Monday, January 5, 2015

Halloween II (1981)

Is this some sort of joke? I've been trick-or-treated to death.

You don't know what death is.

Today's film is Halloween II.  This is ironic, because I watched this a few days ago.  While at work, I was rushed to the hospital (I have a crappy heart).  The movie takes place in a hospital and I'm in a hospital. Wow.

So, I've seen the first Halloween several times as a child thanks to my mom, but never the second one.  My mom explained that Michael Myers was chasing Laurie because she's his sister, but I never understood how she knew that.  Watching the first one again, it is apparent this is never mentioned.

The film starts off immediately after the first film, where Laurie has knocked out Michael and tells the children to run for help.  Dr. Loomis comes and shoots him 6 times, which doesn't stop him.  Why is Michael Myers unkillable?  Laurie is taken to the hospital to tend to her injuries.

Michael goes to the hospital to hunt down Laurie, first killing all the nurses he sees.  The movie is particularly scary because we perceive hospitals as safe places.  Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis and the police are scouring the town for him.  They think they might have killed him when an officer runs over a masked teenager.  The officer shouldn't have been driving so fast on a residential street in the first place.  They learn that the masked man couldn't have been Michael.  The officer who hits the teen is played by the same actor who plays Michael Myers.

This film ramps up the blood and gore scenes, because the former director inserted gory scenes without the new director, Rick Rosenthal's, permission.  The former director, John Carpenter, wanted it to be more like the other money-making slashers that were so popular at the time.  So this makes the film less suspenseful, and more predictable.  People will do stupid things, and Michael will kill them.  Also, the sheriff doesn't get wind of the murders until he is told by someone else, despite having a radio in his car, and the story already being on the news.

Almost everyone gets killed in the hospital, except Laurie who runs quite well despite a broken ankle.  Also, the paramedic who has a crush on her survives despite being knocked out a few times.  The cops never even consider looking for her or protecting her until the last minute, where they miraculously arrive just in time to save her.

How do we know Laurie is Michael's sister?  A nurse appears out of nowhere, and tells Dr. Loomis about a hidden file that states Laurie is Michael's sister, and she was adopted by another family.  Out of nowhere.  She was supposedly sent by the governor to fetch Dr. Loomis.  Why didn't the governor send a freaking SWAT team to destroy Michael is beyond me.  Also, why was Dr. Loomis, the man who took care of Michael for 15 years, not allowed access to his files?  So many questions.  Also, Michael has a lot more screen time in this film, which actually makes his less scary.  His lack of screen time works in the previous film because of what I like to call the "Jaws Effect".  In Jaws, there is evidence of the shark (the fin, the music, the bodies), but the shark doesn't show in its full glory wreaking shit until the end.  Same way with Michael Myers.  In this film, he leaves the Doyle house and goes merrily on his way to the hospital, killing people who stand in his way.  There's too much of to be a shadowy scary figure.  I'm giving this film a 5/10.

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