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Now or Then – Halloween II (2009) or Halloween II (1981)?

Halloween II (2009) or Halloween II (1981)?” width=”560″/>

Now: Halloween II (2009)Then: Halloween II (1981)

With its washed out colors, dark lighting, and handheld camerawork, Rob Zombie’s Halloween II has even more late-’70s/early-’80s atmosphere than the original Halloween II, Rick Rosenthal’s follow-up to John Carpenter’s seminal slasher classic. Indeed, there’s a whole lotta homage going on in Zombie’s remake-cum-reimagining: Like the original sequel, it picks up right where the earlier film left off, in the wake of the devastation of Michael Myers’s original Halloween rampage. But while the new Halloween II does eventually take us a year forward in time, the two movies seem to have more than a few elements in common. Such as…

The Lone Survivor
H2 (2009): Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton), who made it out of the first movie alive, is haunted by nightmares about her tormentor Michael Myers. She has visions of committing his crimes, perhaps because she is Michael’s sister — a fact we know from the first flick. She seems to be almost as psychologically troubled as he is.

H2 (1981): Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), the survivor of the first movie, has been taken to Haddonfield Hospital badly wounded, and is having strange visions about her past, perhaps because she is Michael Myers’s sister — a fact which comes as much of a shock to us as it does to her. This Laurie manages to keep it together.

Our Lumbering, Unstoppable Villain
H2 (2009): With his mountain-man beard visible beneath his mask, Michael Myers is a psycho framed in oddly pastoral fashion: He has idyllic dreams of his dead mother dressed in white next to a symbolic white horse, and he often wanders the woods and fields at sunset.

H2 (1981): Although we’re given plenty of backstory about him in the previous movie, this Michael Myers is a monolithic killer who is single-minded in his attempts to kill everyone that stands between him and his sister.

The Good Doctor
H2 (2009): Dr. Sam Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) is Michael Myers’s former shrink and has profited mightily from his patient’s crimes, having written a bestselling book. His attitude towards Michael is almost understanding: He even tries to reason with him at one point.
H2 (1981): Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance) is Michael Myers’s former shrink, and he spends the night desperately trying to convince the authorities that Michael isn’t dead and that he must be stopped. (He actually spends most of the entire Halloween series doing so.)

Gore!
H2 (2009): Despite his fondness for decapitating people, this Michael Myers wields much more than a knife: At one point, he smashes a strip club bouncer’s head to mush with his boot. He then bashes a stripper against a wall. Needless to say, all of this is depicted in loving detail.
H2 (1981): While it was fairly graphic for its time, this movie’s idea of gore mostly involves showing us lots of brightly colored blood – although Michael does at one point drown a naked nurse in the boiling waters of a hydrotherapy pool.

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