The actual release order of the “Halloween” movies is easy enough:
- John Carpenter’s “Halloween” (1978)
- Rick Rosenthal’s “Halloween II” (1981)
- Tommy Lee Wallace’s “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” (1982)
- Dwight H. Little’s “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” (1988)
- Dominique Othenin-Girard’s “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers” (1989)
- Joe Chappelle’s “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers” (1995)
- Steve Miner’s “Halloween H20: 20 Years Later” (1998)
- Rick Rosenthal’s “Halloween: Resurrection” (2002)
- Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” (2007)
- Rob Zombie’s “Halloween II” (2009)
- David Gordon Green’s “Halloween” (2018)
- David Gordon Green’s “Halloween Kills” (2021)
- David Gordon Green’s “Halloween Ends” (2022)
While one can simply sit and watch all the “Halloween” movies chronologically, doing so may keep neophytes off-balance if they weren’t present for the constant conversations and publicity surrounding the various rebooted continuities. It’s amazing that Carpenter’s trim, efficient movie has grown into something so complicated. Luckily, there is a massive legion of long-term gorehounds and horror nuts who have been paying attention the entire time and can easily keep “Halloween” timelines clear in their minds. If they can do it, so can you.
The most important thing to remember is that the central killer is Michael Myers, a semi-supernatural force that is seemingly unkillable and who never speaks. In most versions of the story, Michael has a sister named Laurie Strode (usually Jamie Lee Curtis, but also Scout Taylor-Compton), and his murder spree is sometimes family-related. In at least one movie, there are magic stones and witch cults.
Most important to note: “Halloween III” does not feature Michael Myers at all, but a magical/technological conspiracy to turn children’s heads into piles of bugs and snakes.