The Worst Decisions Characters Ever Made In The Halloween Franchise

In 1996, "Scream" introduced viewers to the rules of slasher flicks, and even if they knew them already, even if they sat on the couch throwing popcorn at the screen and cursing every bad decision in every horror movie ever made, "Scream" put into words what moviegoers had always known. Horror movies are where seemingly well-grounded and intelligent individuals make stupid choices that often result in bloody death.

The pattern of human error found in all horror films is as universal as it is legendary, and the massively successful and constantly reinvented "Halloween" franchise is no exception. Since Michael Myers killed his sister, Judith, his path of carnage has been aided by what can lovingly be called the "kerfuffles" of some of his victims. In this article, we will honor some of the worst decisions characters have ever made in the "Halloween" franchise. There will be hot takes! There will be rants! Keep reading ... if you dare.

Mistaking the mental patients — Halloween Kills

The discourse on 2021's "Halloween Kills" is often more brutal than Michael's kills, with fans decrying the lack of franchise-staple Jamie Lee Curtis in a major role, the loose social commentary on mob violence, and the slogan attached to that mob violence, "Evil dies tonight." What stands out for all the wrong reasons in this installment is the treatment of another escaped mental patient. Lance Tivoli (Ross Bacon) is one of the patients who escaped with Michael, and during a particularly gruesome segment, the fine citizens of Haddonfield mistake this man for their brutal foe. It's an improbable sequence because this patient bears no resemblance to Michael, and rather than posing a threat, he is seeking help at the hospital.

A mob chases him upstairs where he realizes that killing himself is his only option, and he plummets to his death while the citizens of Haddonfield cheer. It is a frightening and uncomfortable scene so irrelevantly gruesome that it should be permanently removed from the franchise (which is possible since it has nothing to do with the plot). The citizens of Haddonfield shouldn't have chased this man, shouldn't have mistaken him for Michael, and shouldn't have succumbed to their clear pleasure in mass violence. Fast forward through this scene, please! 

Don't go back in that house, Rachel! — Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

"Halloween 5" is a very busy installment. Michael recuperates with a hermit, Jamie is now psychically connected to Michael, and the Man in Black arrives. With so much that borders on the fantastical going on, the movie doesn't provide viewers with the great character moments of "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers," particularly from the last movie's final girl, Rachel (Ellie Cornell). 

Believing there might be an intruder inside, Rachel runs out of her house screaming. This is a great move, Rachel! This is exactly what someone who has already survived a horror movie would do. However, it's natural to begin to question her judgment after her almost instant relief when the police confirm that no one is in the house. Again, she's already lived through this. How are movie fans supposed to believe that Rachel would be so easily convinced by these cops? Michael loves silent creeps and fake-outs, and Rachel knows better. Once the police reassure her that she is safe and no one is in the house, she goes back upstairs only to be killed by Michael. It is a stupid move on her part and a devastatingly contrived and brief goodbye to a potential franchise mainstay.

Annie is the worst babysitter — Halloween

Part of what makes the original "Halloween" so compelling is Debra Hill's endearing and relatable teen dialogue that shapes the relationship between high school besties Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis), Annie (Nancy Kyes), and Lynda (P.J. Soles). Viewers spend so much time getting to know them, and this ups the stakes for their eventual deaths. Despite dying before Lynda, Annie is both the best friend of our final girl and a character the audience gets to spend some solo time with. Michael stalks her as she makes popcorn, talks on the phone, and gets stuck in the window of the laundry room. It's a very different Michael from the slice-and-dice antagonist fans know from later installments. Annie has a few close calls when Michael could attack but doesn't. However, it's her teenage rebelliousness that brings about her death.

Annie is supposed to be watching Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards), but she drops her charge off at Laurie's so that she can go pick up her boyfriend, Paul. In a teen scream, some debauchery is to be expected, sure, but this is ridiculous. Her one job is to babysit Lindsey. She could do so many naughty, illicit things while still fulfilling her basic job responsibilities. Instead, she pawns Lindsey off, and it is only then, when she gets into her car to pick up Paul, that Michael strikes.

No canoodling before solving the mystery — Halloween 3: Season of the Witch

Forty years ago, a "Halloween" sequel came out that did not feature Michael Myers, and people are still talking about it. Fandom is split on "Halloween III: Season of the Witch." Many fans have a polite loathing for the sequel, while some have reappraised the film as a cult classic. 

