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Rob Zombie should have named his latest film "Kill-****ing-Everything,"
as it would have given audiences a better idea as to what to expect
when paying for a ticket. It also would've been a signal not to expect
any shred of respectability that Zombie was able to retain in his first
film. Unlike the first film, which was at least intriguing if not good,
Zombie relies on every horror-cliché imaginable in order to
unnecessarily pad the run time and the body count under the misguided
belief that greatness is measured in terms of sheer brutality.
Zombie must have decided that audiences needed an even greater reason to hate the main character after he turned her into a typically annoying teenage tramp in the first installment. As a result, Laurie has become a crust-punk vegetarian, no doubt altered by the events that transpired a year earlier. She has continuously suffered from nightmares and delusions since that fateful Halloween, and the audience is reminded of this every five minutes by dream sequences that litter the first half of the film. Meanwhile, Michael Myers has indeed survived the first film and is on a three day trek back to Haddonfield, killing any form of life that he encounters along the way. His arrival is precipitated by numerous red herrings in the form of dream sequences, and this back-and-forth pattern is continued throughout the film until he actually arrives and continues his habit of killing everything in sight.
In order to add another layer to a rather straight-forward plot, an examination of post-traumatic stress is included, as Laurie is shown coping with her life after it had been shattered the year before. This remains the greatest aspect of the film, as Laurie's battle, even with the saturation of unnecessary dream sequences, is a gateway for audience sympathy. Apparently not satisfied with this connection, Zombie also attempts an examination of Michael Myers's psyche, despite the perfect serial-killer development of the first film. This new examination centers on the dream interpretation of a white horse, which Michael constantly envisions alongside his deceased mother. In his visions, he is depicted as a child, and his mother instructs him to unite their family once again (meaning that he has to find Laurie).
In essence, Michael is instructed by his dead mother to kill, a blatant connection with the original Friday the 13th series that would have been impossible to have gone unnoticed by Zombie. These visions of Michael's are also the main contributors as to why the film is a convoluted mess. The constant appearances of the white horse motif are meant as an explanation for Michael's behavior, but they instead become a hindrance to the flow of the film. In addition, his insistence to kill everything he encounters is unexplained by his mother's desire to reunite the family, save for a brief instance in which his mother invites him to "have some fun." Of course, murdering everything in sight is the nature of the Michael Myers character, but as Zombie has focused on mental disease rather than the supernatural in his Halloween series, the new serial killer persona remains an insufficient justification.
By avoiding any supernatural aspect, Zombie also fails to sufficiently explain certain events in the film. It is never mentioned how Myers was able to survive a gunshot to the face without hospitalization, nor is it explained why it takes a year for Michael to return to Haddonfield. It is vaguely mentioned that the police misplaced the body in transport from the crime scene to the morgue (which is depicted in a scene that is dismissed as a dream of Laurie's), but this appears to have occurred in the outskirts of town. The delusions that Michael suffers are also shared by Laurie in the film's climax, which, barring any supernatural connection, simply doesn't make any sense.
Finally, in what may be the most unforgivable aspect of all, Zombie completes his transformation of Dr. Loomis from the beloved, heroic, and selfless figure of the first series to an arrogant, self-centered egotist. Loomis serves no function in Halloween II other than to inform Laurie that she is Michael's sister. Other than this development, he is meant as a spiteful center of rage that the audience is led to hate more than Myers, and as a result, his inclusion in the film is almost useless.
In between scenes of Laurie's breakdown, Michael's visions, and Loomis's asinine ego-trips, Zombie manages to saturate the remaining run time with close-ups of excessively gory wounds, unattractive bodily features, and every squishy sound imaginable. Zombie has never been subtle with his depiction of the macabre and grotesque, but in this film, it is so excessive that it becomes apparent that he isn't interested in any serious, albeit fictional, examination of mental illness. Rather, he seems more focused on making the audience ill. For seedy exploitation films of yesteryear, this is a perfect combination. In mainstream cinema, however, it has become a tired cliché that ran its course in the eighties.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was an extra in this movie, and even on the set I knew it was going
to be a disaster....what I was unprepared for was the level of disaster
that they took it to.
