Why do we watch slasher films? Is it to view the scenic landscapes of summer camps and suburban neighborhoods? Is it to marvel at the coming of age stories that surround groups of teenagers facing the toughest decisions of their lives? Is it to reflect on our own mortality in a world that is ultimately in the hands of a chaotic god? No, no, and maybe, if I've had a few glasses of wine. For the most part, we watch them to see the rad death scenes. We want to know what happens when the human body interacts with a supernatural, toolbox-wielding psychopath.
When you've amassed as many entries as the Halloween series, you obviously come up with a couple handfuls of these scenes. But in the rush to devour as much horror content as you can before the spookiest of seasons is over, you may not have time to watch every Halloween movie. So the question is: What are the best Halloween death scenes? What is the ultimate montage of Michael Myers stabbery that will get you through October?
Well, gentle, beautiful readers, SYFY WIRE is here to help with that in the only way that the internet knows how: a purely subjective list! These are the top eight best Halloween death scenes, curated by someone you can trust.
Jim (Halloween: Resurrection)
I remember seeing Halloween: Resurrection at the local drive-in movie theater. It was on a double feature with, bizarrely enough, Mr. Deeds. And while I can't say that I liked either movie, one death from Halloween: Resurrection stuck with me for years: Jim, who gets his head crushed.
The weird thing about this death is that Michael has to go out of his way to do it. Not because the death is elaborate, but because it involves Michael raising his knife, and then silently going "SIKE!" before stabbing his knife into the wall in order to retrieve it later. It's really theatrical. But then he grabs Jim's head and, for what feels like forever, turns Jim's skull into banana pudding. It's honestly one of the two highlights of the film, the other being Busta Rhymes literally charging through a burning door because he's so excited to say his "Trick or treat, mothaf&@ka" catchphrase.
Buddy (Halloween III: Season of the Witch)
Halloween III lacks Michael Myers but it certainly doesn't lack weird slayings. The most notable of these comes from the effects of the evil commercial that activates the microchip in the children's masks, causing it to apparently transform people's heads into a mixture of snakes and bugs. Yeah, I know that the contents of this sentence kind of sound like horror movie Mad Libs, but it's actually pretty creepy. You may not like Halloween III, but you certainly have to give it points for being bizarre.
Steve (Rob Zombie's Halloween)
The first half of Rob Zombie's Halloween stands out among the Halloween films, mainly because it suddenly treats the series as a tragedy about a troubled, abused kid who's unable to be helped. And that's part of the reason why Steve's death is so disturbing. It feels nasty and real and visceral, especially with Michael screaming and that shot of Steve's twitching feet.
Ambulance Personnel (Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers)
It's 1988. Michael Myers hasn't been onscreen for seven years, and, in the timeline of the Halloween franchise, has been gone for ten. And now, he's in a cramped space in the back of an ambulance, wrapped up in bandages and without any of his trademark weapons. So how does he begin his comeback tour when he's been given such a handicap?
Well, he bashes a dude's head in. And then, because a cupcake's not good without frosting, he jams his thumb into the man's skull...to death. The guy dies from getting a dirty thumb to the brain. Halloween 4 isn't the best movie in the series, but this death deserves to go on its Greatest Hits collection.
Dr. Mixter and Janet (Halloween II)
We never get to see what exactly happened to Dr. Mixter, but considering that Nurse Janet finds him with a hypodermic needle jammed into his eye, his last moments seem pretty obvious. Then, Michael pops up behind Janet and stabs her in the neck with another needle. This is notable because 1) It's a cluster of attacks based around the same weapon, and 2) It means that, at some point earlier in the evening, Michael saw one hypodermic needle and thought "Oh, this is OBVIOUSLY not enough."
Howard (Rob Zombie's Halloween II)
Rob Zombie's second Halloween movie maintains the brutality of the first, but turns the cartoonish gore way, way up, rendering every kill as a marvel of prosthetics and makeup. Special makeup effects department head Wayne Toth went above and beyond for Halloween II, and I think the best example of his mastery lies in the death of Howard, the strip club bouncer who just wanted to begrudgingly take out the trash in peace.
But his plans are dashed when he's confronted by Michael, who wordlessly blocks his way and then delivers something that kind of looks like the finishing move of the Big Bossman from the WWE. But that's not all. Michael then stomps on Howard's head until it's transformed into a fine beef stew.
Michael Myers (Halloween H20)
Before it was revealed that, oh no, Laurie Strode accidentally cut THE WRONG MAN'S HEAD OFF," the death of Michael Myers at the end of Halloween H20 was infinitely badass. Returning to stalk his sister after twenty years, Michael ends up pinned down by an ambulance. He reaches out to Laurie, as if to extend an olive branch. Yeah, he has killed nearly everyone that Laurie has ever loved, but hey, they're brother and sister, right? And that's an unbreakable bond that will last forev-
NOPE. Laurie swiftly cuts Michael's head off with an axe. It's kind of a wonderful moment, and it really brings the franchise full circle. Sadly, Halloween: Resurrection decided that bringing things full circle just didn't involve enough circling.
I talk about Bob's death over in my "Halloween characters that deserved what they got" article, but I mostly went into the "why" and not the "what." See, Bob's death is one of the first hints that we get that Michael Myers is more than just a silent threat to the citizens of Haddonfield. He's also a true artist. Well, maybe "artist" is going a bit far. He really does just pick a guy up and leave him impaled on a butcher knife. However, since the other deaths in the film are a mix of stabbings and strangulations, Bob's death stands out.
It also doesn't hurt that, when it's done, Michael Myers stands there, tilting his head and looking at Bob's body like an art critic, as if to say "This piece came from the murderer's 'Stab Stuff To A Wall' period. You can tell that from the moody, expressionistic lines, the deep shadows, and also because this man is clearly stabbed to a wall."