The Halloween franchise timelines explained

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

With ‘Halloween Ends‘ out in theatres and streaming on Peacock for 60 days, the fearsome legend of the serial killer Michael Myers has come to an end. 

Lauri Strode manages to defeat her arch-nemesis and destroys his existence to the best of her abilities, finally closing this fearful chapter (for now).

This film is the thirteenth entry into the famous slasher franchise and concludes a new trilogy that began with 2018’s ‘Halloween’. However, since the first ever film came out in 1978, there have been a lot of resets within the timeline, which are not easy to follow. 

Below, we take a look at all the retcons and reboots the franchise’s timeline went through on its journey to ‘Halloween Ends’.

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Image Source: Mashed Potate Jones – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=109503872

The original five

The franchise began in 1978 with director John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’. The film focuses on serial killer Michael Myers who murders teenage babysitters on the night of October 31 in the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois.

After killing his sister at the age of 6, Michael is put in a sanitarium. He escapes 15 years later and hunts high school student Laurie Strode. Most of her friends die, but Lauri survives with the help of Michael’s psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Loomis.

The sequel ‘Halloween II’ was released in 1981 and picked up where its predecessor left off. Michael stalks Lauri to a hospital and slaughters a lot of people. It is revealed that Lauri is his sister, who was sent for adoption as a child.

He is eventually defeated after being engulfed in flames due to a blast. 

This story continued in 1988’s ‘Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, which shows the serial killer to be in a coma for 10 years after the explosion. 

As he is taken back to the sanitarium, Michael wakes up when he hears that Lauri (who died in a car accident) has a daughter, Jamie Lloyd. While hunting his niece, the killer is shot by police and falls into a mine shaft.

‘Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers’ was the next entry in this timeline and was released in 1989. The killer again survives his injuries and is healed by a hermit.

Then, he uses a mysterious psychic connection to Jamie and tracks her to a mental health facility. Loomis uses the girl as bait and captures Michael. Now in police custody, the killer is broken out of prison by a mysterious man. 

The final entry in this series of events was 1995’s ‘Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers’. It picks up six years after the previous one. The mysterious man who broke Michael out also kidnaps Jamie. She gives birth to a boy in captivity and eventually escapes, but is murdered by the serial killer.

The infant is found by a man named Tommy Doyle. Furthermore, Michael’s bloodlust is explained via a curse that drives the chosen one to kill their family for the betterment of the world. 

The film ends with Tommy saving the kid and subduing Michael within the sanatarium.

The standalone third part

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Image Source: Universal Pictures

Michael Myers’ story went from ‘Halloween II’ to ‘Halloween 4’, but there was a standalone third part released in between titled, ‘Halloween III: Season of the Witch’. This came out in 1982.

This film had no connections to the first two and was an attempt to turn the franchise into an anthology. The plot follows Dr. Dan Challis who investigates the death of a patient.

He travels to Santa Maria, California with the deceased’s daughter and discovers an ancient power in the works. A man named Conal Cochran plans to use mysterious powers of the Stonehenge rocks to revive the age-old enchantment of the Celtic festival, Samhain.

His plan includes killing all children wearing a special mask on Halloween night as they watch a cursed commercial from his company on TV.

The first change in events

The seventh entry in the franchise was released in 1998 and was named ‘Halloween H20: 20 Years Later’. This film ignores the events after ‘Halloween II’ and acts as a sequel to the second film.

The plot opens 20 years after Michael Myers got engulfed in flames and shows Lauri to be working as a private school headmistress after faking her death. Her son studies in the same school as well.

Michael vanished after the explosion, but Lauri is adamant that he will return. The nightmare finally comes to life when Michael shows up at the school and starts killing.

Lauri gets her son to safety but decides to face her brother. After a confrontation, she kills Michael by decapitating him with a fire axe.

This new timeline continued with 2002’s ‘Halloween: Resurrection’. Picking up three years after H20, this film showcases that Michael swapped clothes with a paramedic and crushed his larynx, rendering him mute as Lauri killed him.

Lauri is now admitted to a mental institution where she is finally killed by Michael. The murderer then goes back to his family home in Haddonfield and finds some college students filming an internet series.

He kills most of them until he is electrocuted by the two survivors. As his body is taken into the morgue to be examined, Michael awakens.

The reboot

After re-writing the original timeline with ‘H20’ and ‘Resurrection’, it was entirely abandoned in favour of a reboot of the series. The ninth film of the franchise was a remake of the original and was also titled ‘Halloween’. It was released in 2007.

The plot goes deeper into the events surrounding Michael killing his family and also reveals Lauri to be his sister from the get-go. A young Michael murders his elder sister, a high school bully, and a lot of other people before being sent to the sanatarium. His mother commits suicide out of guilt.

After escaping 15 years later, he tracks down his younger sister Lauri. He kills all her near and dear ones before kidnapping her. He then tries to convince her of their relationship using pictures, but a paranoid Lauri shoots Michael in the head.

This remake was followed by a sequel in 2009, titled, ‘Halloween II’. Set a year after the events of the last film, the plot showcases Michael surviving the gunshot wound after receiving a vision from his mother urging him to find Lauri.

The siblings share a mental link in this film, and both have visions of their mother. The end sees Lauri (whose real name is revealed to be Angel Myers) stabbing Michael to death with his knife.

She wears his mask, taking up the persona of the deranged serial killer and is then sent to an asylum.

The second shake-up

The franchise eventually returned to its roots and came out with its eleventh instalment also titled, ‘Halloween’. This film acts as a direct sequel to the 1978 original, ignoring everything that happened after that (including the sibling relationship).

In this continuity, Michael was arrested and sent to the sanatarium in 1978 and has been in captivity for 40 years. During a prison transfer, he crashes the bus and returns to Haddonfield, continuing his killing spree.

Michael also kills his psychologist, who leads him to Lauri’s secret hideout. There, he has a lethal confrontation with Lauri, her daughter Karen and her granddaughter Allyson. The three women eventually trap him in the basement and set the house ablaze.

2021 saw a sequel to the previous film titled ‘Halloween Kills’, which picked up immediately after the house was set ablaze. Firefighters arrive on the scene and unknowingly free Michael.

Lauri is admitted to the hospital due to potentially fatal injuries and is accompanied by Karen. Meanwhile, Allyson joins a mob that hunts for the serial killer. Michael is cornered but kills everyone except Allyson. Unfortunately, the film ends with him also slaughtering Karen.

The latest entry, ‘Halloween Ends’, is the final film of this new timeline, and focuses on Lauri and Allyson living together four years after Karen’s death.

This narrative determines that Michael vanished after the massacre in the previous film, which has instilled fear into the residents of Haddonfield.

Another piece of this plot is a high school kid named Corey Cunningham who is bullied by the town after having accidentally killed a child he babysat.

Corey runs into Michael, who is shown to be living in the sewers and ends up becoming a murderer himself. The film ends with Corey dying as Lauri and Allyson finally corner Michael. They slit open his throat and wrists, letting him bleed out.

Finally, they carry his body to a scrapyard, followed by the entire town, and crush it in an industrial shredder marking an end to his gruesome deeds.


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