Spanning over 40 years and thirteen films, the iconic slasher franchise has been racking up the body count
It’s officially been 44 years since horror icon Michael Myers first stabbed his way into our nightmares. The silent but deadly mass murderer has been at it for 12 films (he does not appear in Halloween III) as well as numerous novels, comic books, video games and much more. Whether it’s by brute force or any kind of weapon he can get his hands on (usually a big ol’ knife), Michael always proves why he’s been one of the enduring staples of the slasher genre since he and Leatherface helped kick it off over four decades ago. He’s very good at what he does, being that he’s nothing but pure unadulterated evil and all.
Halloween Ends marks the finale of yet another chapter in the sprawling saga of the Halloween franchise, bringing an end to David Gordon Green’s modern trilogy that brought Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode back into the center. It’s been a long, bloody journey and seems like it may actually be the end for Michael for quite some time. The franchise is left with a grand and unique legacy – and a considerable pile of bodies left in its wake.
Read our review of ‘Halloween Ends’
So we went back through every Halloween film from John Carpenter’s incomparable 1978 original to the 2022 finale and took note of the most memorably horrific deaths of the series. Surprisingly, not all of these are done by Michael. Check out our picks below and let us know what death from this iconic slasher franchise has stuck with you the most.
Michael Kills the Wallace’s German Shepherd (Halloween 1978)
Poor Lester. As the family pet of the Wallace’s, Lester was an adorable and tough-looking pup who everyone would have benefited from listening to. As Michael Myers stalked the house Laurie was set to babysit that fateful Halloween night of 1978, Lester repeatedly tried to warn everyone with his barks, but they fell on deaf ears. Tragically, with nowhere to go as he was chained up outside, the family protector was hoisted up by Michael and choked to death, one of the few animal casualties of the series and the first true display of the killer’s staggering physical strength. Also, he might have eaten the dog a little bit? Pretty gruesome stuff.
Michael Kills Bobby (Halloween 1978)
This is arguably THE kill of the Halloween franchise, the one that established the iconic imagery of Carpenter’s film and the slasher genre going forward. Young couple Bobby and Lynda commit a horror movie no-no and do the deed at the supposedly empty Wallace house. When Bobby leaves Lynda to go get a drink, Michael pops out the shadows and slams him against the wall, hoisting him up by the neck with a single hand. He then fatally stabs the poor guy right in the chest with a butcher knife, one sturdy enough to stick into the wall and hold Bobby’s body there above the floor. In a classic horror moment, Michael then stares at his handiwork with..curiosity? Admiration? Perhaps neither. It’s up to you to decide what those head tilts say about him.
Michael Kills Lynda (Halloween 1978)
Here’s an interesting example of some strange Michael behavior. After killing Bobby, Michael dresses up in a white sheet and glasses to pose as Bobby in his Halloween costume. He stands in the doorway of the bedroom that Lynda’s in and allows her to believe that he’s her boyfriend. After a bunch of teasing and even a flash of some skin, “Bobby’s” weird silent act begins to bother Lynda, so she decides to call Laurie. Michael then quickly moves in and strangles Lynda with the phone cord. The sounds of her struggle and eventual death are heard in their entirety by Laurie on the other end of the line, who’s then treated to some good old fashioned creepy breathing over the phone by Michael.
Dr. Loomis Gets Ben Killed (Halloween II 1981)
Halloween II picks up immediately where the original film leaves off, with Michael continuing to pursue Laurie as she’s taken away to the hospital. Dr. Loomis, meanwhile, drags Sheriff Leigh Brackett along for a wild goose chase looking for Michael. In a hilariously wild scene, Loomis believes that he sees his former patient walking along the sidewalk and has Brackett pull over. Turns out it’s just Laurie’s crush, Ben Tramer, who just so happens to be wearing the same mask as Michael that night and gets understandably freaked out when Loomis begins aiming his gun at him. While Brackett intervenes and saves the kid from being shot, Ben is scared off into the street, where he’s immediately hit by a speeding cop car. The car and the kid then collide with a parked van, which explodes and kills Ben in what was hopefully a quick, albeit fiery, death. Score one kill for Dr. Loomis!
