Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Halloween II (30th Anniversary Edition) (1981)

Halloween IIIn putting together this sequel, the powers-that-be decided to combine several of the strongest elements from the original film(Michael Myers, Dr. Loomis, the strong Halloween atmosphere)with the standard pace of an early 80's slasher film(people getting killed every 5-10 minutes.) For me, this is the ideal combination. There has not been a slasher movie since that I have liked more than this one.

Dr. Loomis is my favorite horror hero, and Michael Myers my favorite horror villain. They both enjoy some of their finest moments in this installment. I find this version of Myers creepier than the later incarnations, where he has suddenly grown into something resembling an nfl lineman. There is something in the deliberate movements, and the angular figure, that is decidedly inhuman. And Dr. Loomis elevates all of this to a far higher level than it could ever have achieved otherwise.His strength,courage, and iron will make him a hero. So does his moral anguish over seeing innocent people butchered. But there is also something in his personality that makes him the ideal adversary for the Bogeyman.Of course, as a psychiatrist, he feels professional responsibility. But it goes well beyond that. There is some part of his imagination that is obsessed with Myers, and some part of his humanity that is appalled by him. These feelings, taken in concert with his naturally heroic nature, make him the perfect combatant for Myers.

This movie has the ideal pace. The story is divided between Myers stalking people at the hospital, and Dr. Loomis working with the local police to track him down. Slowly, methodically, Michael Myers begins to remove the employees of the hospital, as he makes his way towards Laurie Strode.As always, he operates like a hunter, or sportsman. Several of his victims are given opportunities to save themselves, as they were in the first film. This is what sets Myers apart from typical killers-he is rather like an artist of the macabre. If it's too easy, he almost seems to regard it as beneath him. Of all the killings, my favorite is the nurse in the room with the aquarium. That whole scene is beautifully shot and lit, with the aquarium casting all sorts of reflections across the darkened room, and the cadaverous face of Myers gradually coming into view over the doomed girl's shoulder.The murder of the security guard is effective, as well.

The atmosphere is perfect. The long, winding hallways are ideal for a movie of this sort.There are just so many places where Michael Myers could be. The effect is only intensified as the night wears on and the primary lights are extinguished.The music is great, too. It incorporates the basic Halloween theme, but it has been altered enough to set it apart from any of the other films. It's not really a tangible thing: all of the elements just work for me.The doomed people, congregated in the dark hospital. The Bogeyman, always lurking in the shadows.Dr. Loomis, making his way ever closer to the scene of the slaughter.This is a film I never get tired of watching.

I have seen this film in excess of 300 times-perhaps 400-by now. I mention that for one reason..........namely, that you simply cannot watch something that many times unless you really enjoy the process of watching it. For instance, once you've seen something a half dozen times or so, all pretense of suspense is lost. There is no longer any suspense, because you know exactly what is going to happen. You're not waiting to see how it ends, because you know how it ends. Eventually, you know how each and every SCENE ends.

I reached that point, and surpassed it.........and yet I still kept watching it. For one reason........

Just about EVERY SINGLE SCENE in Halloween 2 is either perfect, or at least very, very good. This is the key. When I watch this, I will sometimes skip the scene where the ambulance driver plays the little prank on his lady friend. Not always, but sometimes.And that's it. There is not another moment in Halloween 2 that I find extraneous, even as many times as I have sat through it.No matter how often I've seen it, I never tire of it. And this holds true for virtually each and every moment in the film.

From the crucial scenes, right down to those that appear trivial, and everything in between...........they just got it right.

I have always felt that this was Donald Pleasence's finest performance as Loomis. He simply commands the screen. There is noone like him. This is also one of the most effective incarnations of Michael Myers. His posture, and mannerisms, are so rigid, so unnatural.........he comes across as the very literal embodiment of Death, itself.(notice that bizarre little pivot he does when he turns to spy on that girl through her window.)Decidedly inhuman.

There are just so many great moments in this film. It has an ambience that is all its own. For example, the part where Laurie Strode finds out exactly who it was who had been after her earlier in the evening. This was a brilliant scene, with the music and the way that the room is lit(with the hospital room darkened, and all that light flooding through the opened door when the nurse enters-very distinctive looking). Note the hushed tones, the lowered voices........much the way that people actually speak when they are in a darkened room. Or where the blonde nurse is seeking her, after she abandons her room in her dread of Myers' return. The dark office with the aquarium, as the unfortunate nurse looks in vain for the doctor........but finds someone else. All those macabre reflections, cast in every direction around the room, make it an unforgettable scene. Or the silent silhouette, lurking just behind that screen, as the nurse and paramedic plot their next move.

