12 Best Characters From The Halloween Franchise, Ranked

"Halloween" as we know it comes to a close when "Halloween Ends" hits theaters and Peacock on October 14. Over the last 44 years, the Michael Myers saga has bestowed fans with plenty of tricks and treats and numerous characters we've come to cherish. What started as a low-budget indie film helmed by John Carpenter, Debra Hill, and a scrappy team of actors and crew ignited a slasher phenomenon. 

After 14 films, including Rob Zombie's 2007 remake and its sequel, the most well-known horror franchise is finally burying the Boogeyman — at least according to the original mastermind, John Carpenter. Although, Carpenter has said recently he wouldn't be surprised if the franchise carried on. "I guarantee you if 'Halloween Ends' makes a lot of money, guess what? Just guess what," he told a crowd at Pennsylvania's Steel City Convention.

We're celebrating the end of an era with a ranking of the franchise's 12 best characters. Given the plethora of think pieces around Michael Myers, and considering he's the central antagonist, he does not qualify here. Instead, we focus on the protagonists who have fought their way through the Shape's advances (or not, in one case) and made their way into our hearts. It's hard to say goodbye, but here we go.

12. Julian

In the grim world of "Halloween," Julian (Jibrail Nantambu) supplies some much-needed levity to all the slicing and dicing. Nantambu's performance is charming and razor-sharp, highlighted in his chemistry with co-star Virginia Gardner, who plays Julian's babysitter Vicky. He's quick with the quips but still holds onto his innocence in the face of pure evil.

On Halloween night, Michael Myers escapes during a prison transfer. When the bush crashes, evil on two legs makes its way to Haddonfield and unleashes 40 years of pent-up rage. Michael doesn't set his sights on anyone in particular. He just wants to do some trick or treating. After stabbing some unsuspecting townsfolk, he eventually crosses paths with Vicky and her boyfriend Dave (Miles Robbins).

Despite his bubbly personality, Julian believes someone is lurking in his bedroom. Vicky attends to him and quickly discovers the Shape standing in Julian's closet. "Oh s***!" Julian yells, darting for the stairs to call for help. Even in moments of terror, Julian possesses a disposition to see the humor in the world, and perhaps on a subconscious level, it's a coping mechanism when he's anxious, or in this case, absolutely terrified. Either way, he's a star.

11. Tommy Doyle

Tommy appears in three "Halloween" films, portrayed by a different actor in each outing. In the original, Brian Andrews plays the character, a scrappy kid constantly bullied by Lonnie Elam. Tommy's the only one who believes in the Boogeyman and tries convincing Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) that he is real. His character in "Halloween" focuses the film's thesis: Evil is always lurking around the corner.

Paul Rudd later slips into the role in 1995's "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers," his film debut. Rudd's bizarre turn is a magnetic depiction of obsession born out of trauma. The sixth "Halloween" entry follows Tommy, who is now living in a boarding house hosted by Mrs. Blankenship (Janice Knickrehm). He's a certified weirdo who's done a deep dive into druid culture and likes to use his camera and telephoto lens to spy on the neighbors, including Kara Strode (Marianne Hagan) across the street.

He lacks social skills, but he's hot on Michael's trail. He replays audio of Jamie's (J.C. Brandy) call into the Barry Simms (Leo Geter) talk show, leading him to discover her baby, Steven, hidden away in a rest stop bathroom. In the finale, he delivers a few wallops to Michael's head with a metal pipe. He gets an "A" for effort, and Rudd's performance makes Tommy a real MVP of the franchise. In "Halloween Kills," Tommy returns (again), this time played by Anthony Michael Hall. Unfortunately, Tommy incites a riot and gets a man killed.

10. Dr. Dan Challis

Womanizing ways and questionable parenting aside, Dr. Dan Challis (Tom Atkins) is a well-respected medical professional who is always willing to listen to his patients. While visiting with his kids, he gets an urgent call about an elderly man who has been brought into the hospital. Dr. Challis is immediately attuned to his plight, even as he is visibly distraught and spouts gibberish about how "they're going to kill us."

