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Nov 13

Halloween II

halloween2Genre: Horror
Year: 1981
Country: USA

aka: Halloween 2: The Nightmare Isn’t Over

Director: Rick Rosenthal
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers, Jeffrey Kramer, Lance Guest

 

More of the night he came home

 

Halloween 2 continues right where the first one ended. Dr. Sam Loomis has shot Michael Myers several times, but he was still able to escape before the cops arrived. Laurie Strode is taken to the hospital where she is treated for her injuries and calmed down with sedatives.

Dr. Loomis teams up with the cop force again and tries to hunt him down, only to find out that Michael Myers has been after Laurie the entire time since she is his little sister. Loomis and the cops have to do everything they can to get to Laurie before it is too late.

Considering the success the original Halloween had, it comes to no surprise that they decided to make a sequel to it. John Carpenter was involved, but did not want to return as a director so that task went to Rick Rosenthal who had not directed any movies before doing this. He did a very good job in recreating the mood from the original and make it feel like it is a continuation of the first film. Several of the crew from the original did return in their same roles, including the cinematographer Dean Cundey who does an equally good job on this as he did in the original.

Most of this film takes place inside the hospital where Laurie is resting. It’s a very dark hospital with very few employees who all seems to be very young adults. Sadly all the new characters are underdeveloped and very typical for slasher films. And that is related to the negative side of this follow-up, which is the script. The story here is not very good, it focuses on explaining why Myers is after Laurie and some other hints on what is possessing him but other than that there is too much time spent on characters running around in the hospital. The few hints we get about Myers isn’t explained either such as the Samhain writing in the school and the druids? It did give some options for future sequels, but here it doesn’t fit and just seems weird and out-of-place.

I guess they had no choice but to do something to connect Myers and Laurie together if he was gonna come after her again. While it is interesting that he is her brother, it also takes away some of the original mystery that he was just an evil force who wanted bloodshed. It also makes me wonder why he killed off the others in the original film since they where not in his way in getting to Laurie. We also see Myers too much in this film and it trades out tension with more violence and some gore.

And speaking of gore, there has been some controversy surrounding the more violent scenes in this film. According to Rosenthal, he did not want them in there and they were shot later on by Carpenter since he was unhappy with the scare level of the film, even comparing the tension-level of it to an episode of Quincy. The fact that this film has more brutality than the first one does not bother me, when it is done right it doesn’t take away from the rest of the film and I do think that if they had toned that part down this film could easily have become a little boring.

The acting isn’t as strong as in the first one. Jamie Lee Curtis is back as Laurie Strode and she gives a good performance, the main trouble with Laurie this time around is that she is so tired and weak so she becomes a classic weak leading woman instead of the survivor of the original. Donald Pleasence is back as Dr. Loomis and he is always great to watch. The music that John Carpenter did for the original got updated with the help of Alan Howarth who used remade it with synthesizers for this film and it sounds good and is just as effective as the theme of the original.

Halloween 2 tries to keep up with the original but due to very obvious flaws it is not able to reach the same heights. It is still a good watch and as far as sequels go it is well done and definitely something that Halloween-fans can appreciate.

 

 ★★★½☆ 

 

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