Father of Slasher films Laid to Rest: A Review of the ‘Halloween’ Franchise from Beginning to End


The iconic pumpkin from the original ‘Halloween’ franchise.

Everybody knows Halloween, a classic horror tale of the murderous maniac Michael Myers, who massacred many in the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois. He slaughtered innocent after innocent before being stopped by the most iconic final girl in all of horror media, the fearless Laurie Strode. That film was released in 1978, and now, 44 years later, the titan of the slasher genre has come to a close. Halloween Ends is the most recent and final installment of the movie franchise, with its ambitious goals of giving Myers and Strode one last astonishing face-off before finally laying this series to rest.

Halloween Ends is part of a separate timeline in the universe, being part of what’s called the “Green-Halloween” films, named after their director David Gordon Green. Halloween is a franchise notorious for its confusing film sequels, with 3 separate timelines and even a standalone anthology film. The Green-Halloween films only consist of 4 films: Halloween (1978), Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills (2021), and Halloween Ends (2022). In this article, only those four films will be discussed, so if you’re looking for any discussion of the Rob Zombie films, not only do you have bad taste, but you’re in the wrong place.

Halloween (1978)
Brief Synopsis: Michael Myers was always a psychopath. When he was just 6 years old, he stabbed his sister one Halloween night, and was immediately sent to a psychiatric institute. 15 years later, he escapes, returning to his hometown to see his old childhood home being prepared to go up on the market. Silently, as the boogeyman now known as “The Shape”, he seeks to stalk and slaughter all of those responsible for the selling of his home, starting with employees at Strode Real Estate.

Thoughts: This is said to be the most influential horror film of all time, and the kickstarter of the slasher revolution of the 80s. Halloween inspired other filmmakers to throw their hats in the ring of horror media, giving birth to long-standing horror franchises like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, and even Friday the 13th. With a reputation like that, one has to question if the film really lives up to all that hype. And without a shadow of a doubt, it absolutely does. Michael Myers serves as an amazing boogeyman for our final girl Laurie, and makes sure that neither Laurie nor the audience can enjoy a singular moment of solitude for the entirety of the film.

Halloween (2018)
Brief Synopsis: 40 years after Myers’ first murder spree, he’s ready for a second. Escaping the same psychiatric hospital from before (which makes no sense as to why they locked him up in the same place — whatever…) he returns to Haddonfield to enact revenge on Laurie. However, this time, the Strode family has new blood, with Laurie not only being a mother, but a grandmother, too. Laurie’s daughter, Karen, and her granddaughter, Allyson, are now also targets of Michael. Now, as a family, the Strodes have to take up another stand against The Shape, fighting as a family to put him to rest.

Thoughts: Halloween is an amazing return to the screen for Laurie and Michael, and it lives up to the same standard and hype that the original film does. Laurie is still portrayed by her original actor, Jamie Lee Curtis, and she gives her all to this role. Laurie is strong, determined, focused, resilient — everything you’d expect from a woman who’s gone through the horrors of Michael Myers firsthand. Her family is also a great addition to the franchise, as Allyson makes it extremely clear that being a fearless woman runs in the Strode family blood, with her own amazing scenes sprinkled throughout the film. If you enjoyed the original Halloween, you’ll love this film just as much— if not more.

Halloween Kills (2021)
Brief Synopsis: No matter how hard the Strodes fight to keep Myers down, he just keeps getting back up. Haddonfield’s evil wasn’t stopped in the last film; he escaped the family’s traps and continued onward with his murders. Finally, however, the news of The Shape’s escape reaches the townsfolk, and inspired to rid their small town of the walking incarnate of malice, they take up arms and torches to take him down for good. Now, it’s Michael against the whole town of Haddonfield…

Thoughts: Unfortunately, this film is the weakest of all of the franchise. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad time, though, it’s just dull. Too much of the film is spent in the hospital as we follow Laurie’s recovery, and too little is spent with her new kin elsewhere in the town. However, – and it’s a big however– the brutality of the kills and the two major turns in the plot make viewers sit cautiously on the edges of their seats, impatiently awaiting where Myers will go next. Even if it’s the worst out of all four being covered here, it’s still worth your while.

Halloween Ends (2022)
Brief Synopsis: Michael has mysteriously disappeared after the events of the last film, leaving the town packed with paranoia and hysteria as they desperately search for any answers as to what happened. Bodies and horrors of all kinds have plagued the town for years, leaving the residents guessing for the cause. All they could think was “Why us?”, “What happened to Myers?” and, “Is the devil truly here, in Haddonfield?” The questions and concerns are thrown into the air, especially as killings return to the frontlines of the Haddonfield Herald paper. The only thing certain is that Myers is still breathing…

Thoughts: This movie’s beginning is genuinely miserable to sit through. It’s a really rough and bumpy start, with a slow and rather boring plotline taking up a good third of the film; it’s easy to see why a lot of critics dislike the movie. However, the ending is absolutely worth every dollar you pay for the ticket. Without saying much, Laurie Strode returns for her last stand against her life’s trauma, not backing down for a second to finally put an end to all these kills. The way she does it is absolutely spectacular, and it’s irrefutable that Jamie Lee Curtis gave the best performance she’s ever given. Please, please, please ignore the negative ratings and go see this. Even if you end up hating it, horror fans everywhere have a responsibility to give a proper send off to the most recognizable franchise of the genre.