One of the biggest complaints people seem to have with Halloween 2 is the way it Retcons some scenes and plot points in the original. The biggest and most controversial change is the revelation that Laurie is actually Michael’s sister and the reason for his return to Haddonfield being to finally murder her as well. This not only changed the series from here on out (in all but one of the sequels Michael is after a family member) but also retconned events in the original (the TV version of the first film made in conjunction with H2 acknowledges this change). Now personally this failed to bother me, had no new information been given as to why Michael would continue to hunt down Laurie then we would have to introduce a new main character- which would make the film a rehash of the original. Alternatively he could go after Laurie with no new motive given, which would still make H2 repetitive! This way we know that he’s going to go after Laurie because he wants to kill his other sister, but it’s never said why he wants to kill, and explanations are still not given for the other murders occurring. Thus H2 succeeds because there is a nice twist that is refreshing to the audience and yet there is still a heap of mystery surrounding Michael.
Another change that is sometimes questioned, are the edits to the final scene of Halloween and the fact that H2 continues straight after. Some have argued that it takes away the impact of the final haunting moments of its predecessor, personally I disagree. Unless you were tied to a chair and had your eyes glued open, chances are you chose to watch Halloween 2. Halloween can stand on its own like the first in many series and it’s up to the viewer as to whether they want to view the sequel or not. I like the continuation, it means the film already has a build up and so the stakes are already quite high. As for the changes to the final scene (a new balcony shot and the removal of Michaels face when his mask is taken off), as I said it’s a sequel not the original. These changes have been made to help the impact of H2, not to affect H1.
Probably the best thing about this movie is Donald Pleasance. In every single one of the Halloween movies he brings a certain sense of style to the proceedings and H2 is his best performance of the lot. There’s a great scene where Loomis has just been blamed for letting Michael out by Sherriff Leigh Bracket (Charles Cyphers returning from the first film) who has just discovered his daughter is dead. Loomis begins quietly muttering that he didn’t let him out, the other cops are rude to him and obviously blame him. Loomis begins to speak of Michael gradually shaking off his guilty, nervous tone of voice and soon is surrounded by a crowd of reporters. By the end he’s shouting about Michaels evil, only to quickly drop his voice to a quiet tone before making a demand of a cop. It’s a great scene and defiantly the highlight of one of Pleasances best performances of his career.
Curtis’s performance is much the same as her first and equally impressive but the other characters are nothing too special, although the use of Hospital staff and indeed the Hospital setting is inventive and a welcome change to that of the first movie. The deaths given out to these characters are also inventive and it’s nice to see something a little different to the more routine deaths of Halloween. I especially like the Hot Tub scene, although my favourite part has to be the end. Part of me wishes this had been the final film in the Halloween franchise concerning Michael as this is the perfect way for his character to go. I really cannot recommend Halloween 2 enough. Admittedly it’s probably not for everyone, if you view the original as sacred and hate to see any continuation of its plot then I suggest leaving H2 alone. If however you enjoyed the first movie and are open to the idea of more, give Halloween 2 a look. If you're anything like me, you won't be dissapointed.