Halloween vs Scream: Which Is the Better Slasher Franchise?

Halloween vs Scream: Which Is the Better Slasher Franchise?

The lasting impact of John Carpenter’s Halloween franchise wasn’t just seen in the 1980s, but well into the 1990s and until the late 2000s, when the horror genre started to shift away from the slasher subgenre to the more supernatural flicks. But still, several decades of profound influence on horror filmmakers is a lasting legacy for John Carpenter, whose movie certainly influenced a lot of other franchises, like Scream.

Without a doubt, Carpenter’s Halloween franchise is much better than the Scream franchise, both in terms of narrative quality, overall structure, and historical importance. Scream is considered to be the slasher franchise of the 1990s, but Halloween‘s impact on the genre is much longer and deeper, which is why it is a better work than Scream.

The rest of this article is going to be divided into three sections. The first two sections are going to bring you an overview of the two series, respectively, so you know all the necessary information. Finally, we’re going to bring you a detailed analysis of the two shows to determine which one is the better of the two iterations.

Halloween: An Overview

Halloween is a saga of American movies of the slasher genre. It focuses on the psychopathic medical murderer Michael Myers, who after spending fifteen years in a psychiatric hospital for killing his older sister, escapes and repeats his crimes.

Every Halloween Movie Ranked

This series created or reinvented the slasher genre, based on how you look at it. It consists of eleven films, with the eleventh film produced by the director of the original, John Carpenter, which will be a direct sequel to the first film (1978), and is set 40 years later.

Scream: An Overview

Scream is an American horror franchise created by Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven. Originally conceived as a trilogy, the saga is made up of five films: Scream (1996), Scream 2 (1997), Scream 3 (2000), Scream 4 (2011), and Scream (2022).


She mixes slasher, metafiction, black comedy, and whodunit with a satire of horror movie clichés and its impact on modern media and culture. The saga is brought to the screen by Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox and is at the origin of the emblematic figure of “Ghostface” voiced by Roger L. Jackson.

Halloween vs Scream: Which Horror Franchise Is Better?

Now that we’ve given you all the necessary information, we can also give our final verdict. For us, the decision wasn’t all that difficult, as one show has several clear advantages when compared to the other.

Number of Films

Whether a franchise has many movies or not is not necessarily a measure of quality, but it goes to show that it might be popular. Some of the greatest franchises have had around ten or even more movies, which is why we have decided to take that into consideration as well. Let us see how many movies there are in the Halloween franchise:

FilmU.S. release dateDirector(s)Screenwriter(s)Producer(s)
HalloweenOctober 25, 1978John CarpenterJohn Carpenter and Debra HillDebra Hill
Halloween IIOctober 30, 1981Rick RosenthalJohn Carpenter and Debra HillDebra Hill and John Carpenter
Halloween III: Season of the WitchOctober 22, 1982Tommy Lee WallaceTommy Lee WallaceDebra Hill and John Carpenter
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael MyersOctober 21, 1988Dwight H. LittleDhani Lipsius, Larry Rattner & Benjamin Ruffner, and Alan B. McElroyPaul Freeman
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael MyersOctober 13, 1989Dominique Othenin-GirardMichael Jacobs & Dominique Othenin-Girard and Shem BittermanRamsey Thomas
Halloween: The Curse of Michael MyersSeptember 29, 1995Joe ChappelleDaniel FarrandsPaul Freeman
Halloween H20: 20 Years LaterAugust 5, 1998Steve MinerRobert Zappia and Matt GreenbergPaul Freeman
Halloween: ResurrectionJuly 12, 2002Rick RosenthalLarry Brand and Sean HoodPaul Freeman
HalloweenAugust 31, 2007Rob ZombieRob ZombieMalek Akkad, Andy Gould, and Rob Zombie
Halloween IIAugust 28, 2009Rob ZombieRob ZombieMalek Akkad, Andy Gould, and Rob Zombie
HalloweenOctober 19, 2018David Gordon GreenJeff Fradley, Danny McBride & David Gordon GreenMalek Akkad, Jason Blum & Bill Block
Halloween KillsOctober 15, 2021David Gordon GreenScott Teems, Danny McBride & David Gordon GreenMalek Akkad, Jason Blum & Bill Block
Halloween EndsOctober 14, 2022David Gordon GreenPaul Brad Logan, Chris Bernier, Danny McBride & David Gordon GreenMalek Akkad, Jason Blum & Bill Block

And now, the Scream franchise:

FilmU.S. release dateDirector(s)Screenwriter(s)Producer(s)
ScreamDecember 20, 1996Wes CravenKevin WilliamsonCathy Konrad
Cary Woods
Scream 2December 12, 1997Wes CravenKevin WilliamsonCathy Konrad
Wes Craven
Marianne Maddalena
Scream 3February 4, 2000Wes CravenEhren KrugerCathy Konrad
Kevin Williamson
Marianne Maddalena
Scream 4April 15, 2011Wes CravenKevin WilliamsonIya Labunka
Kevin Williamson
Wes Craven
ScreamJanuary 14, 2022Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
Tyler Gillett
James Vanderbilt
Guy Busick
Paul Neinstein
William Sherak
James Vanderbilt

As you can see, Halloween has 12 movies so far with a 13th on the way, while Scream has only four, with a fifth on the way. These points go to Halloween.


