Halloween 2 Unrated DVD Review
I remember when Rob Zombie was first announced as the director of the Halloween reboot back in 06'. Most of us were cautiously optimistic after he refined his abilities with The Devils Rejects. What none of us expected was that Zombie would take his love of trailer trash characters and infuse them into his vision of Halloween. While the first film manages to squeak out a cool moment here and there Zombie's Second installment rapes the franchise of any dignity it might have had left.
Halloween 2 starts out with a title card explaining to us why we're about to see a big White horse throughout the movie. We then see the new young Michael, who's terrible, receiving a white horse from his mommy while he was in the mental hospital. Then we jump back to the end of Halloween 1 with Laurie having just killed Michael and wandering down an empty street. Laurie is shell shocked and rushed to a hospital where she is promptly stalked by Michael Myers. This hospital sequence is actually very good! Laurie is forced to run away with her leg in a cast as she stumbles upon body after body of hospital employees. It's a very energetic scene and plays well, However we're soon completely let down by finding out this is but a dream and never really happened.
Instead Laurie now has gone from just being a irritating teenager to a raving bitch with post traumatic stress disorder. She's living with Sherriff Brackett and Annie from the first film. Laurie spends most of the films running time crying, complaining about how no one understands her and screaming "Fuck" over and over again whenever possible. She is extremely unlikable. Laurie treats Annie like shit basically telling her that she can't relate to what she's been through even though Annie was nearly killed by Michael in H1. Then she goes from that scene to her therapist where she blames herself for what happened. Its like Zombie can't decide how Laurie should act. Meanwhile Loomis is now an insufferable prick and has written a book about his ordeal with Michael from H1. Malcolm McDowell sleepwalks through the role like never before.
Michael is soon back in Hobo form and starts taking out trailer trash and teenagers as he makes his way back to Laurie. Now you may be asking yourself, why? Why does Michael have such a hard on for killing Laurie? Well Leave it to Prof. ZOmbie to feel the need to explain this with a white horse and a ghostly Mrs. Vorhees.. er, uh I mean Myers. That's right Zombie has basically pulled a page from the Friday the 13th playbook. Michael runs into his dead mother, a white horse and his younger self a few times throughout the movie. She tells him that he must kill Laurie in order for them to all be together again. Awesome. This all leads up to a final confrontation with Michael, Laurie and Loomis that you couldn't care less about by the time it happens.
H2 is bizarre. I don't know how else to put it. The story seems to have been written on the backs of napkins as a series of "cool" scenes by a 14 year old who likes to say "Fuck" a lot. The characters are the same trailer trash characters you've seen in every other Zombie film and it seems like their dialogue was pretty much written on the spot. Taylor Scout-Compton turns in an even worse performance than the first film. Apparently her idea of being dramatic is to just scream her dialogue as loudly as possible. There's absolutely no one in this movie to root for. You just sit there waiting for Michael to come in and stab people 50 times or more. Which leads me to my next gripe, Michael seems to "Rage-Kill" everyone in this movie. He beats faces to pulp, stabs people till their pretty much hamburger and grunts while doing it. When he comes after Annie, for the second time, Michael see's his mother and she tells him to "have some fun". Later when Laurie finds Annie she's completely nude, suggesting that Michael raped her!? There's also a scene that seems to be there just to explain how Michael eats! Did we really need that explained? But it's the white horse and ghostly Mommy Myers that truly is the biggest problem with this movie. The whole affair just feels like a reason for Zombie to have his wife back to reprise here role as Michaels Mother. Shari Moon Zombie looks very silly here in her white dress and bleach blond hair with a white horse in tow.
So, is there anything good about Halloween 2? I truly didn't know what to expect next in this movie. With all its bad acting and characters, it still kept me in the dark as to where it was heading. The dialogue in this one is actually a slight bit more palatable than H1 so you know, it's got that going. Brad Dourif, back as Sherriff Brackett, is the best actor in the film. He brings his "A" Game and gives a better performance than the movie deserves.
It can be truly said that Zombie broke out of Carpenter's Halloween and made his own movie. Even with all that's wrong with this movie I still think Zombie is a decent director. There are some beautiful and surreal moments in this movie that are at least interesting to watch if nothing else. There's one moment featuring a banquet with these bizarre Halloween characters sitting around a table with Laurie lying, seemingly dead in the middle, all while this dreamlike snow falls over the scene.
The DVD adds some scenes and extended cuts to the theatrical version. Blooper reel, actor auditions and commentary from Zombie. The commentary doesn't offer a ton of insight into what Zombie was thinking. He never explains some of his bizarre music choices, including the terrible intercutting of a Moody Blues performance during the hospital scenes. He does admit that the white horse was just a "cool idea" he had on his way to set one day. I think that pretty much sums up Zombie's story telling ability. A series of cool ideas with little to hold them together.
I've always been a fan of Carpenter's Halloween and liked some of its sequels but I can't say I'm a die hard fan of the character or Myers. I feel like Halloween fans have really gotten kicked around over the years. There's been bad sequels, a "Re-imagining" that destroyed what Myers was really meant to be about, and now there's going to be a generation of Halloween fans that think Carpenters version is the slow boring one. Being a fan of Carpenters Halloween has got to be pretty tough. Zombie has made the character his own, no more boogey man, no more moody stalking scenes. Myers knock off's like Jason have gotten the 4 star treatment by comparison.
Its been reported that there will be a Halloween 3D written by Todd Farmer and Directed by Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine 3D). However this has been put on hold for the time being. I'd like to see Myers "Rebooted" back this his original character. Michael was always meant to be a kid from a middle class family that just snaps one night. We're meant to wonder if Michael is possessed by something evil or just a psychopath. Weather anyone can bring Michael back and do it right remains to be seen.
Perhaps someday Rob Zombie will make a movie that he had no hand in writing and do something that will win horror fans back to his side. Until then keep him away from our childhood boogeymen!
2 out of 10 bloody axes
- Henry Northrup