No. 1

Halloween (1978)

Need I an explanation? Really, do you need me to tell you why Halloween (1978) is the best of this franchise?

John Carpenter’s slasher masterpiece is a masterclass in pacing in suspense. It is the tentpole proving to everyone that you don’t need egregious gore to convey utter terror.

Jamie Lee Curtis bursts onto the scene as a scream queen and perfect the damsel in distress surviving against the final bad guy. The end, the bait and switch, is PERFECT with the cut to the dramatic and iconic final score. There is the perfect dose of Donald Pleasence as Dr. Loomis. There is the blend of subtle cues hidden in the directing and the in-your-face, pay attention to this moments.

Halloween is one of my favorite movies of all-time. It is one of the greatest horror movies of all-time. John Carpenter is one of my favorite film makers of all-time, and this is his favorite movie of mine.

Tell me you don’t get amped when you see Myers rise from the floor for the first time. Tell me you aren’t stressing the hell out when Strode’s friends are getting taken down, one-by-one. Tell me you aren’t rooting your ass off for Laurie to survive.

Halloween is awesome. It is a must watch.

STANKO RATING: A (4.5/5 Stars)

No. 2

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

We have a good Michael Myers movie! Halloween III: Season of the Witch is not a Myers movie. Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers was only saved by a good ending, Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers is brutal to watch and Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers is so dreadful that it becomes only okay.

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later beings back Jamie Lee Curtis and she is the magic sauce that makes the whole thing work. She is the key ingredient, but the chef is Michael Myers. It is great to have Myers back and being a total badass. He is big, bulking, appropriately clumsy and brutally strong. The kills in this movie are an absolute blast. The poor school girl hung up and lit up by lights was an awesome surprise.

A major part of why H20 works is because it doesn’t waste anything. It is 88 minutes long. It starts, goes, dumps the exposition, and then gets into the killing. It is also really nice to not have the story surround Haddonfield or the Myers house. This movie is more about the connection of Myers and Strode, and not Myers and his home. Changing up the setting was so smart.

This is also the mess with the cannon of Myers. They kept Laurie Strode and Michael Myers being siblings, but the cult aspect is gone, as well as reference to telepathic Jamie Lloyd. This is for the best, but it is a theme that will continue with new directors and visions of Myers coming up in the future,

STANKO RATING: B (3.5/5 Stars)

No. 3

Halloween (2018)

The more times I rewatch Halloween (2018), the less dreadful it is. The first time I saw it I was very sad, the second time I was disappointed, and now my third time is just “meh”.

The best sequence in this movie begins when Oscar (Drew Scheid) and Allyson (Andi Matichak) take a dreaded shortcut. There is an ill-timed kiss attempt, followed by a wonderfully executed suspense and bloody kill. Michael Myers lodges Oscar on the metal spikes of a fence, he peaks out to scare the shit out of Allyson, and all this is followed quickly by Dr. Sartain’s (Haluk Bilginer) twist into a demented blood-deranged maniac. This top-notch sequence ends when Sartain rises in front of the headlights with Myers’ mask on. That is fantastic stuff.

Halloween, while better than the Rob Zombie attempts, is still too focused on the violence for my liking. The stalking of the sex-crazed kids is amusing and had the comedic undertones that matched what this genre should be. On the opposite end, this time around I truly thought Ray (Toby Huss) was annoying as all hell.

Overall, I do want to thank David Gordon Green for brining this franchise back in at least an entertaining way. While it was not perfectly executed, Halloween has enough homages to the original to make a snobby asshole like me happy.

STANKO RATING: C+ (2.5/5 Stars)

No. 4

Halloween Ends (2022)

I am SHOCKED by how much I enjoyed Halloween Ends (2022). I went in with super low expectations, and they were surpassed.

The movie opens with a rather shocking opening scene that sets the table for the entire movie. The character of Corey (Rohan Campbell) is a good variable that is pivotable in the most shocking scenes of the movie. Do I wish he was written into the story the entire way and not shoed in as a new character in the finale? Yes. Does he act as a savior and bring in a necessary fresh of breath air? Yes.

