Halloween 2 (1981)

In 1981, three years after the original, Michael Myers didn’t just return to terrorise the screens again but he returned in a movie set directly after the events of the first movie.

Halloween 2 all happens on the same night as Halloween and that is why I continue the Halloween Season reviewing Halloween 2 as its kind of like a part two of a story.

It saw the return of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), Dr Loomis (Donald Pleasence) as well as Michael Myers (played by Dick Warlock.)

Can a film that worked because of its simplicity come back and wow its audience again?

The answer is a resounding yes.

Halloween 2 felt like they had figured out how it all worked in the first movie so pushed it to its limits in the second. Michael Myers was scary because he moved and acted like a human, under that mask you imagined a normal human person and even though he’d been shot multiple times and we were led to believe that he probably is now immortal in some way at no point did he become “monster that is monster” and was always just “human that is monster.”

Halloween 2 enclosed Michael Myers and his antics to a hospital. After Laurie is transferred there after being found he makes his way there and kills everyone he finds inside. Again simplistic as it comes, one small location, a unstoppable force and bingo. Slasher Gold.

They still didn’t attempt to give us 100 different stories for Michael and instead had Loomis quite vaguely tell us the obvious. He doesn’t know what makes Michael Myers the way he is, he’s just crazy and kills people. They did add to his story by telling us that Laurie is actually Myers sister but again it was a small reveal that made some kind of sense and just worked. It didn’t feel like something added for the sake of it, it felt like it gave the story a reason.

Jamie Lee Curtis might have spent a good half of the episode lying about the place in a hospital bed but stole the film whenever she was on screen. Being the sole target truly for Myers it didn’t matter how many other bodies fell as long as he didn’t come near Laurie.

There was much more of a story going on around it with Loomis trying to figure out why Myers was there and what he’d be doing. The character is one of those characters you just stop and listen to whenever he’s on the screen regardless of whether or not you understand anything he’s going on about.

One scene I have to say stands out for me is when Loomis and co rock up to the hospital after the slaughter has pretty much ended, Laurie is outside the hospital on the floor just out of sight. The emotion she is able to bring to that little moment and the hopelessness you feel for her as one thing after another conspires against her is just the picture perfect example of the simplistic nature used in the movie. Seconds later and the remaining cast are inside the hospital with a door between them and Michael and yet he just walks through the glass, gets shot a couple times and keeps on going.

Nightmares are meant to scare you, creepy freaks in the woods have limited scare factor. Someone who isn’t really big and scary, a freak of any kind or that has any reason to do what he’s doing just keeping on coming no matter what? Now that is scary.

Full marks to Warlock who managed to make the way Myers moves terrifying by doing very little other then walking.

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