The Halloween Movies
The Halloween Movie Franchise
You will here find information about the Halloween movie franchise; details about all 10 films in the series, and a bit of information about actors that had recurring roles in the series.
As well as details about the Halloween movies, I have also included reviews here of some of the films I believe to be amongst the very best in the franchise.
Read on to find out more about the Halloween movie series starring fictional serial killer Michael Myers
[Image Credit: Amazon.com]
The History of the Halloween Movies
1978 was the year that the world was first introduced to the Halloween movies with the release of John Carpenter's original Halloween film. It was here that we first got to know Jamie Lee Curtis as a scream queen, and reference was drawn in the film to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, arguably the film that first popularised the slasher movie, with its naming of the character Dr. Sam Loomis (Sam Loomis being the same name taken by John Gavin's character in Psycho). This wasn't the only reference to popular culture that the film would make, with Halloween slasher killer Michael Myers actually wearing a William Shatner Captain Kirk mask within the film (albeit painted white to provide that hauntingly expressionless mask). Long before Scream hit the scene, satirising the horror genre with its references to films of its genre that had come before, Halloween was already alluding to the horror genre's past, referencing popular culture, and taking the horror genre on a journey of postmodernity.
3 years later Jamie Lee Curtis was back for Halloween II, this time directed by Rick Rosenthal, although after this point she was not to star in another Halloween movie until Halloween H20 in 1998, released 20 years after the first Halloween film in the series. Donald Pleasence meanwhile was also back for Halloween II, and made appearances in Halloween IV, Halloween V, and Halloween VI for that matter, unfortunately by the time Halloween H20 rolled around however, the fantastic British actor Donald Pleasence had sadly passed away.
To date there have been 10 Halloween movies in the series, 8 films to start with (of which Jamie Lee Curtis starred in both the first 2 and the last 2), and then 2 further films as Rob Zombie chose to reboot the series in the 2000s. The following is a full list of all the films in the series thus far:
- 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)
- Halloween (2007)
- Halloween II (2009)
Michael Myers stars in all 10 of the films in the series except for Halloween III, a film that is instead about a company that uses Halloween masks as a means for murder on Halloween night. It's therefore the only film in the series not to fall into the slasher horror genre.
Halloween (1978) Movie Review
John Carpenter's Halloween is a film that I absolutely never tire of watching; I must have seen the film over a hundred times throughout the years and yet I still keep on coming back to watch it over again. I love that this film sees the introduction of Michael Myers, it's brilliant to see Jamie Lee Curtis in such an early role, beginning here stint as a scream queen, and Donald Pleasence I feel is absolutely superb in his role as Dr. Sam Loomis.
At a very young age, young Michael Myers shows his evil nature as he commits murder in his hometown of Haddonfield, and we're then taken 15 years on as his doctor, Dr. Sam Loomis, is desperately trying to convince everyone that Michael Myers is pure evil and should never be allowed free. Unfortunately for Dr. Sam Loomis however, no one really seems to take his concerns too seriously and it's not long before Michael Myers is able to escape; Dr. Sam Loomis suspects that Michael Myers is making his way back from Smith's Grove Sanitarium towards Haddonfield, again he's unable to convince others of Michael's plans however and has to take things upon himself in order to try and track Michael Myers in his journey home.
For me, everything just seems to work about Halloween, right from the word go it has your attention, and the film just never seems to age; an absolute timeless classic if ever there was one, and a film I can't ever see myself getting bored of. There aren't many films that I could possibly watch this many times and keep on enjoying, Halloween is certainly one of them though, and I do in fact struggle to think of another film that I could possibly have seen as many times as I have this one.
If you're after a slasher horror film then you really can't go wrong with John Carpenter's Halloween; the theme song is brilliant, the actors are perfectly chosen, and for me the script is just absolutely brilliant also.
The film is 91 minutes long, you wouldn't know it to watch it though; every time I watch Halloween the time just seems to breeze by, and due to the sheer brilliance of the film you just feel like you're watching for a lot less time than you actually are. Halloween truly is an absolute classic of the horror genre, and a film that I have no qualms recommending 100%.
Halloween on Blu-Ray
Halloween II (1981) Movie Review
Although released 3 years later in 1981, Halloween II is set on the same night as the first film and we catch up with Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) as she's been taken to the local Haddonfield hospital. It's of course not long before Michael Myers is up to his old tricks, and Laurie is left fearing for her life as Michael Myers once again comes after her.
Halloween II is far from having the charm of the first film in the series, they obviously had a sequel in mind when the first Halloween was released however as it was left open for one, and it's therefore no surprise that a sequel did indeed come in 1981 after the success of the original Halloween movie.
Jamie Lee Curtis is once again strong in her role as Laurie Strode, and the film is once more very viewable, predominantly because of the general presence of Jamie Lee Curtis and the threat of the always frightening Michael Myers.
Halloween II isn't as enjoyable as the first Halloween film, it feels less fun and is generally not as good a film, whilst it's not as good as the first film though it is still definitely a film that you should watch after viewing the first film as it's sure to settle some of your interest and intrigue about what's next for Michael Myers. The film could perhaps have been handled better and unlike the original it's certainly no classic, nonetheless though this is still a Halloween film that I'd recommend watching, and another film in which we get to see the brilliance of Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Halloween II on Blu-Ray
Halloween H20 (1998) Movie Review
At 86 minutes long, Halloween H20 is another of those films that feels a lot shorter than it actually is. I absolutely love Halloween H20; it's brilliant to see Jamie Lee Curtis back in the series and it's also great to see Josh Hartnett playing her son. Janet Leigh even gets in on the action with a brief cameo here, bringing the series full circle, initially with its references to Psycho with the character Sam Loomis in the original Halloween (and of course the fact that her daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis stars in the film), and now with the actual inclusion of original Psycho star Janet Leigh in Halloween H20.
