Halloween II (1981)

This film is a strong sequel because it picks up right were the original left off. It’s almost as if John Carpenter knew the first film would be a success and had this one just waiting in the pipeline, a natural progression of the story. Once again Jamie Lee is our fearless heroine, but this time she’s slowly putting the pieces of her past together as she deciphers why Michael is after her, while also recovering from multiple stab wounds and an odd, unexplained but seemingly temporary reaction to her pain meds.

Again, Carpenter uses little ambient sound outside of the simplistic synth score  and again it works well because this film is set largely in a hospital… Where you’re supposed to be silent, especially after visiting hours. Despite being in a hospital, once again everyone dies, in not ridiculous, although highly violent circumstances. As randy points out to us in Scream II, sequels always need a bigger body count and that’s certainly what we get here!

While I enjoy the fact that the story follows on directly and the reason for Michael Meyers mental shortcomings remain unexplained, I do question why he has to kill the little girl, talking on the phone, in the early scenes. I suppose he has to do something while he is waiting for Laurie to get to the hospital. Maybe they’re setting up the idea that he just loves killing… But the multiple hospital deaths could have established that just fine. I also wonder why poor old Ben Tramer has to be the one to get killed in that horrific car crash with Doctor Loomis and the police man. That just seems such terrible bad luck. As If Laurie hasn’t had a bad enough Halloween. So much for Laurie finding true love. Also, when did Michael make the transition to unstoppable killing machine?

I also question how so many people on the hospital staff can be murdered without anyone wising up to it, as well as questioning why the flip there are so many babies in the baby wing but no sign of any mothers. Did mothers just leave their babies under the supervision of nurses for long periods in the early 80’s?

I do want to say that Doctor Loomis and his chain smoking nurse side kick are also heroes of this piece. I mean, even though they don’t interact much, Laurie would be dead if it weren’t for Loomis. He never gives up on his hunt for Michael and spends hours scouring the town and deciphering words that have been written in blood on classroom walls. As for his nurse friend, I just like her. She reminds me of the good old days when I too was a chain smoker. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. If the other nurses had been as bad ass as she is, they might have lived.

All things considered this remains a strong sequel, despite some of the small issues listed above. Sadly, things go down hill very quickly from here, but since we’ve started, let’s continue… I’m going to skip a few movies (because I don’t own them on DVD) and go to the movie in which the world is first introduced to Paul Stephen Rudd, who is more commonly known these days as plain old Paul Rudd – that’s right, we’re talking about ‘The Curse of Michael Meyers’. This one is going to be truly bad though, so maybe grab a coffee or a desert or something to help you see it through. I’ll do the same…


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