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4 reviews, 99 user ratings

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Halloween II (1981)
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by Dr. Isaksson

"It's the Great Pumpkin Michael Myers!"
3 stars

The Halloween Holiday is very near. This old,old Pagan rite is soon going to be celebrated by tons of little kiddies dressed as Harry Potter. It's around now that people are a little more willing to travel into the dark side of life. From what I've noticed it seems as though everyone wants to become a little more evil. A tad more sinister for a couple of weeks. Sounds ok to me.

Hell, lately I have noticed that the poseur Goth Teens (who all but disappeared after "Marilyn Manson" was no longer cool on MTV and who always gave me a blank stare when I mentioned the band "Mephisto Walz" to their commercially purchased Gothic listening ears) are beginning to resurface this Halloween. They are all proudly decked out in the cheap black garments they bought with their mother's credit card at the local "Hot Topic", saying "Look! I am an individual! I'm into mall Gothism!"... So, needless to say, it seems like a lot of people want to be scared or look scary for Halloween. And do you need to find a good film to blast on Halloween night? Something to watch in-between your moonlight Wicca rituals? Yeah well... If you are looking for a not-so-good film with pretty good shock scenes but with a great climax then go with Halloween II. If you want something that's actually GOOD, look for the original. There is a lot better you could go with and a lot worse.

1981's Halloween II takes place right where Halloween left off. Michael has run off and instantly, as with the first film, we are taken along (willingly or unwillingly) with the killer as he makes his way around the dark streets and backyards of Haddonfield while he terrorizes a teen girl and an old woman and gets himself a new knife. meanwhile, poor Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) has to resume his mission of finding Michael before he kills again. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) the sole survivor of the first film is taken to the Haddonfield Clinic where she is seen to by the doctors. They drug her up (not a good thing when your being stalked by a killer) and send her to a room to rest. She quickly befriends the paramedic who tended to her named Jimmy (Lance Guest) and from him learns of the killers identity.

As the night wears on, Halloween II becomes frightfully sluggish. Dr. Loomis spends a lot of the film in a police car talking about how his mental patient is "So unhuman... He is not a man." Yadda Yadda Yadda. We have heard this already and you know it's only sequel filler. We are then led through a tedious section of Halloween II where we watch unsuspecting candystripers walk around a strangely darkly lit hospital while Michael is lurking behind the doors. Nothing all that scary happens and you can't help but wish that writers/producers Debra Hill and John Carpenter would have come up with more engaging characters to watch. Instead, we get clockwork killings as Michael goes around knocking off the hospital workers, each with a different technique involved. Some of which is I found to be really well executed, just not very scary. (Note to horror writers: If you want to make a movie scarier then give the viewer some background on the characters so that we can care about them a little more when they get slaughtered. When a character is annoying or boring then we will only root for their demise.)

By the time Halloween II reaches it's third act, it luckily begins to swing into a higher gear. Once Michael gets his eyes on Laurie, then the film begins to take off. There is an effective chase scene in the hospital where Laurie barely escapes the masked killer. These scenes are once again heightened by the great music score by John Carpenter, who reworks the original music with a flair for the 80's synth. A loud synthed up organ is added to the music, giving off a very dense feel. Carpenter also includes a high pitched key that hisses loudly throughout the attack scenes. (Note: This music is greatly effective in high tension moments and sounds hair-raising amazing when played on my home theater, which happens to have huge speakers set all around the room. Also, I noticed that the Hi-Fi Surround Sound VHS of Halloween II sounds far better than the DVD version.) As for the film's climax, it is definately the best moment and leaves a powerful impression on the mind despite all of it's weaker and clumsier moments.

The performances are ok but Donald Pleasance plays Dr. Loomis a bit over the top this time. Jamie Lee Curtis, again, does a fine job with Laurie but oddly enough, only has about 20 lines to say throughout the entire film. The direction by Rick Rosenthal stays quite true to the original and this is good because it does capture a lot of the same creepy atmosphere of Halloween. But the film just never really snatches you into a terrifying grasp. The real downfall for Halloween II comes when the film attempts to explain why Michael Myers is killing and why he is after Laurie. John Carpenter and Debra Hill had no other option but to make them related as brother and sister and this was most likely not the case in the first film. The random killings of a mad man became a slightly dippy story of a brother trying to kill his other sister. If this explanation were the case in the first film, why wouldn't Michael have killed Laurie first? Why wait around and kill Annie and Lynda and Bob before going for Laurie? I myself believe that this wasn't Carpenter's original intention. I'm sure he was convinced that if showed the audience pure evil in the form of a young man that we wouldn't need a reason for the killing. And we didn't. It was effective in every way. But for the sequel there was a demand for a reason and this reason is the ruin of the film and the increasingly bad sequels that followed. When Halloween II needed a reason for Michael's actions, it lost a lot of it's pure terror.

