John Carpenter and Debra Hill
Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode
Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis
Charles Cyphers as Sheriff Leigh Brackett
Jeffrey Kramer as Graham
Lance Guest as Jimmy Lloyd
Halloween II was released 3 years after the first installment of the franchise. John Carpenter, who co-wrote and directed the first, turned down the request to direct the sequel. Ultimately he couldn’t keep his hands out of it however, and produced Halloween II and wrote the screenplay (with co-writer Debra Hill).
The follow up begins by showing the last dramatic moments from the first Halloween. Laurie is saved by Dr. Loomis, who shoots Michael 6 times before watching him fall with a thud to the ground below through a second story window. But this is Michael Myers, and he won’t die that easily. When Loomis peers down from the window a second time Michael is gone.
Laurie is taken to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital to recover from her injuries and trauma, and Loomis continues his search for the escaped mental patient. Michael, it seems, is fixated on Laurie Strode, and discovers where she has been taken by watching a news broadcast in a shop window, and heads to the hospital to finish the job that he started. At this point nobody realizes that Laurie is more to Michael than a random victim, and so there are no security precautions taken to ensure that Laurie remains safe.
Most of the action takes place within the walls of the hospital. Michael cuts the phone lines, kills the night watchman, and generally terrorizes the skeleton crew of the hospital. Meanwhile Laurie has an allergic reaction to a medication that leaves her fuzzy and unable to protect herself should the need arise.
Halloween II does a great job of cementing the Michael Myers horror movie monster and furthering the story of Laurie Strode and her difficult past. That said, I recommend steering clear of number 3. You see, way back in the late 70s and early 80s moviemakers believed that if a horror monster were to die in a movie that meant that they couldn’t bring him back in later installments. Pretty silly, huh? Number 3 moves away from Michael Myers and Laurie Strode completely to some kind of television show that makes the children want to kill their parents. It’s really stupid. Once Michael was back in number 4 the franchise again was presentable.
Halloween and Halloween II simply must be watched together. Just consider it a late-night double feature. The first will introduce you to the characters and scare the pants off of you, and the second will reveal little tidbits of information that help everything make more sense – and scare the pants off you.
What’s the moral of the story?
Bring extra pants.