Revisiting the Boogey Man: A ‘Halloween’ Series Countdown

Last year, I counted down the Friday the 13th series, starting from the worst and getting down to the nitty gritty – my fave – Friday the 13th Part 3. This year, I’m taking on the Boogey Man himself: Mr. Michael Myers. This time around, I’m excluding remakes (Sorry, Zombie) while also tossing that third edition, Season of the Witch, by the wayside. Seven spots open. Which film will conquer the rest? Let’s do this.

Remember the time Tyra Banks and Busta Rhymes ruined Halloween? I do. That’s why Halloween: Resurrection, the eight film in the series, gets the #7 position. Halloween H20 didn’t need a follow-up, dammit! I’d much rather live in a state of blissful ignorance, pretending that Rob Zombie’s brutal follow-ups were the only “resurrection” of Michael Myers. And I can’t even talk about that opening death. Tear. Sad face. To everyone involved: You ruined a perfect ending to a nearly perfect series. Damn you all.

6. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. Unlike the Friday series, Halloween movies are all pretty solid in my book. Even though Numero 5 is my next pick for the 6 spot, it’s still a pretty decent film. Continuing the story of Laurie Strode’s daughter Jamie (Danielle Harris) from the fourth film, number 5 proves to be slightly lackluster. It’s chock-full of some good suspense, but minus points for the character Tina being a snooze and also, for the lack of a better ending. Number four is really the best of the Jamie Lloyd saga.

5. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. Yes, this movie is kind of a mess. Yes, there are a shitton of various cuts. And no, I haven’t seen them all. But what I like best about The Curse is its dramatic change in tone. It’s darker, cruder, and…oh, hey, Paul Rudd! Though re-watching this movie post-Rudd’s mainstream success kind of distracts from the story, it’s still pretty awesome that they revived the character of Tommy from the original film. I also like the attempt at explaining Michael’s madness – an A for effort, even if it’s choppy. This also marks Donald Pleasance’s last appearance in the series before his real-life death. Second sad face.

4. Halloween H20. This one is a very polarizing entry to the series, but dammit, I’m a full-on supporter. Jamie Leigh Curtis is back as Laurie Strode…err…Keri Tate (she faked her death and went into hiding), a now-headmistress at a posh, secluded private school in the woods somewhere. Though this one has a pretty slow start, look at all the goodies it delivers: Nancy Chambers returns as Dr. Loomis’s colleague from the original, Curtis’s mother, Janet Leigh, co-stars and drives the same car her character did in Psycho (Nerd Alert!), and uh, LL Cool J….no wait – forget that last one. The last 30 minutes are a rollercoaster ride of suspense, and then it ends with a decapitation. Awesome! Pause to reflect once again on how badly Halloween: Resurrection ruined a perfect ending. Go ahead. Think it over. I’ll wait.

Moving on!

3. Halloween 2. A direct sequel to the events of the original, Halloween 2 takes place on the very same night of October 31, 1978, and Michael is still in pursuit of his sister, Laurie Strode. Laurie is relocated to a hospital, where there are plenty of other bodies for Michael to take down. A super strong sequel to an iconic film, I love that it takes place on the same night, and I also love the different setting. Plus, there’s a ton of fire at the end, and as we’ve learned from Beavis and Butt-head, fire is always cool, especially if paired with an explosion. I love this film dearly, but it doesn’t quite make my Top 2.

2. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. If any Halloween fan out there has a bone to pick with my countdown, it’s probably the fact that I’m placing 4 above 2. And I get it. But here’s what I love about 4. Not only did it introduce us to the Scream-Queen-in-the-Making, Danielle Harris, but shit always gets crazy when a small child is involved. Watching a masked serial killer chase down an eight year old just adds an extra layer of terror and suspense. Ellie Cornell, who played Rachel Carruthers, is a huge plus, as is the fast pace of the movie and the changing settings. You get the sense that Rachel and Jamie are actually being chased through the entire movie – through the streets, at the sheriff’s house, in the school. It feels like a lot is happening in this one, and it’s a great ride throughout.

1. Halloween. In this case, the original really takes the cake. Does such an iconic movie even need a reason? Halloween mainstreamed the slasher film and was a true inspiration to so many movies after it. John Carpenter’s chilling score…Michael’s terrifying debut…it’s all so very perfect. Fans of Leatherface or Norman Bates can leave their complaints in the comments section – Halloween is the true Granddaddy of the slasher film and brought the Horror genre in an entirely different direction. It even introduced us to Jamie Leigh Curtis, who went on to star in plenty of other excellent 70′s/80′s horror movies such as Terror Train and Prom Night. For these reasons and so many more, number 1 easily earns top spot on The Littlest Winslow’s Halloween countdown!

So that’s it, kids. There you have it. Agree? Disagree? Holler back and let me know your standings.

Happy Halloween!

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