The Shamrock Mask (Halloween III: Season of the Witch)
Season of the Witch is the one outlier of the franchise, with its story having nothing whatsoever to do with Michael or Laurie or Haddonfield. Instead, this delightful one-off features a villain named Conal Cochran, who runs a mysterious factory that makes products for his company, Silver Shamrock Novelties. He’s been mass producing a line of extremely popular Halloween masks that have become a sensation across the entire country thanks to its catchy commercials. Millions of kids will be wearing the masks on Halloween night, which is also when Silver Shamrock’s live giveaway will air on TV for all to see. In the factory, one unlucky family gets chosen to become the test subjects for Cochran’s real plan, which involves microchips within every mask activating upon the airing of the giveaway. A young boy and his parents are taken into a testing room, where he’s instructed to put on the mask and view the TV. In the most terrifying WTF moment of the franchise, the mask kills the kid and then seemingly opens a portal to Hell using his head – countless insects and snakes emerge from the holes in the mask in a suitably nightmarish fashion and then swiftly kill the parents.
Michael Kills Brady (Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers)
Teenage Brady can’t seem to catch a break on Halloween night of 1988. First, his girlfriend Rachel cancels their plans to go out, needing to babysit her foster sister Jamie. When he decides to cozy up with another girl named Kelly, he’s caught in the act by Rachel, who literally arrives at the door with a trick or treating Jamie (in all honesty, this is on Brady). He’s chewed out for it and the relationship seems done for, so Brady decides to continue his night with Kelly anyway, only to be interrupted once again by Rachel and Jamie, as well as Kelly’s father Sheriff Meeker, and the raving yet poetic Dr. Loomis, whom Brady doesn’t know at all. Turns out that Jamie’s uncle, the infamous Michael Myers, is after them, and Brady suddenly has a gun forced into his hand and is thrown into an insane life or death situation. He fails in a spectacularly sad fashion, struggling to load the gun as Michael approaches the group, only being able to fire a single shot (which misses) and then promptly getting his skull squeezed as Michael presses his filthy hands into his face. What a way to go, but Brady does at least seem to buy Rachel and Jamie enough time to escape and live another day (in this movie at least).
Laurie Decapitates Michael (Halloween H20: 20 Years Later)
Turns out, this franchise has done the whole “Laurie deals with her trauma” thing before! Halloween H20 is a direct sequel to the first two films that brought Jamie Lee Curtis back to the series for the first time. Laurie has been in hiding all these years and living under a fake name, but of course that isn’t enough to stop Michael, who manages to track her down in an attempt to finish her off for good. Laurie has been expecting this moment and is prepared, which helps her win the fight against her old boogeyman. After stabbing him multiple times, Laurie loads Michael into a van to drive him away from her home. When he gets up like he always does in the back of the vehicle, Laurie hits the brakes and sends him flying through the windshield. Michael gets up once again only to have Laurie slam the van into him. The two go off a cliff and Michael ends up pinned between a tree and the van, which starts to catch on fire. Michael desperately tries to free himself, even reaching out a hand for Laurie, but his plea is denied as Laurie swings an axe and chops off the masked murderer’s head. A top tier moment from one of the most iconic Final Girls.
Freddie Takes On Michael (Halloween: Resurrection)
2002’s Halloween: Resurrection is very bad, more so in the way it’s just plain boring than anything else. But if you skip ahead to the final twenty minutes or so, you’ll find one incredible gem of a scene where the host of an Internet reality show, Freddie Harris (played by Busta Rhymes) fights Michael Myers and actually wins. Freddie bursts onto the scene in the film’s climax, literally running into a burning building to whack Michael around with a shovel before getting thrown several feet through the air into a wall. As Michael approaches for the kill, Freddie awakens by sheer willpower and acts quickly, grabbing a cord and electrocuting Michael’s gonads. It’s a wonder no one thought to do that before, because it sure seems to do the trick. Michael stumbles back into a web of live wires and is fried to a crisp, supposedly killing both him and the franchise for a few years until Rob Zombie would take over.