Michael or no Michael, this entry is still a "Halloween" movie, and you can watch with confidence, knowing that characters will make foolish decisions over the course of 90 minutes of Michael-less runtime. John Carpenter mainstay Tom Atkins plays Dr. Dan Challis, who teams up with Ellie (Stacey Nelkin) to solve the mystery surrounding Silver Shamrock Novelties. When they arrive in the spooky town where the main factory is located, one of the first things they do is have sex, even though they're in Santa Mira to solve her father's murder which just happened, like, two days before. It is a bizarre pairing not only because of the age difference and the timing of this dalliance, but also because the two have no chemistry. It would make sense after the climax, when they've defeated the nefarious Cochran, but before? Sorry, not convinced.

Maybe Laurie needs a guard outside her room? — Halloween 2

Picking up right where the events of "Halloween" left off, "Halloween II" shows what happens in the aftermath of a slasher, and it's great fun for diehard and casual fans alike. After narrowly escaping Michael, Laurie is taken to the local hospital, where an obviously inebriated doctor is trusted with her medical care. In a movie full of characters making poor choices (shoutout to the nurse who takes a sexy hot tub break while she's supposed to be monitoring newborns), one of the most unforgivable decisions is Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) and Sheriff Brackett (Charles Cyphers) doing nothing to protect Laurie once she gets to the hospital. Yes, they are busy. Brackett is dealing with the loss of his daughter and disappears early in the film, while Loomis proves he is nearly as unstable as Michael. Still, couldn't someone have said, "You know what? Let's set Laurie up with a nice police detail."

Instead, there is one hospital security guard who is probably underpaid and exhausted. Luckily for him, he dies pretty early in Michael's hospital massacre. The other hospital employees are unnerved at the news of the Haddonfield murders, but no one is so frightened as to question why they haven't been given police protection. The filmmakers try to cast doubt with a red herring death of someone in Michael's mask, but it's such a hollow device that it still doesn't excuse why no one is more concerned with getting Laurie appropriate protection.

No more night transfers, please — Halloween (1978), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween (2007) and Halloween (2018)

From "Prom Night" to "Slumber Party Massacre," the "escaped mental patient" plot device was used liberally in '80s slashers to varying degrees of success. It can be argued that those "Halloween" exploiters used the device because of John Carpenter. As Loomis and Nurse Marion (Nancy Stephens) drive to Smith's Grove to transfer Michael to a court hearing, they encounter all the patients wandering in the rain. Michael steals Loomis' car and then escapes to begin his Halloween killing spree. What is most shocking about this sequence is that Loomis arrives to pick up Michael at night. A night setting lends itself to a more chilling atmosphere, but it just wouldn't happen. And would Michael really be low-key transferred in the back of a station wagon? Somehow this plot device works, fans bought it, and 10 years later, it would be reimagined for "Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers," then the Rob Zombie reboot, and finally, the 2018 requel.

If the brilliant minds who run Smith's Grove had the brilliant idea to transfer Michael during the day instead, none of this would have happened. The entire series would be recalibrated, and moviegoers would instead get to see what becomes of Laurie Strode if Ben Tramer took her to the homecoming dance. But no, viewers instead get a completely ludicrous midnight patient transfer, and subsequently, 13 "Halloween" movies to show for it.

Are you seriously resting right now? — Halloween

After Corey (Rohan Campbell) stabs himself in the neck (is this even a spoiler anymore?) in "Halloween Ends," Laurie moves to a dark corner of a different room and sits on the floor to catch her breath and process what just happened. It's at this moment she realizes the back door is open. A gentle wind blows her curtains forward. It's how she knows Michael is in the house. And she should know that. She's been through this before.

In the original "Halloween," Laurie inexplicably (and repeatedly)turns her back on Michael. The first time it happens, she stabs him with a knitting needle, sending him crashing to the floor behind the couch. Believing that Michael is dead, she sits on the floor and relaxes. Here's a tip: Relax in the taxicab as you drive far away from Haddonfield. Instead, she heads upstairs where Michael attacks her again — this time in a closet. After she stabs him and pokes his eye with a wire hanger, she sits on the floor again — with her back to Michael. Once he's finished with his little nap, he wakes up and starts to strangle Laurie, who wouldn't have been in this foolish and deadly situation if she hadn't turned her back to him.

Now is not the time for a cappuccino — Halloween: Resurrection

The eighth "Halloween" movie gets a lot of hate, but how can it not? After the success of "H20," this movie opens with the death of Laurie Strode. The rest of "Resurrection" lives in the shadow of the death of our final girl, and that prevents many diehard "Halloween" fans from ever giving the film a fair chance. And its use of the internet, chatrooms, and reality shows may feel cringe today. Tyra Banks' performance as Nora Winston, one of the producers of the reality TV show set inside the Myers House, is a standout purely for its lunacy.

