Halloween Countdown 2018 – Day 31 Halloween II (1981)
Greetings my Movie Ghouls!
Halloween is a busy night, with all the costumes and sweets. We make the house look scary and (un)welcoming for the trick or treaters. I have an unspoken war with a house around the corner, I beat them this year. But once the knocking stops and the children are suffering from sugar pains, it’s time for the adults. For us, it’s a horror movie, usually a classic, but sometimes new. This year however, we watched Halloween 2.
The now disregarded sequel to the original and best Halloween, it follows on directly from the events of that Halloween night in 1978. It is quite a perfect continuation as they show the final moments of the first film and just take it from there. There is a long title sequence, which is done slowly and to the Halloween synth music that it sets the mood. It is a sequel and therefore must go bigger, but the kills still fit with the tone of the first film.
What Happened to the Babies?
The action moves to Haddonfield Memorial hospital as Laurie has been taken there for treatment. Michael Myers continues to stalk the neighbourhood entering a house of a couple who are watching the beginning of Night of the Living Dead. It’s a nice note using the “They’re coming to get you Barbara” scene as this shows the in-movie timescale.
We meet the new lambs (To the slaughter) in the shape of nurses, doctors and security guards. There are a few leaps in this one, such as a cop running a guy wearing a Michael Myers costume (clearly he was bang on trend) and the car blowing up. Then there’s the extremely quiet hospital, which has a new-born section, and yet no mothers. Also, the nurse who is supposed to be watching the babies decides it’s a good idea to have a naked Jacuzzi bath with her boyfriend/ambulance driver. But it’s ok; they’ll leave the door open. BUT THEY DIDN’T. These were the two victims I didn’t mind being killed. Oh, those babies are dead aren’t they!
Laurie doesn’t really have much to do here being drugged to the point that she can’t see and can’t shout until it’s too late. She is the McGuffin that Michael is after, and through Donald Pleasance’s Dr Sam Loomis we discover Laurie and Michael are related. This moment of clarity comes after most of the hospital is dead, and Loomis is told that there was a sealed file, therefore, he had never seen.
We realised after watching Psycho 2 the other night that Sam Loomis was a name that carried over to Halloween. It’s a nice little allusion to the character and the film that starred Curtis’ mother Janet Leigh.
Michael seems to be superhuman, being described by Carpenter as:
“…a force of nature. He’s supposed to be almost supernatural”
And yeah, he is. He takes 6 bullets in the first film and then another 6 in the hospital. He gets both eyes shot out and blown up. I almost expected him to say:
“Death is but a door, time is but a window, I’ll be back”.
This film was extremely enjoyable. It cemented those horror movie tropes that Halloween started and made them bigger. As a sequel, it doesn’t seem too far from the original’s premise. It gives more of a back story and a reason for why Michael’s doing this, why he is focussed on Laurie. It did definitively kill off Michael at the end, having him burn to death. I am not including the sequels as I haven’t seen them and just looking at Halloween 2 as the only sequel… for now!
It clearly paved the way for the Halloween franchise to move on, and then we got Season of the Witch. Despite having not seen, I like the idea of an anthology horror series under the brand Halloween. Is it too late?
Overall I really enjoyed it and can’t fault it as a sequel.
Thank you for putting up with my daily movie rants. I hope you have enjoyed reading and watching as I have enjoyed viewing most of the films.
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