Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Halloween 2

I hadn’t seen Halloween 2 in about a decade, and had always had a vague intention to buy it, so when the opportunity came to get a double pack of not just this, but Halloween 3, I just didn’t see any way I could refuse. For those that haven’t seen it, it takes place later on in the same evening as the first movie (indeed, it opens with the climax of the previous film), with Michael Myers continuing on his quest to murder Jamie Lee Curtis.

It’s a rather curious thing, overall, trying to figure out his thought process for who should and should not be killed in this film. While in the first film he pretty much tried to kill everyone he encountered, here he makes the conscious decision not to kill on two separate occasions, for no discernible reason. We do indeed get a rather sketchy reason for why he’s so hell bent on Curtis above everyone else near the end of the film, and yes, it does indeed contradict the original film, though since they made massive contradictions in logic a bit of a running gag throughout the entire series I guess I can forgive this.

How does the film hold up overall, though? Well, it holds up like you’d expect a sequel to a hit horror film to hold up. The filmmakers knew going in that it wasn’t going to be as good, so they compensated by ratcheting up the blood and nudity (the former more than the latter). There are some deaths in this film that are more impressive than any in the previous film (particularly a scene in an overheated hot tub), and that definitely helps you get through this, but overall it simply doesn’t have any of the tension that made the first a classic. Part of the problem has to be John Carpenter’s score, which is a tad more elaborate than the music to the first film, but is also a good deal less creepy.

One thing I did enjoy quite a bit was the big climax and ending, which I’m going to spoil here, so be warned. While most of the movie is only watchable, once it comes time for the big end fight at the hospital it does get really good (starting with a nice shot of Michael casually walking through a plate glass door). After being terrorized for two movies, Curtis finally gets to take him down, by shooting him in the eyes and blinding him, then running out so Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) can essentially blow up the entire wing and burn him to death. While he obviously survived to infest a number of sub-par sequels (though given that he wasn’t in Halloween 3, I have to assume they had intended for him to stay dead here), it would absolutely have made those sequels a whole lot better if they had built on this ending. Just imagine if Halloween 4, rather than being about whatever the hell happened in it, had just followed around a blind immortal killer that couldn't see its victims, but also couldn’t be killed or even arrested, since cops wouldn’t be able to get close enough to him to slap handcuffs on him. A whole movie of people just awkwardly moving around the blind guy with the knife? Brilliant, I say.

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