Monday, October 24

31 Days Of Horror: Day 16

Halloween II (1981)
Dir: Rick Rosenthal
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence,
and Charles Cyphers

Let’s take a look at some sequels. The hardest part about any horror film, or film in general, is making a sequel, which is why most films shouldn’t make a sequel. However, pressures mount, the public demands, and many times the money is bigger and more enticing. It’s not unusually that many successful films find a sequel, but most complicate or try to outdo the elements that worked in the original that they end up finding failure. Think for a second how much better The Matrix would be if we only had the first film? Yet, there are a few that succeed, and Halloween 2 (1981) is one of them.

 Continuing from the end of the first Halloween film, Dr. Loomis is still searching for the elusive Michael Myers, and poor Laurie Strode is stuck in the local hospital ailing from her battle with Michael. Trying to live up to the expectations of the original classic was a tall feat, however, having John Carpenter and Debra Hill write the screenplay was a good start for Director Rick Rosenthal (don’t be fooled, this sequel is good because John Carpenter had lots of influence and also supplemented additional scenes to the finished product from the Director’s chair). Another element that helped was giving Michael Myers environment restrictions; by placing most of the story in or around a hospital setting helped keep the story from getting to big, which is one of the major problems with most sequels…take for instance Speed 2 on a big ass boat crashing nearly a mile into a harbor town. One requirement for horror sequels is the heightened gore content, which Halloween 2 achieves early and regularly. 

 Many fans of Halloween weren’t satisfied with the results of the sequel, which led Universal Studios who bought the rights to the film after the success of the original, to sell the rights after the poor reception. However, the test of time will ultimately judge all art, and Halloween 2 has only gained a greater following. Whether that’s due to the overwhelming amount of terrible sequels being made can only be assumed. Still, Halloween 2 is fun to watch immediately after the original and has been a tradition of mine around October 31st. Dare I add Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch to that tradition? Time will tell. Day 16 and the return to Haddonfield. 

(Side Note: Shame on you Universal Studios for taking Moustapha Akkad’s name off of the credits at the beginning of the film. Mr. Akkad is the reason why you, Universal Studios, are able to release a Blu-Ray version of this film.)

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