidelines. It created a mold with elements, like the Final Girl, that many horror movies follow until this day. To understand its long history and influence, you must be itching to know how to watch all Halloween movies in order, so let’s get to it.
How to Watch the Halloween Movies in Order
The Halloween franchise has been through a lot; directors, changes, and unbelievable situations. It has three timelines, each with a different style and director, but all are centered around the silent killer Michael Myers hunting Laurie Strode and terrorizing Haddonfield. All of them have their highs and lows, but it doesn’t stop people from loving the franchise with all their hearts.
After the latest movie, Halloween Ends, the franchise seemingly reached its conclusion (but we know horror franchises don’t work like that). Though it’s strange to think 2023 will have a new exorcist, Scream 6, both Alien and Friday the 13th tv shows, and yet the most classic horror franchise won’t be making a return. We can hope by the time we watch all 13 available movies, someone will have already cooked a new Halloween timeline for us.
Original Halloween Franchise in Order
The first timeline starts with Halloween (1978), directed by Carpenter, who never directs a movie in the franchise again but writes and produces some. After murdering his sister on Halloween, Michael Myers escapes from a psychiatric hospital and goes back to his town, Haddonfield, beginning a new killing spree. After the second movie, the franchise’s quality dropped and rarely went up again, but we still have some interesting projects.
Halloween III is a great example of a direction the franchise can take to make it more interesting than ever before. The movie attempts to turn the horror universe into an anthology series; it forgets about Michael Myers completely and follows a doctor suddenly caught in a conspiracy on Halloween night involving a company that produces toys and masks for kids. Transforming the Halloween franchise into an anthology today would be a great way of revitalizing it.
- Halloween (1978)
- Halloween II (1981)
- Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
- Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
- Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
- Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
- Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
- Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Rob Zombie Halloween Remakes
Rob Zombie, director of House of 1000 Corpses, took on the Halloween franchise and wrote two remakes utilizing a few elements of the original franchise. In the first one, Michael returns to Haddonfield to find his sister, Laurie Strode. Even though it has some great camerawork and death scenes, fans usually avoid these remakes, mainly Halloween II (2009). One of the reasons is that Zombie brings Michael’s backstory as an important element, but that isn’t as interesting as the rest of the story and only makes part of the mystery disappear. It also doesn’t age very well, as it has some homophobic dialogue that will displease viewers.
It’s interesting to note that before Green’s trilogy, Zombie already examined PTSD in a very real way in the Halloween franchise with his second remake.
- Halloween (2007)
- Halloween II (2009)
David Gordon Green Haloween (H40 Timeline)
The H40 timeline excludes every movie from the original franchise after the first one and follows Laurie Strode, traumatized by the events of Halloween (1978) 40 years later. The trilogy starting with Halloween (2018) is directed by David Gordon Green and takes the franchise in a new direction. Only the first one was extremely well-received, but you gotta respect the individuality these movies have, mainly the last one, as it’s the most original of them.
Green shows the different ways trauma acts and affects people. On Halloween (2018), we follow Laurie prepared to hunt Michael Myers, giving agency and a completely new role to our final girl. The other movies treat how trauma affects the other citizens of the town and the city in itself after a while; it’s shown as an element that can change people. Laurie, for example, turns into a distant and quiet person, while the protagonist of Halloween Ends, an innocent and kind boy, becomes a counterpart to Michael Myers.
- Halloween (1978)
- Halloween (2018)
- Halloween Kills (2021)
- Halloween Ends (2022)
- This article was updated on February 10th, 2023