Notable Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers, Lance Guest, Pamela Susan Shoop, Hunter Von Leer, Tawny Moyer
“You don’t know what death is.”
How do you even try to follow up the original Halloween? You know they were going to try with the significant success that the atmospheric slasher had with its audiences, but without John Carpenter in the directorial chair you know it’s not going to quite match. By the time 1981 rolled around though and Halloween II saw its release, the slasher craze that was ignited by the popularity of the first film was booming very quickly. Just the year prior, Friday the 13th decimated the sinners and camp counselors of Crystal Lake with more violence and more gimmicks, so it only seemed natural that Halloween II would actually attempt to up the ante. The results are a bit more mixed than one could hope for, but in the grand scheme of things it’s actually still a pretty effective slasher with enough solid elements to make it a fun and scary romp. No matter how many rumors and issues arose behind the scenes of the film.
Laurie (Curtis) has just been saved by Dr. Loomis (Pleasence), but Michael Myers is nowhere to be found. Loomis continues the good hunt for the psychotic and determined “boogeyman” while Laurie gets a ride to the local hospital for evaluation. Myers isn’t stopping though and now he seems fixated more than ever on finding Laurie – which leads to a vicious game of cat and mouse that Haddonfield will never forget.
Halloween II works much better as a full on horror flick with less suspense and more intensity. The film loses a bit of momentum by trying to add in a few new protagonists (a young man in the hospital who seems to really care for Laurie finds himself with very little character arc despite being one of the more substantial secondary pieces) and the film attempts to add a bit of mythology to the Michael Myers character by having him relentlessly stalk Laurie for a specific reason - I won’t spoil it for those who don’t know – and adding just a hint of a supernatural lean. It works, but it’s certainly not perfect. As a slasher though, Halloween II adds more violence and more elements that the teenage horror audience of the time wanted. Some of the kills are brutal in a low key way and despite some strangely illogical leaps (at this point it would seem Michael Myers is actually bulletproof including not dying after being shot twice in the head) the scares and kills work. This film is more of a crowd pleaser than a truly effective horror flick.
|Don't hit the button that says "hell."|