Classic Film Review: Halloween 2 (1981)

So I just finished watching the sequel to the John Carpenter classic, Halloween 2…

Halloween 2 picks up immediately after the events of Halloween 1, with Laurie Strode being taken to the hospital, and Dr. Loomis and the Police trying to deal with the aftermath of Michael Meyer’s rampage. But, little known to everyone, Michael Meyers is still on the loose and is able to track down Laurie, where a climactic final confrontation takes place where all is revealed…

Another solid movie by a master of horror. A worthy follow up to the iconic original.

Good script, good characters and performances (Jamie Lee Curtis once again gives an amazing performance as the helpless Laurie Strode, and Donald Pleasence is great as Dr. Loomis), good cinematography and editing (Rosenthal does a commendable job of replicating Carpenter’s style), amazing score and soundtrack (the use of Mr. Sandman as a dichotomous beginning and end was very creepy, and Carpenter’s iconic score creates tension and dread whenever it is used), great gore effects, etc.

This film, and its predecessor, are pretty much slasher movie 101. This is how you do it. You create likeable characters, you build tension, you make us fear when Michael Meyers is gonna show up. Plus, the kills were simple yet brutal, due to the effective editing and brilliant special effects. It’s efficient and it gets the job done.

However, I did have my issues with it.

Once again, some of the acting could get really wooden. Most of it was fine, some of it even great, but others just couldn’t properly act like human beings and were really stiff. Further, there were a couple REALLY dumb moments in this movie. The first of which being when Laurie’s EMT friend slips on this girl’s blood. That was just straight up slapstick and it was more funny than anything. Second, when Laurie got a hold of a gun, and managed to shoot Meyer’s eyes out. Like, its a really neat image, seeing the blood trickle down from the eyeholes of the mask, and Meyers swinging blindly, but there’s no way this scared, helpless teenager is that good of a shot.

Overall, despite my gripes, I enjoyed this movie. Carpenter has pretty much perfected the slasher subgenre from a writing and technical perspective, and Halloween 2 is just another showcase of that. Not as good or groundbreaking as Halloween 1, but still worth your time. Recommended.

8 out of 10 (7.5 seemed a little harsh considering what this movie achieved)

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