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As far as Rob Zombie's films go, I can honestly say I'm not a fan. Over the years I've enjoyed his music, but when he made that jump to film I was not impressed. House of 1000 Corpses was just this side of awful, but he managed to turn me around with The Devil's Rejects. It wasn't perfect, but it was a nice throwback to the better horror films of the 70's / 80's, and he'd obviously refined his skills as a director. Then the Halloween remake showed up a few years later and I was back to my old ways of hating Rob Zombie. I didn't find it entertaining, interesting, or the least bit necessary. I felt that he had shit all over what made the original so good by focusing on Michael as a child and trying to make him more of a serial killer rather than a boogeyman. However, given that he bombed with House and had slightly turned me around with Rejects, I used a little logic and thought that maybe he could turn me around with Halloween 2. I couldn't have been more wrong. This was, without a doubt, one of the worst movies I've ever seen, remake or otherwise. This movie was bad enough to make me want to call his original remake a masterpiece.
Review by Tristan
Added: August 31, 2009
We start tonight's film by picking up right after the events of the original. Laurie is still holding the smoking gun in her hand and Michael still has a bullet lodged in his brain. Laurie takes a trip to the hospital, and Michael is thrown into the back of an ambulance to be taken to the police station. Of course he never makes it there, and after dispatching a few people he takes off into the woods surrounding Haddonfield. We skip ahead a year to Laurie still having horrible nightmares about Michael and trying to cope with the events that took place on that fateful evening. We are also given a look into Michael's predicament, which seems to be aimlessly wandering and camping out in a barn. Maybe he's counting down the days until next Halloween, who knows. Anyway, Laurie has some new friends, Dr. Loomis has survived and published a new book, and all seems to be well in Haddonfield. That is of course until Halloween rolls around, and Michael returns to finish what he started. At least, that's what should have probably happened. Instead he takes orders from the ghost of his mother and a white horse. Yes, you read that correctly. He also speaks to her through the phantom form of his childhood self. Throw in some cliched hillbilly characters and locations, and you have yourself a Rob Zombie film.
I don't even know where to begin with this movie. Much like the Friday the 13th remake from earlier this year, absolutely everything that could be done wrong, was. Not only did I not care about a single character in this film, I didn't care how or when they died either. In most slasher films, you either really care about the characters, or you are on the edge of your seat, waiting to see how the director offs the next one. Neither of those were the case here, as people were taken out left and right without even getting a rise out of me. You know you've made a poor slasher film when the deaths are boring and barely worth mentioning. One thing worth noting is that in each stabbing scene, Michael always gave a few extra stabs, even when he knew his victim was dead. Why? Probably because Zombie was scraping the bottom of the barrel, looking for ways to make his killer seem that much more over-the-top. It was immediately noticeable, and it didn't really add anything to the scenes. Another thing that really bothered me was the over-inflated body count. Many of the kills took place in dream sequences, and the ones that didn't were almost entirely random and were only there to add a few extras scenes to appease the teenagers craving a bit of the red stuff. Sort of like a majority of the characters, only there to add to the body count. Laurie has a new bunch of friends who of course, end up dead. What about dear old Dr. Loomis, you might ask. Well, he is merely a parody of himself, and somehow manages to show up just in the nick of time to get horribly butchered. His role could have been written out completely and I wouldn't have been the least bit bothered. Sort of like this movie, I suppose.
So I guess this was Zombie's attempt at trying to make an artsy film. I say this, because a lot of the film is made up of weird filters, black and white sequences, slo-motion shots, and a lot of audio manipulation. Did it work? Not one bit. And this certainly wasn't the film to try out your new "style". This is supposed to be a Halloween movie. You know, back when that name actually meant something. It wasn't just another in a long list of terrible remakes. I could count on at least 15 hands the amount of times that Zombie went with a slo-motion shot and / or one of the other mentioned camera affects for a death sequence. I don't know if it was supposed to evoke some emotion out of the audience - as slo-motion tends to do - but it certainly didn't in this case. I found it aggravating, and it brought me back to House of 1000 Corpses, when his camera work was sloppy and he tried to pack too much into a scene. It didn't work then, and it didn't work now. This is supposed to be a slasher movie. Even in this day and age, we don't really need cheesy dream sequences and ghostly apparitions to get us through a movie. Speaking of which, these scenes seemed to be thrown in whenever and had no bearing on the plot at all. However, in all fairness, all the scenes seemed to be that way. Tossed together with no real purpose. It would almost seem like there was a very strict time constraint on the editing process. Even a bad director would have the good sense to recognize when his movie has been tossed together poorly.
