10/30/13 – OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE RECOMMENDATION #30 – Halloween II

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I had to get one more Jamie Lee Curtis flick in here before this year goes bye-bye. And this time I’m going sequel. I know this film can be divisive. Hell, let’s be honest, aren’t ALL sequels?? But in my humble opinion, Halloween II is actually a great follow-up to the original Halloween. For one, it does my absolute favorite sequel device. It picks up at the exact moment the first one ended. It even replays the original’s final scenes in order to keep that carryover feeling intact. In fact, the entire film takes place on the same Halloween night as the original. So really, if you watch both back-to-back you can just imagine Halloween I and II as one lengthy movie. This same trick has been done with other films as well, including [REC] and [REC]2, another favorite series of mine. But when these types of sequels work best is if they not only continue the same vibe of the original film, but also introduce new information that makes you look at the original in a little bit of a different light. Now, look, I get it… Some people don’t like that. They like the original pure and untarnished. But here’s the deal, if you aren’t on board with a sequel, fine. No biggie. Just don’t watch it, and you’ve still got your memories of the original in pristine condition. But for me, I’m always excited to see how the filmmakers expand upon their original ideas, especially when it’s a film I love and revere. With Halloween II, they up the body count, up the violence, change the locale from a neighborhood to a hospital (for the majority of it at least), and most importantly, they broaden the scope of the Michael Myers mythos, including an explanation of the mysterious relationship between he and Laurie. It’s not the first film, I know that. It’s even got a different director (even though John Carpenter did co-write it.) But it does retain a lot of the same style and suspense. It still has some wonderful Michael Myers-seen-in-the-background moments. It still has his tilting and inquiring head. And most importantly for me, it still has the amazing Jamie Lee Curtis picking up exactly where she left off from the original, as the ultimate survivor. Laurie Strode rules. And so does this movie, sequel or not.

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