I have no problem with language or violence, but I do have a problem with it when there is no good reason. The script sounds like it was written by a middle schooler (honestly, who uses THAT many F bombs in regular conversation?). And the violence, while somewhat expected, went WAY over the top as far as simply telling the story. On the plus side, whoever did the makeup effects for this movie has one heck of a demo reel to show off now.
I'll agree that casting Maclolm McDowell as Dr. Loomis was a good move...it would have been even better if they had made him even remotely likable. Same goes for virtually any of the characters in H2.
Oh, memo to those who griped about Michael grunting....he grunted in Carpenter's original as well...just check out the scene where he strangles Lynda, or when he's breaking into the closet, or choking Laurie.
And of course they had to go the whole "oh-my-God-she's-his-SISTER!" route, which was stupid in the first HALLOWEEN 2 and is even more so this time around. John Carpenter came up with the idea in 1981 and even he admits it was a dumb one. Michael Myers is far more terrifying as simply the "boogeyman".....anybody could be his victim, nobody is safe. With this lame subplot, as long as you aren't related to him or between him and a relative, you're safe! Maybe it's nostalgia for the "good old days", but I think I'll avoid any of Mr. Zombie's future HALLOWEEN efforts and simply stick with Carpenter's classic....the unequaled original.....
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First off, I am a fan of Rob Zombie's "The Devil's Rejects" and "House Of A 1000 Corpses." Also, I liked Rob Zombie's first Halloween. It wasn't great, but it was decent. I was looking forward to having a lot of fun watching this sequel; only to be set up for extreme disappointment. The movie lacked suspense. Also, for some reason, Rob must have thought that to be extremely loud is to be scary. Wrong! Also, Laurie Strode a/k/a Angel Myers was so whiny and unstable, I couldn't wait for her to be killed, which, sad to say, never happened. Every character was just a cookie cut-out waiting to be killed. There were many of the actors in which you didn't even get a good look at their faces before they were killed. The movie was disjointed and extremely loud and gory. I love gory, but this was a bit over the top. Michael Myers was popping up everywhere. It was too much like a Wile E. Coyote cartoon. Oh, I guess Sheri Moon Zombie wanted a bigger role. Wow! What a big mistake! She cannot act. And she was annoying. Also, Sam Loomis's character was only there to be killed off. Believe me, by the end of the movie, you'll be cheering for his death. I also didn't like the fact that the movie veered so much into her nightmares that most times you didn't know if it was real or just a nightmare; or was Michael Myers like Freddy Krueger and he could be anywhere. All of the characters were white trash and severely stupid. I never thought a movie could be so violent and gory yet be so dreadful and boring at the same time. As I was watching the movie, I kept thinking about the original Halloween 2. It was a much better movie. Also, Rob Zombie should know better! Introduce the characters and let us get to know them before you go and kill them. In this movie, Michael Myers went on a happy and silly killing spree, popping up everywhere at the same time, with such silly and extremely loud stabbing sounds! Rob, do you know what overkill is? Do you actually know how to write a decent screenplay without excessive "F" words? And can you write a movie without having to put your wife in it? It's not enough to have style, Rob, you also need to have some substance in there. Halloween 2 (2009) was just a stylish piece of crap.
This movie has badly damaged the Zombie brand of horror movie. I liked
Rob Zombie's earlier slasher\horror flicks. Movies like "Devils
Rejects" and "House of 1000 Corpses" combined genuine real life psycho
characters with tongue-in-cheek humor that made the movie viewer feel
in on the joke. These movies didn't take themselves very seriously, and
while gory, were also at least a little bit fun to watch.