We all remember the original Halloween 2. It took place moments after the original film ended, and centered around Laurie's night in the hospital. Zombie decided not to take the same route - which was nice - and pickup one year after the events of the first film. Only, we're given a very brief and lame scene about Michael's escape and then the film jumps ahead a year. To Michael living in a barn with a Grizzly Adams' beard. Apparently the police didn't search very hard for him, as he's definitely within walking distance of the entire town of Haddonfield. Somehow he also manages to keep pretty good track of time, waiting until exactly Halloween night to exact his revenge and make Laurie a part of his family forever. At least I think that's his plan. It's really not very clear what his intentions are in this movie. It would appear as though he's following the orders of his ghost mother to kidnap Laurie and make her a part of the family, but when presented with the opportunity he doesn't do anything besides drag her into a shed and let her sit there. This is just one of numerous scenes in the film that don't make sense, don't fit, and are only there to stretch out the already 90 minutes too long play time.
As of now, I think I'm officially done with Rob Zombie's films. He never really impressed me before and managed to ruin one of the greatest slasher films of all time. Now he's somehow managed to make one of the worst movies I've ever seen. And trust me folks, I have seen my fair share of bad movies. Every horror junkie has those few that even they don't want to admit watching. I'll admit to watching this one, only because it's so much fun to tear apart. I can't honestly say there was a single sequence in this film that made me think "Well that was alright". All of it was atrocious, and I can't stress enough how this film needs to be skipped and forgotten. From what I understand, there's already talks of a 3D sequel and Rob Zombie has signed on for a remake of The Blob. I suppose Hollywood really doesn't know anything about movies anymore. As far as worst films of the year go, I think this one tops out the list. I pray I never have to see the film that could take its place. I don't even know why I reviewed it, seeing how the old expression "any press is good press" is a very accurate statement. It would have been nicer if a film like this could have been swept under the rug and completely forgotten. My condolences to those of you who watched this film, and my sincerest apologies for those who actually read through the review.
Let me start off by saying that I loved the first Halloween remake. I enjoyed the side story involving Michael in the institute, I enjoyed the violence and I even enjoyed the actual Slasher act of the movie. I thought "Halloween II" was going to be even better because it's not a remake, it's a new story. Rob Zombie had more control over this movie so it would have more of his style, and I actually liked how Michael looked in this movie. Let me say that this is not nearly as good as the first one; it's just a mess that goes absolutely nowhere, and was probably the most pointless sequel ever made.
Review by Nirrad
Added: August 31, 2009
"Halloween II" picks up right after the events of "Halloween". Paramedics arrive to the scene and begin loading bodies into the back of the ambulance. We see a few dead bodies, and we see that Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) is still alive. Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton) somehow wandered away from the scene without anyone noticing, but the town Sheriff (Brad Dourif) manages to catch up to Laurie and take her to the hospital. It has been almost a year since the events of "Halloween" and Laurie has now been adopted by Sheriff Lee Brackett. Every night she has nightmares about Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) trying to kill her, and it is clear that she hasn't recovered from the events a year ago. Meanwhile Michael is living out in the fields and begins to make his way back to Haddonfield for his return on Halloween night. He somehow knows its a few days until Halloween. During his trek home, he constantly bumps into hicks, hillbillies, strippers, basically every white trash cliché Zombie can think of, and he kills all of them. Throughout this whole process, Michael has visions of his mother dressed in white riding a white horse telling him what to do. Yes you read that correctly. So Michael eventually makes his pointless return home to finally get to Laurie, and then a whole lot of nothing happens.
Wow, what a pointless and terrible movie. I had some expectations, and somehow this movie didn't even come close to them. The problem here is that Zombie tries a bunch of ideas, but basically throws them into the movie with no merit. Seriously, this is just a big jumbled mess, it makes no sense. I would like to know how Michael Myers just all of a sudden woke up from inside an ambulance. The only guess I have is that the crash made his heart start pumping again. This scene alone almost ruins the entire movie. If the movie was at least decent, but had this scene, I would still think it was a piece of garbage. As the two paramedics are driving back to the hospital, they have a conversation about how they got a hard on by some of the dead bodies. What was the point of this? I realize that there are some necrophiliacs out there, but this is just ridiculous. It's just Zombies 500th attempt to make his characters seem disturbed, but too bad for him, because it comes off as retarded. During this conversation they crash into a cow. This kills the driver, but the other paramedic is still alive but injured. It is at this point which I'm willing to bet that some people wanted to walk out. This man begins to curse the word "fuck" for what has to be at least 45 seconds. There is nothing more to the scene then that. It's a close up shot of his face, and he curses the word over and over and over. It sounds like some 8 year old kid hearing the word for the first time and saying it over and over because he's trying to be cool.
Immediately after that scene, Michael begins to see his mother dressed in white with a white horse. What a stupid idea, the only reason this exists is so that his wife Sheri can have a part in the movie. And if they are going to do something like this, then why make it so over the top and corny? Why does she have to be in a white dress? And why does she need a horse? Zombie should have just gone all the way and have her ride a unicorn for Christ sakes, I honestly would have enjoyed it better simply for hilarity. Just like her, every other character was useless. They were either fodder for a kill count, they didn't exist, or they were simply pointless. Case in point Dr. Loomis. Dr. Loomis goes around selling his new book about Michael. We understand that is just whoring the situation, and I guess we are supposed to hate him for it. There is a scene where he is confronted by one of the victims' father from the first movie. I guess we are to feel sorry for the father and hate Loomis, but nope, we simply don't care. At the very end he finally knows Michael is out there, and he arrives at the location. At this point we are thinking "OK, now we get to see why he is truly in this movie", but nope, it ends up even more pointless.
