In terms of comparing this film to the first, it isn't as good. It doesn't have the claustrophobic darkness and experimental camera techniques of the first. However, as a sequel it works well. The overall eeriness is kept.
The film follows straight after Halloween I. Laurie goes to hospital, Michael Myers survives the shooting and somehow manages to follow Laurie to the hospital ward. Dr Loomis, adamant that Myers is still on the rampage, searches the town to find the killer. In the process of all this, Myers of course tops off a bunch of unlucky people.
Like I said before, the overall mood of the film is carried on from the first to this sequel. This is due to the immediate continuation of the story, same town setting, same actors (Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence), and same theme music (played with synths instead of piano). If you watched Halloween I and II back to back, I think it would make the second movie more enjoyable. They are both different movies tone wise but watched together, they lead on seamlessly. Halloween II to me was much less scary. The scary scenes weren't as tense and were frequently very predictable.
The way he killed his victims was less gruesome and often not with his favoured kitchen knife. The killings also seemed a bit senseless and unwarranted. Maybe that's just me. Since there was a lot happening that night, the movie jumped around to all the characters. This kind of made it a bit ridiculous because Michael Myers seemed to go from Laurie's house to the school to the hospital inhumanly fast, and yet we always saw him walking at the same speed as a 90 year old grandpa! The film despite its lack of scariness, it did explain more about Myers and Laurie, and had more of a sense of realism with the media swarming around, the cops patrolling and general citizens being at unrest with the knowledge of a murderer at large.
Production wise, it was top notch. The explosions and gore were realistic enough not to criticise. The acting was good. The soundtrack was great, preserving the same theme music as the first, which pretty much dictated the tone of the film. The sound design was flawless to me, very realistic atmosphere and Foley. I love the consistency with stereo panning matching the images on screen.
The movie to watch was good. Nothing B-grade about it. As mentioned before, it lacked the tension of the first film but if you didn't compare them, the sequel held its own. A good watch with good production, but nothing amazing. I'd give it a 6.5 out of 10.
Directed by Rick Rosenthal. Written by John Carpenter, Debra Hill. Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers, Jeffrey Kramer, Lance Guest, Pamela Suan Shoop etc.