In one scene, she dances around the garage, making a cappuccino while we, the audience, watch Michael kill a crew member on the monitors. Had Nora not been so selfishly caffeinating, she would have clocked Michael Myers in the house, and that would have been the end of the movie. It is the same unhinged absurdity with which Tyra Banks hosts "Dancing With The Stars," so fans of both franchises can cross their fingers for an alternate timeline crossover now that Laurie's reboot trilogy has come to an end.

Halloween is not The Bachelor — Halloween Ends

The Laurie Strode of "Halloween Ends" often feels like she's related to the witchy aunts in "Practical Magic." She both bakes pies and slits tires. Her mischief and resilience work together to show that she has shed her past and wants to live in the light. While fans may enjoy this direction, it has a few missteps, most notably when Laurie sets Corey up with Allyson (Andi Matichak). After meeting outside a convenience store, Laurie and Corey instantly bond as outcasts, but in a town as small and judgmental as Haddonfield, would this really be the first time they meet? While their instant chemistry may be passably endearing, it's a hard sell.

Laurie quickly tries to break up the two lovers, who have an uncanny emotional resemblance to Veronica and JD in "Heathers." It's one of those silly plot points that changes the course of the whole movie, and if only Laurie didn't interfere, then maybe Michael would still be taking the longest hangover nap ever in the sewers. Her switch to hating Corey isn't given enough time either and might have been better explored if the movie were split into two parts, something haters of "Halloween Ends" might have preferred.

Do not hide in a coffin — Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris), Laurie's daughter in the Thorn timeline, goes through hell to survive Michael Myers. In "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers," she dangles from a roof, is chased through her elementary school, and is almost driven off the road as Michael attackers her and Rachel from the roof. It's nearly impossible to think of another horror movie that puts a preteen through so much slasher anguish, that is until "Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers." "Revenge" wreaks an emotional toll on anyone who watches. After Michael does away with some of the most unpleasantly uninteresting teenagers in history, he sets his sights on Jamie. He chases her through woods and the old Myers house and stabs at her repeatedly when she hides in a laundry shoot in one of the series' most terrifying sequences.

What's most impressive is that while the teens succumb to their own stupidity, Jamie continues to be a legitimate threat to Michael. However, in the great tradition of cinematic horror heroines, she will do something stupid. In Jamie's case, it's when she gets to the attic, where she finds a coffin that's just her size along with all the dead bodies of Michael's victims. In a scene that is slightly evocative of "Friday the 13th Part 2," Jamie decides to hide in the coffin and use their familial bond to manipulate Michael. It doesn't work, and it's not long before Michael is swinging his knife again. 

Stop turning your back on Michael - Halloween (2018)

Released in 2018, "Halloween" was a revelation to anyone who hadn't seen "Panic Room" 16 years earlier. While survivalist Laurie and her booby-trapped home are immensely enjoyable to watch, it's hard not to think about David Fincher's 2002 thriller the entire time. A safe house/trap is a brilliant concept, but it should have been elevated. Nevertheless, Laurie shows a command of her surroundings, having planned for Michael's return all this time. Her power at this moment is unquestionable, which is why her first slip-up stands out. After spotting Michael outside, she locks her front door, but why does that front door have nice little windows in it? It's not as if Laurie was thinking about aesthetics with the rest of the property.

Laurie leans with her back pressed against the door, trying to sneak a glance at Michael through the side windows. It is at this moment that Michael breaks through the small windows to smash Laurie's head against the door a few times before she recovers and shoots off two of his fingers. Laurie had been preparing for 40 years, so it's hard to believe that she would ever turn her back on Michael again.

Let her stab him - Halloween H20

With David Gordon Green's trilogy coming to a close, it's hard not to think about the last time Laurie had her "showdown" with Michael Myers in 1998's "Halloween H20." This installment is very much "Halloween" for the "Scream" generation. However, more than anything, it doesn't take itself too seriously. It acknowledges the trauma without endlessly putting it into words. Viewers get to watch the characters as their lives play out rather than hear Laurie talk about it ad nauseam in voiceovers. When Laurie takes an axe to Michael during the climax of "Halloween H20," fans know they're watching a different "Halloween" movie.

As she battles with Michael, there are callbacks to the original but their fight feels fresh. After stabbing him several times and pushing her (sometimes) brother off a balcony, she finds his body and prepares to stab him again. Just as she's about to finish the job, security guard Ronny Jones (LL Cool J) arrives to stop her — as if you could ever stab Michael Myers too many times. It is one of the silliest moments in a movie that otherwise succeeds on all fronts. Had Laurie succeeded in dispatching Michael, she wouldn't have had to steal his body and decapitate him at the film's conclusion.