Myers Monday: The biggest problem with Halloween II (1981)


In the land of scary sequels, Rick Rosenthal’s Halloween II is a shinning achievement and stabs above the rest. But 1981 film has one blaring issue.

Welcome back to Myers Monday. We hope you enjoy your trip to Haddonfield.

Halloween becomes horror history

In 1978, Director John Carpenter and a band of young hopefuls set out to make a small, but highly effective, horror film about an escaped mental patient stalking helpless babysitters. Today, Halloween is known as not only one of the best horror movies around but among the best films period. Then came Halloween II

While Rick Rosenthal’s attempt to continue the story is one of the better scary sequels out there, there’s a huge reason it’s not as good as it should be. Grab your costume, let’s get into the biggest problem with the 1981 sequel.

Halloween II — Courtesy Universal Pictures

HE stays home

Halloween II see Michael Myers, the one and only true Boogeyman, attempting to finish what he started — he’s not done playing with his “little toys.” With Dr. Loomis hot on his trail and Laurie on the way to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital, the Shape must figure, well, the shape of things if you will. And here’s where the problems start.

Dr. Plot device

More from Halloween

In Carpenter’s original classic, Dr. Loomis is used in the appropriate way. Solely a plot device, the doctor is there to feed exposition to the audience and ramp up fear of the Boogeyman. He knows what’s coming, and if we believe him, things are about to be really bad for our three babysitters. Love him or not, how the Assault on Precinct 13 director uses the character is a big reason why Halloween is so effective. But in its sequel, everything changes…

With Laurie bedridden, Loomis basically becomes the protagonist. Now we have a character who was used sparingly and with purpose oversaturating the experience. It’s like when Fonzi took over Arnold’s and started jumping sharks on Happy Days. A little sugar is good on your cereal, but eating a whole bowl of it? That sounds like a Halloween prank.

 Bedridden Beauty

Loomis’ improper use in Halloween II really stems from the sequel’s inactive protagonist problem — the real issue with the picture. With Laurie either strapped to a bed or drugged into a deep sleep most of the movie, we’re left with what is essentially no protagonist. Stories need protagonists for viewers to attach themselves to, but this scary sequel relies too much on its predecessor — and stagnates the experience in the process. Then again, maybe Samhain is seeping into my brain and causing me to go mad. What do you think?

This has been another edition of Myers Monday. We’ll see you trick ‘r treaters next week in Illinois.

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Fan of the iconic Halloween II? Agree the movie suffers from an inactive protagonist? Let the other trick ‘r treaters know what you think in the comment section below.