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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.07%
Worth A Look: 25.2%
Pretty Bad: 10.57%
Total Crap: 17.89%

4 reviews, 99 user ratings

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Halloween II (1981)
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by Jack Sommersby

"One Sorry Sequel"
1 stars

Well, it's hard to decide which is worse -- this or "Friday the 13th Part 2," which at least provided us some tantalizing full-frontal nudity of the gorgeous Kristen Baker skinny-dipping.

John Carpenter's Halloween might not have had the most airtight of screenplays, what with its crummy story logic and behavioral inconsistencies, but it was stylishly and persuasively controlled from start to finish by a talented director who knew exactly how to hold the viewer spellbound. Working in widescreen with the superb cinematographer Dean Cundey, Carpenter, who also co-wrote the screenplay with producer Debra Hill, proved a master at conveying expressive mood -- the eeriness factor was palpable, and the enveloping sense of dread that permeated the proceedings throughout helped glide over the scattershot writing. (The limited but frightening score, composed by Carpenter, adds greatly to this, too.) The movie was a bit overpraised, yet it was staged with aplomb and wrung maximum suspense from its minimal story involving an escaped mental patient systematically slaughtering the good townsfolk of small-town Haddonfield on a fateful Halloween night that would've made Beelzebub positively agog with approval. The object of super-strong killer Michael Myers's fixation was Jamie Lee Curtis's Laurie Strode, whose two best friends died at this fiend's hands; and after replaying the final five minutes of the original, where Laurie was injured and then saved at the last minute by Myers's psychiatrist Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance) who fired six gunshots into Myers at point-blank range only for the body to suddenly disappear, this sequel picks up right after that, with Laurie transported to the hospital and Loomis and a deputy chief searching the neighborhood for Myers. In a freak car accident sometime later, someone wearing a mask similar to Myers' is incinerated, and the police are convinced the terror is over, but because a dental-records identity can't be done until the next day, Loomis can't leave to chance the possibility that Myers is still out there. Eventually, Myers makes his way to the hospital where Laurie, sluggish from drugs and slightly incapacitated with a leg injury, is quite vulnerable; unfortunately, all that comes of it are run-of-the-mill, prolonged scenes of Myers stalking and then butchering the unsuspecting array of personnel in the sparsely-manned facility to get at Laurie who, as is revealed late in the game, has quite the literal kinship to him. In the end, with all the corpses and explosions, the sleepy community of Haddonfield comes to resemble something that would've traumatized Norman Rockwell into a permanent state of catatonia.

Both Carpenter and Hill were again responsible for the script, and it's just as deprived of contextual value as their previous one, with absurd logic loopholes and characters acting stupidly in not taking even the most common-sense precautions in light of it being all over the local news that there's a deranged madman on the loose. Still, something viable could've possibly come of it with a director at the helm who, like Carpenter, could enjoyably manipulate us, but the task has fallen to the debuting Rick Rosenthal, who possesses not the most impressive of film senses, so we're left taking a bare-bones story premise that runs out of gas at about the twenty-minute mark purely at purely face value. Rosenthal doesn't get enough suspenseful atmosphere going, and his lethargic handling deprives the movie of compression -- it's a series of limp scenes with people forever walking down deserted halls and into dark rooms, and with all the energy of a drunken snail. In the original, Carpenter kept the majority of the happenstances confined to two neighboring houses with semblances of spatial unity; here, with numerous rooms in the different wings of the hospital, the logistics are too spread out and undefined to effectively function as intended -- we don't get the kick of feeling closed in with a psychopath on the loose. And where Carpenter cannily used subjective camera movements from the killer's point-of-view so Myers did a lot more of our seeing than our actually seeing him, Rosenthal makes paltry use of the technique and gives us one inexpressive composition after another showing us way too much of him. With his tacky mask and somnolent demeanor (the endless seconds he spends lollygagging from once place to another you could time a dozen eggs to) he's about as menacing as the candy-stripers he's forever doing in; and because he's not a zombie and without a supernatural element backing it up, his imperviousness to bullets (even to both eyes!) is just silly. Granted, a couple of the deaths, one involving a pretty big-breasted nurse's face plunged into a scalding-hot therapy tub and the other a fresh-faced college kid slipping and busting his head in a huge pool of blood, have some naughty-boy macabre wit, but the dreary downtime leading up to them is what's really fatal. Halloween II is slightly more bearable than Jean-Claude Lord's atrocious Visiting Hours but pales in comparison to Boaz Davidson's much-livelier Hospital Massacre, which is a lot more fun than this uninspired, joyless sequel that arrives (pun intended) dead-on-arrival.

I don't care if Michael Myers isn't in it, for "Halloween 3: Season of the Witch" packs more entertainment value into any five minutes than "Halloween II" does in its entirety.

