Halloween Ends (2022) will conclude David Gordon Green’s Halloween Trilogy, which ignores all the Halloween films that followed John Carpenter’s 1978 classic. But this new series of films isn’t the first time Halloween has wiped out a bunch of sequels from canon, and it probably won’t be the last, either.
There have also been anthology spin-offs, and even straight-up remakes, so, as you might expect, there are a fair few timelines within Halloween — which makes it a pretty unique slasher franchise, or movie franchise in general, for that matter! In fact, it’s enough to give Marvel’s Multiverse a run for its money.
1. Halloween and Halloween II
The first timeline in the Halloween franchise consists only of the first two movies, Halloween (1978) and Halloween II (1981). While there are many fans who would disagree with this, the anthology film Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) separates the 1981 sequel from any subsequent installments featuring Michael Myers.
We also see both Michael Myers (Dick Warlock) and Dr. Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasence) die in a fiery explosion in Halloween II. This is the first of many Halloween timelines that feature Jamie Lee Curtis’ “final girl” Laurie Strode, as well as Donald Pleasence’s Dr. Samuel Loomis.
2. Halloween III: Season of the Witch
When it comes to Halloween timelines, Halloween III: Season of the Witch requires no explanation. When the studio decided to kill off Michael Myers in Halloween II, they thought that the best way to continue the Halloween franchise was with an anthology movie set in an entirely different universe.
However, as the supernatural “Silver Shamrock” mask-focused horror was a flop, well, that was the end of that, and before you can say “bogeyman”, Michael Myers was back with his third Halloween movie, along with original Halloween actor Donald Pleasance, reprising his role as Dr. Samuel Loomis.
3. Halloween, Halloween II, and The Thorn Trilogy
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), are collectively referred to as Halloween: The Thorn Trilogy. And rightly so, as together they are very much their own animal within the Halloween franchise.
Returning to the Michael Myers-occupied timeline, they follow on from the first two movies in the series, focusing largely on the character of Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris in the first two/JC Brandy in the final entry) and a cult that, ahem, “controls” Michael Myers. Consistency is a problem here, but fortunately, Donald Pleasance is in all three.
4. Halloween, Halloween II, and The Thorn Trilogy Version 2.0
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers – The Producer’s Cut (1995), which is the preferred version among fans, has a different look, feel, and ending, thus creating another Halloween timeline. Unfortunately, despite indeed being the superior of the two versions, it’s actually near-impossible to get hold of without paying a small fortune.
Either way, interestingly, cuts, whether a director’s or producer’s, are sometimes known to de-canonize the theatrical version, such as Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021). More recently, Jurassic World Dominion (2022) director Colin Trevorrow even said that the “Extended Cut” of the film is the “real” version.
5. Halloween, Halloween II, and Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
This is where things start to get confusing and divisive at the same time. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) makes no mystery out of the fact that it ignores Halloween 4, Halloween 5, and Halloween 6 (The Thorn Trilogy), and is a sequel only to the original Halloween and Halloween II.
This is obvious from the fact that Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role as Laurie Strode alone (her alias is Keri Tate), as she is unceremoniously killed off between Halloween II and Halloween 4. While there is another sequel after H20, seeing as Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) decapitates Michael Myers (Chris Durand), H20 is the end of yet another timeline.
6. Halloween, Halloween II, H20, and Halloween: Resurrection
Halloween: Resurrection (2002) is a direct sequel to Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, but the fact that it completely undoes Michael Myers’ death-by-decapitation with some downright awful retconning means that it takes place in a different timeline altogether. Simply put, Michael Myers is not a random paramedic in the 1998 film.
Even Jamie Lee Curtis has since admitted that there were plans to bring Michael Myers back for Halloween: Resurrection while Halloween H20: 20 Years Later was filming — even when the filmmakers knew Myers would legitimately be killed off. However, Curtis demanded her own character to be killed off in the 2002 sequel.
7. Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween II
Much like Halloween III: The Season of the Witch, the timeline for Rob Zombie’s two Halloween reboots are self-explanatory. His first movie, Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007), is a remake of John Carpenter’s 1978 original, while his sequel, Halloween II (2009), is, more or less, a remake of the original Halloween II directed by Rick Rosenthal.
Beyond Rob Zombie’s two Halloween installments, though, the “Jamie Lee Curtis” timeline ended up being restored – well, one of them anyway. And while Laurie Strode is still a significant character in Zombie’s films, she’s played by Scout Taylor-Compton. Danielle Harris also returns to the franchise, this time playing Annie Brackett.
8. Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween II — Director’s Cut
Similar to Halloween: The Thorn Trilogy, there’s also a director’s cut of Rob Zombie’s 2009 Halloween sequel. Halloween II – Director’s Cut (2009) is in no way considered superior to its theatrical predecessor like Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is, but it’s still an alternate version of the movie that can be viewed in full.
With several restored scenes and an entirely different ending — in which Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) actually speaks — Halloween II — Director’s Cut follows a slightly different path than the theatrical version of the film. While many would argue that this doesn’t necessarily create another timeline, it’s still a slightly altered series of events nonetheless.
9. Halloween, Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills, and Halloween Ends
And so we finally arrive at the current Halloween timeline, which starts with David Gordon Green’s Halloween (2018). Although, technically speaking, it actually starts with the original Halloween film directed by John Carpenter, seeing as it’s the only one that these new films acknowledge as canon — nothing else between that film and the 2018 one matters.
The 2018 de-boot (for lack of a better term) continues with Halloween Kills (2021), and concludes with this year’s Halloween Ends (2022), which marks the end of the latest Halloween Trilogy. There’s no telling where things might go from here, but knowing this franchise, another Halloween timeline is probably inevitable.
As per Universal Pictures, here’s the official synopsis for Halloween Ends:
Four years after the events of last year’s Halloween Kills, Laurie is living with her granddaughter Allyson and is finishing writing her memoir. Michael Myers hasn’t been seen since his last brutal rampage. Laurie, after allowing the specter of Michael to determine and drive her reality for decades, has decided to liberate herself from fear and rage and embrace life. But when a young man, Corey Cunningham, is accused of killing a boy he was babysitting, it ignites a cascade of violence and terror that will force Laurie to finally confront the evil she can’t control, once and for all.
— Universal Pictures
Halloween Ends stars Jamie Lee Curtis (Laurie Strode), Andi Matichak (Allyson Nelson), Will Patton (Officer Frank Hawkins), Omar Dorsey (Sheriff Barker), Kyle Richards (Lindsey Wallace), and James Jude Courtney (Michael Myers).
Nick Castle, who played Michael Myers in the original Halloween and had cameos in both Halloween and Halloween Kills, is also expected to return. Newcomers are Rohan Campbell and Michael O’Leary, who play Corey Cunningham and Dr. Mathis, respectively.
Were you aware that this many timelines existed in the Halloween franchise? Let us know in the comments down below!