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Film / Halloween II (1981)

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Nightmare Face aside, whoever did this cool jack-o-lantern deserves an award.

"He was my patient for fifteen years. He became an obsession with me, until I realized there was nothing within him, neither conscience nor reason, that was even remotely human. An hour ago I stood up and fired six shots into him and then he just got up and walked away. I am talking about the real possibility that he is still out there!"
Dr. Loomis

Halloween II is the first sequel in the Halloween series, written and produced by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, directed by Rick Rosenthal, and released in 1981. It picks up directly after the events of the first film.

After having shot escaped killer Michael Myers six times, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) believes he has saved high school student Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), who has survived the violent rampage of the psychopath that tried to kill her. Loomis heads out of the house to find nothing on the ground but an empty spot, leading him to believe that Michael lived through the gunshots. While paramedics take Laurie to the local hospital to recover, Haddonfield police and Dr. Loomis search for Michael, unaware that he has learned of Laurie's location — and that he has a hidden reason for wanting to kill Laurie...


While it didn't enjoy the first film's critical success, Halloween II was still very well-received by fans and was a box office success. Carpenter intended for this film to mark the end of the Michael Myers story, and the next film in the franchise did something completely different altogether. Two of the Halloween sequels pick up after the events of this film: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers serves as a direct sequel to the events of this film with a new protagonist, while Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later ignores Halloween 4 (and its two sequels) to continue the story of Laurie Strode.

Not to be confused with Halloween II (2009), the sequel to Rob Zombie's 2007 Halloween remake.


