“Halloween II” begins with the ending footage from the 1978 classic “Halloween.” Laurie Strode, portrayed by two time Golden Globe winner Jamie Lee Curtis (True Lies), has managed to survive a hellacious ordeal. Thanks to her own fighting spirit and the arrival of Dr. Sam Loomis, played by BAFTA winner Donald Pleasence (The Defection of Simas Kudirka), who arrives just In time to empty the bullets from his gun into Michael Myers (Dick Warlock). When Loomis, goes to inspect Myers’ body, to make sure he’s really dead, the killer has vanished.
Laurie is taken by ambulance to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital by two EMT’s: Jimmy (Lance Guest) and Budd (Leo Rossi). Jimmy likes Laurie and the feeling seems mutual, but she’s got bigger problems on her mind. For example, she is insistent to Dr. Mixter (Ford Rainey) and the nurses on staff, all of whom seem to know her from the neighborhood, that she doesn’t want to be put to sleep. Laurie has a sense that Michael is coming for her. Against her request, she is injected with a sedative.
While Laurie is being treated for her wounds, an unyielding Loomis is searching for Michael, first with the help of Sheriff Leigh Bracket (Charles Cyphers) and later on with Deputy Hunt (Hunter Von Leer). The police have been receiving calls about possible Michael Myers sightings and are spreading themselves thin investigating every one of them.
As Laurie sleeps, she dreams about herself as a little girl. She remembers talking to her mother, who tells her that she was adopted. She also dreams about visiting a boy inside of an asylum. She beings to make the connection that she and Michael are siblings. In the alternative television version the aforementioned scene is extended. Furthermore, additional scenes were added, because with the scenes that had to be edited out for television, the movie was originally too short.
Laurie has every right to be worried, as it doesn’t take Michael long to track down her location. Once he arrives at the hospital, he lets no one stand his way as he searches for her. How will Laurie find a way to once more survive against the seemingly unstoppable killer?
Trivia buffs take note: “Halloween II” is the only film in the franchise that takes place after October 31st. The other films in the series always end on Halloween night. Jamie Lee Curtis has played the character of Laurie Strode in five different decades. A novel of “Halloween II,” written by Dennis Etchison under the pseudonym Jack Martin, was published on November 1, 1981 by Zebra. This is the first film in the series in which Laurie speaks to Michael. Sadly, for fans of the franchise, this was the last Halloween film that Curtis and Pleasence appeared in together.
“Halloween II” premiered on October 30, 1981. The film was directed by two time Emmy nominee Rick Rosenthal (Transparent), and written for the screen by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, who were instrumental in the success of the first film in the series. Carpenter had no interest in directing the sequel. He felt the original “Halloween” was a stand-alone film; the money he was offered, however, was too good to pass up. In addition to writing the screenplay with Hill, Carpenter performed the music for the soundtrack along with Alan Howarth (Planet Terror). He also helped to edit and direct reshoots of the film which has a runtime of 92 minutes. Oscar nominee Dean Cundey’s (Apollo 13) cinematography does a nice job capturing the tension and scares on screen, as well as the peril Laurie Strode finds herself in while trying to survive the unrelenting predatory force of Michael Myers, whose single purpose is to kill her.
The involvement of the original filmmakers, helped to elevate what could’ve been a mediocre film. The same could be said for the performances by Curtis and Pleasence, who were spot on. The suspense was well handled, bolstered by the soundtrack which helped to add to the tension that was transpiring on screen. The sequel, while not on the same level as the original, was still a solid entry into the franchise.