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As sequels go, this isn't a better movie than the original, but what it is
and what it does well, it does really well. I have to say right away here
that I was scared in this movie. There are some truly ingenious and
horrific shots in this film. There are times when you really aren't
expecting what's about to transpire, and when it does, it sends chills
I first saw this film in my " horror " days in the mid 80's. I was 12 years old then. So I just recently watched it again to see if it would have the same affect on me now. I sat in my basement and turned off all the lights and you know what, I was spooked. Right from the opening number of Carpenter's ominous music and the pumpkin slowly transforming into Michael's angry face, I knew right there that I was in for a night of fear. And I was.
The story starts the same night as Halloween ended on. Laurie is being taken to the hospital and there is a massive manhunt to find Myers. Laurie eventually gets settled into the hospital and it becomes only a matter of time until Michael can find out where she is. He finally comes to get her and then all hell breaks loose.
One of the major players in this film is the locale. The hospital is dark and quiet and rather empty. And that adds to the atmosphere of the film. It gives us lots of long hallways so we can have a few shots of Michael hunting his prey. What we also get is an array of rooms to 86 his victims in and a slew of weapons to do it with.
Rick Rosenthal directed this film and I am amazed that he really didn't go on to do much because he almost copies Carpenter's style to the tee here. Brilliant in particular are two shots. One is where Michael appears out of the darkness in one room to attack his victim. The lighting is solely responsible for the affectiveness of this shot and it works so well that it still gives me the shivers when I watch it. The second is when Micael attacks one of the nurses while Laurie watched helplessly from a distance.
Not only is this a good horror movie, it is a good film and if the first rates a 10/10, this is certainly of a 9. It is that good. And if you don't agree with me, watch it again---by yourself and then answer that question.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Michael Myers, he's a household name, in my opinion he's the ultimate
boogeyman, no matter what you do or how many times you try to kill him,
he just comes back. Hence the Halloween series. We do have quite a bit
of horror movie sequels: the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Friday
the 13th, Hellraiser, Scream, and so on. Most sequels are extremely
cheesy and don't deliver the same scares as the original movie does,
but the Halloween franchise is a different story, I think these sequels
were always a ton of fun and delivered just as many scares. Nothing
will ever compare to the original Halloween, but it was cool to see the
story continue on Michael Myers. In this story we follow Laurie Strode
to the hospital and Michael doesn't just give up that easily, he's on a
After the film replays the last scene of Halloween, it moves on to Dr. Sam Loomis warning Sheriff Leigh Brackett that although he has shot Myers six times in the heart, Myers still lives. Meanwhile, Laurie Strode is taken to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital and Myers wanders around Haddonfield in search of her. Laurie is informed that the man who attacked her was Michael Myers, infamous for murdering his older sister fifteen years earlier on Halloween night. After this, Laurie drifts in and out of consciousness, having strange flashbacks about her adoption by the Strodes and visiting a boy in an institution. Myers learns that she is at the hospital. He goes there and murders the hospital's staff one by one. Laurie manages to elude him, but she is limping badly and sedated and is thus unable to move very quickly. Dr. Loomis and the Haddonfield police continue to search the town for Myers. Nurse Marion Chambers, Loomis' assistant, arrives and tells Loomis that she has discovered a secret file on Myers to which he was not privy. The file reveals that Laurie is actually Myers's sister, adopted by the Strodes after Myers killed his older sister, Judith. Chambers also informs Loomis that he has strict orders to return to Smith's Grove. So they have to get back to the hospital to save Laurie before Michael can get to her.
Halloween 2 is probably my second favorite sequel in the Halloween franchise next to H20. I can't tell you how creepy this movie was, I know that these sequels are a bit much, but for any horror movie fan, they are a ton of fun to get into. The whole hospital setting was really scary, I love Laurie Strode, she's the strongest female in a horror movie, she's in a weakened state but just keeps going. You have to love the return of Dr. Loomis, him helping Laurie and making sure that Michael goes away for good, well we clearly know that it's not going to happen, but you have to give him credit for his optimism. If you are going to watch a Halloween sequel, I do recommend Halloween 2, it's very creepy and a great addition to the story.