Halloween II contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Accidental Aiming Skills: During the climax, panicking Laurie manages to shoot Michael's eyes out.
  • Accidental Murder: A speeding cop isn't able to brake in time and winds hitting the drunken teen, slamming him against a parked vehicle. The victim in question is Ben Tramer, Laurie's "date" from the first movie.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Did Jimmy lose consciousness, or did he die from some unseen injury he sustained off-screen? The alternate ending shows it to be the latter, although why he lost consciousness in the first place is unclear. note 
  • Artistic License – Linguistics: Samhain is pronounced incorrectly in the film (It's properly pronounced sow-an).
  • Asshole Victim: Budd, the local Jerkass of the Hospital Staff.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: John Carpenter made Halloween II with this concept in mind, and it shows. It even has a character slip in a pool of his co-worker's blood!
  • Cain and Abel: Michael wants to kill his second sister, Laurie.
  • Call-Forward/Meaningful Background Event: In the sole connection between the main continuity and that of Halloween III, during one scene a Silver Shamrock commercial can be seen airing on a TV in the background. (But in Halloween III, the first movie appears on TV as a movie, i.e., as fiction.)
  • The Cameo:
    • Anne Marie Martin, who played Wendy in Prom Night (1980), has an uncredited cameo as Karen's friend Darcy. She came on to help out when reshoots were being done.
    • Dick Warlock's (The Shape) son Billy appears as one of Ben Tramer's friends. His other son Lance plays a boombox-toting cowboy that Michael bumps into on the street.
  • Cat Scare: A bumbling security guard stumbles around outside the hospital checking for a disturbance. He gets startled by a spring-loaded cat, sighs and relaxes. Three guesses who he encounters next...
    • Michael actually encounters this at the beginning, when a dog suddenly appears to bark at him during his flight from Loomis.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Doubles as Fridge Horror. The revelation that Michael is Laurie's older brother suggests that in the opening of the first film, when he is walking towards his parents with a bloody knife while they were coming out of the car, he might well have been on his way to murder her as a child while she was sitting in the back seat.
  • Chair Reveal: Dr. Mixter's chair is turned around to reveal him already dead with a needle jammed in his eye.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The lighter the police deputy gives Dr. Loomis when the two are sharing a smoke ends up being the very thing that kills Michael.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The first film mentions Ben Tramer, a boy that Laurie is supposed to go on a date with; he never shows up on-screen, though. In this movie, Tramer dies as the result of a car accident and subsequent explosion. His Halloween mask bears a resemblance to Michael's, which briefly makes the police and Loomis believe Michael died in the accident.
    • Marion Chambers, who just seemed to be someone who accompanies Loomis at the beginning of the first film. She comes along here and drops a huge revelation.
  • Continuity Nod: See Chekhov's Gunman.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • A character so happens to wear the same outfit and mask that Michael has, only with blonde hair instead. It ends up misleading the police and Loomis.
    • Michael just happens to bump into someone carrying a stereo playing the news, with the broadcast handily revealing that the one survivor of Michael's rampage was taken to Haddonfield Memorial.
  • Cut Phone Lines: Michael does this at Haddonfield Memorial Hospital where he finds Laurie there.
  • Diagonal Billing: For Pleasence and Curtis.
  • Dull Surprise: Laurie has a very muted reaction to seeing Michael murder a nurse. The camera effects imply that she's in a state of shock, which she snaps out of when Michael drops the nurse and starts advancing on her.
  • Drop the Hammer: Michael uses a claw hammer to off the hospital's security guard.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Dr. Loomis pulling a Taking You with Me on Michael in the hospital was intended to be this, but it turned out he survived for a couple more sequels.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Dr. Mixter is shown with a syringe stuck right in the middle of his eye in a loving close-up.
    • Michael himself gets shot in both eyes by Laurie.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Michael is seen within vision several times, but nobody ever sees him.
  • Final Girl: Laurie, again.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Michael breaks into a school and drives a kitchen knife into a child's drawing of their family, specifically the young girl depicted. Loomis remarks "sister", at the sight, clearly drawing a parallel between Michael's vandalism and his killing of his sister fifteen years prior. After The Reveal, it becomes clear that Michael was expressing hatred for his younger sister as well.
    • In the hospital, Laurie dreams about her mother telling her that she's adopted, and of visiting a boy in a (different) hospital. One Wham Line later, it becomes clear that the boy is a young Michael.
  • For the Evulz: After escaping from Loomis, Michael steals a kitchen knife from a nearby house, murders a random young woman, then breaks into a school where he leaves the knife driven through a child's drawing of a family (specifically, the young girl) and scrawled "Samhain" on the chalkboard in blood. Exactly why he did any of this is left unrevealed.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: When Michael kills a nurse by repeatedly dunking her head into scalding water, the results are shown up close.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Nobody ever sees Michael wondering the hospital at all, despite the fact that he blatantly walks past the security cameras several times.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Dr. Loomis blows up the room he and Michael are in to stop him. Both possible timelines presented by the sequels to this movie show that both Loomis and Michael survived.
  • Hospital Hottie: All of the nurses.
  • Identification by Dental Records: Ben Tramer's body is so badly burned that they check his teeth, but they can't immediately tell whether or not it was Michael.
  • Immediate Sequel: The film starts off with Michael getting shot and falling off the balcony and continues on from there.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Michael stabs many people with his stolen kitchen knife and an operating scalpel.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: The young boy with the razorblade stuck in his teeth and his mother leave the hospital just before Michael's invasion.
  • In the Back: Nurse Jill is killed when Michael stabs her in the back with a scalpel.
  • Killed Offscreen:
    • The head nurse is found already dead by one of the employees. The audience never saw Michael off her.
    • Same with Dr. Mixter, complete with a needle to the eye.
  • Kill It with Fire: Dr. Loomis blows up the hospital with him and Michael trapped inside.
  • Made of Iron: Despite the serious injuries she suffered from the previous film, Laurie is still running from Michael and makes it out alive again.
    • The same could obviously be said for Michael himself.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Karen is completely unaware of Michael strangling her boyfriend while she lounges in the tub.
  • Menacing Stroll: As always. Michael simply walks around the hospital.
  • Murderer P.O.V.: Like the first film, the audience can see Michael's point of view.
  • My Car Hates Me: Justified due to Michael tampering with cars outside the hospital.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Rather than just drown Nurse Karen, Michael shoves her face into scalding water until she dies.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Loomis nearly has a heart attack when he realises that Michael is still after Laurie, now helpless and unguarded at the hospital.
