One of the greatest memories of my childhood was the multitude of horror movies that were introduced to me through my Dad and Grandfather (Pop- we called him). Pop was a passionate fan of ALL Universal Horror Monsters films, and on top of watching them endlessly by his side on the nights the grandparents would babysit, I would often admire his very complete Universal Monsters VHS Collection and the artwork embodied within it. However, my Dad, albeit a super Frankenstein himself, was more on the Slasher spectrum. And by the way, is the biggest John Carpenter’s Halloween fan I know. It sounds biased but being inside the horror community for fifteen years, I stand by that statement- and you could read more about that here.
That being said, the Halloween films were a pretty standard rotation in the ole’ VCR growing up and hell still are. And while I’ve found this to be a pretty common list among the horror website interwebs, they sure as shit aren’t my opinion and that of the greatest Halloween fan I know! So, here we go: Nightmare Nostalgia’s official ranking of all the Halloween opening credits!
I truly feel like I’m really going to make some of you mad. BUT, just remember my opinion is not yours and we can all agree to disagree!
And no: I’m not including the Rob Zombie versions because of NO.
10. Halloween: Resurrection
With many fans, Resurrection ranks dead last in pretty much all aspects; and here on this list is no exception. Following a very generic version of John Carpenter’s classic tune paired with pitch-black backgrounds and orange credit lettering, we stroll down the halls of the Grace Sanitarium Institution where we meet a seemingly docile Laurie and a pair of nurses who narrate to the audience the very bullshit story of why she’s there. It just sucks when in comparison to ALL the others. Sorry, not sorry.
9. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
In my opinion, and well that’s what this all is, Curse’s opening doesn’t fair much better than Resurrection. The only reason it’s a slot higher is that it’s a lot shorter. The messy intro here that clumsily inserts parts of the film in the damn thing merely sets the tone for the rest of it. One big mess. However, as big a mess as it is, it still isn’t the worst in the franchise by far. Resurrection still holds that title belt.
8. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
Ahhh, here we are. The last of the original pumpkin intros in the franchise- up until 2018 of course when they resurrected it. Personally, I rather enjoy the lowkey angry tone behind this one in combination with the process of what I would call, The Wild Maniac World of Pumpkin Carving Sports here. However, compared to others before it, it falls short.
7. Halloween H20
The cool newspaper clippings and a throwback to Samuel Loomis speaking his infamous words on what Myers eternally represents is a pretty cool change and so very 90s.
6. Halloween Kills
Halloween Kills may have been a shit-show as far as a decent follow-up to its 2018 predecessor, but at least the pumpkin opening credits were on point. In fact, it’s probably the best party of the whole movie.
5. Halloween (2018)
One can certainly appreciate the return of the pumpkin intro via the 2018 franchise’s homecoming. And in such a unique form as the jack-o-lantern has fallen flat and laid dormant for many years, only to be blown up into it’s original form. Like it never missed a beat. Truly an honorable way to start the Myers madness again!
4. Halloween (1978)
Alright. This is the one that MIGHT trigger some pissed-off feelings from fellow fans in regards to ranking. BUT, I feel like some of the follow-ups were just a smidge more intriguing to my senses. It’s classic, simple, and a perfect start into the Haddonfield journey whereas the original film was simplistic yet effectively terrifying.
3. Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Love the movie or hate it (and yes it’s still an argument), you are very wrong if you deny the magnificence of thy Magic Pumpkin paired with a sinister synthesizer. The onset of the 80s’ included the launch of a new wave and MTV and this was a perfect representation of what early 80s horror films looked and sounded like. It’s just a staple of an era that many have since used as inspiration- including Stranger Things.
2. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
The return of Myers meant a ditch off the recurring pumpkin intro this time around with a spine-chilling sequence of a sunset on a farm instead. The ambiance of a sinister Autumn setting with the low-tone score, the winds blowing, and Halloween decorations swaying in the breeze always struck the skeevies chord with me. That Michael is still out there. Waiting- and coming soon.
1. Halloween II (1981)
There is just no way in Haddonfield Hell that anyone can convince me otherwise that the sequel to the original isn’t the greatest goddamn gift we’ve ever been given in this franchise. Well, as far as appeasing intros are concerned anyway. Opening with the events of the last film spilling over to start the continuing journey of cat and mouse between Myers and Laurie, we roll into a perplexed Loomis staggering outside of the Doyle home to the spot where Michael had dropped, and only a pool of blood remains. Garnering attention from (finally) a nosy neighbor who has ignored all the blood-curdling screams, and apparently is just NOW paying attention to what’s been going on right next door, annoyingly asks if this is a joke and that “He’s been trick or treated to death tonight.” This leads into one of the greatest lines of this fuckin’ franchise from Loomis himself- “You don’t know what death is!” Who then scurries off around the corner in a wild state.
And then- the glorious, more angry pumpkin intro this time around. The score is more aggressive, much like in the rest of the film coinciding with an angrier Myers. The pumpkin cracks down the middle to reveal a skull. The symbol that death is coming and isn’t stopping for anyone.
What’s YOUR favorite Halloween opening sequence? Discuss below in the comments!