Friday, April 27, 2012

Halloween 2 (1981) - Review

This is an interesting sequel in the fact that it takes place immediately where the first movie left off.  Other than that, it's pretty much what you might expect out of a slasher sequel, but it's actually surprisingly well-done.  It's about on par with the original, but definitely not in the same sense, because this movie definitely has a different feel to it.

For one, there is very little tension in this one.  Most of the movie takes place at the hospital after Laurie escapes from Michael Myers in the first film, and revolves around the clinic employees getting stalked and killed by Myers.  These generic slasher scenes are really the worst part of the movie, seeing as these characters are not the least bit interesting, except maybe the pseudo love interest, Jimmy.

The film is at its best when it's either focusing on Laurie or continuing to develop things with Dr. Loomis and his relationship with Michael.  Interestingly enough, while the movie does drop most of the tension that the last one excelled in, it makes up for it by injecting just enough mythos about Michael and the festival of Samhain (aka Halloween).  There's a little bit of talk regarding ancient druidic magic and ritualistic murder and whatnot, and it's all pretty intriguing.  Brilliantly, it's only hinted at as an explanation, and not shoved down the throats of the audience, making it more ambiguous.

In addition to the added lore, the acting is greatly improved as well.  Jamie Lee Curtis, while absent much of the film, is still good, and Donald Pleasence is even better this time around as Dr. Loomis.  The bit players, while forgettable, are better this time around as well.  The direction definitely takes a hit with Carpenter not behind the chair this time, but it doesn't hurt the movie too much.  The added storyline is a perfectly acceptable substitute.

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