Halloween II – The Nightmare Continues (1981) – John Carpenter classic, with Jamie Lee Curtis, turns 41!

Halloween Ends is currently showing in Brazilian cinemas and around the world. The latest installment in the franchise of white-masked maniac Michael Myers marks the end of the new trilogy that, Jamie Lee Curtis (the series’ muse) as protagonist Laurie Strode, and has grossed over $85 million worldwide on a budget of $20 million.

However, as many fans may know, Halloween Kills It’s not the franchise’s first direct sequel, or even the first direct sequel to mark the veteran’s return. Jamie Lee Curtis. As we go back four decades to 1981, we are faced with Halloween II – The Nightmare Continuesthe “first” continuation that this series of films received, following the timeless classic and true masterpiece of the seventh art, Halloween – The Night of Terror (1978). The film, as well as the original, are part of the current Netflix collection and are the right requests for this Halloween.

The skull sprouting from the pumpkin marks the opening of Halloween II.

It is interesting to notice that even the most skeptical critics and against what we define today as the slasher subgenre, guarded the master’s feature film with affection and multiple praise. John Carpenter. An example of this is the famous American critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel, “fathers” of the video critic format (still in the 1970s), the duo rejected any horror production considered in bad taste; with halloween (1978) the exact opposite happened, with both praising its numerous artistic qualities, such as contrast of light and shadows, a growing atmosphere of suspense, where our imagination was challenged to fill in the gap of what we saw on screen, with no easy answers.

The story of lightning not falling in the same place twice is almost certain when it comes to works and artists, after all, one work will never come out exactly the same as the other. And when created halloween (1978) alongside the partnership Debra Hill, filmmaker John Carpenter managed to capture lightning in the bottle; a simple story film, but so handcrafted that it became irresistible not only for horror aficionados. Alongside the very laudatory reviews, there was also the award for becoming the most profitable independent production at that time, a title it kept for twelve years. But every achievement and good deed has a consequence.

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halloween (1978) was so successful that it spawned a slew of imitators, with every “opportunistic” producer in Hollywood wanting a share of that profit. One of the first to enter this vein was Sean S. Cunninghan who, in debt and needing to support his family, released his more marketer side and sold the idea to Friday 13 (1980) for Paramount – which was nothing more than a production created along the lines of halloween, aimed solely at financial profit. It worked very well and raised even more at the box office. With now two colossal hits, the “gold rush” of slasher films began, with every Hollywood studio moving to take similar films out of the hat – thus starting a veritable flood in theaters. Not to mention the sequels of the films that had worked very well.

The following year, in 1981, Friday: Part 2 was scheduled for the premiere. So the Syrian producer Mustapha Akkad he didn’t want to stay out of this game, after all it was his product that started it all. Even though it was not an “artistic” attitude, in a financial aspect it was the right decision to make. So the producer went directly to talk to “the man” for the Halloween sequel to take shape. John Carpenter, on the other hand, had already told this story and for him, the feature had a beginning, middle and end, without any desire on his part to return to such a universe. A little while later, on the advice of friends and trusted people, Carpenter was convinced to stay close to the franchise and make good money from it. Thus, the filmmaker accepted the roles of screenwriter and producer, but left the direction aside (launched in theaters in the same year, the action science fiction New York escape – instant cult).

Again with Debra Hill, Carpenter needed to take a second part of the hat, even if he didn’t want to. Thinking of the hefty check he would receive, the director sat down at his typewriter and stocked up on a respectable amount of his favorite brand of beer, gave free rein to his imagination. From this drunken “journey” was born the plot of halloween II (1981), told in the same night, in a more than direct way and serving as a “complement” to the original – as if they were a single long film of 3 hours in length. As we see in the first halloween, Michael Myers is shot by Dr. Loomis when trying to kill Laurie Strode, but a second glance is enough to notice that the psychopath has risen from the lawn and can no longer be seen. The brilliant question of the original is: where will it be? With the last takes being everywhere he went in the film, inside and outside the homes in the fictional Haddonfield suburb of Chicago, the feeling was that he could be anywhere, even close to us, who watched everything. . Genius touch. Reversing that great move, the second movie really responded and showed us where Michael was.

