4 Responses to “Halloween II (1981) – A Worthy Companion Piece to the Original or Not?”
One thing Halloween II does rather well, I think, is that it has rather more than is normal in this type of film, of a sense of what effect the events have on the town of Haddonfield at large – one of the criticisms of the genre is that the events of these films tend to take place in a vacuum – several of Halloween II’s key scenes – the death of one red herring, the scene at the Myers house with Loomis and Deputy Hunt – all take place against the backdrop of increasing community panic – it adds quite a lot to the film I think, and certainly to it’s atmosphere. I agree with your review though – although inferior to the original, taken on its own merits, Halloween II is an effective piece of work, and under-rated.
my main beef with H2 is how Carpenter messed with it and ill tell you why
for one he completely messed up the timeline with his cut, case in point when michael goes to the elrods house to steal the knife (and no he didnt kill the couple as you implied just scared mrs elrod when she saw the blood after he grabbed the knife and walked out) you can hear the radio saying police found bodies of 3 teenagers when in fact it didnt happen yet, the way the theatrical version was cut, this scene happens literally minutes after he was shot off the balcony so therefore they couldnt have found annie, bob or lynda couldnt yet, they hadnt even removed laurie from the house yet!
the alice kill after the elrods house was unecessary and not in michaels M.O., he tends to only kill those in his way and she was NOT in his way, this was NOT in the original cut
the tv version of this movie puts everything back in order, it is a lot closer to rosenthals version along with kills that are not gory at all and alice doesnt get killed he just leaves her alone. the marshalls kill is not gory he simply gets stabbed in the back, there is more character build up and as the guy above me wrote there is a lot more fell of the town panic. the time line is corrected (the police report you hear when michael is in the elrods house happens AFTER they find the bodies)
as far as the whole sister thing, that always bugged me, why did that have to be added? when michael bumps into the boombox boy (dick warlock son) he hears the radio report stating that laurie went to haddonfield memorial, wasnt that good enough for motive in the movie? he heard and went to finish the job because he wanted to not because she was his sister. that should have been sufficient.
bottomline as great as carpenter made the original he completely screwed the pooch on this one and messed up rosenthals vision for what it should be, rosenthal tried to match the moodiness and pace and suspense of the original yet got screwed with for doing it
ill always watch the tv version first less gore more story!
Here’s where I stand on the subject of Halloween II. It’s o.k. mushc like Jaws 2 is o.k. compared to Jaws. The two are not bad, but not good either. The problem with Halloween II is there is nowhere that the story can go. Halloween never needed a sequel but the producers forced Carpenter to make one, threatening him with legal action if he didn’t comply. He’s said himself that he was drunk when he wrote it, didn’t like the script and didn’t like the finished film. I think it’s in the same league as ‘He Knows You’re Alone’, better than ‘Prom Night, ‘Terror Train’ and ‘Friday the 13th’ but nowhere near as good as ‘The Dead Zone’ or ‘The Shining’. On top of all this it brings nothing new to the table, and rips off just about everything else made in the wake of the original Halloween. The ‘needle in the eye’ sequence from ‘Dead & Buried’ is stolen and re-used in the hospital. The ‘I am your father’ storyline from ‘Empire Strikes Back’ is taken and used in the story. Even the setting in a hospital was pretty unoriginal by 1981. Aa guilty pleasure to be sure though!