Halloween II (1981)

Michael Myers, Laurie Strode, and Dr. Loomis are back in this gory but boring followup to the amazing Halloween. The film picks up right where the first ended, complete with a quick recap of that last few moments of the first film. Loomis shoots Michael a bunch of times, causing Michael to plummet from a balcony, seemingly to his death. Loomis runs outside to investigate but by the time he gets to the spot where Michael fell, the body is nowhere in sight! Laurie is taken to a local hospital so she can recover. Pretty soon, Michael shows up to finish what he started.

This is really a movie that should never have been made. It tries to have it both ways- it apes the style of the first movie, but there are a bunch of gory death scenes throughout, possibly inserted in order to compete with the increasingly gory horror movies released since Halloween. Surprisingly, the movie was written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill (who wrote the first movie) but this film is so lifeless and dull that it definitely came as a shock to me to find this out. Rumor has it that the gore scenes were shot and inserted by Carpenter himself after filming had finished. If this is true, it's very disappointing. Luckily, Carpenter went on to do some fantastic movies after this unfortunate debacle.

The suspension of disbelief necessary to enjoy this movie is probably impossible or at least dangerous to maintain throughout the running time. There is one part where you see Michael kind of just walking around doing his thing and then Loomis sees him and starts waving his gun around wildly, which cause Michael to go stand in the street, patiently waiting for a speeding cop car to come out of nowhere, slam into him, drag him into an ambulance that is just kind of parked in the middle of the street, causing the ambulance to explode! It's only a few minutes into the movie so you know something is up and sure enough it turns out it was just some kid dressed exactly as Michael Myers.

This was meant as the end of the whole Michael Myers/Laurie Strode saga, and maybe with that in mind the ending could have at the time seemed triumphant and awesome, but in hindsight, you realize that both Michael and Loomis have survived their final battle- wherein Michael is shot point black in both eyes blinding him and then Loomis fills a room with gas and lights the room up exploding everything in it, Michael completely engulfed in flames to the point where you can see that his head is burning through his mask!- to go on to do multiple sequels. And that is just ridiculous, no one could have survived that explosion! And Michael is obviously blinded, he does that thing blinded people do in movies, where he is blindly swinging his scalpel in front on him even though no one is there. And yet in the next movie, he is going around hunting people like the Predator.

It's hard to recommend this movie considering how it compares with the previous one, but it is still better than your typical slasher.


Anonymous said...

Great review of a hugely disappointing movie. Sequels are rarely good and this one is a shining example of that.

newtmonkey said...

Thank you! I can't believe Carpenter had anything to do with this. What a letdown.