Halloween 2 is the seemingly inevitable sequel to John Carpenters surprise smash hit, Halloween. Taking up the story literally the second the original ended, we get to endure the rest of Laurie Strodes fateful Halloween night, but will she truly survive it? Read on to find out…
Picking up exactly where the first film left off, Halloween II follows the same ill-fated characters as they once again encounter the knife-wielding maniac they thought had been left for dead. It seems the inhuman Michael Myers is still very much alive and out for more revenge as he stalks the deserted halls of the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. As he gets closer to his main target, Dr Loomis (Donald Pleasence) discovers the chilling mystery behind the crazed psychopath’s actions. Written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, Halloween II is a spine-tingling dark ride into the scariest night of the year.
(Taken from the Scream Factory website).
Halloween 2: Analysis:
Halloween 2 is pretty good as sequels go. Unlike many of it’s imitators, which relied solely on ever more elaborate and extravagant special effects, Halloween 2 mixes it up somewhat. Many of the same jump scare motifs from the original are still to be found here. Tat’s not so say it doesn’t up the ante when it comes to killing off the victims. Despite the onslaught of Friday The 13th etc, the kills in Halloween 2 are gruesome, but not over the top. There is a restraint at work, showing just enough to titillate, but not so much as to gross out. The film does meander a bit at times, but it never fails to hold the viewers attention.
And the acting is uniformly excellent. Jamie Lee Curtis is given little to do except sob and scream, yet she still makes you feel for Laurie Strode. She became the template for all scream queens who were to follow her, right up to the present day. Lance Guest (in his first major role) adds a slightly comedic edge as the wannabe love interest character. He really is endearing as the would be hero of the film. Naturally, Donald Pleasence is outstanding once more as Dr Loomis, his mania about Michael being proven true. He falls down on just the right side of chewing the scenery.
Probably the worst thing about this film is the truly terrible wig worn by Jamie Lee Curtis. Seriously, it’s a terrible wig. And that really is the biggest “downer” I can find with the film. A bad wig.
The film is well presented by Scream Factory, with a superb full anamorphic 2.35:1 transfer of the theatrical version. You also get a full frame 4:3 presentation of the TV version, which features extra scenes added in. Audio is a good sounding DTS-HD Master Audio track for the theatrical version, and a Dolby Digital Mono track for the TV Version.
The other extras are as follows:
– Audio Commentary With Director Rick Rosenthal And Actor Leo Rossi (Theatrical Version).
– Audio Commentary With Actor / Stunt Coordinator Dick Warlock (Theatrical Version).
– The Nightmare Is not Over !: The MakingOf Halloween II – Featuring Interviews with Director Rick Rosenthal, Actor / Stunt Coordinator Dick Warlock, Actors Lance Guest, Leo Rossi, Nancy Stephens, Executive Producer Irwin Yablans, Director of Photography Dean Cundey, Co-Composer Alan Howarth and more!
– Horror’s Hallowed Grounds: The Locations Of Halloween II – Host Sean Clark revisits the original shooting locations of the film.
– Deleted Scenes With Optional Audio Commentary From Director Rick Rosenthal.
– Alternate Ending With Optional Audio Commentary From Director Rick Rosenthal.
– Theatrical Trailer.
– TV & Radio Spots.
– Still Gallery.
So, another excellent package from Scream Factory.
Halloween 2: the Verdict
Halloween 2 is a rarity amongst sequels, in that it manages to be almost as good as it’s progenitor. Like the original, Halloween 2 is an exercise in tension and fear, this time with some added gore.
Overall, this is highly recommended. 5/5 Fiends.
Buy Halloween 2 blu ray: Amazon.co.uk
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