The terror that an escaped mental patient who has returned to his abandoned childhood home would see a teen girl and her young friend on the sidewalk and take an interest in them and that night watch her and her friend as they baby-sat. All the while his urge to kill has arisen once again and before dawn he will act on the evil within him.

This is terror.
The unexplainable is terror.
The undefinable is terror.
When explanations are given for evil the fear can no longer be primal. It can only be shocking.

"Halloween II" has far too much to live up to and you can't help but find it hard to believe that all this would happen in one night. Still, it stands up well among it's many fellow slasher films. *** Stars

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1127&reviewer=296
originally posted: 10/29/02 02:44:37
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User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell bloody & boring avoid it 1 stars
12/10/12 Jamie One of the worst sequels ever. Lame cash in. 1 stars
8/28/12 Antonia Valenzuela Thrilled to see the horror continues 5 stars
8/28/12 Alex Figueroa I liked it. Not as good as part 1 though. 3 stars
8/23/12 Joshua Simms The only good Halloween sequel, avoid the rest. 4 stars
2/08/12 David Hollingsworth A horror sequel that is actually quite fun 4 stars
6/20/11 art halloween and friday 13 are overrated,bloody valentine-april fools day are tops! 1 stars
6/16/11 Moose Rapper Not nearly as good as the first though the gore is pretty good 2 stars
11/09/10 art I"M only going to say this once,FRIDAY THE 13TH bURRIES halloween! 1 stars
8/25/10 art i did not write that july post,that was some imposter!,RZ's HALLOWEEN"S ROCK! 1 stars
8/23/10 Joseph Fantastic sequel, but not as good as the original 5 stars
7/09/10 art I WAS being SARCASTIC when i praised THE RZ verison,FRIDAY the 13th BURRIES halloween! 1 stars
6/21/10 Sarah Shit sequel. 3 was better. 1 stars
8/31/09 dweezil zappa great flick, blood scares and a hot jamie lee 5 stars
3/17/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess Lame sequel to a horror masterpiece. 2 stars
6/11/08 DK Toshy recycled version of the first movie. Feels more like a tired retread than the remake 1 stars
4/15/08 art VERY FORGETTABLE 1 stars
7/23/07 Nick I like this movie, not as good as the first, better than any Friday the 13th however 4 stars
6/21/07 David Cohen A sad letdown from a brilliant first movie 3 stars
2/16/07 David Pollastrini better than III 5 stars
5/16/06 blarginbadigalnohif Good sequel 4 stars
11/23/05 cr a pretty good follow up were the classic halloween left off and few good kills not as scary 3 stars
10/15/05 Darren O A respecatable sequel that delivers though stacks too many bodies and underuses Jamie Lee. 4 stars
8/03/05 ^podo pretty good sequel 4 stars
7/13/05 Brandy Harrington Not great. 2 stars
2/11/05 J Nothing special 3 stars
12/20/04 Lucas Stensland Decent 3 stars
8/04/04 Cynthia Hall Halloween was the best movie ever made and i think you people have no clue 5 stars
7/24/04 Phoenix II Very good sequel. The nurse had Hard-On-Inducing tits. 4 stars
7/18/04 Benjamin Petrofsky The music changed for the worse. 3 stars
6/06/04 Ryan Clark One of the best sequels ever made, even though the revamped music is awful. 5 stars
3/17/04 PAYNE_KillerZ OOOO... I like!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/28/03 john for a sequel to one of the horror movies ever made this one is great 5 stars
11/24/03 Thiago Good sequel. Nearly not as good as the first, but still really cool sequel. 4 stars
10/31/03 American Slasher Goddess Very good second installment in the series. 4 stars
10/15/03 Erik Van Sant Pretty cool that it stays on the same night as the original. Myers is kinda awkward though. 4 stars
7/21/03 Double G It was not bad or good, but it had an ok ending 3 stars
5/14/03 c.r my 3rd favorite sequel,scary 4 stars
4/16/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" Lyrik Pretty good sequel 4 stars
1/24/03 M.C. Great movie,Imagine yourself being a Haddonfield native on the night he came home,Nuff said 5 stars
12/31/02 Michael Myers H2 is a great addition to the series. 4 stars
12/28/02 Jack Sommersby Uninventive and mechanically executed. 2 stars
10/30/02 harrry potter fabulous 5 stars
10/29/02 Sal Bitsvonka Boooring...not as good as parts 1,4, 5, or 7, but better than 3, 6, and 8 2 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum If it ain't broke, don't make a lousy sequel to it 2 stars
8/16/02 Scott It's a sequel. Don't expect perfection above the first (except Godfather P2) great deaths 4 stars