Zombie obviously tried to bring some of that camp levity to "Halloween II", notably by including "Weird Al" Yankovic in a cameo role, which helped a little. I think the movie could have used a lot more of "Weird Al" and a bit less of Mrs. Zombie (Zombie's wife played a leading role in this turkey, some type of angel of death as Jason's Mommy...don't ask, too stupid for words).
Unfortunately, this move really stunk. It was just bloody disembowelment after decapitation after evisceration. It was a stupid and bloody mess and a complete waste of time.
Stay away from this stinker.
I don't know where to begin after coming in from seeing Rob Zombie's Halloween II. The comments/reviews that I've read so far sum it all up perfectly. It's bad beyond belief. It's not scary or suspenseful. There are just back to back ugly, mean-spirited, and brutal killings. The main characters aren't likable at all especially Scout Taylor Compton as Laurie Strode. We cared for and wanted to see Jamie Lee Curtis survive every time she played Laurie. Compton is so bad, she should have been the first to get wiped out. There is no real story either, just ideas and visuals ripped from Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface plus other stuff that must have come from cocaine and or meth usage. Think of the worst Nightmare, Friday, Texas Chainsaw, or SAW volume you've viewed. I guarantee that this is worse. Zombie should start paying people like Sam Raimi, Wes Craven, Sean Cunningham and others to ghost direct his films. Uwe Boll could do a better job.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I want a refund! This ranks as my worst movie-going experience of all
The first Zombie "Halloween" is eons above this disaster. My primary complaints (besides the ridiculous, convoluted plot): annoyingly loud sound effects that take the violence to comedic levels (all you need are SPLAT, CRUNCH and ZAP title cards a la "Batman" to make it complete), always way too dark photography (no one thought to plug in a few lights?), a Michael Myers that looks like Vincent from TV's "Beauty and the Beast" (what's with the flowing robes?), and a love for characters that give the phrase "poor white trash" a whole new meaning (do these people EVER clean anything?). I also resent the introduction of characters just to butcher them off 45 seconds later.
The actors try their best, but have nothing to work with. A script overburdened with profanity (The F Word over and over and over) really doesn't allow for much "acting." I love Malcolm McDowell...but NOT in this movie. What a waste of a good actor.
I admit horror movies are not my greatest love...but HALLOWEEN II is just plain painful to watch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am a huge Halloween fan, so I am not foreign to the series. I
understand that Rob Zombie tried to create a whole different movie and
not follow the original movies but really? ghosts? seriously...
So right when the movie started I loved how it continued right on from the end of Rob Zombies first Holloween where laurie is walking down the street covered in blood with the 357 still in her hands, but what i loved about Rob Zombies first holloween is that there is a lot of criteria covered showing Myers life at the beginning, but this goes straight into killing with no motive.
Even though it is a new movie not a remake I do believe that Dr. Loomis shouldn't have sold out, Loomis has always been the badass trying to hunt Myers down, now he is a sell out who dies in the end... there is no where to go with a sequel on this because it wont be Holloween without Loomis.
But the number one thing that ruined this movie is the ghosts... seriously what the hell, Ghosts? this is a slasher film not a ghost film, keep casper out of this, throughout the whole movie his mom's ghost, and him as a kid ghost(by the way the kid taking Daeg Faerch was terrible, he was a terrible Micheal he no longer had the creepy kid ambiance) just keeps popping in and saying these terrible lines like "were ready Micheal", seriously rob zombie what were you thinking...