Halloween 2 seems to get mixed reactions but no one can deny that it
stands alone as a great slasher film. Of course it's hard to take
Halloween 2 as its "own" film compared to the greatness that is the
original Halloween, but most should be able to overlook that and enjoy
it for what it is. Halloween 2 uses the suspense of Halloween but adds
more gore and a faster pace to the mix. I found it thoroughly
entertaining, with some great death scenes and genuinely suspenseful
moments (Jamie-Lee escaping through the ventilation grill). The only
minor points spoiling Halloween 2 are that sometimes it gets a bit
far-fetched. For example, Jamie-Lee is escaping through the ventilation
grill and Michael Myers takes an eternity to simply walk over and pull
her back down. There were also a few moments of very bad acting.
Overall though it's thoroughly entertaining and I would recommend it to all horror fans. It doesn't ruin the integrity of the original film like most sequels do.
As far as I am concerned this was the last Halloween movie with Myers worth watching. I prefer the third movie which has nothing to do with him to all the mess that follows. This movie is a continuation of the first as it is still the same night. Myers has of course gotten up and Jamie Lee has been taken to a hospital to recuperate from her wounds. Of course this one tries to shock us with its revelations and such, but nothing to shocking. There are kills and once again Dr. Loomis is obsessed with getting Myers. Some good kills are to be found as is to be expected. Though I always feel sorry for the guy that gets hit by the car as he is obviously not Myers. There is a television version of this one that totally blows as it is very toned down and they even have a happier ending. Watch the uncut theater version as it is much better.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The sequel to John Carpenter's "Halloween" doesn't surpass the
original. Freshman director Rick Rosenthal creates only a handful of
suspenseful moments, but "Halloween 2" suffers from a weak script that
was unfortunately penned by Carpenter and co-producer Hill. Michael
Myers gets up and walks away after Dr. Loomis bangs off six shots into
him. We never learn what makes Michael such an unstoppable demon. In
"Halloween," Michael embodied a supernatural evil, but in "Halloween 2"
doesn't develop his character. No matter how many times people pump
bullets into the guy, he just doesn't stay down for the count. The
problem is Rosenthal's comatose direction. This chiller generates a
body count but it doesn't generate horror. Instead, it becomes
monotonous with Michael trudging into and out of scenes like a wraith.
The action picks up where it left off in "Halloween." Michael plunges into the yard, hard enough to leave an impression of his body, after Loomis opens fire on him. When Loomis goes to confirm his kill, he realizes to his horror that Michael has gotten up and vanished. Meanwhile, the paramedics haul Laurie off to the hospital. Futilely she pleads with them not to give her anything that will put her to sleep. Of course, the doctor ignores her request and administers an injection designed to knock her out. Although Laurie is deadly afraid of Michael and what he is capable of doing to her, "Halloween 2" doesn't develop a strong sense of fear. The best scene finds a hospital guard investigating noises. When he opens a cabinet, an avalanche of items topples onto him. When he turns around, Michael is there waiting for him. Earlier, the guard had spotted blood in a trash dumpster and a shrieking black cat flew out at him. Everything else unfolds in a matter of fact fashion.
Of course, "Halloween 2" is just a mindless horror movie, but the idiocy gets out of hand. The movie lacks a sense of humor, much less a sense of irony. Michael himself doesn't speak, but he seems to know exactly what to do in every given situation and where to go. You cannot fool this bogyman. Sometimes, like in the hydro-therapy, you have to wonder if Carpenter and Hill aren't going a bit off the deep end. I mean, Michael holds the poor nurse's head under the scalding water, but the scorching water exerts no visible effect on him. When he casts the nurse aside, her face looks hideous. If this is supposed to show that Michael is invulnerable himself, then you have to wonder why Carpenter and Hill behave so inconsistently. Later, in the final confrontation in the hospital, Loomis blasts Michael multiple times again but the guy gets back up. Finally, when Lauriewho shouldn't even be able to climb out of bedblows Michael's eyeballs out, the guy begins to behave like he is mortal. Clearly, Loomis should have shot Michael's feet to ribbons so that he couldn't walk. Imagine how much blood that this guy has lost after being shottwelve timesbut he displays virtually no signs of slowing down.
