Starring: Tyler Mane, Scout Taylor-Compton, Brad Dourif, Malcolm McDowell, Sheri Moon-Zombie
Director: Rob Zombie
Writer(s): Rob Zombie
Cinematography: Brandon Trost
Original Score: Tyler Bates
Running Time: 105 Mins.
Halloween is pretty hard franchise to totally mess up, for as weak as the vast majority of sequels to John Carpenter’s seminal original were, right up until Halloween: Resurrection which was awful, they at least did not miss the point of Myers as an iconic boogeyman, at no point was any attempt to humanize him and never ever demask him. For quite frankly what would be the point, he is the ultimate example of “the other” the unknown entity that cannot be stopped, and therein lies the ultimate fear Myers as a character elicits despite the shallowness of the surrounding films other faults.
With this in mind cast yourself back to 2007, and Rob Zombie’s original “re-imagining”, pretty much a film of two halves it reinterpreted the bulk Carpenters original whilst adding a whole other needless chunk of back-story, showing Michael as a child, in therapy and crying to his mother. As a fan of Zombie’s stylistic approach to horror, that grimy gritty-ness of the 70’s snuff films, I relished seeing what he would do with such a premise and character, and in fairness he at least tried to deepen the story and give Myers an arc, however in doing this he has totally robbed the character of anything fearful.
However as the original remake paced up towards the final act Myer’s became an unstoppable force again and Zombie gritty flourishes recreated the seminal film in his own way giving it, and the franchise new life with the whiny child from the earlier part of the film all but forgotten about…which is where Halloween 2 picks up and never recovers from a horrendously misjudged attempt to inject some psychological edge and reasoning to try and get the “family” back together.
The white horse we are told is a guiding light, and in context it becomes the voice in Myer’s head, escaping from the morgue van (in one of the films better scenes) he swiftly disposes of the police officer, and then proceeds to head to Haddonfield to “reunite the family”, something spurned on by dreams of his mother (Sheri Moon Zombie). In the meantime Laurie is also having dreams, most of which involve Myers killing people, whether these are premonitions or simply dreams is never made clear. Hugely problematic seeing as these dreams from both point’s of view are handled so badly and slow the film down to a crawl that you really wont care.
Shamefully Myers has been made the focus with all victims played as whingeing teens or self-infatuated egotist’s, which basically means you really have no empathy for any of them, and as Zombie takes more and more liberties with the character more of his menace becomes lost and when you see the bearded tramp like unmasked Myer’s you too will realise quite how misjudged Zombie is in taking this route. Missing the point so aborantly in opening up his protagonist you will be left questioning whether Zombie actually knows anything of the horror coda and what is scary, it certainly isn’t a Grizzly Adams man in a hoodie and a boiler suit.
Beyond recovery from the start, it is hard to gleam little in the way of positives from Halloween 2, Zombie is a promising director and yes he does have a great signature style but when the content is so messed up and lacking any understanding within the sphere he is working you wonder if there is any hope however one arc he does impress with is Loomis (McDowell reprising the role), though all the set-upb up is wasted in the close, building him up as a total bastard who is making as much money of other’s misfortunes, he begins to realise the error of his ways, sounds pretty basic but it works and for that, in a film this misjudged, on the whole you have to be thankful!
A misguided mess that serves only to prove that Zombie simply doesn’t “get” the genre he is working in and the iconic character he has at his disposal, the best thing about Halloween 2 is the poster!