So if you are as big of a Halloween fan as me don't see this movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A couple years ago we had the release of the re-make Halloween,
directed by Rob Zombie, he claimed that it wasn't a re-make as more of
his own vision. I was very much looking forward to it and was greatly
let down. So when I heard that Rob was working on the sequel, I just
laughed and knew I wasn't going to see this movie. But then I saw the
trailer for the film and darnit, curse Rob Zombie for feeding my hunger
towards scare and gore. The trailer looked so great, I just had to see
the sequel, I don't know maybe it had hidden messages saying "see this
movie" or something. But I saw Halloween 2 today and once again, I fell
for it! Now I think Rob Zombie is a very talented director, his
visionary style is incredible, coming from a graphic design background,
I admit this movie still has some great and creepy images. He has this
knack for these gritty horror films and I believe that down the line
his film The Devil's Rejects will be a cult classic. The reason why;
despite the fact that The Devil's Rejects is somewhat of an homage to
the old gritty dark horror films of the 1970's, it was exactly meant
for Zombie as it was his vision that made it into the classic that it
will be. Halloween is not meant for Zombie and the reason why is in one
Simplicity being the reason why this isn't Zombie's picture to mess around with, Michael Myers is evil, no specific reason why, he just is. As we saw in the first movie, Zombie tried giving Myers a soul and it took away the scare more than give it to the audience. He's made Michael Myers into a bum, or at least he looks like one, take for example: The Mask. Myers does not wear the mask for most of the film or at least it's ripped off and we can see a good amount of Myer's face and it's not Michael Myers without the iconic mask. His look for me is just all off as well, I don't see his height as much of something to be bothered by, while his kills are extremely creative and fun to watch on screen, he still didn't do much for me as he looked like a hippie bum with that long black cloak. Zombie also has all his trademarks in this movie, as his love for the 1970's, strippers/boobies, gore, sex, drugs and dirty ugly bums who look like they still haven't figured out that the tooth brush has been invented. But here's Zombie's version of what he thinks the sequel should be.
Taking right where we left off from the first film, Laurie has a vicious nightmare that Michael is still after her, but she wakes up. It's one year after all the murders and Laurie is now living with the Bracketts. Michael's body has been missing since last Halloween, presumed dead, and Laurie has been having recurring nightmares about the event. While Laurie deals with her trauma through therapy, Loomis has chosen to turn the event into an opportunity to write another book. Meanwhile, Michael has been seeing visions of his mother's ghost and a younger version of himself, who instructs him that with Halloween approaching it is time to bring Laurie home.
Scout Taylor-Compton, this girl, I have no idea why she was picked as the strong female Laurie Strode, because she spent 98.9% of this movie crying, sobbing and blubbering "he'sgonnagetmeeeee! I'mnotwhoyathinkiam!", and how in the heck was I supposed to root for that kind of a female lead? Scout is a lousy actress and the writing was all wrong for the character as well. Another trademark that I forgot to mention earlier that Rob loves putting in his movies, his wife Sherri Moon, pretty woman and over all a talented enough actress. But how in the heck was her role needed in this movie? Zombie is ripping off Psycho by making Myers see his dead mother all over the place saying for him to kill everyone. Again, I like the simplicity of Myers just being born evil with no explanation. Rob Zombie delivers in images and gore, but not in the scares. While the movie has some awesome kills, it's not worthy to add to the collection of Halloween sequels which the first 7 are actually good and worth watching. This was a project that wasn't meant for him nor should have it been for anyone, Halloween should be left alone. With Zombie making this into his vision, he's turned Mike Myers into a bum who dumb people for some odd reason pick a fight with and then get killed in the end and I'm supposed to feel sorry for them? Not likely, just skip it.
It was quite the dilemma deciding whether Halloween II was a good film
or a bad one. One thing is certain: it's a "weird" film, undoubtedly
the most bizarre major studio release of the year. Rob Zombie's sequel
or "vision" as it's being touted seems to have been envisioned with
the aid of various hallucinogenics and mind-altering substances,
withering away whatever was left of the original John Carpenter
Halloween mythology after Rob Zombie's remake and leaving a
nonsensical, uber-violent mess in its wake. This isn't a
so-bad-it's-good movie, nor would I call it a just-plain-bad one; this
is a so-weird-it's-good movie, a blood-drenched collage of absurdities
and irrationality, which like a train wreck (a term some would use to
refer to previous Zombie efforts), is hard to look away from. Little of
the iconic original Halloween is left here all that's left is Michael
Meyer's mask, which itself is less recognizable beneath the grime and
torn pieces but perhaps it would be foolish to try to match the
original masterpiece anyway. Zombie has crafted something entirely
different; something quite frankly silly, dumb and, for lack of a more
politically correct term, "retarded", but nonetheless entertaining, not
in spite of, but because of this.
