Michael Myers has become synonymous with the Halloween season, and not just because the film franchise of which he’s the main character is called Halloween. With the Michael Myers Halloween movies, director John Carpenter created a character that was truly terrifying. Michael Myers is a large masked figure who relentlessly follows his victims, specifically the films’ heroine Laurie Strode (a role famously played by Jamie Lee Curtis in a majority of the Michael Myers movies).
As a child, Michael Myers was admitted into a psychiatric hospital after murdering his sister Judith Myers. Then, fifteen years later, Michael breaks free and spends the rest of his adult life hunting down and killing the rest of his family. Oh, and he doesn’t mind slaughtering anyone else who gets in his way, of course. Michael Myers never speaks and we never really get to see his face, which makes him all the more frightening. He’s human, but he’s also somehow superhuman, retaining his strength and his stamina even after being attacked.
Basically, every Halloween movie in the franchise should be on your list of must-see horror movies. If you’re wanting to see the full story of Michael Myers, then you’ll want to watch all of the Michael Myers Halloween movies in order. So with that goal in mind, here is a list of every Michael Myers movie, in order. For the purposes of this post, we’ve excluded Halloween III as Myers’ killings aren’t a part of the main storyline.
Halloween, the 1978 film directed by John Carpenter, is the iconic horror movie classic that started it all. This movie takes place fifteen years after Michael Myers murdered his sister on Halloween. The killer escapes from the mental hospital and returns to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois with murder on his mind.
Halloween II (1981)
The second film in the Halloween franchise, directed by Rick Rosenthal, picks up right where the first one left off. Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) is rushed to the hospital. With Michael Myers is still at large, Sheriff Lee Bracket (played by Charles Cyphers) and Dr. Sam Loomis (played by Donald Pleasance) hunt for the killer.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
For the purposes of this list, we’re skipping over Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Why? Because Michael Myers doesn’t factor into the story at all. If that bums you out, just know that you aren’t alone. People wanted Michael Myers back so badly that he returned for the fourth installment in the series, aptly titled Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (directed by Dwight H. Little). This film is set ten years after the original Halloween movie. Michael Myers once again returns to Haddonfield in an attempt to kill his seven-year-old niece, and Dr. Loomis is on the hunt to stop him.
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (directed by Dominique Otherin-Girard) is set a year after the previous film. It’s Halloween once again, and once again Michael Myers returns to Haddonfield in an attempt to murder his niece, who is now mute after the events of the previous year.
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
Six years have passed since Michael Myers last terrorized the people of Haddonfield, and he’s back in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (directed by Joe Chappelle). Michael’s niece has escaped from her newborn child. But Michael, with the help of the Cult of Thorn, will not let them get away that easily. Fans of Paul Rudd will want to make time to check this one out. This is one of Rudd’s earlier acting gigs, hot off the tails of his role in Clueless.
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
In 1998, we’ve now reached the 20 year anniversary of the first Halloween film. And Michael Myers is back in this stellar entry into the Halloween franchise: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (directed by Steve Miner). Laurie Strode is now the dean of a school in Northern California, living under a pseudonym. But that doesn’t mean Michael Myers won’t still be able to track her down. Academy Award-nominated (though not for this role) actress Michelle Williams also stars in this film.
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
In response to the reality television-obsessed culture of the 21st century, Halloween: Resurrection was released in 2002 with return director Rick Rosenthal at the helm. In this movie, a reality tv show is being filmed at the house where Michael Myers once murdered his sister. But what will happen to the production when Michael Myers returns home?
Halloween/Halloween II (2007/2009)
The next two films on this list are remakes of the original Halloween and its sequel, so with these movies, the timeline of the Michael Myers story is disrupted or rebooted or reinvented, depending on how you want to look at it. Personally, I am a big fan of these remakes. While they don’t replace the classic originals, Rob Zombie’s Halloween films feel like a fresh enough take on the horror franchise to be worth watching. Laurie Strode, one of the original horror movie final girls, is played by Scout Taylor-Compton. And Malcolm McDowell takes up the role Dr. Samuel Loomis
In 2018, it’s hard to believe four decades have past since the original Halloween movie. Nevertheless, Jamie Lee Curtis is back playing Laurie Strode in this most recent installment of the Halloween series. This one, directed by David Gordon Green, ignores the Rob Zombie remakes as well as most of the events of the previous Halloween sequels. Basically, when you get to this movie, erase everything you remember about all the Halloween movies after the first one, and get ready for another reboot. Set 40 years after Laurie Strode’s initial encounter with Michael Myers, she still lives in fear of the killer. But now Michael Myers has returned to Haddonfield, and Laurie will be forced to face him again.
Halloween Kills (2021)
Hitting the silver screen this October 15th, Halloween Kills will follow Laurie Strode and her family as they give killing Michael one last go. Will they be successful? Only time will tell.