Halloween II (1981)

halloween ii 1981 movie poster
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Better than most of the sequels

Doesn't compare to the original

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Halloween II

Studio:  Dino De Laurentis Company

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  October 30, 1981

MPAA Rating:  R

halloween ii screaming laurie strode jamie lee curtis

I used to like Halloween…crap

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) night of terror isn’t over. With Michael Myer’s disappearance, Laurie is rushed to the hospital to recover for her terror. As Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) makes a discovery of why Michael targeted Laurie, Michael returns to finish the job he started. Now, Laurie is fighting for her life again…and Halloween night isn’t over.

Directed by Rick Rosenthal (with some scenes directed by John Carpenter), Halloween II is the direct sequel to 1978’s Halloween picking up immediately after the events of the first film. There was some controversy involved with the film when Richard Delmer Boyer killed two people in California and blamed Halloween II and drugs for the murder…he was found guilty.

halloween ii 1981 michael myers

Can’t a dude just hang with his sister?

Halloween II was one of my earliest “slasher” movies to see.  I think I actually saw Halloween II before I saw Halloween since it was a time of VHS and my friend rented Halloween II.  Despite a number of problems, Halloween II is still a fun sequel to a great movie though it is an ’80s cliche throughout the plot.

Halloween II really goes for more shock and brutal murders than the thrills and building terror of the first film. What were clever murders in the original film becomes dull and repetitive. I do find some great moments of fear, and the movie goes for the unstoppable killer more like Jason Voorhees of Friday the 13th Part 2 which came out earlier in the year (and was more of a Halloween rip-off than the first Friday the 13th). I feel Halloween II was probably written and made before Friday the 13th Part 2 was released, but it feels like rehash at this point.

Jamie Lee Curtis continues to be strong as Laurie. She is the shining light in a ho-hum film. Donald Pleasence is ok.  It is sad to see an actor who did a ton of great roles end his career in a multitude of bad horror films. Another actor in the film is Lance Guest whose career was kickstarted in the movie as Jimmy Lloyd (and also creates the famous moment where he slips in blood, knocking himself out). Dick Warlock plays Michael (aka the Shape), but unlike the Jason Voorhees character Michael seems to have less personality. It also features a small cameo by Dana Carvey in his first movie as an assistant.

halloween ii 1981 dr loomis laurie strode jamie lee curtis donald pleasence

Hey baby, just hang out with me…I’ll keep you safe

The movie is gorier and nastier than the first movie.  It does rely on a lot of jumps for scares, but the blood and gore is rather tame by today’s standards when compared to movies like Saw which go for gross-out horror.

Halloween II isn’t great, but it isn’t awful.  It is a fun film to revisit if you watched it as a kid. It does have a lot of jumps and is classic slasher ’80s. As part of the series, it is one of the better films. As a stand-alone, it doesn’t have anything special. Halloween II was followed by a completely unrelated Halloween III:  Season of the Witch (1982).  Rob Zombie who made a remake to Halloween also produced a 2009 sequel called Halloween II which had some similar ties.

Related Links:

Halloween (1978)

Halloween III:  Season of the Witch (1982)

Halloween 4:  The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Halloween 5:  The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

Halloween:  The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

Halloween H20:  20 Years Later (1998)

Halloween:  Resurrection (2002)

Halloween (2007)

Halloween II (2009)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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