Michael Myers is the equivalent of a Steven Seagal hero. He is indestructible until Loomis sacrifices his own life in the hospital and incinerates him. The end credits show us Michael burning to a crisp. The other thing that bothered me about this mute murderer who escaped from the asylum is his innovative ways of killing people. He stabs a surgeon in the eyeball with a pair of scissors. He buries a claw hammer into the guard's head. He drains the blood from a nurse. He guts another nurse on a scalpel and then hoists her so high in the air that her shoes fall out. Michael acts like he is a scenarist's puppet, killing people in imaginative ways rather than with his brute strength and knife.
Another problem with "Halloween 2" is the way that Rosenthal force feeds us exposition. The entire scene in the back of the sheriff's cruiser when the nurse informs Loomis that Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is really Michael's baby sister and all the stuff about the sealed records struck me as too contrived and obvious. Mind you, I know that this is supposed to be a different kind of horror movie with an impervious killer, but there is just no excitement. It looks slick when the nurse's boyfriend is killed behind the marbled glass in the hydro-therapy and it is neat when the nurse believes that Michael is her boyfriend, but afterward things go flat with Michael drowning her. The idea that Michael can stroll around unnoticed and people can bump into him without recognizing him seems contradictory. We are never told why Michael decides to kill who he does and then ignores everybody else. "Halloween 2" does something different in that there are no teenagers getting naked and then dying at Michael's hands. The idea that a hospital would be as deserted as the hospital in the movie seems far-fetched. Neither Carpenter & Hill nor Rosenthal make any of the victims look sympathetic. Michael seems far too clever to be doing what he gets away with. "Halloween 2" is predictable because we know Michael cannot be killed in an ordinary way, but it is also predictable because we know that his victims will die horribly but pose little threat to him.
Altogether, "Halloween 2" has all the dramatic impact of a flat-line on a heart monitor. The dialogue is strictly expository with nothing in the way of memorable or quotable lines. Indeed, Michael here is such an inexorable source of evil that he is neither interesting nor intimidating. He emerges as a one-dimensional character that you don't care about any more than you sympathizes his cardboard victims. "Halloween 2" qualifies as an exercise in nihilism.
Picking up exactly where the original left off, "Halloween II" has Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) getting transferred to the hospital, while Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance) continues looking for Michael Myers. In the process of everything, we learn some things about the characters (like a little something about Laurie that would play a part in the later movies). Of course, in the process, Michael himself goes around killing people. A particularly interesting scene is how he kills a woman in the hospital. Oh, and by the way, this is Dana Carvey's film debut (interestingly, he later co-starred with Mike Myers, whose name sounds like the killer here). A worthy sequel it is. Numbers 4, 5, and 6 were pathetic (and #8 apparently was), #7 was really cool, while #3 wasn't even really part of the series.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sorry I didn't publish this review on Halloween as I intended. If you
remember the post I made many months ago, I promised to review many
older horror films and their contemporary versions. I always planned to
include Halloween II as part of this series. This entry would have
appeared anyway, but the psychological aspect of posting on October 31
would have been worthwhile. Oh well, I'll also review Halloween III:
Season of the Witch since a sequel to the new film will be released
In the surprisingly long three years between Halloween and its sequel, the horror film market underwent a drastic change. The last remnants of literature-based horror films gave way to crazy people with weapons films. People rediscovered Black Christmas and ate up Halloween. The expected sequel to the original film is a genre film in this tradition. Is it a worthy follow-up? No, it isn't.
The story takes place directly after the first film. Michael Myers survives six shots at point-blank range and has to find more young people to kill. His eternal and hitherto inexplicable nemesis, Laurie Strode, has been taken to Haddonfield Hospital to recover from her wounds. Michael goes there and kills nearly everyone until Dr. Loomis realizes where he is and kills him and himself in a fiery explosion.
Everyone in Haddonfield who isn't Laurie Strode is a complete idiot. It takes them nearly the entire movie to determine where Myers could be. They even conduct a thorough investigation of Haddonfield sans hospital before they figure it out. The hospital staff is even worse. If you're someone involved in the medical field, don't watch this film. It equally insults everyone in your community. Doctors have nothing better to do than flirt with horny nurses who ignore infants to bathe with their suitors. Teenagers at least have the excuse of youth when they act stupid but not medical staff.
