Halloween II (2009)

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"…I killed him "

Oct 11th, 2009

When Rob Zombie decided to return to write and direct the sequel to his reimagining of the Halloween franchise (my God that sounds ridiculous) I wasn't impressed. In the two years since the last, Zombie continually stated he was done with Myers but low and behold in under a year he was able to bash out this little "gem". As I sat in the theatre I had to ask myself maybe its time for me to be done with Myers.

I decided to give this one a chance. The best parts from the first were original content and this sequel gave Zombie a fresh start, no part of this film was remake. Before I lay into this one I have to give a SPOILER WARNING as the end of the first remake and its work print will be revealed – consider yourself warned.

Lets talk about the plot, Myers returns to Haddenfield to continue his reign of terror. Can we expect anything more? That's basically what the original movie sequels were about and in fact any sequel to a slasher flick. Straight up I have to admit I'm a stickler for continuity in film franchises, fans know their favourite movies inside out and don't like plot holes. Is it too much to ask that film producers actually research the original films before agreeing to a script? Halloween II picks up where the last film ended, at least I think it does. Laurie is wandering the streets near to where the massacre occurred and Myers' body is carted off to the morgue except he's not actually dead. How in the hell is this plausible? In the last film Myers was D-E-A-D, he took a gunshot to the face (theatrical release) or was riddled with bullets (Work print). If the first thing that comes to mind is the supernatural than everything about the first is now void, it was not meant to be about a supernatural being but a deeply troubled man and certain things in this adaptation still suggest he still is just a man.

The film then shifts to the hospital were Laurie and Annie from the first picture are recovering as Michael begins a new assault upon the building. This was a nice touch; it resembled the original sequel's hospital setting but took its own path, exactly what the first remake should of done. I'm going to have to issue another SPOILER WARNING here as something happens that truly was a slap in the face. I want you to know what I didn't, as this near on single-handedly ruined my experience and happens quite early on in the film. For the first 25 minutes Myers pursues Laurie around the hospital laying waste to all in his way and when he finally catches up to her she wakes up. That's right it was a God dammed dream, a real Dallas moment.

The film then shifts two years into the future and we see how Laurie is coping with her life. Now as I said earlier I hate continuity issues but this was a pretty big one. What had I just experienced? Was any of it real? There's reference to Myers body never being found but by this point I no longer expected any kind of logical sense. With an hour to go it's as if the movie just restarted.

The rest of the film builds up to Halloween night as tramp Myers (wait till you see his new look) goes on yet another killing spree accompanied by the ghostly visage of his mother? This idea is so foolish and seems to me like an excuse for Zombie to shoehorn in another appearance for his wife Sheri Moon Zombie. Don't get me wrong I like Sheri but didn't feel the need for her to return. Serial killers with mummy issues have been done to death, none more so than Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th films, Myers is now the same character, swell.

On to acting; the majority of the cast perform well below what I would expect, the movie tries to set the film within realistic situations but the characters are so ridiculously portrayed its hard to tell weather it's the actors' or writer's fault, either way Zombie is somewhat responsible. Malcolm McDowell reappears (once again how? his character was dead) as Loomis and turns the character into more of an arsehole than he originally was, I hated this portrayal. Also, his character has no arc, he flounders about then runs into the real story 5mins before the end, pointless.

On the flip side Brad Dourif is outstanding, he gives a performance which does not deserve to be contained within this turd of a movie. The struggles he goes through as a parent had me feeling his pain and reveal what true horror is.

The film had a similar look to the first only slightly darker; more of this one takes place at night. The music works well even with the lack of the traditional theme tune (saved for the end credits) and familiar cues from the original franchise are littered within other instrumental pieces. Impressive but Zombie is a musician after all.

The kills remain brutal like the original but this time are lacking. I like to refer to this as grab and slash as all the kills are exactly the same. This time when Myers kills he does a lot of grunting, going back to the theory he's still just a man. This works but I didn't find him as menacing.

The ending had me worried, I won't reveal it here but it has the possibility of a rather unique sequel in the future.

As you can tell I wasn't impressed and clearly neither was the studio. Halloween 3 in 3D is already being prepped but they have decided to opt for a more experienced director and I fully agree. After this I was done with Zombie's Myers but a fresh approach will be welcomed. I don't want to dissuade people from watching this as it truly is a bizarre film I'm sure many will enjoy it. It just wasn't my cup of tea. This rating goes solely on Dourif's performance. 4/10

Best Kill
Grab and Stab no one shines

Danielle Harris and Jamie Lee Curtis both notch up four appearances each in the Halloween franchise.
The young Michael Myers was replaced due to a growth spurt in the actor from the previous film.
John Carpenter was offered a cameo in the film by Rob Zombie, but he turned it down – I wonder why?

Other reviews in the series

Halloween (1978)
Halloween II (1981)
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
Halloween (2007)

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Movie Details

Movie Poster Here
Director: Rob Zombie
Screenplay:Rob Zombie
Starring:Malcolm McDowell
Tyler Mane
Sheri Moon Zombie