This is also going to be shocking, but this is the first movie where Michael Myers is not utterly indestructible, and his older age and beat up body plays a part. The fact they lean into it a little makes it more impressive when Myers still finds the feats of strength that are otherworldly.

The only part of this movie that I truly hated was the final five minutes. We did not need the final town farewell after the great climatic battle between Michael and Laurie, End it with the grand finale we all wanted to see and not a few lazy sparklers.

Still, somehow, someway, Halloween Ends becomes one of the better movies in the franchise. If we learned anything from this latest trilogy of Myers, it is that we need Laurie Strode in the movies. We need Jamie Lee Curtis in the movie. The worst of the trilogy is Halloween Kills (2021), and that is the one where Laurie is in a hospital bed.

There is a formula, and Halloween Ends gets back to the fun basics.

STANKO RATING: C+ (2.5/5 Stars)

No. 5

Halloween II (1981)

The biggest complaint I have with Halloween II (1981) is that the score is a major step down. It is far to synth heavy. It is not suspenseful at all.

And then there is the secret file on Michael Myers. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is Michael Myers’ sister. She was born two years before he was committed. Two years after his parents died, she was adopted by the Strodes. These records were sealed to protect the Strode family from persecution for adopted a Myers child. This is the plot line that changes the story for years going forward, until it was finally retconned in 2018 with Halloween.

Halloween II also got darker with the kills. The burning of the nurses face in the hot water. The syringe through the eye. The Shape got more creative with the kills, making the all-to-real small-town serial killer feeling dissapear.

Halloween II picks up immediately after Halloween (1978), much like how Halloween Kills (2021) picks up right after its predecessor. Both movies suffer from the same idea that more gruesome deaths is what the audience wants. More secondary characters getting time will improve the story. The concept that Michael Myers can survive anything and everything. Neither work for either movie. Neither sequel to its origin story deliver in terms of thrills, satisfaction or quality.

Also, do we need to talk about the end? Michael flaying like a chicken with his head cut off and the swooshing sound effects of his knife being exponentially louder than Laure and Dr. Loomis’s (Donald Pleasence) actions? Not a satisfying conclusion at all.

This may be just a me problem, but when Laurie sees Michael for the first time in the hospital, the audio mixing was atrocious. The score was so loud and you couldn’t hear anything of the screams.

STANKO RATING: D (1.5/5 Stars)

No. 6

Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers (1988)

I know that I have Halloween II (1981) above this with a lower grade, but we are grading Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers (1988) on a curve.

The ending to this movie is fantastic. The girl standing on the staircase. She turned into Michael Myers. The clown costume. Dr. Loomis’s reaction. It all works really well. The ending saved this movie…because the rest of it was not really good.

Why is it scarier to look at Loomis’s face than Michael Myers? How did he get the mask back in general? Halloween 4 really forces you to jump the shark in terms of Myers competence and actions off camera. Also the whole gas station blowing up seemed like a way to use the rest of the budget they didn’t use.

I hate to pile on child actors…but Danielle Harris is really bad as Jamie Lloyd. She is so fucking annoying. The character is the daughter of Laurie Lloyd. We don’t get a hint of any father. On the wiki pages, the father is just referred to as Mr. Lloyd. What the hell?

Halloween 4 also had the avenging town folk plot line before Halloween Kills (2021). The amped it up in the newest one. But each one had the killing of an innocent man.

STANKO RATING: C (2.5/5 Stars)

No. 7

Halloween Kills (2021)

Upon rewatch, I still don’t like Halloween Kills. I can get past some things in Halloween (2018), but the sequel is not good at all.

I totally forgot about the Officer Hawkins (Will Patton) and Strode high school love conversation that takes place in the hospital, which really badly transitions to a talk about Hawkins past and Myers possibly being dead.

