6) Halloween II (1981)
John Carpenter’s masterful 1978 original film is regularly — and rightfully — hailed as one of the best horror films ever made. Halloween introduced audiences to iconic slasher Michael Myers and one of the cinema’s most unforgettable final girls in Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie Strode. Yet, despite the return of both character for this direct follow-up (Curtis wouldn’t return to the series again until the seventh film in 1998), most fans of Carpenter’s original probably have never even seen it.
Written by the original team of Debra Hill and Carpenter himself, Halloween II is set during the same night as the first film, chronicling Michael’s continuing murder spree as he pursues Laurie. The movie has been criticized for its uneven pace and plot holes, but it does manage to capture much of the atmospheric spirit that made Carpenter’s original work so well.
More than just an attempt to ape its predecessor’s success, Halloween II expands the mythology by unearthing a connection between Michael and Laurie that has since become key to the series. Even if it’s not up to the same artistic standards of the first film, this sequel is certainly worth seeing as the other half of that initial story.