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After the original HALLOWEEN became one of the most successful low-budget films of all time, it became clear that the world was not done with masked killer Michael Myers. HALLOWEEN II picks up where the first film left off, but like “The Shapes” mask it pales in comparison and is a times a soulless husk. 

Michael Myers has disappeared at the end of the first film and he is not done with his murder spree quite yet. There’s still a few hours left of Halloween and he’s planning to make the most of it. Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance) is still on the hunt and determined to find Michael before he kills again. 

Meanwhile, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has been rushed to Haddonfield Hospital to treat her wounds. While convalescing, she meets ambulance driver Jimmy (Lance Guest) who is among one of the only people working the late shift at the hospital. 

The Shape discovers that Laurie is at the hospital and heads there to dispatch her and anyone who gets in his way. We soon realize why Michael wants her dead, but I won’t spoil that for you. 

Director John Carpenter handed over the reigns to Rick Rosenthal and it’s clear that he doesn’t have the same deft hand as the series progenitor. The film lacks the cleanness of the first film and suffers for its clunky storytelling. Other than Laurie and Loomis, the other characters are just lambs to the slaughter with no real development or characterization and seem more like the characters you’d expect to find in a FRIDAY THE 13TH movie. 

Also the tension is watered down quite a bit with graphic violence substituting good old-fashioned suspense. HALLOWEEN II is not all bad and there is an attempt to class it up a bit, but it ultimately falls short and is one of the lesser films of the series.

SEPTEMBER 21, 2014