You Can’t Kill the Boogeyman: How To Watch The Halloween Franchise

It’s every horror fan’s favourite time of year. Halloween is just days away now. No doubt, many of you have already been queuing up your favourite scary movies. But what’s more fun than a movie marathon of your favourite series? And what better time to re-visit the Halloween franchise itself. But like any long-running horror property, Halloween and its ‘Boogeyman’, Michael Myers, have undergone several facelifts. Though not as convoluted as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series, Halloween has sequels, remakes, sequels to remakes, and reboots. Not even the sequels themselves follow a direct story. So if you’re looking to spend the night with Michael Myers, there’s a few different ways to watch the series for some sense of continuity. Below are the various Halloween sequel timelines and their respective movies.

The Blumhouse Halloween Timeline

The Movies: Halloween (1978), Halloween (2018)

After collecting dust for nearly a decade, Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions resurrected Michael Myers. John Carpenter was back, albeit as an executive producer (he also composed iconic score again). So was Jamie Lee Curtis. Aside from being the best sequel in the series, Halloween 2018 simplifies a confusing continuity. This is a direct sequel to Carpenter’s 1978 original, with every other movie wiped from existence. No more sibling rivalry. No more ‘Cult of Thorn’. Just a straightforward, lean, and scary sequel. While there’s only two movies in this timeline, just give it a few years. Blumhouse announced two sequels – Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends.

The Original Laurie Strode Timeline

The Movies: Halloween (1978), Halloween II (1980), Halloween H2O: 20 Years Later (1998), Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

Technically, this sort of qualifies as the franchise’s original timeline. Here, the franchise’s first sequel introduces the idea that Michael and Laurie are brother and sister. Oh, it’s also set in the most understaffed hospital ever. Following Halloween II, Laurie Strode didn’t return to the franchise until 1998’s Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. Forget Danielle Harris’ ‘Jamie Lloyd’. This sequel ignores Halloween III to Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. Laurie Strode has a son, not a daughter, a new name, and a new job.

It’s the Halloween movie with not one, but two, franchise low-points.

While Halloween H2O improved on most of the sequels, it wasn’t the end. No, Halloween: Resurrection ends this timeline. Director Rick Rosenthal was back behind the camera for this lame sequel. It’s the Halloween movie with not one, but two, franchise low-points. Halloween: Resurrection kills Laurie Strode in the first act. And Busta Rhymes beats Michael Myers in a kung fu-inspired fight. And this isn’t even the worst movie in the franchise.

The Silver Shamrock Timeline

The Movies: Halloween III Season of the Witch

You have a budding, successful horror franchise with one of the most recognizable horror movie monsters in recent memory. What do you do next? Make a movie without your horror baddie, of course. And that’s what happened. Originally, John Carpenter envisioned a series of ‘Halloween’ movies, each one focused on an original tale. Rick Rosenthal directed Halloween II; Carpenter reluctantly co-wrote the screenplay. Season of the Witch was a return to the original idea – a non-Michael Myers story. Despite audiences outright rejecting the movie, Season of the Witch, and its story of an evil Halloween mask company, is pretty good. Take ‘Halloween’ out of the title and any preconceptions about its story, and its box office fate may have been different.

The Jamie Lloyd Timeline

The Movies: Halloween (1978), Halloween (1981)*, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (19950

Though this timeline includes the original 1978 Halloween, this is Jamie Lloyd’s story told over its own three movies. Following the collective shoulder-shrugging that met Halloween III, executive producer Moustapha Akkad didn’t just bring Michael Myers back. He made sure to announce his return right in the title. Of course, it took some light ret-conning to bring back both Myers and Dr Loomis, but nothing we haven’t seen in any other horror franchise. As nice as it was to have ‘The Shape’ back on the screen, The Return of Michael Myers can’t shake feeling a bit derivative of the slashers the original movie influenced. Nonetheless, there’s still a few nice slasher moments and an ending that promises a new direction.

All six years got Halloween fans was some ridiculous retconning, a ‘Cult of Thorn’, and no Danielle Harris.

Too bad Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers fumbled the ball on that ending. Instead, it’s all familiar ‘stalk and slash’ with one truly good sequence in the abandoned Myers house. Like Part 4, The Revenge of Michael Myers looked to shake things up with a ‘Man in Black’ and a cliffhanger ending. However, it would take six years for the next sequel. Even that wasn’t enough time to come up with logical, let alone, good follow up. All six years got Halloween fans was some ridiculous retconning, a ‘Cult of Thorn’, and no Danielle Harris. Bottom-line – Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is the worst movie in the series. Not even a young Paul Rudd could save this sequel.

The Rob Zombie Timeline

The Movies: Halloween (2007), Halloween II (2009)

In spite of its title, Halloween: Resurrection turned out to be a bit of a franchise killer. Even when studios were ready to ‘resurrect’ Michael Myers again, they opted for the ‘remake-re-imagining’ route. Enter Grindhouse master Rob Zombie who promptly gave Michael Myers a ‘Hillbilly’ origin story. Though it was counter-intuitive to ‘The Shape’s’ mystique, Zombie’s Halloween 2007 takes the franchise in a fresh direction for its first half. Then Zombie was forced into cramming the original movie into his remake’s back half. For his 2009 sequel, however, Zombie had free reign. The result was a brutal, sadistic movie with some idiosyncratic flair, but ultimately too ugly for most fans.

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I am a Criminology professor in Canada but I've always had a passion for horror films. Over the years I've slowly begun incorporating my interest in the horror genre into my research. After years of saying I wanted to write more about horror I have finally decided to create my own blog where I can share some of my passion and insights into the films I love.

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