Picking up where the remake left off, Halloween II sees Laurie Strode recovering from her ordeal with psychopath Michael Meyers. Mentally-traumatized after both the Halloween day massacre of nearly everyone she knew and her own dispatching of Meyers by way of shot to the head -, Laurie finds herself dreading the one-year anniversary of the serial killings, plagued with the irrational fear that the deceased Meyers will return to small-town Haddonfield to finish her off. Well, low-and-behold, Meyers is alive, and he makes it his mission to track down Laurie and finish what he started.
The general plot outline is as generic as can be, but it's hard to fathom or comprehend the insanity that occurs. Michael Meyers, the original mask-wearing soulless psychopath, the "pure evil" murderer, the "Big Cheese" of all horror movie villains, has now been transformed into a homeless vagrant who randomly eats dogs. Yep, that's right, he's a hobo that eats dogs now. When a film is remade, one expects some alterations, but this is akin to remaking Indiana Jones and turning him an extraterrestrial who molests children. There is practically no semblance of the original character...and the new ones just messed. As well, Meyer's is followed by his deceased mother, himself in child-form and a gigantic white horse, seemingly all figments of his imagination. Except they interact with Laurie as well...making them ghosts? Except Meyers isn't deceased, so it makes absolutely no sense for there to be a ghost version of him. Maybe Laurie is inexplicably psychic and seeing into Meyer's mind? Or maybe Zombie just ate a few too many shrooms. Either way, this mom-boy-horse trio follows Meyer's around as he kills various victims, instructing him on what to do next. It's as stupid as it sounds.
Dr. Loomis has also been changed significantly. The remake hinted at Loomis profiteering slightly off the Meyers incident, but here it has been taken to ridiculous proportions. He's now a prima donna celebrity who travels around in a jet black limo with his publicist, throws hissy fits at reporters and threatens to beat on woman. One sequence has Dr. Loomis appearing on a talk show alongside Weird Al Yankovic, with the famed disc-joker lampooning the doctor and Michael Meyers (making puns about whether this is the same guy who starred in Austin Powers) until Loomis finally explodes with anger on air at the hosts assertion that Meyers is a shark. If it sounds like this has nothing to do with the film, it's because it doesn't. This irrelevance not only pertains to the Weird Al scene, but all of Dr. Loomis's scenes. His entire role is a completely separate, unrelated tangent in which he gallivants around the country promoting his book. For that matter, even Laurie and Michael have about ten minutes in the way of plot. Laurie, up until the last fifteen minutes, never encounters Michael. The near entirety of Halloween II is Michael fighting random people farmers, strippers, tough-guy scumbags while Laurie lives her life as per usual.
The rest of the film is a compilation of pumpkin people, vans running into cows, "golden showers", discussions about fornicating with corpses, and sex with a guy in a wolf costume who sounded suspiciously like Michael Cera. It's weird, undoubtedly convoluted, but in the end it's pretty entertaining. It's punctuated with displays of head smashings, throat slittings, and other displays of excessively graphic violence. Nudity is slightly down from the first one, but there are still several scenes involving bared breasts. In the end, between all the nonsense, gore and nudity, Halloween II is a big-budgeted, toned-down Hollywood stab at a Troma movie. In other words, a pretty fun movie.
I'm one of the few who actually enjoyed Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween a lot. For reasons I won't get into here I enjoyed it immensely, but at the same time I could completely understand why so many disliked it. It took some of the things that made the original Halloween so great in many people's eyes and switched them around completely. Those who despised the first Halloween for that reason will likely loathe this second installment with a passion. However, if one can go into Halloween II not expecting a Halloween movie or even a reasonably scary horror they might just have a good time. It's not "bad" per say although it's hard to say what Zombie intended it to be but it's enjoyable in its bizarreness. Worth checking out if you don't mind Carpenter's story being completely bastardized.
