Why You Should Binge Halloween I-V on Netflix

Everyone should watch the original Halloween, but should we be watching its sequels? Michael Duckworth explains why we absolutely should.

Michael Duckworth
18th October 2021
Credit: IMDb
In the quiet safety of Illinois’ suburbs lurks a remorseless, faceless killer, always watching, waiting for his chance to strike. Fifteen years after brutally murdering his sister, Michael Myers returns to his childhood in home to finish what he started, tooled with a kitchen knife and his iconic featureless mask he stalks the teenagers of Haddonfield with intent to kill. 

Halloween changed a suburban town into a maze with danger around every corner

You probably know that Halloween (1978), directed by John Carpenter, is a horror classic. Released during the golden age of the slasher genre, it exemplifies everything that made the genre the staple it is today. A tense, slow-burn horror with an insidiously unsettling build-up to an explosion of fear, violence, gore, and panic. Each shot is a misdirection, as the action tricks you into thinking Michael is in the background of every scene, watching. The film makes you second guess your own perception and turns the peaceful, middle-class suburban town into a maze where danger lurks around every corner. 

Credit: IMDb

What you may not know is, this series was cursed... by its own popularity. The rush to churn out countless sequels plagued almost every horror franchise in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. The producers were eager to capitalise on the slasher trend and so Halloween went from a carefully crafted art piece with a great deal of integrity to a series of rushed cash grabs that aimed for shock value and mass appeal only. 

However, attentive readers among you may have noticed that the title of the article implores you to watch the so-called crappy sequels. While the quality admittedly drops off, you still get a good sense of calamity and chaos in these five films which makes the series so confusing and wildly entertaining. And there is the saving grace that while Halloween 1-5 are on Netflix for the spooky season, we are spared such true horrors from the original series - Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers and H20: Halloween Just Add Water.

Donald Pleasence's Dr Loomis with "medical instrument" in hand, Credit: IMDb

Following “Final Girl” Laurie Strode (played by Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis, who rightly jumped ship before Halloween IV) and the bonkers Dr Loomis (Donald Pleasence), Michael's personal psychiatrist (doling out such medical diagnoses as "he's not a man” and “what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... evil.”) as they confront Michael at every turn is endlessly entertaining - you get to watch Loomis, and the series itself, spiral into madness. 

I cannot rightfully recommend all these films however, Halloween III: The Season of the Witch is an anomaly in the series, in that it has nothing to do with the Michael Myers saga. When the original Halloween was created it was supposed to be an anthology series, the first two movies were meant to focus on Michael Myers and then moving on to other spooky happenings on Halloween night. And so, Halloween III takes the weirdest turn, focusing on an evil Halloween mask manufacturer who creates masks that kill the wearer. Of course, this movie was rampantly unpopular and so Halloween IV swings back round to Keeping Up with the Myers’. Halloween III isn't particularly bad, it's mostly just bewildering. In fact, some of the most inventive and gruesome kills are in this film, but the infamous "shape" only appears in cameo clips from the first film on TV.

This rollercoaster ride is easier than ever to access and enjoy

Overall, this series is perfect for those late-night scare-fests with friends, and now with the series finally debuting on a streaming service like Netflix, this rollercoaster ride is easier than ever to access and enjoy. So, turn off the lights, settle down with a bowl of popcorn and prepare to launch that popcorn across the room because a Halloween binge will be the fright of your life.


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