Halloween is almost here. The leaves are turning colors and the jackets are getting more use than the previous months. People are considering costumes for Trick or Treating and which haunted houses to visit.
Many horror franchises experience an uptick in appeal around this time of year. Local video stores (the ones that remain) create sections of both classic and new macabre tales of ghosts and slashers. Of all these horror worlds, only one shares its name with the holiday of late October.
Last month, Scream Factory packaged all 10 films from the “Halloween” franchise into a comprehensive Blu-ray collection. Packed with new transfers and copious bonus features, it is full of behind-the-scenes trivia to satiate even the most die hard fan.
Of the ten films in the box, some are clearly favored over others. Here is a quick breakdown and synopsis (and rating) or each.
The original, as is with most franchises, is the best in series. Filled with rising tension and a quiet sense of dread, director John Carpenter launched Jamie Lee Curtis and put Michael Myers in thousands of people’s consciousness. 4 out of 5 stars
Halloween II (1981)
Picking up immediately after the events of the first film, Halloween II continues the night that Michael returned. This is the film where Laurie Strode learns of her connection to Michael. 3 out of 5 stars
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
The intent of this film was to leave the Michael Myers mythology behind. In this film, unrelated to the world of the rest of the franchise, a Halloween mask company Silver Shamrock has a controversial plot for the children across the country. 3.5 out of 5 stars
Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers
Michael returns and this time targets the daughter of Laurie Strode. Adopted by a small family, little Jamie Lloyd tries to escape her malevolent uncle. 2.5 out of 5 stars
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
A few years after the events of its predecessor, Jamie is in a group home under constant watch following the trauma of the last film. Also, she begins to discover a psychic bond to Michael, who isn’t dead after all. 2 out of 5 stars
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
Seeking to go in a different direction, number six expands on the sinister origins and possible occult following. Inconsistent and loathed by many, this is a low point for the franchise. On the plus side, it features Paul Rudd in an early role. 2 out of 5 stars.
“Halloween: H20” features the return of Jamie Lee Curtis. Attempting to ignore films three through six, we find that Laurie was never dead but actually in hiding. Heavy on the shlock of early WB dramas and feels too clean. Great return for Curtis though. 2.5 out of 5 stars
The last of the franchise before being rebooted features a reality TV crew. Michael begins to deviate from his quest for killing his family and spends most the film eliminating those crashing at his home. 3 out of 5 stars.
When Rob Zombie emerged as a new name in horror, it was only a matter of time before someone gave him a horror classic to revamp. His first of two additions to the world of Haddonfield featured a towering Michael Myers who appeared the most menacing yet. 2.5 out of 5 stars
Halloween 2 (2009)
What Zombie did as a promising rebirth, he completely tarnishes in his sequel to his own remake. Easily the worst film of the franchise, it’s a struggle to fathom how shallow and terrible the experience is for the viewer. 0 of 5 stars