By the way, since when have hospitals been so poorly lighted and serving so few patients? Rick Rosenthal attempts to recreate the sensation of Michael walking in Laurie's house from the first film without considering context. An empty house at night is much more frightening than an empty hospital at night. I'm aware that these films aren't intended to be fully realistic, but Halloween II is so stylized that I couldn't avoid feeling like I was watching a cartoon. The production feels more like a parody of the original than an actual continuation of story. In the first film, Michael Myers was a presence, something that wouldn't go away, like the monster under your bed. Laurie was the heroine. In Halloween II he is transformed into a protagonist who we have no reason to like. He's just there.
The movie isn't scary either. Instead of suspenseful chases, Michael Myers disposes of victims violently and shows us lots of blood. Rick Rosenthal claims that it was John Carpenter's idea to add gore. Wikipedia has a link to a quote Carpenter made claiming "it wasn't scary enough." Shame on you John Carpenter for not believing in the technique you used in the first film. Indeed, there are moments when Halloween II actually works like its predecessor. How nice it would be to see the film as Rosenthal intended. Maybe he will finally release his preferred version of the film sometime in 2010.
Many people say critics didn't originally understand that slasher "antagonists" like Myers are actually the main characters. The whole first person perspective seems to support this idea. It's especially true in this entry. We see too much from Myers' view. Laurie, therefore, loses her hardiness and becomes a generic victim who should die but doesn't. How does she elude the Shape? Not like she does in the first film by actively refusing to die but by dumb luck. Only Dr. Loomis is able to maintain his composure as a complete character. These types of movies really are sexist, but not just in how they portray women. For their intended male audience, they subtly support male domination over women. The man could be a husband or a killer in a mask. If this is one of the better sequels to the classic, I'm going to have many bad horror movie filled Friday nights.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Apparently this was meant to be the conclusion to the series, but more sequels do seem inevitable, and maybe it should have been, written by the previous film's director (and composer) John Carpenter. Basically the film picks up where it left off, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) shooting Michael Myers six times, he falls out the window, and managed to survive and disappear, and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is taken to hospital. If you remember the first film really well, you would know that the suburban area was sleepy, it must have been like 2 or 3 in the morning, and now all of the sudden there are many people out and about, and that's away from the hospital. Anyway, Michael is obviously trying to find Laurie, and in the process kills some more people, oh, and you find out Laurie is Michael's biological sister, which gives you I suppose a good demented reason to kill her, you know, because he killed his other sister as a kid. Also starring Charles Cyphers as Sheriff Leigh Brackett, Jeffrey Kramer as Graham, Lance Guest as Jimmy Lloyd, Pamela Susan Shoop as Karen Bailey, Hunter Von Leer as Deputy Gary Hunt, Dick Warlock as The Shape (Michael), Leo Rossi as Budd, Ana Alicia as Janet Marshall, Ford Rainey as Dr. Frederick Mixter and Wayne's World star Dana Carvey as WWAR Assistant. I can agree that besides H20: 20 Years Later, all sequels are rubbish, but what makes them even ridiculous is that Pleasance clearly died in this one, blowing himself and Michael up with gas and a lighter, Michael I can understand surviving, seeing how many hits he took in the first one, but Pleasance I can't understand surviving. As for the film itself, the remade music is completely rubbish (with the added keyboard), the deaths are okay, but you just can't really be shocked or surprised by them, a rubbish sequel, and many more follow. Pretty poor!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Halloween II" is clearly a rote cash-in sequel that, by all rights,
should have been dismal. It follows our surviving characters as they
continue on through October 31, 1978, which has got to be the longest
night in the recorded history of mankind. How many hours were in that
day, anyway? Laurie is whisked away to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital in
an ambulance, and it never occurs to anybody that Michael might want to
finish the job he started on her, or that wherever she is, they'll find
him. There's also a very silly 'plot twist' about Laurie's connection
to Michael. The new characters are a bunch of hospital employees who
are mostly uninteresting and are clearly only in the picture to be
So why do I keep coming back to this sequel more often than the original?
It's illogical, but this movie has a lot of the same appeal of "Halloween". I love the fact that they just went for it and started the thing exactly where the previous film ended. Once you accept that this is not the original, there is more to love. What "Halloween II" has going for it is a very European sense of style that mimics Argento's best moments.