Want slasher 101? How about the doomed security guard, going to investigate a strange noise? You just know how that's going to end up.

A hospital is such an ideal locale for a slasher film to take place. The long, winding hallways..........all those rooms and dark corners..........It is dark, and quiet, and isolated. And those people who ARE there are going about their business, completely oblivious to the danger.

And, always on the periphery, the Bogeyman is silently lurking and waiting. While his patience is, as Loomis said, 'not human', you know that when he DOES eventually act, it will be with decisive brutality.

But it is Loomis, more than any other single factor, that serves to differentiate the Halloween series from any other slasher or horror phenomenon. He brings strength, heroism, sincerity, humanity, and a will of well as an extraordinarily distinctive, melodic manner of delivering his lines. Just imagine some of Loomis' lines in the hands of an average, contemporary actor. They'd be diminished, perhaps to the point of being rendered gibberish.

But in the hands of Donald Pleasence, they become lyrical, darkly poetic, profound.

Dr.Sam Loomis-he elevates this series to something that it NEVER could have approached without him. There is simply nobody like him.

For me, Halloween 2 is the ultimate slasher film. I love it more and more over time. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Buy Halloween II (30th Anniversary Edition) (1981) Now

Halloween II is not as good as the original, that is obvious. Many die hard Halloween fans hate this movie and others love it. I would blame some of the hatred on the fact that John Carpneter opted not to direct. This resulted in the movie's lack of tension and dread that the original seemed to master. Halloween II also ups the violence and bloodshed (and random killing which really bothered me). This movie takes place right after Halloween ends. Halloween II benefits from an excellent, at times a little over the top, preformance from Donald Pleasance. Many complain that Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) sucks in this movie because she is so zoned out. DUH! She is doped up. This adds to the fact that she is helpless. The script may have some problems, but Halloween II is the best sequel. This movie, while not holding a candle to the original, is scary, exciting, and will keep you at the edge of your seat. After a climatic and explosive ending, it is obvious that the series should have stopped right there. But NOO, a string of retarded sequels had to be made. From the Doyle's house to Haddonfield Hospital, Halloween II finishes "the night he came home" very well.

Read Best Reviews of Halloween II (30th Anniversary Edition) (1981) Here

"Halloween II" picks up directly at the end of the original film, and sends survivor Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) to the hospital to nurse her wounds. Unfortunately for her and most of the cast, Micheal Myers follows. Donald Pleasence and Nancy Stephens also reprise their roles as well.Directed by Rick Rosenthal and scripted by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, "Halloween II" is a very respectable sequel. There is a lot more blood and gore in this one (which came in the post-"Friday the 13th" era), but unlike some of the later sequels, this one still has that "Halloween" feel about it. The finale is also very tense and wraps up the story pretty well -you could view the original and this one without any of the other sequels and have a complete story.The DVD is presented in 2.35:1 ratio and does not contain any extras aside from some brief production notes. But the movie is good, and its a bargain price, so pick it up and make it a "Halloween" night.

Want Halloween II (30th Anniversary Edition) (1981) Discount?

When I originally viewed this sequel, I can remeber being very impress on how the film turned out. I was weary because Carpenter didn't return to direct, but some of my worries were layed to rest after I saw that he both wrote and produced it. Rick does a very credible job directing the feature and surprisingly makes the film FEEL pretty darn close ot a Carpenter film. What I really liked about this sequel is that it takes place right, I mean RIGHT after the first film. It follows the shape (Michael Myers) as he fillows Jame Lee Curtis (who is blatenly wearing a wig) to a hospital, and then the hospital itself becomes a house of horrors. I was more than pleased with only a few complaints. I didn't like how the hospital was always dark (like the lights were never on) and how michael got two bullets straight in the eyes and continued to come (this fact was forgotten in latter poor sequels). That was a little chessy and over-the-top, but forgiveable. The only thing that could have made this film better is if Carpenter himself directed, but even with him at the helm, it might not have turned out much better than this. The next entry HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH, though has nothing to do with these first two films, is a still a good movie. Fans of Carpenter whould also give it a try but stop their. The sequels after that take their audiences for granted and the continuity errors galore as they try to connect to the first two entires.

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