This movie honestly had little to nothing going for it. There is absolutely no story! If you are going to see the movie for some nice kills and some gore, you still won't find anything. Each death has a shaky cam in which you can't see anything, and each death is nothing more then Michael stabbing his victim countless times, then a last one for good measure. The only scene which I liked, and that's because it's hilarious, is a scene where Michael randomly pops out from the side of a tree. For any of you that have seen "A Nightmare On Elm Street", just picture the scene near the beginning where Freddy is chasing Tina and pops out from a tiny tree. I swear it's almost exactly like that. I literally laughed for 5 minutes because of that scene. Right before it happened, I thought to myself it would be funny if he popped out, and holy god Zombie finally didn't let me down. I could seriously go on, but it's a waste of my time to type, and a waste of your time to read. Skip this garbage; it has nothing going for it. It's stupid, boring, and pointless and should have never seen the light of day.
- added 09/01/2009, 12:37 AM
Did you two go to the movie together and see
this, you probably made out after the show as
well. Anyways I probably will not see this, most
remakes are horrible. They take apart everything
that made the movie what it was, what's the point
of taking out everything that made it great. Also
what is up with all this directors and making
these guys have feelings damn it!
- added 09/01/2009, 09:57 AM
As Nirrad said, this is NOT a remake. It's Rob
Zombie's vision of a Halloween movie. He called
it H2 because it is a sequel to his
prequel/remake, but it has absolutely nothing to
do with the original Halloween 2.
am a Rob Zombie fan. I've liked all of his movies
so far and despite the two negative reviews, I
will be seeing this movie this weekend. That
being said, I don't get Tristan's review. Why
would you pay to see a Rob Zombie movie when you
are "not a fan"? Guess, he got your
money. Also, I appreciated Nirrad's review and
I've taken it into consideration, but I'll check
it out and form my own opinion.
- added 09/08/2009, 12:55 AM
So, I checked this movie out this weekend and
thought I'd offer up my two cents. Not in the
form of an extensive review, but in a paragraph.
Let me just start by saying I thought this would
have been a much better movie if it wasn't living
up to "Halloween" standards and was just
a serial killer movie. Because my opinion would
have been greatly altered. I mean, Michael grunts
when he kills instead of being silent, he looks
like Zakk Wylde without the mask on and why no
mask anyway? Plus, Dr. Loomis is a total douche
bag. These discrepancies among others were my
biggest problem. I couldn't handle the first ten
minutes of the movie what with Laurie being
operated on (disgusting) and the paramedic saying
"fuck" for like five minutes (annoying)
and then the new Michael Myers kid sounded like he
was reading from cue cards, just terrible. Once
we jumped ahead a year though, I thought it was
good. Danielle Harris was awesome and Scout
Taylor-Compton and Malcolm McDowell were also
great. To the two reviewers above, I'll say, the
"white horse" concept was explained in
the beginning and Dr. Loomis' parts were in there
for comic relief more than anything and to break
away from Laurie's horrible life and Michael's
killing spree. Overall, I thought it was a decent
movie, it did it's job of disturbing me and I
liked Zombie's little twist ending. I will
however, say it's my least favorite of his so far.
- added 09/15/2009, 10:56 PM
Mrs. Zombie should have taken a back seat in this
movie. Get rid of that whole bit and suddenly this
movie moves from barely mediocre to a decent
slasher movie. And of course, the movie needed a
little polishing here and there. Both in camera
work (zoom the hell out once in a while) and
editing (FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK
FUCK FUCK). Also, boooo on Danielle Harris not
showing us her rack again.
- added 01/22/2010, 07:49 AM
I thought the whole mountain man deal worked
here, and personally, I enjoyed it. Michael is a
psycho - he's not going to wake up, take a shower,
shave, and put on some fresh clothes before he
goes out on his killing spree. Since (the
majority of) this movie took place two years after
the first one, it's an added little dash of
realism that he has the huge beard going on.
Also, yes, the white horse was explained in the
opening moments, and even though it was used too
much, it wasn't a bad idea in theory. Didn't like
Loomis, did like the kills, loved some of the
shots, hated the MTV-style editing during the
kills, enjoyed the overall storyline, hated bits
and pieces of it... I'd say this movie falls
somewhere in the middle of the scale. 6/10.
- added 10/04/2010, 12:34 AM
I loved this movie. The fact that Danielle harris
is back in the halloween business was great! The
scene with Sheriff Brackett seeing her on the
floor was sad and good acting. Scout is also very
good at her age. Acting severely upset looked like
everyday breakfast for her.
- added 12/27/2010, 06:37 PM
Has anyone else seen both the theatrical release
as well as the director's cut? They are radically
different and you could have a completely
different take on this movie depending on which
version you've seen. I much prefer the director's
cut. Anyway, just curious if anyone else had seen