Friday, December 20, 2013


Universal’s 30th anniversary Blu-ray of Rick Rosenthal’s Halloween II (1981) certainly looks wonderful, but the improvement in picture and sound quality haven’t done much to improve my overall view of the film as a pretty lackluster and unexciting follow-up to John Carpenter’s original 1978 classic. It’s good that original stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence returned, but Curtis is virtually wasted as she spends nearly the first hour of the film lying almost comatose in bed, while the indestructible Michael Myers embarks on a killing spree through the halls of the most under-staffed (and under-lit) three-story hospital I have ever seen. Only during the final ten minutes does the film really display and genuine style, tension or mood.

I recall this film getting a lot of negative flack when it was released. I’m sure there were people who had already decided to hate it as soon as they fund out that Carpenter was not returning to direct (he does take co-writer, co-producer and music credits). I think one of the main problems with Halloween II is that there is really nothing, apart from it’s name and established characters, that distinguishes it from the glut of slasher films that had come out during 1980/81. It helps reinforce just how exceptional Halloween was, and how hard it was going to be for any sequel to measure up (though personally I always preferred the trashy fun of the Friday the 13th series to the Halloween and Elm St. films when I was growing-up).