It's been 20 years since Michael Myers last showed his face, Laurie Strode still worries that he could one day return however, and is scared that he'll choose the 20th anniversary of his original attack to try and once again come after her. Laurie's son tries to convince her that she's just being stupid, Laurie isn't so sure however, remaining anxious that herself and her family are in danger on Halloween night, and that Michael Myers may just take the opportunity to once again pounce and come after her in his quest to kill.
Halloween H20 is a fun film, another that I have happily watched a lot of times down the years (although still nowhere near as many times as I've seen the original), and it's another film that is always very pleasing to watch.
There's something really very satisfying about watching a Halloween film with Jamie Lee Curtis in it; to me she will always be THE absolute star of the Halloween series along with Donald Pleasence. Okay, okay, so Michael Myers is a big name in the series too, it's not as though you'd consider any particular actor as synonymous with the part however, and that's why I'm stating Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence as the major players of the franchise for me. This is the final film in the series to truly star Jamie Lee, and for me it was a brilliant way for her to bow out as the star of the film. She does make another appearance in Halloween Resurrection, not for long though; the story moves on from Jamie Lee Curtis for that film, I still really enjoyed it though, but Halloween H20 is the final from the original run of films that I truly love.
I really like Josh Hartnett in a few of his films, and in my opinion he is at his very best in Halloween H20 and 30 Days of Night. Give this film a watch and witness the brilliance of Jamie Lee Curtis and Josh Hartnett on display; I absolutely love them both in this film, and this is another film that I'd recommend any time of the year, but especially at Halloween.
Halloween H20 on Blu-Ray
Halloween: Resurrection (2002) Movie Review
Whilst this isn't one of my favourite Halloween films, it is certainly a film that I find to be a lot of fun. The film really doesn't take itself too seriously; it's fun to watch, a silly teen horror movie, but also extremely self aware.
Jamie Lee Curtis appears in the early part of the film, after this however it's onto Busta Rhymes, Tyra Banks, and Thomas Ian Nicholas amongst others in order to try and keep things interesting, and for me they do a good job of it. Halloween Resurrection is certainly not up there with the original as a classic of its genre, it is however a fun way to pass 94 minutes though, and is a film that I'd definitely recommend watching at least the once.
This film probably won't blow your mind, it certainly didn't mine, if you were a fan of films such as My Little Eye however then Halloween Resurrection is another one to consider as it's another film to take the whole reality TV concept and fuse it with the being stuck in a house with a killer scenario.
Halloween Resurrection is Michael Myers meets Big Brother, and I have to say that I personally like what director Rick Rosenthal has to offer with this one. He did a decent job with Halloween II, and I must say that he did a good job with Halloween Resurrection also; 20 years on and it seemed that Rick Rosenthal still had a very good eye for a slasher horror and what audiences wanted from it.
Halloween Resurrection on Blu-Ray
Halloween (2007) Movie Review
In 2007 Rob Zombie decided it was time to reboot the Halloween franchise, and I'm really rather glad that he did so as his first film was truly a slasher horror of the highest quality. The first half of the film explores potential reasons as to why Michael Myers turned out the way he did; a troubled upbringing led to the events outlined in John Carpenter's original Halloween film, and the second half of the film then goes back through the events of the 1978 version of the film.
I'd definitely consider myself a fan of Rob Zombie's other horror films, House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects, and in my opinion Rob Zombie did a very good job with his version of Halloween also. Rob Zombie's Halloween II I felt was absolutely awful when I watched it, my thoughts about Rob Zombie's first Halloween film are extremely positive however and I've spoken to many people that have felt the very same way about the film (like I say though, try and avoid his second Halloween film if you can as it's really not worth watching).
Whilst it's interesting to see Michael Myers as this cold, expressionless killer in the first film and never know anything about his motives; it's also equally interesting to be offered an explanation as to why he may have ended up the way he did and become the serial slasher killer that he is in the Halloween movies. Both methods work equally well; it's scary to not know why he's so evil, but it's also unnerving to learn the torment that he went through as a child in Rob Zombie's version, and it becomes somewhat of a different film in a way in that we may feel for Michael to an extent for having such a horrible childhood. There is of course no longer the fear of the unknown, but the knowing can in some cases be equally scary, as is the case here.
When it was first announced that Rob Zombie would be directing a Halloween reboot, I was sceptical; as big a fan as I am of the original Halloween film, I just didn't want to see anyone ruining it, and even though I had enjoyed Rob Zombie's other films I was still unsure as to whether or not he'd be able to pull off a Halloween reboot. Having seen the film I was able to forget about my initial fears though as Rob Zombie really does do a great job with Halloween, and Rob Zombie's Halloween is another film that you should certainly look to see if you enjoy a good horror movie.
John Carpenter's Halloween has over the years become essential Halloween viewing for me, Rob Zombie's Halloween meanwhile is equally well worth watching on Halloween night, and is another that's not just good for Halloween but also well worth a viewing all year round.
Halloween (2007) on Blu-Ray
Halloween Theme Song
The theme song for the Halloween movies, composed by the Halloween (1978) director himself, John Carpenter.