The ratings are, probably, the best way to assess a franchise’s quality, which is why we have decided to compare the ratings of the movies from three major reviewers – Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes, and CinemaScore. Here’s how the Halloween franchise was rated:

FilmRotten TomatoesMetacriticCinemaScore
Halloween94% (55 reviews)87 (21 reviews)B+
Halloween II32% (35 reviews)40 (11 reviews)B
Halloween III: Season of the Witch30% (34 reviews)50 (11 reviews)B
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers37% (24 reviews)43 (7 reviews)B+
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers23% (22 reviews)28 (10 reviews)B-
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers16% (32 reviews)10 (13 reviews)B+
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later62% (57 reviews)52 (20 reviews)A
Halloween: Resurrection31% (60 reviews)19 (17 reviews)B+
Halloween (2007)26% (11 reviews)47 (18 reviews)B-
Halloween II10% (73 reviews)15 (17 reviews)C-
Halloween (2018)79% (58 reviews)67 (51 reviews)A
Halloween Kills39% (160 reviews)42 (43 reviews)B-
Halloween EndsTBATBATBA

And here’s how the Scream movies have been rated:

FilmRotten TomatoesMetacriticCinemaScore
Scream (1996)79% (73 reviews)65 (25 reviews)N/A
Scream 282% (77 reviews)63 (22 reviews)B+
Scream 339% (122 reviews)56 (32 reviews)B
Scream 460% (183 reviews)52 (32 reviews)B−
Scream (2022)TBATBATBA

The average ratings for the Scream franchise are significantly better, showing that the franchise has kept a consistent level of quality throughout its run. On the other hand, no movie from this franchise has achieved the numbers of the first Halloween movie.

Box Office

The box office isn’t necessarily a guarantee of a film’s quality, but it can be an indicator as to the film’s popularity and it is certainly great to use in comparison. Now, let us see how well these two franchises have done on the box office, starting with Halloween:

FilmRelease date
(United States)
BudgetUnited StatesInternationalWorldwide
Halloween (1978)October 25, 1978$325,000$47,000,000$23,000,000$70,000,000
Halloween II (1981)October 30, 1981$2.5 million$25,533,818N/R$25,533,818
Halloween III: Season of the WitchOctober 22, 1982$2.5 million$14,400,000N/R $14,400,000
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael MyersOctober 21, 1988$5 million$17,768,757N/R $17,768,757
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael MyersOctober 13, 1989$5 million$11,642,254N/R $11,642,254
Halloween: The Curse of Michael MyersSeptember 29, 1995$5 million$15,116,634N/R $15,116,634
Halloween H20: 20 Years LaterAugust 5, 1998$17 million$55,041,738$20,000,000$75,041,738
Halloween: ResurrectionJuly 12, 2002$13 million$30,354,442$7,310,413$37,664,855
Halloween (2007)August 31, 2007$15 million$58,272,029$21,977,438$80,249,467
Halloween II (2009)August 28, 2009$15 million$33,392,973$6,028,494$39,421,467
Halloween (2018)October 19, 2018$10 million$159,342,015$96,135,353$255,477,368
Halloween KillsOctober 15, 2021$20 million$50,350,000$5,540,000$55,890,000
Total $110.3 million$495,564,660$179,991,698$670,016,358

And now, Scream:

FilmRelease date
(United States)
BudgetUnited StatesInternationalWorldwide
Scream (1996)December 20, 1996$14 million$103,046,663$70,000,000$173,046,663
Scream 2December 12, 1997$24 million$101,363,301$71,000,000$172,363,301
Scream 3February 4, 2000$40 million$89,143,175$72,691,101$161,834,276
Scream 4April 15, 2011$40 million$38,180,928$58,957,758$97,138,686
Total $118 million$331,734,067$276,824,367$608,558,434

If you compare the numbers, the Halloween franchise has earned roughly $55,834,696 per movie, while the Scream franchise has earned $152,139,608 per movie. Sure, some of Halloween‘s numbers have to be adjusted for inflation, and Halloween Kills is certainly going to earn even more, but as it stands now, the Scream movies are the winners in this category.


The cultural impact of the Halloween franchise on the horror genre is truly enormous. John Carpenter was a visionary filmmaker and he actually set the tone for all future horror franchises. Sure, not all of the Halloween movies have been great, but overall, the franchise was actually one of the best in the history of the genre.

On the other hand, Scream was an enormous hit during the 1990s. The fans loved it and it is actually the most important horror series of the 1990s and early 2000s, practically defining the whole period in terms of (slasher) horror.

Its biggest flaw was that it did nothing to reinvent the slasher genre after several decades of enormous popularity and that all of the movies followed the same pattern.

This is why this point goes to Halloween.


With the numbers in, we can finally conclude that Halloween is the better franchise of the two. It wins when the number of movies is concerned, as well its cultural impact; as for the ratings, we have considered the high rating of the first Halloween movie as a reason for giving the win to Carpenter’s franchise.

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