t' s pretty much an undisputed statement of fact at this point: horror movie sequels almost ALWAYS blow.

The Exorcist 2: The Heretic. Damien: The Omen II. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Part 2. The Blair Witch Project 2: Book of Shadows. The list is literally without end, seemingly.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out exactly WHY filmmakers have such a hard time following up on excellent, original horror films. Most of the time, the recipe for success is right there in front of you, but no, these overpaid, overeducated doofus directors and screenwriters decide to take an existing and awesome property and find practically EVERY way to drain said property of the elements that made it great to begin with.

But every now and then, and believe you me, it IS a rare occurrence, we get a horror movie sequel that is ALMOST on par with the film that preceded it. Granted, we may have to wade through 100 Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2s and I Still Know What You Did Last Summers before we get one Evil Dead 2 or Sleepaway Camp 2, but surely, such aberrantly AWESOME horror sequels do indeed exist. In fact, there is one in particular that I would like to talk about today, and for my money, it remains one of the absolute best slasher follow-ups in the long and storied history of degenerate cinema.

But first, a little history. In 1977, John Carpenter began work on a movie called The Babysitter Murders. The movie was greatly inspired by an earlier film called Black Christmas, which itself was inspired by an Italian movie called Bay of Blood. The premise of Carpenter's movie was simple - I mean, insultingly, ridiculously, amazingly simple. Teenage girls do dumb and inappropriate things, and then some dude wearing a William Shatner mask turned inside out chokes them to death and stabs their boyfriends. We have all heard the phrase so simple it s genius a billion times before, but in the case of Carpenter's work, such approbation is indeed warranted.

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And so, Carpenter wraps up production on his silly little movie. Seeing as how the film took place around Halloween (despite being filmed in the middle of Spring), Carpenter decided to change the title of his film to more directly reference the holiday. And if you do not know the story from here, you might as well click out of the article and go watch Lady Gaga videos or something.

Halloween went on to become a cultural phenomenon, at one point in time holding the title of most successful independently funded motion picture in history. Carpenter's reluctance to film a direct sequel to the movie eventually led to a tidal wave of imitators, thus kicking off the great slasher movie trend of the late 70s and early 80s. Three years after the first movie came out, Carpenter reluctantly agreed to begin work on a sequel to his groundbreaking original film, and the result remains one of the greatest, atypical successes in the history of the slasher genre.

Although Carpenter did not direct Halloween II, he certainly played a role in shaping how the film turned out. Pretty much the entire cast and crew from the first film returned, and a script (penned by Carpenter and long-time partner Debra Hill) was quickly banged out. In my humble opinion, the movie represents the direct antithesis of the crappy horror sequel, as it seems to avoid pretty much ALL of the pitfalls and creative errors that plague an overwhelming majority of films in the genre. What did Halloween II do differently, and what did it do more effectively, than most films of the type? Well, I am glad you asked, as I've prepared five reason why Halloween II remains one of the absolute best follow-ups in the annals of horror filmdom.