All the ‘Halloween’ Timelines Ranked From Worst to Best

in Movies & TV

Michael Myers in Halloween 2018

Credit: Universal Studios

Halloween is unlike any other slasher franchise out there, whether it’s Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Child’s Play, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or Friday the 13th. Or even film franchises in general, for that matter.

Where else does the main protagonist keep returning, despite being killed off in previous installments? What other series has a spin-off that has nothing to do with the other films whatsoever? And does anything have quite as many timelines as Halloween?!

Michael Myers in Halloween Kills
Credit: Universal Studios

Related: Every Version of Michael Myers Ranked From Worst to Best

Halloween isn’t the only one, of course, and these days, with reboots at every turn, most franchises tend to have at least two different timelines. But it’s fair to say that none of them are “choose-your-own-adventures” like Halloween.

So, we’ve ranked all the Halloween timelines from worst to best (although we haven’t included any producer’s cuts or director’s cuts, because this franchise is confusing enough as it is!).

Related: ‘Halloween’ Should Have Stayed In 1978 — Here’s Why

7. Halloween III: Season of the Witch

Halloween 3 The Season of the Witch
Credit: Universal Studios

Halloween is the only slasher franchise with a spin-off that doesn’t feature the main antagonist. In fact, not only is Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) missing Michael Myers — it’s set in a different timeline altogether, with zero connection to any of the actual Halloween films.

While this helps make Halloween incredibly unique compared to other slashers (yes, we know that two Friday the 13th films technically don’t feature the hockey mask-wearing lunatic Jason Voorhees, but those aren’t spin-offs), the fact that Season of the Witch isn’t really a Halloween film makes putting this timeline at the bottom an easy choice.

Related: Does Michael Myers Actually Talk In ‘Halloween Kills’?!

6. Halloween, Halloween II, and The Thorn Trilogy

Jamie Lloyd in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Credit: Trancas International

Halloween: The Thorn Trilogy is comprised of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), and follows on from Halloween (1978) and Halloween II (1981).

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is nowhere to be seen in this series of films, and this time her orphaned daughter Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris/JC Brandy in Curse) takes over. Return is a solid entry, while Revenge is an awful Halloween film, but it’s really the absolutely bonkers Curse that lets the trilogy down. And Paul Rudd’s performance as Tommy Doyle is equally weird.

Related: 5 Things About Michael Myers That Aren’t True

5. Halloween, Halloween II, H20, and Resurrection

Michael Myers in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
Credit: Dimension Films

How do you kill Michael Myers? That’s easy — Halloween: Resurrection (2002)! The timeline made up of Halloween, Halloween II, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), and Resurrection might be one of the more consistent, but the final film was the final nail in the coffin.

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later is the first film in the franchise to wipe out a bunch of previous sequels (Return, Revenge, and Curse). It’s a great legacy sequel that also serves as a satisfying conclusion to Laurie Strode’s long battle with Michael Myers, but unfortunately it’s followed up by Resurrection, which inexplicably and shamelessly rewrites H20‘s brilliant ending.

Related: All 7 Jamie Lee Curtis Performances In the ‘Halloween’ Movies Ranked

4. Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween II

Rob Zombie's Halloween 2
Credit: Dimension Films

Though there are many films in the Halloween series that stand out like sore thumbs — Season of the Witch (evil masks), Curse (ancient cults), and Resurrection (Busta Rhymes), none of those entries feel quite as out of place as Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007) and Halloween II (2009).

Perhaps it’s because they’re the only two films that don’t overlap with any other timeline, or maybe it’s because they’re weird, grungy, and surreal. Zombie has a habit of making his films feel like ’70s grindhouse flicks, but, at least in terms of solid timelines, while Halloween II does end on something of an unresolved cliffhanger, this timeline does, for the most part, feel complete.

Related: Producer Confirms ‘Halloween Ends’ Won’t Be the Last Movie In the Series

3. Halloween and the New Halloween Trilogy

Halloween 2018
Credit: Universal Studios

What’s scarier than Michael Myers emerging from the closet in your bedroom? Finding David Gordon Green’s widely divisive Halloween Trilogy in third place on the list of Halloween timelines, of course (along with the original 1978 film)!

Halloween (2018) did what Resurrection failed to do — it brought Michael Myers back from the dead without being a terrible film (it’s easily the best one in the Halloween franchise). Halloween Kills (2021), however, despite doing what it says on the tin, leaves a lot to be desired from a storytelling perspective, while Halloween Ends (2022) wraps things up quite nicely.

Related: A Recap of the ‘Halloween’ Franchise Before You Watch ‘Halloween Ends’

2. Halloween, Halloween II, and H20

Michael Myers in Halloween II
Credit: Universal Studios

How did this Halloween timeline make it onto our list again? Well, you may have noticed that one film is suddenly missing — yes, Halloween: Resurrection has been omitted! But how is that fair, you might ask. Aren’t we just taking liberties?

Not quite — Resurrection is widely considered not to be canon within this timeline. Even while H20 was filming, plans for a sequel were underway. So even when they knew Michael Myers was going to be killed off, they had plans to retcon it in the most absurd way imaginable. For this reason, it’s fair that many consider the events of Resurrection not to have actually happened!

Related: Where to Next For the ‘Halloween’ Franchise After ‘Ends’?

1. Halloween and Halloween II

Halloween 1978
Credit: Compass International Pictures/Falcon International Pictures

Ranking all the Halloween timelines wasn’t easy — after all, while for the most part you need to put the quality of individual films aside, this can’t always be the case. Rob Zombie’s Halloween timeline is pretty decent, but those films are hardly among the strongest in the series.

The short and sweet timeline that is Halloween (1978) and Halloween II (1981), however, is an absolute no-brainer. With that said, neither film is perfect — we don’t even consider the 1978 classic to be a masterpiece like so many believe it to be, while its 1981 sequel is riddled with flaws and feels horribly rushed. Nevertheless, this is easily the “cleanest” Halloween timeline.

Related: 5 Reasons Why ‘Halloween Ends’ Is the Best Sequel Since ‘Halloween’

(L to R) Andi Matichak as Allyson Nelson and Rohan Campbell as Corey Cunningham in Halloween Ends
Credit: Universal Studios

As per Universal Pictures, here’s the official synopsis for David Gordon Green’s 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

Michael Myers in Halloween Ends
Credit: Universal Studios

Related: Every ‘Halloween’ Movie Ranked Worst to Best

Halloween Ends is directed by David Gordon Green, who previously helmed Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills (2021). It 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). Newcomers are Rohan Campbell and Michael O’Leary, who play Corey Cunningham and Dr. Mathis, respectively.

Halloween Ends is now yours to own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD.

How would you rank the Halloween timelines? Let us know in the comments down below!

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