Sequels, in general, are always approached with trepidation and anxiety. In movie history, few sequels even come close to the original. In horror, sequels don’t just not come close, they usually fall so far from the original’s greatness that it’s painful. Halloween II, released three years after the original, is not nearly as bad as most second-time-around films. While it will never be as great as the first, the drop-off in quality was much less than most in this genre. Halloween II picks up literally right where the first film left off and continues to illustrate the story of Michael Myers as he stalks Laurie Strode in a quest to kill her and anyone in his path.
Overall, the reason Halloween II isn’t quite as good as the first is because it’s fairly dull. The magic of the first film, aided by the music and building fear, is lost in this movie. I initially thought starting the film where the first left off was a clever idea, but ultimately I think it detracts from the fear. Viewers are past the climax, and the entire film seems like a slow, inevitable death to the end. As I watched Myers kill one hospital staff member after another, I just kept wondering when the film was going to end. The audience isn’t as connected to the hospital staff as they were to Laurie’s friends, so their deaths don’t resonate as much.
The best part of Halloween II is that it cements to the viewer that Michael Myers is here to stay. He seems to survive anything thrown at him, a quality necessary for the campy horror genre. Viewers learn an important piece of the Laurie Strode/Michael Myers puzzle in this film and it adds depth to the tale.
I feel like I don’t have much to say about this movie. I love the Halloween franchise, and I certainly didn’t hate this addition. Out of all of the films, it’s definitely not my least favorite. However, it’s not my favorite either. Something is missing with this film and it leads to a boring story. Apparently a boring story leads to a boring, short review. Fear not, though. Michael Myers remains a strong serial killer on horror island... well, after Halloween III.
If you liked Halloween II, you might also like Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Halloween 4 and Halloween 5.