Happy Halloween Everyone. If you’ve been paying attention, over the last month, I’ve reviewed all the movies in the Halloween franchise from John Carpenter’s terrifying classic, to Rob Zombie’s over-stylized brutal remakes and everything in between. “The Shape” has been slashing throats and crushing skulls for over 30 years now and it’s not clear whether he’s done. At this point, I really hope there is another sequel, either to the original storyline or even to the 2000’s reboot. (Rob Zombie has publicly stated that he has no interest or desire to be involved with any sort of Halloween 3 which is good news for everyone.) Both storylines left the door open for another installment so from a true Michael Myers fan, I’m hoping we haven’t seen the last of him.
Rob Zombie’s 2009 Halloween 2 was an epic shitstorm. Like we’ve seen in several of the previous Halloween sequels, we’re seeing the filmmakers trying to retrofit this complex and convoluted backstory where it doesn’t belong. It takes away from the present storyline and the urgency of what’s happening to the characters. It over-explains things to the point of insignificance (I’ll get back to this). It’s fairly clear that Rob Zombie had no actual storyline left and he just wanted to make a snuff film. He even alludes to, but then awkwardly strays from the Halloween II storyline we know and love (Laurie strode in the hospital). The whole movie is poorly constructed and seems to be an attempt to upset the audience rather than entertain them. Some of the death sequences are so drawn out and painful to watch that it borders on torture porn. Also MICHAEL MYERS ISN’T EVEN WEARING A MASK MOST OF THE TIME. What the fuck, Rob?
Warning: This review contains spoilers to the previous film and some early parts of this film.
Ok, like the original HII, this movie opens right where the first one left off. If you remember, the first Zombie film ended with Laurie Strode introducing Michael’s cranium to a .357 Magnum round from a range of about 8 inches. That’s goodnight nurse, I don’t care who you are. They take her to the hospital and there’s a graphic, painful, and drawn-out surgery scene where she’s screaming and crying. It’s not fun to watch. Michael kills the morticians (He actually saws homeboy’s head off with a piece of broken windshield.) Then Michael heads to the hospital and plays a little more goodnight nurse. You’re like, “OK this is cool. Just like the original HII. But no. After 20 minutes of this, we realize the hospital scene is all a dream. Cut to 2 years later and Laurie is seriously traumatized and losing her shit- to the point where it’s annoying. One second she’s freaking out, screaming and crying and the next second she’s happy go lucky. I think this was sloppy writing/directing rather than complex psychology at play.
We find out that Michael’s body was never found and even though everyone thinks he’s dead, Laurie is still scared that he’ll come back. Malcolm McDowell is back as a snotty rich Loomis who wrote a book about the murders and all he cares about is publicity and book sales. This Loomis is a complete dildo. Nothing like Donald Pleasance’s Loomis or even the Loomis from the first Rob Zombie Halloween. There’s no cohesive story-line really. We just see Laurie unraveling and Loomis being a dickhole while Michael Myers killing random and inconsequential people for an hour and a half with or without a mask (By the way, without the mask, he looks like a giant Rob Zombie-I wonder if that was an accident). There’s a ludicrous showdown at the end and too many important characters get killed. It’s just like they gave up on writing-cranked out the last 15 or 20 pages in like a half an hour and started filming. After the hospital dream scene, this didn’t even feel like a Halloween movie.
One of the most annoying things was the way they tried to explain Michael’s rationale for killing even more. Occasionally we’ll see things from Michael’s point of view. We get a little further into his psyche and are subjected to a silly persistent hallucination he has. He imagines himself as the child in the clown costume from the beginning of the sage. His mother is there in a white dress egging him on to kill again. Ultimately, she wants him to kill his sister so their family can be together again. There’s some nonsense about a white horse and the Moody Blues song “Knights in White Satin” plays whenever Michael is coming. It’s all a little overcooked and yet underdeveloped. Nice try Rob but this white theme is a little heavy-handed for my taste and it didn’t quite land.
Ok, so the directing sucked, the writing was asinine, the characters were weak and underdeveloped, and the overall execution of the Halloween theme was questionable at best. Were there any redeeming qualities of the (so far) final page in the Michael Myers saga? Yes. The way this thing is shot is actually pretty great. It just looks scary. Zombie and the lighting/cinematography team did a great job making this thing look the part. There are some great back-lighting shots with cool silhouettes, interesting camera angles and tracking shots. You could make the argument that it was too dark at times to see everything but if you remember the original, that’s how Carpenter did it too. So props to Zombie on that. Also, true to his roots, Zombie picked a great horror score for this one. The music is not really my taste, but it fits well in this type of brutal horror movie. Heavy industrial music really sets the tone for what we’re watching.
Overall, the movie is a big swing and a miss, but if you’ve come this far, just watch it so you can say you’ve got the whole series under your belt. And who knows, I’d be surprised if this was the last we see of Michael Myers. Now, I think this movie will get a halfway decent rating below-which just proves that the rating system is not perfect- in fact, far from it.
- Is it scary: 3- Don’t make the mistake of confusing blood with scares. This had a few intense moments but overall, not conventionally scary.
- Originality: 3- It just felt like reprocessed, repurposed horror/Halloween stuff. It was like the Spam of horror movies.
- Blood: 7- Pretty Goddamn bloody. Almost too realistic and traumatic to be enjoyable.
- Believability: 2–The story and writing are ridiculous. Characters do the dumbest unbelievable things.
- Setting/Cinematography: 7- Like I said, Zombie did a good job here. The film is shot very well and really looks scary.
Final Score: 22/50