That night, the man is resting peacefully in his bed when a robotic gentleman in a clean-cut suit slips into his room and kills him. The victim's daughter, Ellie (Stacey Nelkin), comes to identify the body and enlists Dr. Challis to find out exactly what happened to her father. Together, they follow a trail of breadcrumbs to the Silver Shamrock mask factory and uncover a far more sadistic plot than they could have imagined.

Dr. Challis commands the room. He's well aware of the risks of trying to destroy an entire cult organization, but he forges ahead with resolve and charm. That's largely owed to Atkins' smooth-talking performance which easily positions the character as a fine addition to the series.

9. Lindsey Wallace

There's always been a question about how the events in the original "Halloween" affected Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards). Her babysitter, Annie (Nancy Keyes), was brutally murdered in her home along with Annie's friends Bob (John Graham) and Lynda (P.J. Soles). That must have come with a heavy head and a broken heart.

One of the most exciting aspects of "Halloween Kills" is Lindsey's long-overdue return. While in the first film she only serves as an emblem of innocence, the 2021 sequel gives her a moment of triumph. During a patrol in the neighborhood, as she warns the townsfolk of Michael Myers, she comes across two children in the park. She instructs them to run home as fast as they can.

Michael circles around her and the group, which also includes Nurse Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), and picks them off one by one. Lindsey manages to snag a pillowcase (used as a trick 'r treat bag) from one of the kids and fills it with bricks and walks right up to Michael. She takes a couple of good swings at his shoulders before he can grab her by the neck. She breaks loose by slipping off his mask and darts into the trees. Paired with the heart-palpitating score, it's one of the best chase scenes in the bloody slasher saga.

8. Karen Nelson

Karen Nelson (Judy Greer) is an acquired taste. Her mother, Laurie Strode, forced her into a life of survival, enlisting a very young Karen to help build a survival bunker beneath their house. CPS took Karen away when she was 12 and put her into foster care until adulthood. That must have cut deep.

When we meet Karen in 2018's "Halloween," we learn she is married to lovable goofball Ray (Toby Huss) and has a daughter named Allyson (Andi Matichak). Karen works in education and still has a strained relationship with Laurie. And she wears a Christmas sweater around Halloween, as the season carries special torment for her. Whether she's claiming the world is a place full of "love and understanding" or revealing her childhood to Allyson, she delivers her words with cynicism.

Fortunately, Karen gets a redemption arc in "Halloween Kills." She valiantly attempts to save Mr. Tivoli (Ross Bacon), an escaped inmate from Smith's Grove Sanitarium, and later, she finally confronts the Boogeyman. She schemes with other townsfolk to take him down — once and for all. She impales him with a pitchfork and removes his mask. She taunts him before scampering to the next street over. There, Michael is surrounded by angry townspeople. As with most redemption arcs, she is unceremoniously killed off. It's a radically unexpected death, but it gives Karen one helluva send-off.

7. Nurse Marion Chambers

Nurse Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens) appears in a very small role in "Halloween." Driving to Smith's Grove Sanitarium, she accompanies Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) to transfer Michael Myers to court the following morning. Through pouring rain, Marion spies escaped patients meandering across the lawn.

Dr. Loomis hops out at the gate and leaves an unsuspecting Marion in the car. In one of the film's most iconic scenes, Michael leaps atop the vehicle and attacks Marion, first grabbing her face through an open window before smashing the passenger side glass. Marion hunkers down in her seat and accidentally presses the gas. The car careens around in the mud. Eventually, Marion flees and slides into a ditch. Michael jumps into the driver's seat, puts the pedal to the metal, and bolts into the night.