    • Once the shock wears off, Laurie understandably freaks out at the sight of Michael and rushes away as fast as her injured ankle will allow.
  • Out of the Inferno: The climax concludes with Michael walking out of flames, and collapsing on the floor dead.
  • Police Are Useless: None of the police officers escort Laurie to the hospital or even stay to protect her or ask questions after she was attacked by Myers in the first flick. One uncaring marshal forces Loomis back to Smith's Grove to avoid embarrassing the state bureaucrats whose neglect made Myers' deadly escape and spree more likely than if earlier precautions were taken when Loomis asked for them 14-15 years earlier, leaving Haddonfield undefended (the marshal gets his deadly "dessert" towards the end when examining a seemingly unconscious Michael in the hospital).
  • Precision F-Strike: Bub: "Sorry, guess I just fuck up all the time"
  • The Public Domain Channel: Every TV is always playing Night of the Living Dead on repeat.
  • Quip to Black: Loomis takes us into the opening credits with one.
    Neighbor: Is this some kind of joke? I've been trick-or-treated to death tonight.
    Loomis: You don't know what death is!
  • Razor Apples: We see a kid admitted to the hospital with a razor blade stuck in his mouth, presumably from one of these.
  • Rearrange the Song: The theme tune is featured in a different, more synth-heavy arrangement here.
  • Recut: The film had a few new things for the TV Cut:
    • Violence is trimmed down and any cursing is dubbed over.
    • A different shot of Loomis coming out of the house at the beginning. The neighbour who says "I've been trick or treated to death tonight" is dubbed over asking if this is a Halloween prank.
    • The scene where Michael Myers steals a knife from Mrs. Elrod happens later, and is edited to suggest he kills the old woman instead of Alice the girl down the street.
      • In the international TV version, this cut doesn't happen, the only cut being the splatter of blood on Alice.
    • Ben Tramer getting killed is given a Distant Reaction Shot of Loomis and Brackett.
    • Additional minor scenes with the hospital staff discussing Laurie.
    • Mrs. Alves tries to call Laurie's parents, scolding Janet for not already doing so. She also allows Jimmy two minutes to see Laurie. This is why she says "time's up Jimmy" in the original cut.
    • Jimmy brings Laurie the Coke he promised her, and he tells her it was Michael Myers who was after her. He goes to see her later to tell her about Michael's apparent death, but she freaks out and has to be sedated. Then the power goes out and the emergency generator kicks in, explaining why the hospital is so dim for the rest of the film.
    • Extra scenes after Laurie has had a reaction to the medication. Jill and Jimmy wait for Dr. Mixter to respond to their call, and Jimmy runs around trying to look for Mrs. Alves.
    • Jill's death is softened, as there is no shot of the scalpel in Michael's hand. This makes it look like he just grabbed her from behind and dropped her. A groaning sound effect is inserted afterwards to suggest that she survives.
    • Jimmy is changed to still be running around the hospital looking for everyone while the final conflict is still going on. He doesn't discover Mrs. Alves's body until near the end, and it's edited so that him slipping looks like it's caused by the explosion. The scene where he faints in the car with Laurie is cut.
    • An additional ending where Laurie is in the ambulance, thinks Michael's body is coming back to life, but it turns out to be Jimmy. She embraces him and says "we made it".
  • The Reveal: Michael is Laurie's brother.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: The credits identify the US Marshal as a "Marshall." A Marshall with two Ls is someone's name, not a type of police officer (unless his name is Marshal Marshall).
  • Series Continuity Error: At the end of the first film, Loomis shoots Michael six times, and Michael falls off a covered balcony at the back of the house. At the start of this film, Loomis shoots Michael seven times — despite having a six-chamber revolver — and Michael falls off an uncovered balcony at the front of the house. The continuity error gets worse when Loomis goes around shouting "I shot him six times!" in the first few minutes of the film.
    • Loomis' expression at the end of the first movie (after seeing that Michael has disappeared) is one of resignation. In this film, it's one of shock.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Characters are watching Night of the Living Dead on TV in a couple of scenes.
    • After the nurse discovers Dr. Mixter's body, Michael emerges from the shadows precisely as he did at one point in the first film. (or perhaps, just like in the first film, the viewer's eyes adjust to the darkness in time to see him, meaning he was there the whole time).
    • In the same scene, the way Janet discovers Dr. Mixter's corpse is identical to the way Mrs. Bates's corpse is found in Psycho, and is immediately attacked by the killer thereafter, though the one in Psycho actually survives. This isn't surprising, given that Jamie Lee Curtis is the daughter of Psycho star Janet Leigh, and Halloween borrows many elements and themes from Hitchcock's classic.
  • Slashed Throat: The Marshal accompanying Loomis dies this way when he assumes Michael is dead.
  • Soft Glass: Michael simply walks through a glass door with ease and no apparent cuts, though this being Michael, it may be less a case of soft glass and more unstoppable killer; either way, Michael noticeably stumbles for a moment after breaking the glass.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream...
  • Stalker Without a Crush: Michael has been following Laurie because they're siblings.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Dr. Loomis and Michael Meyers, (Ret Coned later in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers).
  • Taking You with Me: Inverted. In an attempt to kill Michael, Dr. Loomis lures him into the oxygen room, turns on the tanks, then lights his cigarette lighter while still inside the room with Michael.
  • Tears of Blood: Signifies that Laurie managed to shoot Michael's eyes.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Nurse Jill has been instructed by Jimmy to go to the police for help if she can't find any of the others, when this proves the case she attempts to do so but finds her car's tires have been slashed and the engine not working, undoubtedly sabotaged. She notes that all the tires on all the cars in the parking lot have been slashed. So what does she do instead of fleeing the hospital on foot to fetch the police? She goes right back into the hospital where Michael is, to rather predictable results.
  • Two-Person Pool Party: Nurse Karen and Budd get busy in the hospital's hydrotherapy pool before Michael strangles Budd with a length of cord and drowns Nurse Karen after dunking her face into scalding water, causing her face to blister and boil.
  • Vader Breath: Michael still breathes very audibly like in the first film, although it's not as loud or constantly evident as in the preceding film.
  • Wham Line: From Nurse Chambers, revealing Michael's motives and giving Loomis a major Oh, Crap! moment.
    Chambers: That Strode girl, that's Michael Myers' sister.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Sheriff Brackett is last seen leaving the scene of his daughter's slaying in order to tell his wife what happened. After that he simply disappears from the film (and the franchise), despite his actor being billed third in the credits.
    • Jimmy is last seen losing consciousness (or dying of blood loss or concussion, depending on your interpretation) in his car and falling face-first onto the steering wheel. The alternate ending has him alive and well with Laurie in the ambulance.


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