Is Michael Myers a super-human monster, or is he just so razor-focused on his task that he is unable to register pain? That question gets murkier in this followup to John Carpenter’s original Halloween.
Picking up several moments before the end of the first film, Halloween 2 follows the large-scale (at least by small town police standards) manhunt for Myers, led by an increasingly panicky Dr. Loomis. I suppose, when considering the events of the previous film, Loomis’ panic is understandable, but its still whiny and annoying. The more interesting aspect of the character is how dismissively defensive he gets. Several people in the police curse him for letting Myers get out, and when confronted, Loomis immediately calms down and states, in an almost monotone way, ‘no, it’s not my fault. I tried to warn them,’ and so on. Even if it isn’t technically his fault (and it isn’t) you’d think that he’d feel some guilt that the man who has been under his charge for fifteen years had gone so horribly wrong.
Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), the oldest looking high school girl in America, is taken to the local hospital, incoherently babbling all the way. Again, considering what happens in Halloween 1, her current state is appropriate. The large, multi-building hospital has only six people in it; of which Laurie is the only patient. Luckily, she’s soon sedated so that the three nurses who have nothing to do but take care of her can get back to f-ing the paramedics, who also hang out at the hospital, doing nothing. Considering the fact that the police keep finding mangled corpses, you’d think they’d at least try to look busy. The hospital is also very dark; cause when you have a psycho-killer on the loose, the last think you want to do is turn a light on.
I could buy the premise that, even if shot multiple times, Myers could carry on (assuming they were flesh wounds and avoided vital organs). He is, after all, insane; and pain is largely a product of the mind. But in this film, there’s a scene where he casually walks through a glass and metal door. Not jumps, or shoves, or kicks; walks. And this is after Laurie spends several moments trying to force the door open herself, to no effect. Is he more dense than an average human? Does he have such mass that walking speed is able to generate enough force to break welded metal? I mean, I don’t care if he’s a monster or if he’s human; but just pick one.
The kills in this movie are a little more graphic than the first and have a similar sense of tension and build up. However, the change of setting from suburban homes to a hospital makes it less effective, at least to this suburban home dweller. It’s easier to make a connection when the horror is taking place in the same type of setting that you’re watching the movie in.
Halloween II is a respectable heir to the first. It has the expected diminished returns; but the original was so good that even a slightly lesser version of it has merit. The video looks very nice; it’s the not the digital clarity you’d get from a newer film; but its sharp and filmic, and retains detail even in dark scenes (i.e. the entire movie.