Marion's scene serves to give Michael an escape. Marion then appears in "Halloween II" when a state marshal retrieves Dr. Loomis from Haddonfield. She also carries the weight of revealing to Loomis that Michael is Laurie's brother (in the original timeline). She makes a comeback in 1998's "Halloween H20," in which she fights to survive against Michael in one of the opening scenes. With David Gordon Green's "Halloween Kills," Marion returns, but this time, her presence is merely ceremonial with no real purpose other than to spout the line, "This is for Dr. Loomis," while pointing an empty pistol at Michael. It's no "H20," that's for sure.

6. Allyson Nelson

Allyson (Andi Matichak) attempts to mend burned bridges between Laurie and Karen any chance she gets. Nothing seems to work, but the three generations of Strode women soon bond over shared trauma in a way they could never have imagined.

In 2018's "Halloween," Allyson comes into direct contact with Michael Myers on two occasions. On her way home from the Halloween dance, her friend Oscar (Drew Sheid) is stabbed and then impaled through the jaw with a fence spike. Allyson emits a guttural scream and darts through the streets, pleading for help. She is eventually saved, but her night is only getting started. In the finale, she stabs Michael several times in his hand and forearm while he's dragging Karen down the ladder of Laurie's bunker.

Allyson's role is considerably larger in "Halloween Kills," in which she shows true grit. She joins Cameron and his father, Lonnie (Brent Le Page), in a crusade to hunt down the monster. From the moment Cameron and Allyson step foot inside the Myers house, it's non-stop brutal violence with Allyson taking charge. After Michael attacks Cameron with his knife, Allyson grabs her shotgun and aims to blow the Shape to smithereens. Unfortunately, she misjudges the distance and Michael rips the gun away. However, she has a knife tucked into her waistband and jabs it into his Michael's abdomen before he tosses her down the stairs. Allyson doesn't get nearly enough credit, and "Halloween Kills" positions her as an undeniable force.

5. Sheriff Meeker

In horror movies, cops are rarely helpful and almost always in the way. However, Sheriff Meeker (Beau Starr) proves that, sometimes, police officers know what they're doing. Appearing in "Halloween 4" and "Halloween 5," Meeker takes over from Sheriff Brackett (Charles Cyphers), the former police chief in the first and second films, who has since retired and moved to Florida.

Meeker possesses a no-nonsense demeanor. He's warm and protective towards his daughter, Kelly (Kathleen Kinmonth), but he knows when it's time to buckle down. When he first meets Dr. Loomis, who spouts his usual outrageous monologue about the carnage Michael has already inflicted, Meeker is well aware of his reputation. He's willing to hear him out, though, and takes extra precautions in sending out squad cars to check out the story.

When things only get worse in the third act, he barricades everyone, including Rachel (Ellie Cornell) and Jamie (Danielle Harris), inside his home. When not even that can stop Michael Myers, he enlists state troopers to bomb Michael in an abandoned mineshaft. It's an extreme measure, but you always need the extreme when dealing with evil. In "Halloween 5," he continues to demonstrate his leadership skills as best he can in leading a plot to lure Michael to his childhood home. Even when things fall apart, you can always count on Sheriff Meeker to show up. 

4. Rachel Carruthers

In discussions about the all-time best final girls, Rachel Carruthers seems to be left out of the conversation. She competes with the best of them, particularly in "Halloween 4." Displaying an older sibling instinct, she guards her foster sister, Jamie with the eye of a hawk. She's caring and compassionate and unafraid of doing what she needs to do to survive.

In the film's explosive finale, she goes toe-to-toe against the Boogeyman at every turn. She climbs out onto the roof of the Meeker home, with Jamie clinging to her back. Michael is hot on her heels, and she falls two stories to the ground. She manages to recuperate in time to save Jamie at the schoolhouse. All the beer bellies climb into the back of a pickup truck, with Jamie and Rachel in the front. Michael pops up from the fog and quickly dispatches the rednecks, leaving Rachel and Jamie the only ones alive. Rachel takes the wheel and flings Michael from the roof — and runs him over, sending his body into a nearby field. It's big heroine energy.