Well, and he continued his killing spree around the neighborhood. Entering and exiting the homes of elderly and young residents of the neighborhood, on the way killing anyone and everyone in their path. One of the main attractions of the first halloween it’s really the suspense, the feeling of the unexpected, the unpredictability of having a madman escaped from a psychiatric hospital lurking around and lurking in the neighborhood – with most oblivious to him. The fact that he broke into a store and stole a mask, which he wears on his face on Halloween, further demonstrates that he is not “pure” and can be dangerous. carpenter builds the suspense with Michael being very much a stalker, someone who stalks; it’s only towards the end that he actually starts killing the young people and attacking the protagonist. In halloween II, we already start the film knowing what he’s capable of, and that takes away the element of surprise. That’s what Carpenter bet on.

Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie (with the wig), but has little to do in the sequel.

At first, the director’s idea Rick Rosenthal – scheduled to replace Carpenter in the command chair – was to follow exactly what the original film had presented, that is, to bet much more on the intimate atmosphere, on the meticulous construction of suspense and on the unpredictability of where the story could go. Contrary to what he had done in the previous one, Carpenter believed that the surprises had already been declared and that now it was only up to action, taking everything to another narrative level. Besides, of course, knowing that the public appreciated more and more animated films and that they faced competition from other productions created in this way. Thus, production problems began, with the collision of producer/screenwriter and director. Ironically, by leaving the director’s chair vacant, the intention to carpenter was to give opportunity to new directors and their visions for history. And that was the debut of Rick Rosenthal in charge.

With more kills and scares (many of which Carpenter rewrote to give the sequel more energy), halloween II It also had more action scenes and even an explosion – as in the scene in which an unfortunate person wearing a mask like Michael Myers is mistaken for the psychopath, hit by the police and crushed between a van, whereupon the car explodes and incinerate the boy. The young man in question was Ben Trammer, the platonic crush of the protagonist Laurie mentioned by her in the original film. His appearance and subsequent death in the second serves to, in addition to raising suspicion about Michael’s fate (adding a little of that unpredictability that was lacking), create an even stronger link with the predecessor (by presenting characters only mentioned previously on screen) and emphasize Laurie’s spiraling descent into her personal hell, taking even a possible love out of her.

The action of Halloween II this time takes place inside a hospital during the night shift.

Halloween II – The Nightmare Continues (1981) is well remembered by fans as the “hospital movie” of the franchise. Initially planned to take place in a large apartment building, it was ultimately decided that most of the plot would take place inside the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital (as fictional as the town itself – most of its scenes having been filmed in the very real Morningside Hospital. , in Los Angeles), where Laurie was taken to treat her injuries sustained in the aftermath of the first halloween. For the sequel, of course, most of the original actors returned, some like Nancy Loomis, who played best friend Annie, only to play dead, being carried away on a stretcher. The most anticipated returns, however, were those of Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence – the tireless Dr. Loomis.

Crocodile tears… and blood! Why do you cry Michael Myers?

the introduction of halloween II, which still uses new angles and scenes to reproduce the events of the original, recapping for the audience (after all, three years had passed between the features), takes place in the vicinity of the residential blocks of the quiet city’s suburbs. Much of the narrative, as mentioned, focuses on the hospital, where Michael follows Laurie and encounters a whole new batch of victims – mostly on-site employees, including doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and security guards. What many observe and criticize is the fact that, despite being the night shift, the hospital is too empty – except for the arrival of Laurie and a boy who ate too much candy and found a razor blade inside one of them. , holding the sharp object in the tongue (a famous American urban legend).

Fire in the playground! Michael Myers sets the screen and himself on fire at the end of Halloween II.

In the end, halloween II (1981) is best remembered for introducing into the show’s mythology the fact that Laurie and Michael are brothers, a solution found by carpenter in his script to justify the killer’s obsession with the protagonist. After all, when being taken to the hospital, while the maniac runs away from the police, her stories would separate there. This narrative line was maintained in all sequels, including the remakes of Rob Zombiebeing eliminated only in recent Blumhouse films – which use only the original as canon. halloween II, while not as financially or critically successful as the original, is one of the most beloved sequels to the franchise. With a budget of $2.5 million, it made a return of $25.5 million. And with regard to John Carpenter, that was the end of the story of Michael Myers, Laurie Strode and Doctor Loomis. In other words, the end of an era. That is, until he returned as executive producer and score composer for Blumhouse’s new trilogy – his only involvement since then with the “boogeyman” he created.

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