I did not forget the way this movie was shot and edited, and I didn’t like it any better this time around. Halloween Kills moves too fast. It does not have any of the dread that some of the best Michael Myers movies have. It is not even a movie about Michael or Laurie. It is more about the town and the other survivors of his killings. You know about how people complain about Iron Man 2 (2010) being about the Iron Man Suit and not anything else? That is kind of how I feel about this Halloween Kills.

There are two good sequences in this movie that I will give credit to. When Myers is just randomly stabbing the male homeowner in the back on the kitchen island while his spouse watches while bleeding out…well when that is happening I did think it was pure evil. It is the behind the scenes of Michael. That is usually what the cops walk into and not what we see.

The other scene is with Allyson and Cameron in Myers old house. When The Shape comes out there and starts destroying Cameron’s body…that is some nasty shit. The methodical pounding of his neck into the railing, the snapping of his neck on the deliberate walk down the stairs. Those were two high quality scenes, the only ones worth rewatching.

STANKO RATING: D (1.5/5 Stars)

No. 8

Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers (1995)

For those who are shocked that Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers is not the lowest ranked movie, I understand. This Miramax production is one of the worst made movies I have ever seen. It is very obvious that Joe Chappelle struggled to wrangle together a good movie with the numerous amount of reshoots and edits needed to complete the movie. The job could not have been super easy, both physically and metaphorically, with the death of Donald Pleasence just before the reshoots.

There is a message honoring pleasance at the end of the movie, and that is a nice touch. It was also nice to see that his character or Dr. Loomis was not nearly as unhinged as in Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers (1989). This was a step up in quality, and a fine note to go out on.

The Curse Of Michael Myers is the first movie that Paul Rudd acted in. The world first saw him in Clueless (1995), but this was his first acting appearance. And what an absolutely miserable first movie to be in. It is on the record that most of the cast and crew disowns this movie. It has also been disowned by the franchise holders. Nobody holds a candle to this story.

But why isn’t Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers the lowest on my rankings? Because this movie is so bad, that is becomes “good.” It crosses that invisible threshold of amusement. You will have a blast pointing out all of its mistakes and misfortunes.

STANKO RATING: F (1.0/5 Stars)

No. 9

Halloween II (2009)

I need to specify that I watched “The Producer’s Cut”. Based on numerous accounts and reports, the Weinstein’s and other handlers of MIRAMX, chopped up Halloween II with more ferocity than Michael Myers killing style. With that being said, Halloween II is just fucking weird enough.

Sure, the white steed imagery and ghostly mother aspect is weird. Sure, the plot has a lot of holes and Dr. Loomis’s part in the movie is not necessary at all. But, what if I told you this is arguably the most terrifying version of Michael Myers? In Halloween (2007) we get some brutality, but the young version of Michael overshadows the viewing experience. In Halloween II we get to see actor Tyler Mane bring the monstrous animalistic instincts that Loomis always talked about.

It is very safe to say that Halloween II, specially this theatrical version, is a poorly put together movie…yet for some reason I would be more inclined to rewatch this slasher fest more than other well-made Myers stories. It crosses the threshold of so bad that it’s “good”.

Don’t get me wrong. it is not really good. But it is interesting. It is an interesting mess. I did more research on this Myers tale than most others.

STANKO RATING: D+ (1.5/5 Stars)

No. 10

Halloween (2007)

This movie is really hard to watch. Rob Zombie dumps the audience into extreme family disfunction with his reboot of Halloween (2007), and the depraved nature only escalates as the nearly two hour movie unfolds.

Besides the extreme use of gore, violence, foul language and abhorrent individuals, this version of Halloween is the most different from the rest because it delves into what made Michael Myers as evil as he is. It shows the family that he learned from. It showed his sister being promiscuous and it showed his parents being…well shitty parents. This unveiling of his past also reinterprets the story that John Carpenter made; there are new victims of Myers’ first killing spree, and his return to Haddonfield is also varied from what Halloween fans may expect.