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originally posted: 08/24/12 06:01:58
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User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell bloody & boring avoid it 1 stars
12/11/12 Jamie One of the worst sequels ever. Lame cash in. 1 stars
8/29/12 Antonia Valenzuela Thrilled to see the horror continues 5 stars
8/29/12 Alex Figueroa I liked it. Not as good as part 1 though. 3 stars
8/24/12 Joshua Simms The only good Halloween sequel, avoid the rest. 4 stars
2/09/12 David Hollingsworth A horror sequel that is actually quite fun 4 stars
6/21/11 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
11/10/10 art I"M only going to say this once,FRIDAY THE 13TH bURRIES halloween! 1 stars
8/26/10 art i did not write that july post,that was some imposter!,RZ's HALLOWEEN"S ROCK! 1 stars
8/24/10 Joseph Fantastic sequel, but not as good as the original 5 stars
7/10/10 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
9/01/09 dweezil zappa great flick, blood scares and a hot jamie lee 5 stars
3/18/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess Lame sequel to a horror masterpiece. 2 stars
6/12/08 DK Toshy recycled version of the first movie. Feels more like a tired retread than the remake 1 stars
4/16/08 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
6/22/07 David Cohen A sad letdown from a brilliant first movie 3 stars
2/17/07 David Pollastrini better than III 5 stars
5/16/06 blarginbadigalnohif Good sequel 4 stars
11/24/05 cr a pretty good follow up were the classic halloween left off and few good kills not as scary 3 stars
10/16/05 Darren O A respecatable sequel that delivers though stacks too many bodies and underuses Jamie Lee. 4 stars
8/04/05 ^podo pretty good sequel 4 stars
7/14/05 Brandy Harrington Not great. 2 stars
2/12/05 J Nothing special 3 stars
12/21/04 Lucas Stensland Decent 3 stars
8/05/04 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
7/19/04 Benjamin Petrofsky The music changed for the worse. 3 stars
6/07/04 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
11/29/03 john for a sequel to one of the horror movies ever made this one is great 5 stars
11/25/03 Thiago Good sequel. Nearly not as good as the first, but still really cool sequel. 4 stars
11/01/03 American Slasher Goddess Very good second installment in the series. 4 stars
10/16/03 Erik Van Sant Pretty cool that it stays on the same night as the original. Myers is kinda awkward though. 4 stars
7/22/03 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
4/17/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" Lyrik Pretty good sequel 4 stars
1/25/03 M.C. Great movie,Imagine yourself being a Haddonfield native on the night he came home,Nuff said 5 stars
1/01/03 Michael Myers H2 is a great addition to the series. 4 stars
12/29/02 Jack Sommersby Uninventive and mechanically executed. 2 stars
10/31/02 harrry potter fabulous 5 stars
10/30/02 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
8/17/02 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
8/16/02 Shaun consider 1 and 2 just one long movie 4 stars
7/07/02 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
4/16/02 Jake For the 1981era, this is one of the best horror movies! Great cast, music and ending! 4 stars
4/04/02 cat Just as good as the first. Michael is the only killer for me. 5 stars
3/31/02 Film Guy This movie is no Halloween, but yet it does scare you from time to time 4 stars
3/06/02 Alan Smithee Amazing Grace/Sit on my face/Don't make Me cry/I need your pie! 2 stars
2/03/02 Erik North Good, but not great--the explicit blood and gore were SO unnecessary 3 stars
2/03/02 Stuart Richards Good, but not as suspenseful or suprising as the original. 4 stars
12/13/01 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
11/01/01 dr loomis all suck after 1 & 2 5 stars
10/31/01 Henry Ginsberg This movie goes nowhere.The only good bit is treadmark tit shot. 1 stars
10/29/01 Connoisseur pathetic ending. he gets shot in both eyes and still walks around. 2 stars
10/16/01 Mr. Hat Even better than the original! 5 stars
10/11/01 Alejandro Pena It was a bad ass movie 4 stars
9/29/01 Phoenix Inferior to the first, but still an effective slasher movie. 4 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) Even more suspenseful and heart-pounding than the first one! 5 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk Sticks with the same atmosphere as the original. Lacking in some departments but worthy. 4 stars
8/02/01 Elgyn One of the best slasher flicks - the hospital setting makes the movie! 5 stars
5/24/01 Erik North Okay sequel--but the explicit blood and gore was NOT necessary. 3 stars
4/29/01 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
3/22/01 Sthenno A complete loss of plot takes the possibilty of it being a good film.Well done but unneeded 3 stars
3/13/01 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
4/30/00 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
3/24/00 Aaron Schweighardt Halloween 2 is a very creepy film which is almost just as good and scary as the original. 5 stars
3/10/00 David Rogers The scarry thing is Mike can't be stopped! But not as good as the first. 3 stars
3/02/00 Kyle Broflovski It's a SEQUEL, dammit...nothing more, nothing less... 3 stars
2/13/00 Andrew I thought it was an excellent seqel, and an excellent and hugely entertaining movie. 4 stars
2/06/00 Steve Layne As good as the first one, but not better 4 stars
1/29/00 Ed Baxter It is great for what it is, granted it's not the original, hence the category-sequel ! 5 stars
10/31/99 Lindsey Not that great of a movie. 2 stars
5/14/99 moronic mess-avoid at ALL costs! 2 stars
5/04/99 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 just looks worse compared to the 1st 4 stars
11/26/98 Mr.Pink The first one was surprising, this one is sleep-inducing 1 stars
10/29/98 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
10/15/98 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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