Few films in cinematic history have inspired more sequels, reboots and remakes than John Carpenter's iconic slasher Halloween – but it appears that the series might finally be at an end, at least for now.

Advertisement

David Gordon Green has returned to helm Halloween Ends, the third film in his trilogy which promises to feature one final showdown between Jamie Lee Curtis's Laurie Strode and her infamous masked nemesis Michael Myers.

The film follows Halloween and Halloween Kills in this recent reboot series, and is the 13th entry in total in the long-running franchise – which first terrified viewers all the way back in 1978.

With several of the Halloween films now available to stream on Netflix, it's never been easier to get up to speed with the series – however, as is often the case with a long-running franchise, remakes and reboots have confused the once simple timeline of the Halloween cinematic universe.

So where should you start? We've got four Halloween timeline options for you. Here's your essential guide to the Halloween movies in order as the spookiest night of the year draws closer.

Halloween movie order: The original timeline

Jamie Lee Curtis stars in Halloween II (2) (1981)
SEAC

The first path you have the option of going down charts the original Halloween timeline, starting off strong with John Carpenter's acclaimed original film, but eventually burning out as the storyline grew increasingly silly.

1. Halloween (1978)

This first instalment introduces Jamie Lee Curtis in her first major role, portraying teenage babysitter Laurie Strode, who becomes the target of a deranged serial killer named Michael Myers.

Rent or buy on Amazon

2. Halloween II (1981)

The story continues in this direct follow-up written by John Carpenter himself, which reveals hidden secrets about the true link between Myers and Strode, bringing their story to a (temporary) end.

Watch on Netflix

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

After a brief absence for an unrelated third entry (more on that below), Michael Myers returned in this fourth instalment in the Halloween film series.

Donald Pleasance reprises his role as Dr Sam Loomis, who must face off against former patient Michael Myers when he returns to Haddonfield with murderous intentions.

Notably, Jamie Lee Curtis did not return for this instalment and is not again seen until 1998's Halloween H20, which picks up the story in a separate continuity.

Rent or buy on Amazon

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

Pleasance returns for this fifth entry alongside Danielle Harris as Michael Myers' unfortunate niece, as another seasonal clash unfolds with predictably deadly consequences.

Rent or buy on Amazon

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

After two much-maligned entries, the Halloween franchise went off the deep end with this ill-judged sequel, which delved into Michael Myers past as the victim of a scheming cult.

Rent or buy on Amazon

Intermission | Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

The third instalment in the Halloween film series doesn't neatly fit into any of the franchise's timelines, as a standalone sci-fi tale exploring witchcraft.

The idea was to turn Halloween into an anthology series, the likes of which have since been popularised by American Horror Story, telling a different spooky story in each entry.

Unfortunately, audiences didn't take to the idea, demanding that Michael Myers be reinstated as franchise baddie, which he eventually was six years later.

Rent or buy on Amazon

Halloween movie order: The second timeline

Jamie Lee Curtis stars in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
SEAC

The Halloween franchise enjoyed a brief resurgence in the 1990s, owing to a soft reboot that rendered everything except the first two films non-canon.

1. Halloween (1978)

This first instalment introduces Jamie Lee Curtis in her first major role, portraying teenage babysitter Laurie Strode, who becomes the target of a deranged serial killer named Michael Myers.

Rent or buy on Amazon

2. Halloween II (1981)

The story continues in this direct follow-up written by John Carpenter himself, which reveals hidden secrets about the true link between Myers and Strode, bringing their story to a (temporary) end.

Rent or buy on Amazon

3. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

To mark the 20th anniversary of the first film, Jamie Lee Curtis returned as Laurie Strode for this belated sequel, which only acknowledges the continuity of the first two films.

We're reintroduced to Strode living under a different name and trying to escape her traumatic past, but Myers eventually catches up to her once again.

The film stands out as one of the brighter spots in the Halloween film series, earning critical and commercial success, but with that came temptation to make yet another sequel.

Watch on Netflix

4. Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

And here's where it all went wrong (again). Halloween: Resurrection sees Michael Myers return to his hometown of Haddonfield, where he has one last confrontation with Laurie Strode, as well as a cast of new faces.

The film was critically panned and a financial disappointment, resulting in yet another reboot from genre director Rob Zombie (see bottom of this page).

Rent or buy on Amazon

Halloween movie order: The current timeline

Jamie Lee Curtis stars in Halloween (2018)
SEAC

The most recent iteration of Halloween is also selective with what it regards canon; in this instance, only the first film actually happened, but Laurie Strode has not been able to move on in the 40 years that followed.

More like this

1. Halloween (1978)

This first instalment introduces Jamie Lee Curtis in her first major role, portraying teenage babysitter Laurie Strode, who becomes the target of a deranged serial killer named Michael Myers.

Rent or buy on Amazon

2. Halloween (2018)

A direct follow-up to John Carpenter's original film, 2018's Halloween returns to find Laurie Strode a paranoid loner, obsessed with the eventual return of her attacker: Michael Myers.

Her fixation on survival has led to the estrangement of her daughter and granddaughter, but the Strode women will find themselves allied once more when their worst fears come true.

This instalment in the Halloween film series was a mammoth hit, with two sequels confirmed to be on the way: Halloween Kills in 2021, and Halloween Ends in 2022.

Rent or buy on Amazon

3. Halloween Kills (2021)

A direct follow up to 2018's Halloween, the latest entry in the franchise unfolds in the immediate aftermath of the events of the previous film – after Michael Myers escapes from the trap Laurie had laid for him.

As in Halloween II, Laurie spends much of the runtime incapacitated at Haddonfield Memorial Hospital, but a mob formed by Tommy Doyle – a grown-up version of the boy she babysat for all those years ago – aims to get rid of the boogeyman once and for all.

The response to this film was rather more muted than to its predecessors, with the movie receiving mixed reviews from critics – albeit some fans remained enthusiastic in their praise.

Rent or buy on Amazon

4. Halloween Ends (2022)

Continuing the story from the previous two instalments, this final entry in David Gordon Green's reboot trilogy promises to be the final showdown between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers.

Picking up four years after Halloween Kills, it opens with Laurie living with her granddaughter and trying to finish her memoir – only for things to take a turn when a young man standing accused of murdering a boy he was babysitting ignites a cascade of violence and terror in the community.

This leads to Laurie finally confronting the evil she can't control.

In cinemas from Friday 14th October 2022

The Rob Zombie series

Following the failure of Halloween: Resurrection, the franchise was passed to genre director Rob Zombie to reinvent with full creative control.

The result is a two-film franchise set in a self-contained continuity, that generally failed to impress critics or audiences; that said, as is often the case with niche horror fare, both have a small cult fanbase.

1. Halloween (2007)

Loosely adapting the plot of John Carpenter's 1978 classic, this remake sees babysitter Laurie Strode (here played by Scout Taylor-Compton) stalked by a deranged killer on the night of Halloween.

Rent or buy on Amazon

2. Halloween II (2009)

Rob Zombie returned to continue his spin on the Halloween mythos, with Myers continuing his hunt for Laurie Strode, while his former psychiatrist capitalises on his newfound infamy.

Watch on Netflix

Watch movies in order

Sign up for Amazon Prime here and get a 30-day free trial, while STARZPLAY comes with a 7-day free trial. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide to see what's on.

Advertisement

The latest issue of Radio Times is on sale now – subscribe now to get each issue delivered to your door. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement