(1981)

Critic Reviews

40

Metascore

Based on 11 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
70
There's some variety to the crimes, as there is to the characters, and an audience is likely to do more screaming at suspenseful moments than at scary ones. The gore, while very explicit and gruesome, won't make you feel as if you're watching major surgery. The direction and camera work are quite competent, and the actors don't look like amateurs.
63
Halloween II, writer-director Rob Zombie's completely unsettling but incompletely satisfying continuation of his 2007 reboot, offers up a rush of fiercely imagined nightmare images. Be warned: It's one of the most gruesome films of the year.
60
Zombie walks the walk, you can't deny it. And he's found the medium where he can let his freak flag fly highest. Now, he can proudly put that battered old William Shatner Halloween mask on a stick, too, and let it rip.
60
Laurie's story holds interest thanks to Taylor-Compton's intense, nontrivializing dedication to the role, especially when the character's feral brother comes calling.
58
What Halloween II does have, though, is Zombie's claustrophobic visual style; he half-drowns his actors in shadow, then tracks them through windows and around corners like a focused predator. If only we cared about the prey.
50
The movie lacks the strong vision and memorable carnage of Zombie's masterpiece, "The Devil's Rejects."
50
The Hollywood Reporter
Perhaps reflecting the filmmaker's other career as a recording artist, many of the film's scares come as much from the ultra-vivid horrifying sound effects as the gore itself.
50
As slasher movies go, Halloween II is far from the bottom of the barrel, but, given its pedigree, one has a right to expect a higher degree of quality that what is delivered.
50
What you won't feel is genuine horror, because unlike John Carpenter -- whose original 1978 film is a sly game of nerve-racking peekaboo -- Zombie isn't out to engage fans of the genre with a slaughterhouse bonbon like "Halloween II."
50
With his new sequel, Zombie spends less time paying tribute and more time getting inventive, with mixed results.
50
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
When it's good, it's because it's imitating its predecessor (but it suffers from tired spilled blood) and when it's bad, it's because it's imitating its own imitators. [31 Oct 1981]
50
Could be the work of any journeyman, give or take a few hundred gratuitous pop-culture references. Let no one accuse Zombie of stinting on the gore, however.
50
For the most part, Halloween II is a retread of “Halloween” without that movie's craft, exquisite timing, and thorough understanding of horror.
40
The visual style--the orange-and-blue color scheme, the elegant 'Scope compositions, the graceful tracking shots, and the shrewd use of shallow focus--has been reproduced almost perfectly from John Carpenter's original, yet the wit and intelligence are gone.
30
A totally unnecessary and extremely poor sequel to the original "Halloween". Although Dean Cundey's photography goes a long way toward recapturing the look of the first film, director Rick Rosenthal is no Carpenter, and the emphasis here is on graphic blood and gore rather than the skillful manipulation of the audience.
30
It's visceral bloodbathery at its most repellent, but worse than that, it's horrific like the aftermath of a suicide bombing instead of terrifying like the bomb beneath the table or the knife behind the back.
30
A bad sequel to a good movie...The main concentration is on gross-out effects and lame chase scenes.
30
A totally unnecessary and extremely poor sequel to the original "Halloween". Although Dean Cundey's photography goes a long way toward recapturing the look of the first film, director Rick Rosenthal is no Carpenter, and the emphasis here is on graphic blood and gore rather than the skillful manipulation of the audience.
25
Washington Post
Trash or treat? Halloween II is as dumb as its prequel. The Great Pumpkin isn't going to be pleased with this one. [30 Oct 1981, p.17]
20
There are incredibly almost never any really terrific scares in 92 minutes - just multiple shots of violence and gore that are more gruesome than anything else.

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