Michael Kills Wesley (Halloween 2007)
Rob Zombie’s take on the Halloween series had the filmmaker veering more into brutal realism more than any of the previous movies. The violence of Zombie’s Halloween movies is difficult to watch; it’s so purposefully visceral that you’d be hard-pressed to not have at least some kind of reaction to it. Look no further than Michael’s very first kill in the 2007 version, where he stalks his school bully out into the woods and mercilessly beats him to death with a large and heavy tree branch. Wesley – battered, bruised and bloody – begs and pleads for his life and apologizes to Michael over and over, but even this young version of The Shape appears dead inside, and he pays Wesley no mind as he continues to beat the life out of him. In a franchise where you’ve grown so used to seeing a grown Michael stab and strangle fellow adults, it’s genuinely shocking to witness the horrific death of a child at the hands of another, smaller child. Even worse, it goes on for a while.
Michael Impales Oscar (Halloween 2018)
David Gordon Green had the distinct honor of not just taking the reins of the franchise after Mr. Zombie, but directly involving John Carpenter himself in his imagining of a new timeline that acts as a direct continuation to Carpenter’s ‘78 original. 2018’s Halloween was an invigorating new beginning for the series, bringing back Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle to launch a new trilogy that would act as a new official end to the franchise – perhaps once and for all. But for anyone who was worried that the different direction would mean less gory deaths, all doubts were snuffed out the second this particular death played out on the big screen. Teenagers Oscar and Allyson are on their way home after Allyson caught her boyfriend cheating at a party, only for Oscar to stupidly make a move on her during their walk. She tells him off and splits up from him, but before Oscar can even so much as catch up and apologize, Michael appears. Oscar books it to a nearby fence but is unable to climb it, and as Allyson hears his cries for help, Michael impales him – from the chin up – on the fence’s sharp top. It’s a nasty way to go, and even for these movies, pretty damn intense.
Michael Takes On the Fire Department (Halloween Kills)
The Shape has always been considered a supervillain by anyone’s standards, but this scene from Halloween Kills gives him his most supervillain moment to date. Michael has, of course, survived the fire that was meant to kill him at Laurie’s house at the end of 2018’s Halloween. When firefighters arrive to put out the blaze, one falls into the basement where Michael was locked up in and is immediately killed by him. Michael then emerges from the burning building armed with the firefighter’s Halligan bar, and the remainder of the crew decide to gear up for mortal combat rather than do, well, anything else. Michael slaughters them all, racking up eleven kills in a terrifyingly cinematic sequence. If it wasn’t clear enough before, he simply cannot be stopped.
Corey is a Terrible Babysitter (Halloween Ends)
The final Halloween film of the foreseeable future starts off with a true banger of an opening sequence that grabs your attention right away. On Halloween night 2019, Corey Cunningham is just a young man looking to make some easy money by babysitting little Jeremy. Corey’s a nice enough guy that’s sent down an extremely dark path in the film and it all starts here. Jeremy ends up scaring Corey with a prank and locks him in the attic, which Corey really does not take kindly to. Flying into a panic and desperate to get out, Corey begins frantically kicking the door in an attempt to get it open. Just as Jeremy’s parents arrive back at home, Corey breaks the door down, sending the kid he was supposed to babysit toppling over the staircase and down to his gruesome death. It’s a jaw-dropping moment that shows how even thirteen movies in, you can still manage to find ways to surprise and frighten audiences.
The Final Kill (Halloween Ends)
Laurie and Michael’s long and brutal journey throughout the decades finally came to its end in really the only way that it could: With Laurie finally defeating Michael forever, banishing him and her nightmares from her mind for good. After their final bloody struggle in a kitchen, Laurie manages to pin Michael down onto a table by stabbing his hands through it. After removing his mask to truly gaze upon her boogeyman one last time, she slits his throat to let him bleed out, cutting his wrist as well to speed the process along. Once he actually appears to be dead, Laurie and the residents of Haddonfield then take the body to the dump, where it’s thrown into a shredder. That’s pretty thorough death, even for someone like Michael. Maybe this time he’s actually gone, but I wouldn’t count on it.
‘Halloween Ends’ is now playing in theaters and streaming on Peacock.