Halloween II (Rob Zombie) Movie Review

Halloween II Rob Zombie Movie Review
by Marcey Papandrea, MoreHorror.com

Having recently re-watched the entire full length feature directorial works of Rob Zombie, one film really stood out for me. That film is his 2009 effort, Halloween II, the follow up to his Halloween remake from 2007.

Why did this film stick out so much? I don’t think I can recall a film I have seen (first time or re-watch) this year that has angered and disgusted me the way this film has. My first viewing of this was when the Director’s Cut came to DVD, it was not a pleasurable experience in the least. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I really loathed this film.

Now I am a defender of Rob Zombie’s as a filmmaker, I actually really like his films, except this one. I thought his Halloween remake was quite solid actually; I really liked his outlook and approach. I was interested to see how he tackled Michael Myers, and the fact that we spent about half of the film with the child that he was, was a brave decision.

The second half was more of a straight up remake, but it was well handled and it had a great atmosphere. The characters for the most part were pretty well rounded, with Michael still being an enigma but something quite harsh. Laurie Strode and Sam Loomis were both strong and very likeable characters.

All of these aspects that made Halloween a strong film (at least in my opinion) were thrown out of the window with this sequel. The story picks up some time after the events of the first one (the Director’s Cut and Theatrical Cut specify different time frames); Michael is presumed dead but we know better than that.

Dr. Loomis has written a book about Michael, but he is not the same man he was once. Perhaps Michael made him snap, but no longer is he an understanding individual, or a caring one. He is self-fish, and only wants to self promote and refuses to take any kind of responsibility.

Laurie as well is no longer the same, she is haunted by the events, living with the Brackett’s she treats most people around her poorly and refuses to be anything but self-fish (see a theme here?). It isn’t long before Michael starts killing people, wanting to get to Laurie because spoiler alert she is his sister.

The story really is non-existent here, nothing is really explained nor is there any kind of actual narrative structure. Michael kills, and he kills in a slow and mean spirited way. He wasn’t like this in the first film, in this he focuses on the suffering and complete torture of the people he kills. There is no motivation or explanation for this increased rage. Is his insanity getting the best of him? I don’t know! Nothing is made clear. It feels more like Zombie wants to be as sick and sadistic as possible without any justification.

Now I don’t have a problem with gore, or mean spirited films, but I need a reason for it, there is nothing here to give reason to it. Perhaps if this were an exploitation grindhouse film it might make sense simply for being that, but it isn’t and there is no excuse.

The characters here are all just terrible and developed so stupidly, anything that was good about them is gone. Laurie has turned into an asshole, just like that. Now yes she went through a traumatic experience, but this is not what happens. I have been through traumatic experiences, and I didn’t have this kind of extreme character change.

I didn’t treat everyone I know like a piece of garbage, Laurie does and there is no way anyone can feel sympathy for her. There are no redeeming qualities about her, and I spent the entire film wanting to strangle her, so I wouldn’t have to put up with her crap anymore. Loomis’ character change is equally as terrible, and I wanted to do the same thing to him. It honestly doesn’t even make much sense why he is there, and why we should care about a man who is a self-fish ass.

I love Malcolm McDowell but this was one of the worst performances I have ever seen him deliver. The Brackett’s are the only decent characters, and they make the film bearable at least a little. The performances here are quite terrible, Scout Taylor-Compton especially standing out with her weak and over the top dumb performance.

Quite simply this film is a mess, in every which way. It is a task to sit through, the script is ridiculous, the characters aren’t even characters, they are simply people existing to be nasty. The violence is so jacked up it just doesn’t make any sense. There is no real structure, it is the worst kind of irritating. I’d love to know what Zombie was thinking when he wrote and directed this; this is a black mark in an otherwise solid career. I never want to waste my time sitting through this again, and I sure hope he’s learnt from this huge mistake.

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