Halloween II ★★★½


Hooptober 12/31

This was surprisingly good. It carries on from the first one in perhaps the best way possible. Well, in the best way you can if you're forced into having a sequel to a movie that really does not need one at all. It just continues on from the second the first one finishes and is essentially a game of cat and mouse. Loomis and some cops are trying to hunt down Michael Myers whilst he is trying to go after Laurie Strode again he is recovering in a hospital. This entire plot is actually really good. Loomis' completely frantic and fearful behavior mostly works. He knows the danger people are in, he just shot Michael Myers an ungodly amount of times and the dude just gets up like nothing happened. This somewhat paranoia driven hunt from Loomis sadly leads to some terrible things occurring which was an aspect I also liked. They fuck up, badly. Donald Pleasence's acting is all over the place though. At times his performance is really great and then it seems like he doesn't even want to be there and then his performance becomes almost comically over the top. Every other performance from a central character is really good, but some of the extras are unsurprisingly weak.

Jamie Lee Curtis is really great in the movie, but she's not actually in it that much. Her character throughout the entire movie is in a paranoid state. She's just gone through a horrific ordeal and we see the effects of that on her and all of it is really well conveyed by Curtis. The reactions from different people to the murders is also an intriguing one and we even see a decent commentary on how the media reacts to events like this, although that aspect could have been explored a bit more.

Visually the movie is also pretty good. It definitely takes a lot of inspiration from Carpenter, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It means that the movie actually looks good and it makes it standout among all the other slasher movies at that time. There's some style to it that's really good, but it's not consistent. The movie definitely would have been stronger if Carpenter was the director. But, it's still a well directed movie in its own right. The use of POV I thought was particularly effective. The movie does have some creative kills and in that regard it starts to lean more towards other slasher movies from that era. Ones that are more focused on the kills than actually making a compelling film. But, it never quite reaches that point and stays mostly grounded and creepy. Although it does have some unnecessary kills. One happens for seemingly no reason. He just kills some random girl on the phone. Every other kill at least makes some sort of sense, although even then they weren't entirely necessary. His main goal was to reach Laurie and there were multiple kills that just seemed out of the way to the point where he was just wasting his time, but we gotta have those kills to make the audience feel scared I guess.

The twist in the movie is one that I'm kind of mixed on. On the one hand it adds some emotion to the first movie and doesn't really take away anything from the original. Myers' character is a relentless force of pure evil that is more monster than human and the twist doesn't really take anything away from that, but I can see people thinking that it makes it less frightening, the fact that he has a reason for what he's doing, rather than it just being random. It doesn't really bother me though. However, the twist does feel forced. Because this movie is basically just a very slightly different version than the first one and so they needed to add something to make it difference so why not add a twist. This twist can also lead to even more sequels. We can make him come back again and again and a-fucking-gain. But, overall it doesn't bother me.

This is actually a pretty fun and well made sequel. In a time where the majority of slasher movies were dumb and not particularly well made, this actually stands out. And the fact that it's a sequel is even more impressive.