Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2 (1981)

Halloween 2

Written by John Carpenter & Debra Hill
Directed by Rick Rosenthal

Laurie Strode...Jamie Lee Curtis
Dr. Loomis...Donald Pleasance
Jimmy...Lance Guest
Michael "The Shape" Myers...Dick Warlock


Whereas the original Halloween was obviously a work of love, affectionately crafted by people who were passionately connected to the project, this sequel comes off as something of a cash grab. But does that mean it's a bad film?

No. A lesser film, sure, but not all together bad.

Picking up exactly where the previous film left off, Laurie Strode is taken to the hospital to have her injuries cared for, while Dr. Loomis continues his pursuit of Michael Myers. Little Mikey isn't too keen on being captured, though, as he still has a few hours worth of Halloween killing left to do.


The action, the bloodshed, and the body count have all been ratcheted up in this sequel, although a few things are sacrificed as well. While the original wasn't exactly what you would call a plot-heavy film, it's even less so here; or, at the very least, it seems that way because it's a rehash of old things played out in a new location.

While Halloween was fresh (at the time), things already seem rather paint-by-numbers by the time you get to the sequel. It's something of a generic slasher film, albeit one held high by the characters involved.


Michael Myers is still imposing, brutally slaughtering practically everyone that he comes in contact with; but he's become the star of the show and we see more of him than we should, so he's no longer as terrifying as he once was. Dr. Loomis still cuts an impressive cloth, as well, as he takes command of the situation and every scene that he appears in. Laurie Strode, doped up and injured as she is for the entirety of the movie, is even more vulnerable here. She's weaker than before, which means she's a less powerful foe for Michael, but the fact that she survives nonetheless speaks volumes of her inner strength.


We care less about the other characters this time around, as a large chunk of them are obviously just one-dimensional fodder for the slaughter. The possible exception is Jimmy, the EMT with a minor crush on Laurie.

This is the entry where we first learn that Laurie Strode is actually Michael Myers' little sister--although she's never informed of this herself. She must learn it somewhere after the finale, though, because she's well aware of it the next time we see her in Halloween H20.

There's a scene that takes place in a class room that I don't completely understand, when Loomis and the police are investigating a break-in believed to have been perpetrated by Michael Myers: first of all, why would he break into the school? Even if he did used to attend classes there, what did he have to gain by breaking in? Second of all, it seems awful out of character for him to write "Samhain" on the chalkboard, even if he does do so in blood. Still, this is the first hint that the evil lurking within Michael Myers goes deeper than we initially thought, opening up story lines for later sequels.


All in all, a much less-inspired but still solid entry in the franchise, which goes down even smoother if watched immediately following part one.

1981
Rated R
92 Minutes
Color
English
United States

"Amazing Grace/come sit on my face/don't make me cry/I need your pie..."
--J/Metro

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