Forty years ago, Michael Myers went to the hospital. Not because he got shot six times and fell off a second story balcony. No, he survived that just fine. He was headed to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital to finish off Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) after failing to kill her in Halloween. And a sequel was born.
John Carpenter and Debra Hill returned to write the script. But Carpenter passed on directing again allowing Rick Rosenthal to step in. Unlike its predecessor, Halloween II had a bigger budget and body count. Plus, it was much gorier. Hello, death by hot tub. Also, unlike the first one, the sequel was a critical and commercial failure. It’s hard to top a classic. But part II does have some points that I appreciate. Here are four.
4. Spooky hospital
On Halloween night, the hospital has a skeletal crew and few patients. That gives you plenty of dark empty corridors for a homicidal maniac to creep around. Rosenthal creates an unsettling eerie atmosphere that’s perfect for the horror that follows.
3. Familial bond
We find out that Laurie is Michael’s sister. She was born after he murdered his older sister and got sent to the asylum. Then their parents died in an accident and she was adopted. Now Michael is determined to take out the last member of his family. Classic middle child behavior.
2. Dr. Loomis
Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is back and twice as dramatic. He runs around town crying out to anyone who will listen that the evil is still out there and must be stopped. It can all be a bit comical but at the same time I love him. Plus, if the authorities had listened to him in the first movie, none of this would have happened. He’s basically doing an extended “I told you so” dance.
1. Chase scene
For the majority of the movie, Laurie is laid up recovering from her injuries. Then Michael finds her and she snaps to. There’s an amazing chase through the halls, down the stairs, over a wall, in an elevator, and out into the parking lot. Michael is always just within reach of her. Even though I’ve seen it a dozen times and know the outcome the scene always makes me so anxious. That’s good filmmaking.