Change is not always bad, but in this case, it makes Halloween really hard to watch. Zombie’s choices make every character in this movie horrendous and truly hard to root for. That is a problem in a horror movie because how do you root for an ending when everyone deserves to die?

Expanding the world and the characters in the Michael Myers universe killed the mystique. Myers was pure evil. We heard Dr. Loomis say it nonstop. Sometimes what is most scary is the evil you don’t understand. We don’t need to know what variables went into his killing tendencies. Just make him the boogey man.

Halloween is a better made movie than Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers or Halloween: Resurrection, but it is lower than them in my rankings because of the rewatchability factor. If I don’t see this movie ever again, I will be okay with that.

STANKO RATING: D (1.5/5 Stars)

No. 11

Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

You can not kill off Laurie Strode. You can not do it. That is like killing off Rocky. Once you do it, the franchise is dead. It can not be brought back from the dead. Strode dies in the first 15 minutes, and Halloween: Resurrection does not get any better.

Shout out to the deranged clown wearing guy. He did his part well.

The contestants hanging out in the house for a night of Internet live streaming…is not the worst concept in the world. I work in live video production over the Internet, so I was mildly engaged in that. What did not age well was any of the dialogue in this movie. It is really bad, and the stereotypes are even worse. There is some objectification of women in this movie that is yikes, even taking into account when the movie is made.

Also, can we just point out how not scary this movie is? Halloween: Resurrection did not sent a shiver up my spine…like ever? It was all bad. Nothing really good about it at all.

Also Tyra Banks can’t be killed on screen? Has to be murdered off screen?

Also, just because you like watching Kung-Fu means that you know Kung-Fu?

The ending to this movie is nonsensical, even for a Michael Myers/slasher movie.

STANKO RATING: F+ (1.0/5 Stars)

No. 12

Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers (1989)

If it gets worse then Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers (1989), then we are in trouble. This is an objectively terrible movie with bad acting, bad writing and literally zero sense of suspense of horror.

Remember the annoying kid from Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers? She is back for even more air time this time around. She is mute, but then she is not, and she has a psychic connection with Michael Myers. It is all ridiculous.

This is the first time I thought that Donald Plesance was really bad as Dr. Loomis. He is really old. His over-acting is in the face of young Jamie, and it is incredibly off putting. I am relatively shocked that he is in one more Halloween movie after this.

This is also the least threatening Michael Myers. Don Shanks plays Myers, and this is his first and only attempt at it. I am sorry but it just doesn’t work at all. He looks small. That also comes down to Dominique Otherin-Girard and his framing of Myers. You have to make him look like a greek god, but he seems totally defeatable in Halloween 5. This is only the second movie that director Otherin-Girard made, and since then it has been TV movies. He did make a movie called Columbine that was released this year, and there are literally no ratings on it on IMDB.

The Revenge Of Michael Myers is a low point. This is the equivalent to Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991). It is terrible.

STANKO RATING: F (0.5/5 Stars)

No. ???

Halloween III: Season Of The Witch (1982)

How exactly did this movie get the Halloween franchise tag? This movie literally has nothing to do with Michael Myers.

I knew this going into Halloween III: Season Of The Witch (1982), but it was still shocking to see. It is not even like Friday The 13th: A New Beginning (1985) which uses Jason Voorhees as a costume for other people to kill. Season Of The Witch only references Michael Myers with an ad on the TV for people to watch Halloween as part of a Halloween horror movie marathon.

The commercial isn’t wrong. You should watch Halloween instead.

They do use the music…which again is sacrilege.

This movie was made by Tommy Lee Wallace but it got the blessing of John Carpenter. He didn’t want to make any Myers sequels, so this was an attempt to get back on the path to make a Halloween holiday anthology series. It failed, and people wanted Myers back.

It is only associated with Myers by the name on the title, but not in spirit or execution. That it why it is ay the bottom and not ranked.

STANKO RATING: D- (1.0/5 Stars)

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