The latest, and what some are saying is the last, Halloween film of the franchise debuted October 14, 2022. The film, Halloween Ends, hit streaming on Peacock at the same time as it premiered in theaters.
Halloween Ends is the 13th installment in the Halloween franchise which started in 1978 with John Carpenter‘s Halloween.
The franchise primarily focuses on Michael Myers, who was committed to a sanitarium as a child for the murder of his sister, Judith Myers. Fifteen years later, he escapes to stalk and kill the people of Haddonfield, Illinois. His killings occur on Halloween, hence the name of the films.
I have never been a huge fan of horror flicks over the years. This could be due to the fact I wasn’t really exposed to them as a young adult or just more into action, drama, and comedy films more. However, in recent years I have started to take in some cult classic films in the horror genre and can see why the fandom is large. The benefit of not being a huge fan and watching them all as an adult, is I have no real connection to the films. No memory as a kid, no love for a film that might not have been the best, but has a special meaning to me personally.
Halloween (1978) was a film that I continuously told myself to put on each October, but never got around to it until this year. I dug the film. Carpenter’s ability to make a great horror film is like no other, maybe besides Wes Craven (A Nightmare On Elm Street, Scream). After finishing the first film in the franchise I did some internet research to find the best order to watch the rest of the films and that’s where I got lost.
According to multiple websites, there are three main ways to watch the franchise. These lists below don’t even include the Rob Zombie (House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects) reboot films of 2007 and 2009.
THE ORIGINAL HALLOWEEN TIMELINE
Halloween II (1981)
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
THE SECOND HALLOWEEN TIMELINE
Halloween II (1981)
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
THE CURRENT HALLOWEEN TIMELINE
Halloween Kills (2021)
Halloween Ends (2022)
I chose to watch the films in the current timeline order. Watch the original and then the three new films by David Gordon Green. This gave me the ability to watch the first film and jump to movies made in more recent years. Plus, I don’t have the time at the moment to be watching 13 movies in one franchise.
The biggest turn off on watching all 13 films was the fact that people have created films that aren’t connected or that replace, but not reboot, the original timeline. This can get confusing for someone wanting to jump into the genre and franchise. But I digress.
So, Halloween (1978) is now one of my favorite horror movies of all-time and will be watched each October as a tradition. I do wish that I watched it years ago and I could get hyped for the release of a new film in the franchise, but that won’t happen anymore…right?
Ends is supposed to the be the last movie in the films franchise, hence the name. Jamie Lee Curtis, who portrays the made character Laurie Strode in nearly all the films in the series, has made it known she is done playing the character. Which again, leads us to believe the series has finished.
However, is it really the end? A horror film franchise that has collectively grossed over $773 million at the box office worldwide over the last 40-plus years is just going to call it quits? Unlikely.
Releasing a new film every few years seems like a license to print money. With Ends grossing $71.2 million worldwide (as of October 22) it leads us to believe they will want to continue to make films based around Michael Myers for years to come. The film also released on streaming (where I watched) at the same time. Would it have made over $100 million by this point if we all were required to head to the theaters? It’s hard to tell, but definitely would’ve made more money that it has while sharing the time with streaming.
Now, I have not watched the Rob Zombie reboot films. I plan to at some point. But it would make sense to me for a outstanding horror director to get another crack at a reboot of the films featuring a new actor in the mask as Michael Myers and a new casting of Strode. Until the films stop making money, it seems to me we will get more and more Halloween films. I mean if the Fast and The Furious can do this with car racing movies, horror films can easily do it.
As a new fan of the 1978 Halloween film, I will say that Ends was not as bad as people are portraying. Yes, could it have been a better end to the films franchise, likely, but as a new horror film fan it did what I wanted and I will watch it again in the future.
No matter the future of the franchise, we know that Michael Myers was not the star of the films it was Laurie Strode and Curtis’ portrayal of the character will always be remembered as one of the greats. If she is really done with the franchise, horror fans will truly miss her work.
End’s writer and director Green will next be handling the The Exorcist film. The 2023 movie will serve as a direct sequel to the 1973 film adaptation of the 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty. Will he live up to the hype surround this film and do it justice or will diehard fans give it similar reviews to his continuation of the Carpenter classic franchise.
Reviewing horror films is not usually in my wheelhouse, as we tend to let our contributor and horror filmmaker Shane Grant handle these duties, but I wanted to get my two cents in on the subject of this film franchise.
The 1978 film is on the Capes and Tights list of 20 Great Horror Movies to Watch, so be sure to check out the rest of the list.
Now…back to our regularly scheduled programming.