John Carpenter Had Some Harsh Opinions About Halloween II

Like all good slasher franchises, "Halloween" gave birth to a ton of sequels that attempt to follow the success of that initial, magical first movie. Regardless of how you feel about everything that came after that terrifying first entry, those sequels have been big moneymakers for those who produce them. It seems fans of "Halloween" just want more of Michael Myers, and even though we know nothing will ever be as good as the original, we keep showing up to the theater time and again to see the Shape on the big screen once more.

There are many controversial plot lines in the "Halloween" universe, but one of the biggest sources of disdain arrived with director Rick Rosenthal's sequel, "Halloween II." You know, the one where we find out that Michael is really Laurie's long lost brother. Gasp! It's a heavily debated plot twist that (fortunately) was tossed to the wayside with the 2018 film (which ignores all the sequels), but the sheer ridiculousness of the idea that Michael and Laurie are somehow related still bugs many horror fans today. This single plot point — which was ironically made up by original writer and director John Carpenter himself — isn't the only thing that's disliked about "Halloween II," which is a movie that is often thought of as missing the mark in many ways.

The original "Halloween" is such a singularly unique experience that to try and recreate it with a sequel might seem absurd. But because Hollywood is Hollywood, a sequel was optioned and we were graced with "Halloween II," a direct follow-up to the events of "Halloween" when Laurie fought off Michael and escaped. Michael is still out there looking for her, only this time, Laurie is trapped in a hospital recovering from her trauma, a sitting duck in what would typically be one of the safest places to be after a tragic accident. Critics of the film find "Halloween II" to be predictable at best and uninteresting at worst, with some claiming it never feels like it adds much to the story of Michael and Laurie. 

John Carpenter himself also stands firmly in the camp of "Halloween II" haters, but just why does he dislike it so much, and does he think anything about it is redeeming?

But John, didn't you help write this?

In an interview with Cinema Showcase, Carpenter ruthlessly critiques "Halloween II" by first explaining how the second and third installments in the franchise came to be. 

"I let my producer's side come out when they offered me the sequels to 'Halloween.' They offered a nice sum of money," he explains. "I also had a lot of hope for giving new directors a chance to make films as I had been given a chance with low-budget films." He goes on to say that Rosenthall, who directed "Halloween II," and Tommy Wallace, who directed "Halloween III: Season of the Witch," were both essentially given a bunch of money and very few rules to follow when they made each film. After thinking on it a moment, Carpenter shurgs in the interview and says, "It doesn't always work," alluding to his opinion about "Halloween II."

He goes on to explain his feelings toward "Halloween II," calling it "an abomination and a horrible movie," which seems a tad bit harsh. "I was really disappointed in it," he says. "I don't think [Rosenthall] had a feel for the material. I think that's the problem, he didn't have a feeling for what was going on." 

While I don't disagree with Carpenter entirely, his bluntness is a bit of a head-scratcher considering he had a hand in writing the sequel's screenplay — a screenplay he's openly admitted to not really trying too hard to write. Regardless of how you feel about Carpenter's true feelings on "Halloween II," perhaps the one thing we can all agree on is that he absolutely loved "Halloween III: Season of the Witch," which is definitely the right answer. 

"I thought 'Halloween III' was excellent. I really like that film because it's different. It has a real nice feel to it," he says. And he's not wrong. Silver Shamrock (and Tom Atkins) forever.