Visually, the movie looks great. We've yet to see a truly great DVD transfer for "Halloween II", and I hope one day we get it. There are a lot of subtle, eerie touches, some recreated from the original and a few new ideas. Characters drive around nighttime streets with their faces illuminated by green lights in the dark vehicle interiors. Laurie's hospital room is dim and intimidating, large shadows moving over her bed. It's never explained in the theatrical cut, but the hospital turns dark and spooky by the end of the movie, and there's something very unsettling about seeing a hospital so dim.
The Carpenter game plan of having The Shape lurking in the background works well and often here, particularly an opening sequence where it is glimpsed behind a woman in her kitchen. In another, it is glimpsed as a shadow, and in one of the best shots, the ghostly white face looms behind several panes of glass through a darkened room. Dean Cundey revisits several shots from the original, like the mask slowly materializing out of the darkness behind an unsuspecting character. There are also a number of point-of-view tracking shots in this one; Carpenter did it first in the original, but this is also another favorite Argento trick, usually used to disguise the identity of the killer. The only difference is that here, we already know who's doing it.
Another brazenly Argento touch is the music. The brilliant original score has been pumped up here, it's almost like a score by Argento's own favorites, Goblin. One or two of the scenes pay homage to Dario with no misrepresentation, including a murder where a woman is drowned in a tub full of scalding water (from "Deep Red"). Also, note the segment where Laurie escapes The Shape by shimmying through a small window near the ceiling, only to find that it leads not to safety, but to yet another room on the other side. Lucky for her, it wasn't a room full of razor wire.
It's sad that the script didn't give Jamie Lee Curtis more to do. As if they only had her on-set for a day or two, she spends most of the film in a catatonic state, revitalizing only at the climax where she must flee from The Shape once again. Her actual dialogue in the film is very limited, and even worse, they made her wear an awfully cheap-looking wig. Donald Pleasance, on the other hand, carries a lot of the film, and is even more over the top, practically frothing at the mouth.
While the film has its Argento cues down pat, it does lack his manic energy. Dario's best movies seem to lunge at the viewer, while "Halloween II" is more like a trash compactor, moving slowly and inexorably toward a bloody conclusion. The biggest disappointment here is the attempt that's been made to 'explain' things by giving Myers a motivation for his attack on Laurie. Even worse, Carpenter's script ignores something that made the original so nerve-wracking: the murders were perpetrated by a homicidal maniac who also had a childlike sense of humor, as in donning a ghost-sheet to toy with one victim before strangling her. In this film he's more like an efficient windup toy. The gruesome murders are mostly implausible, but otherwise quite memorable in their outrageousness, and something must be said for the way that this film taps into the inherent revulsion of common hospital equipment designed to cut, poke, and prod into our bodies in the name of medicine. The most unsettling moments involve needles being inserted into parts of the body where they can do no good.
Unlike the original, "Halloween II" was written off by most critics upon its release, and perhaps rightfully so. A movie called "Halloween II" could only be more of the same, especially since by 1981, the slasher genre was in full swing (ironically sparked by the success of the original "Halloween"). But what this sequel has to offer is nostalgia for fans of horror films in general; for about 90 minutes, you get to imagine that the original film never ended. As if that wasn't enough, there are a number of affectionate homages to the films of Argento, and they work almost as well here as they did in his own movies. Like the best gialli, "Halloween II" gleefully overlooks its own silliness and becomes a stylish nightmare. I find that, even though it's technically not as good as the original, it is also a noteworthy film in its own right, and equally memorable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
All i can say is what a pile of rubbish!!this film is so boring and has little suspense,i love the original Halloween and a few of its sequels(Hallowen 4 and H20) but this is just dull and almost as bad as Halloween Resurrection. It could have been a great follow up to a classic original but those making it were more interested on cashing in on the original than trying to make a worthy sequel. I mean Haddonfield memorial has to be the quietest hospital in the world! Where did all the staff and patients go, if only my local A&E was so quiet! and Jamie Lee Curtis does hardly anything in this movie apart from being drugged up on medication and wearing a really bad wig. The only good point i can make about this movie is that this is the only Halloween sequel where the Michael Myers mask actually looks like the original. I give this movie 2 out of 10, and that is being generous!
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