8/16/02 Joe Calio A worthy sequel...but not as great as the original. 4 stars
8/15/02 Shaun consider 1 and 2 just one long movie 4 stars
7/06/02 Eddie "T-Bone" Stabone Boring and aimless, not nearly as raw or atmospheric as the original 2 stars
6/01/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi Particularly violent, i particularly liked it 4 stars
4/15/02 Jake For the 1981era, this is one of the best horror movies! Great cast, music and ending! 4 stars
4/03/02 cat Just as good as the first. Michael is the only killer for me. 5 stars
3/30/02 Film Guy This movie is no Halloween, but yet it does scare you from time to time 4 stars
3/05/02 Alan Smithee Amazing Grace/Sit on my face/Don't make Me cry/I need your pie! 2 stars
2/02/02 Erik North Good, but not great--the explicit blood and gore were SO unnecessary 3 stars
2/02/02 Stuart Richards Good, but not as suspenseful or suprising as the original. 4 stars
12/12/01 ben wasden Halloween II is okay, but it can't touch the original. 3 stars
11/23/01 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A bit more better than the frist and saves the whole trilogy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/05/01 Jake Some systematic death sequences but a creative sequel with good acting and cool loud music! 4 stars
10/31/01 dr loomis all suck after 1 & 2 5 stars
10/30/01 Henry Ginsberg This movie goes nowhere.The only good bit is treadmark tit shot. 1 stars
10/28/01 Connoisseur pathetic ending. he gets shot in both eyes and still walks around. 2 stars
10/15/01 Mr. Hat Even better than the original! 5 stars
10/10/01 Alejandro Pena It was a bad ass movie 4 stars
9/28/01 Phoenix Inferior to the first, but still an effective slasher movie. 4 stars
8/06/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) Even more suspenseful and heart-pounding than the first one! 5 stars
8/05/01 E-Funk Sticks with the same atmosphere as the original. Lacking in some departments but worthy. 4 stars
8/01/01 Elgyn One of the best slasher flicks - the hospital setting makes the movie! 5 stars
5/23/01 Erik North Okay sequel--but the explicit blood and gore was NOT necessary. 3 stars
4/28/01 ddfa dsaf 5 stars
4/13/01 LiL This movie wasn't up to my standards. It was okay, but it could have been better 3 stars
3/21/01 Sthenno A complete loss of plot takes the possibilty of it being a good film.Well done but unneeded 3 stars
3/12/01 Jake Part 2 is pretty good, well acted and scary. 4 stars
11/01/00 Buffalo #1 was a better film, but #2 is AT LEAST as scary.The 2 best horror movies ever? 5 stars
7/29/00 Bender Close to being as scary as the original. Its bloodier too. 4 stars
4/30/00 Non crap! 2 stars
4/29/00 Yo Momma Ahhh...beautiful shite! 1 stars
4/21/00 John Carpenter my best movie ever.I'm a pedophile.Where's my balls? 1 stars
3/23/00 Aaron Schweighardt Halloween 2 is a very creepy film which is almost just as good and scary as the original. 5 stars
3/09/00 David Rogers The scarry thing is Mike can't be stopped! But not as good as the first. 3 stars
3/01/00 Kyle Broflovski It's a SEQUEL, dammit...nothing more, nothing less... 3 stars
2/12/00 Andrew I thought it was an excellent seqel, and an excellent and hugely entertaining movie. 4 stars
2/05/00 Steve Layne As good as the first one, but not better 4 stars
1/28/00 Ed Baxter It is great for what it is, granted it's not the original, hence the category-sequel ! 5 stars
10/30/99 Lindsey Not that great of a movie. 2 stars
5/13/99 ras_jose@yahoo.com moronic mess-avoid at ALL costs! 2 stars
5/03/99 Lucas Jackson This movie is good,theres lots of killing,but it is not scary or thrilling 3 stars
3/07/99 KK Dusenbury Sadism at full force. This movie is the shit 5 stars
3/03/99 Rachel it was ok. i'd rather see h4. 3 stars
12/20/98 mike generally a competent sequel...it just looks worse compared to the 1st 4 stars
11/25/98 Mr.Pink The first one was surprising, this one is sleep-inducing 1 stars
10/28/98 Silent Rob Arrrgh! I just watch it and see all the things that would've made it better! 3 stars
10/18/98 Kwyjibo I liked it nearly as much as the first. Still excellent. 4 stars
10/15/98 {{{OZ}}} Cramped in the hospital scenes. H20 had the same problem. Okay for a sequel. 4 stars
10/14/98 Bluntman First half hour is fine, but the film's thrills get closterphobic in the hospital portion. 3 stars
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  30-Oct-1981 (R)
  DVD: 14-Aug-2007

  N/A (18)

  29-Apr-1982 (R)

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