We don't talk about Rachel's treatment in "Halloween 5," a sequel that relegates her role to air-headed cannon fodder. She deserved far better. She had already earned her final girl pedigree, and her death warranted a heroic effort to save Jamie — perhaps in a sacrificial act of selflessness.

3. Jamie Lloyd

Jamie is a symbol of innocence. In "Halloween 4" and "5," Danielle Harris stars in the role, delivering vulnerability and nuance with the material given. In the first sequel, Harris and Ellie Cornell display natural chemistry as foster sisters. There's a weight to the film you don't usually see in slashers.

Jamie reels from the death of her parents 11 months prior. She wakes most nights and confides in Rachel about her anxieties. This Halloween, Jamie is particularly uneasy. Rachel quips that she's gunning for a place in the Insomniac's Hall of Fame before settling in next to Jamie on the couch. It's a tender moment that presents their unconditional friendship. That makes it even harder when they're really put through the wringer.

In "Halloween 5," once Rachel is unceremoniously killed, Jamie carries the film. Having attacked her foster mother at the end of "Halloween 4," she has now gone mute and has telekinetic powers that allow her to link with her murderous uncle. Jamie is largely left to fend for herself and gives it her all, even climbing up a laundry chute to evade the knife. But her will to survive only lasts a good six years. In "Halloween 6," her fate is the same as those before her. Jamie, now played by J.C. Brandy, is discarded within the first 20 minutes when she flees the cult's lair and gets impaled by farm equipment. She may not have been treated like the final girl she was, but she died trying.

2. Dr. Loomis

Dr. Loomis is the Van Helsing to Michael Myers' Dracula. A prolific film, TV, and stage actor, Donald Pleasence committed to bringing Loomis' verbose language to life and giving the character a worthy performance. In the original film, Dr. Loomis is the voice of reason, even when his colleagues fail to see evil for exactly what it is.

Throughout the original, he's hot on the Boogeyman's trail, following along the highway to discover the body of a tow-truck driver. Once in town, he goes to the Myers house, finds a dead dog, and delivers one of the most iconic monologues in horror history. "I watched him for 15 years, sitting in a room, staring at a wall, not seeing the wall, looking past the wall, looking at this night," he tells Sheriff Brackett.

When the night grows cold, and Michael Myers closes in on Laurie, Loomis saves the day, firing six slugs into Myers' chest. But it's all for naught. Michael disappears. He descends into deranged territory across the next four sequels, each showing a more unhinged and wild-eyed Loomis. He's desperate and completely done by "Halloween 5." Loomis is sidelined in a much smaller role in "Halloween 6," Donald Pleasence's final film role. Even when the story wasn't there, you could always depend on Loomis. Pleasence's performances alone are worth watching again and again.

1. Laurie Strode

Laurie Strode defines what it means to be a final girl. The consummate girl next door, she studies a lot, loves her friends, and has a small fortune stashed away from babysitting so much. When the chips are down, she's a fierce protector and uses whatever is handy as a weapon.

"Halloween II" gave Jamie Lee Curtis' ultimate final girl very little to do other than wear a horrible wig and lie in a hospital bed. It wasn't until 1998 that the character made the ultimate comeback. "Halloween H20" ends with one of the best fight sequences ever, featuring a determined Laurie grabbing an ax and delivering the legendary "Michael!" scream. In the end, she does the only logical thing: she chops off his head.

"Resurrection" undoes that ending, but most fans would probably agree that the original series was already finished. In David Gordon Green's trilogy, Laurie is given a second chance. This time, she lives as a paranoid recluse on the outskirts of Haddonfield. She's always on guard, ready for the Shape's return. And he does, of course. Although she regains her ingenuity in the 2018 film, luring Michael into her basement bunker to set him on fire, she once again takes a backseat in "Halloween Kills" as she recovers in the hospital. Regardless of her character's screen time, she always commands our undivided attention. You can't have a "Halloween" film without Laurie Strode.