Halloween: the highlights and the horrors

Slasher Icon// Michael Meyers watches from afar, gripping his iconic weapon of choice. The first Halloween movie was released on October 25, 1978, and the series has continued to haunt generations. (Photo by Brianna Gracia)

by Brianna Gracia

Halloween, the iconic horror franchise about the masked killer Michael Meyers, that started in 1978, has continued to impact generations. If one slasher film isn’t enough for horror junkies, there’s a sequel. And a threequel. Don’t forget the fourthquel. The franchise seems rather ambitious with the number of movies in its collection, now made up of thirteen films. There’s a best, there’s a worst, and there’s the downright strange. Beware, spooky spoilers lie ahead. 

The Best – Halloween

The saying goes that “the original is better than the sequel,” which proves to be true in this case. The original Halloween, starring Jamie Lee Curtis in the role of Laurie, the iconic babysitter, is known for its suspense-filled action sequences, gnarly deaths, and heart-stopping jump scares. It takes the slasher film genre and bolsters it with everything the fans love.

For those less familiar with the movie, Halloween follows Laurie, the babysitter, as she watches two young children on Halloween night in Haddonfield, Illinois. A few friends, plus her boyfriend, come over while the kids sleep. Little do they know that Michael Meyers, who killed his sister the very same night years ago, has escaped from the mental institution, and he’s ready to do more trick than treat.

From the jumpscares to the camera angles to the soundtrack, Halloween will continue to top the others in its franchise. 

The Worst – Halloween: Resurrection

Every movie franchise has a movie that falls short, but Halloween: Resurrection managed to tumble six feet under and then some, becoming unrecognizable and probably better forgotten. The movie manages to be so bad that the films that follow it take place in an alternate timeline where the movie never occurred. Talk about dropping the ball. 

Within the first fifteen minutes, Laurie, the titular character in the series, kicks the bucket as she’s thrown off of a roof. The rest of the movie is basically a Blair Witch knockoff. Michael Myers returns to Haddonfield, this time tracking down the film crew of a small internet show investigating the masked murderer himself. 

The movie is full of corny deaths, characters that can’t keep your attention, and Busta Rhymes beats up Michael Meyers via karate Chuck Norris style. The film is quite the spectacle, and if you’re willing to lose an hour and thirty precious minutes of your life, you can certainly give it a watch. 

The Downright Strange – Halloween: Season of the Witch

Film writers have it hard when it comes to franchises. With every installment, they must worry about continuity, plot relevance, and references to previous films that will surprise and entertain die-hard fans. There comes a point where you wonder if the film writers downed a cup of goofy juice before writing up the plot. Halloween: Season of the Witch is one of these films. 

First, the movie doesn’t even take place in Haddonfield, Illinois. The iconic setting isn’t anywhere to be seen. Second, Michael Meyers isn’t even present. That’s right, the iconic masked killer isn’t even in his own film. Instead, the infamous killer is…retail. Specifically, the real danger is the Silver Shamrock, a company selling deadly Halloween masks. Children who buy said items end up being filled with murderous energy, going on killing sprees. Halloween: Season of the Witch tried to become the next Children of the Corn and ended up creating a pitiful example of capitalistic greed. 

The Halloween franchise has become a staple of many spooky traditions. With the series still going strong today, there’s no doubt it won’t continue to scare the skin off of future generations. Even so, people can recognize the good, bad, and downright bizarre.