The Haddonfield Horror: Ranking Halloween Films

(Micheal Myers has terrorized Haddonfield, IL since 1978)

Halloween is synonymous with horror, and no other franchise has embodied the essence of this spooky holiday quite like the Halloween movie series. Launched by director John Carpenter in 1978, Michael Myers, the masked (William Shatner) killer, has terrorized Haddonfield, Illinois, for four decades providing horror fans with endless nightmares.

We felt it was about time we ranked all the Halloween movies, taking you on a chilling journey through the streets of Haddonfield, Illinois.

1. Halloween (1978)

The one that started it all. John Carpenter’s original Halloween is a masterclass in suspense and terror. It introduced us to the silent and relentless Michael Myers, who escapes from a mental institution to wreak havoc in Haddonfield.

Jamie Lee Curtis’s portrayal of Laurie Strode set the bar for the “Final Girl” trope, and Donald Pleasence’s Dr. Loomis remains one of horror cinema’s most iconic characters. The film’s minimalist score and chilling atmosphere make it a timeless classic.

2. Halloween II (1981)

Picking up right where the original left off, Halloween II takes us back to Haddonfield as Dr. Loomis continues his pursuit of Michael Myers. This sequel retains the tension and fear of the first film while adding new layers to the story.

The hospital setting provides a unique backdrop for the horror, and the film delivers some truly grisly kills. Carpenter’s score, once again in collaboration with Alan Howarth, adds an icy malevolence to the already iconic theme music.

3. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

While it may feature a questionable Myers mask, Halloween 4 still delivers on classic ’80s slasher vibes. The film’s old-fashioned plot and solid direction by Dwight H. Little make it a standout in the series. It introduces Danielle Harris as a young scream queen, paving the way for her role in future installments. The film ends with a macabre final image that leaves you wanting more.

4. Halloween (2018)

David Gordon Green’s 2018 reboot blends horror and humor, paying homage to the original while crafting a stellar slasher movie in its own right. Jamie Lee Curtis’s return as Laurie Strode amplifies the tension as she confronts the relentless Michael Myers once more. The film is filled with clever callbacks for long-time fans and introduces a new generation to the terror of Haddonfield.

5. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

In this anniversary chapter, Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode, who is now the headmistress of a private boarding school. The film ignores previous entries, offering a fresh take on the franchise. Curtis’s strong performance, combined with John Ottman’s epic score, makes this a satisfying addition to the series.

6. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

An outlier in the series, Halloween III has no connection to Michael Myers or Haddonfield. It’s a standalone story involving sinister masks and a plot to sacrifice children on Halloween night. While it’s often considered a black sheep in the franchise, it has its own charm and unique horror elements.

7. Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

This installment in the series takes a more modern approach by incorporating reality TV and webcams. While it doesn’t quite capture the classic Halloween vibe, it does bring the horror back to Haddonfield.

8. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

Halloween 5 struggles with pacing, uninspired kills, and an annoying character. It fails to generate the scares that previous entries achieved, leaving audiences with a lackluster experience.

9. Rob Zombie’s Halloween II (2009)

Rob Zombie’s reimagining of the Halloween series offers a grittier take on Michael Myers and Haddonfield. While it’s divisive among fans, it still explores the horrors of the iconic town.

10. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

This entry delves into the supernatural and delves deep into Michael’s backstory. While it’s an interesting departure from the typical slasher formula, it strays further from the original Haddonfield concept.

11. Halloween Kills (2021)

This brutal follow-up to the 2018 reboot is packed with kills and a powerful score. While it has its strengths, a frustrating subplot involving a vigilante mob and Jamie Lee Curtis’s limited involvement hinders its overall impact.

12. Halloween Ends (2022)

The final chapter in David Gordon Green’s reboot trilogy takes bold risks but ultimately fails as it tries to reinvent the franchise formula. It introduces a new character, Corey Cunningham, played by Rohan Campbell, who attempts to add depth to the franchise. With stalk-and-kill sequences and an unsatisfying conclusion for Laurie Strode, Halloween Ends is a terrible take on the series.

13. Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007)

Rob Zombie’s remake of the original provides a more detailed look at Michael Myers’ backstory but loses some of the subtlety and tension that made the original so effective. Haddonfield is still a central location, but the tone is different.

While the series has had its ups and downs, the common thread through all these films is the eerie and unsettling backdrop of Haddonfield, Illinois. Despite taking place in Haddonfield, Halloween was actually shot in California, primarily in South Pasadena and Hollywood, as well as a smattering of other nearby towns.

However, the small town has become synonymous with the holiday, and the franchise continues to captivate audiences with its unique brand of horror. Whether you prefer the original classic or the more recent entries, the enduring appeal of Michael Myers and Haddonfield keeps us coming back for more thrills and chills each season.

Happy Halloween!

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Colin Costello is the West Coast Editor of Reel 360 News. Contact him at or follow him on X at @colinthewriter1

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