As I said in yesterday's review, I haven't seen the bulk of the Michael Myers-centric sequels, so am looking for some clues as to why they are so highly regarded.
Sadly, Halloween II - again written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, but directed by Rick Rosenthal - failed to land for me.
There's a really cool gimmick in the opening credits, which sees a jack-o'-lantern peel open to reveal a skull, but, honestly, that's possibly the high point of the movie.
After the battle at the end of Halloween, Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) is rushed off to hospital, while the gun-totting psychiatrist Loomis (Donald Pleasance, who has opted to play the character as though he is either drunk or having a stroke) and Sheriff Brackett (Charles Cyphers) try and track down the unstoppable Michael Myers (Dick Warlock).
There are so many bizarre occurrences in the script that it almost feels as though much was made up on the fly: for instance, there is the strange situation where reports of Michael's murders from the original movie are all over the TV and radio ages before anyone informs the Sheriff that his daughter was one of the victims!
And not only are the Haddonfield police dreadful at communications, but it also turns out they are worse drivers than Michael Myers, when an innocent costumed teen is mown down by a speeding police car and sandwiched into another vehicle... which then explodes!
On the other hand, Michael seems to have forgotten he can drive (better than the police) and instead ambles slowly towards the hospital where Laurie is being treated.
The latter half of the film primarily revolves around Michael stalking Laurie - and sundry nurses, doctors, and ambulance crew - around the otherwise patient-free hospital (I really thought they were building something with the little girl who seemed to have bitten into a razor blade, but she gets treated and sent home, never to be seen again. Perhaps this was a subtle foreshadowing of Halloween III: Season of The Witch?)
There's some random superficial occultism thrown in (with Michael apparently writing 'Samhain' in blood on a school chalk board) and the bombshell revelation that Laurie is actually a heretofore unknown younger sister of Michael's.
While, I had no great issues with the sibling sub-plot, there's so much that simply still isn't explained, like Michael's driving chops from the original flick, such as how - as we are again told how he spent his 15 years in the mental hospital not talking and barely moving - he became superhumanly strong and resilient.
I barely moved through the 18 months of the pandemic and now I wheeze going up the stairs! How on earth did a six-year-old child turn himself into Captain America through 15 years of immobility?
And, although Laurie Strode is undeniably psychologically tough, she again survives the events of this film thanks to the actions of others - primarily the barmy Dr Loomis - rather than through her own fighting skills.
It should be noted that Michael is called The Shape in the credits, but no one uses that phrase in the film, and I refuse to acknowledge this as a serious slasher nom de guerre. It's as lame as those early episodes of The Flash TV show when the titular character was referred to as 'The Red Streak'.
Halloween II is now on Netflix in the UK, as are several of the sequels, so I will continue this slog through the outings of the least-interesting slasher on the block... to see if there's more to this mythology than John Carpenter's really cool music.
FILMS WATCHED: 9
NEW TO ME: 6