- Dylan, allhorrorfilms.com
In my review of Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds," I wrote
that those put off by "Death Proof" would also likely be put off by his
latest. Go figure that one week later, I am applying the same notion to
Rob Zombie's sequel to his 2007 remake of "Halloween." One of the most
heatedly derided remakes to date, I found Zombie's take impassioned and
sincere while transcending John Carpenter's minimal, workmanlike
low-budget-horror-flick terrain. While not a perfect film, "Halloween"
epitomized (to me, anyway) the creative potential of the remake when
placed in the right hands.
"Halloween II" finds Zombie returning to the Michael Myers maelstrom while tightening already-established character arcs, employing a harshly gritty style (courtesy of DP Brandon Trost), and topping it all off with a heapin' helpin' of carnage. Whereas "Halloween" focused on the inception and evolution of Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) from a murderous youth to the hulking masked madman we all know and love, Zombie's thematic focus this time out is "family" (and its many incarnations), using the traumatized character of Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) as its axis.
Picking up one year after the fateful night her brother decided to come home, Laurie has become a punked-out version of her former virginal suburbanite self, and now resides with Sheriff Lee (Brad Dourif, sporting a Ted Nugent hairdo) and Annie Brackett (Danielle Harris). Meanwhile, the Eve of All Hallows is looming over Haddonfield like a shadowy blanket, with a rejuvenated, hooded-angel-of-death Michael Myers making a pilgrimage back home, guided by the specters of his younger self (Chase Wright Vanek) and his mother, Deborah (Sheri Moon Zombie). In the meantime, Dr. Sam Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) has become a pop-psychology celebrity, authoring yet another book on his last run-in with the notorious Myers.
With "Halloween II," Zombie drops the slick, polished look of the initial film, replacing instead with dark, grainy stock punctuated by flashes of neon and the soft focus of black & white. In many ways, the director has created a film that, like his characters, is schizophrenic in its style, cleverly threading complex dream sequences into reality, and cutting away from scenes with little warning. While the employment of dream sequences in most films is a cheap tactic for a "GOTCHA!" moment, Zombie keeps his motives ambiguous: do the dreams represent a psychic link between Laurie and Michael? the erosion of Laurie's sanity? Michael's distorted concept of pilgrimage? Either (and every) way, they give the proceedings a richly layered psychological weight that, in addition to their shock value, make us feel that the characters each have something at stake. The events leading up to the brilliantly-staged climax are both unpredictable and surprisingly affecting.
Unlike the "Saw" sequels (which have become the bane of the discriminating horror fan's existence), bathed in a hypocritical morality amid all the twisted flesh, spilled blood, and dungeon locations, Zombie is cognizant of death as something horrifying and destructive--the murders in "Halloween II" are played straight, executed with a fury that is disquieting; Myers has become a driven beast whose path of destruction possesses a joyless, workmanlike quality, removing any potential glamorization from the act. Every flesh-tearing slash, every helpless scream, cuts to the bone.
Quite admirably, Zombie uses his second go-'round with Myers as a chance to tie up character arcs and plot threads that felt truncated in the over-ambitious "Halloween": Loomis, who seems detached from most of the main plot, is given a chance to redeem his greedy, bottom-feeder ways; Sheriff Brackett gets to exhibit a paternal side, but also an authoritarian mentality once the code of law is broken (he has several great, emotionally wrenching scenes near the end of the film); as Deborah, Sheri Moon Zombie's detached, trancelike performance is apt for the physical manifestation of the voice guiding a psychotic mind. Amid the carnage of his corpse-strewn landscape, Zombie's interest in character interaction and moral ambiguity gives "Halloween II" a depth that, for those with the stomach to take it, is downright refreshing.
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