In 2011, I watched the original Halloween for the first time, and it was one of the highlights of the season. This year, feeling that it wouldn’t be right to let October go by without at least one entry in the series, I decided to watch the immediate follow-up, Halloween II, from 1981. (This was a rare case of me renting a film, as nobody had the good grace to air the film this month.) Halloween II is a direct continuation of the first film, with the same actors reprising their roles as the night of Michael Myers’ return continues. Interestingly, John Carpenter moves to a producer role for this film, with Rick Rosenthal taking over as director, in what would be his feature film directorial debut.
Halloween II has a lot of the same strengths as the original film, but unfortunately it also has some weaknesses not present in the original. Further, since it’s very literally a case of “more of the same”, it winds up feeling rather superfluous — the main thing it adds to the story is the reason why Michael Myers is so fixated on Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) to begin with. Continue reading →
I’ve been trying to find a good horror movie all month. Ladies and gentlemen, we finally have a winner here! I was beginning to lose hope there for a while. But it just goes to show that every once in a while, the classics of a genre are indeed classics. Halloween should be a template for how to make a decent horror film; sadly, while there are many films which ape it, most of them seem to take the wrong lessons to heart.
The first of several films under the Halloween franchise introduces us not only to the character of Michael Myers, but to the movie career of Jamie Lee Curtis. On Halloween night, 1963, then-child Michael Myers picked up a kitchen knife and stabbed his sister to death. 15 years later, he is still a local bogeyman to the town of Haddonfield, Illinois, where his house is abandoned and rumored by children to be haunted. Myers himself is in an institute for the criminally insane, and hasn’t spoken a word since the murder.