Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Halloween II" review

Halloween II (2009)

Director: Rob Zombie
Writer: Rob Zombie

Sheri Moon Zombie ... Deborah Myers
Chase Wright Vanek ... Young Michael (as Chase Vanek)
Scout Taylor-Compton ... Laurie Strode
Brad Dourif ... Sheriff Lee Brackett
Caroline Williams ... Dr. Maple
Malcolm McDowell ... Dr. Samuel Loomis
Tyler Mane ... Michael Myers
Danielle Harris ... Annie Brackett
Margot Kidder ... Barbara Collier

I met my friends at the Mann Chinese 6 in Hollywood to see a double feature. "The Final Destination" followed by "Halloween 2". It just felt like the right thing to do. We had just finished watching "The Final Destination" and decided to take a lunch break while we recuperated from the D-Box experience. The D-Box is a vibrating chair that keeps up with the movie and shakes when something exciting happens. We hoped that "Halloween 2" would turn out to be just as much fun as the first part of our double feature. We were very wrong.

Going from the euphoria of a shaking D-Box chair to this debacle was truly a sobering experience. We should have stopped while we were ahead. "Halloween 2" has Michael Myers joylessly slaughtering people so he can reunite with his baby sister. Many poor souls will die needlessly horrible deaths as a fake Laurie Strode, (there is only Jamie Lee Curtis), screeches and wails her way around town as she tries to escape Michael's wrath. A second rate Dr. Loomis, (there is only Donald Pleasence), shows up as a greedy, narcissistic con man who tries to cash in on murder and mayhem. Rob Zombie tries to as well but there is only one John Carpenter and he's not it.

Enough is enough. No more. No more needless, unwanted remakes of classic horror movies. How could Zombie, who is clearly a lover of pop culture and horror movies, go so wrong with this movie? Everything that makes the "Halloween" movies enjoyable is shamelessly discarded. Dr. Loomis was a great character in the original movie. Why does Zombie want to turn him into a sniveling weasel? Was he too enjoyable as he was? There is not one likeable character in this movie. Jamie Lee Curtis was perfect as the innocent Laurie Strode while Zombie's version is a whimpering basket case. And where was Michael Myers theme song? One of the most iconic horror movie theme songs in history is scrapped for no apparent reason as Zombie doesn't seem to have any other tricks up his sleeve. The only thing he knows how to do is film people being brutally murdered. In Zombie's world, everyone is pathetic and deserves to die.

But there is one notable exception for Zombie. He loves putting his wife in his movies. Now I have nothing against Sheri Moon Zombie but she did not need to be within miles of this movie. Sheri shows up as Michael's dead mother who guides him towards his murder filled destiny. She also manages to have a pale horse walking along side her which symbolizes Zombie's pretentiousness. Every time that ridiculous horse ended up on screen, my friend couldn't resist letting out a contemptuous snicker for the audience to hear. I heard you man. I was laughing on the inside.

There's a lot wrong with "Halloween 2" but is there anything right? Well, Zombie does enjoy inflicting pain on his characters and there are many scenes of blood and mutilation. But it's a joyless movie as Zombie has no sense of humor about horror movies and prefers to keep things miserable for the characters and the audience. He also has a fetish for the 60's and 70's as there are many references sprinkled throughout the movie. Laurie Strode and the girls kick out the jams and dress up as Rocky Horror Picture Show freaks. There is also an extended scene as "Nights in White Satin" plays on the TV. Now that's realistic. If there's one thing you can count on in late night television, it's videos of Moody Blues tunes. Well, I suppose it's his movie and he can do what he wants.

But what did he want to do? Make a disappointing sequel to a mediocre horror remake? Ahh, who knows what's going on in his head? All I can hope for is that John Carpenter is cashing in on these movies and getting some well deserved compensation for his contributions to the horror genre. Even Zombie's bloody misfire can't destroy all of the goodwill that the original "Halloween" has built up over the years. Maybe Zombie needs to watch it again to remember why he liked it in the first place. "Halloween 2" only shows his disdain and disrespect for the original slasher classic.

SCORE: 2 out of 4 dead horses

1 comment:

JT said...

Do you wanna ride it? Educated Horses.

Yeah, I really didn't like the visions of the dead mother, but those scenes were beautifully an eerie sort of way.
I do like the brutality of the murders. (The head stomping scene was my fav.)
Looking back on the original Halloween 2, at least these kills were realistic.
Maybe not his best, but it is better that Halloween 5,6,7 and 8 by a long shot.
But that's just me.

Foxy, Foxy What's it gonna be?