Thursday, September 10, 2009

Review - Halloween II

After the terrible events that transpired on Halloween evening in Haddonfield, Laurie Strode is desperately trying to get back to normalcy in her life. Getting there hasn't been easy at all. The body of Michael Myers was never found and Laurie is routinely plagued with terrific nightmares of the stalking killer. Now one year later on Halloween, Laurie Strode has her darkest fears come true when Michael Myers returns to Haddonfield intending to finish what he started.

Rob Zombie's second attempt at the Halloween franchise is the worst film of the directors young career. The film is badly entrenched with terrible character development and Zombie's creative control with the Jon Carpenter's original characters becomes an agonizing nightmare to endure. Furthermore Zombie's desire to turn Michael Myers beloved mythology into a mommy issue was a pathetic attempt at trying to bring a new spin to the Halloween franchise.

"Halloween II" opens in similar vein to the original 1981 sequel to Carpernter's Halloween with Michael taking aim on Laurie at Haddenfield General Hospital. The opening sequence is devastatingly dark and is some of Zombie's best work on the Halloween franchise to date. Unfortunately, "Halloween II" from there takes a disastrous turn for the worse and the rest of the 101 minute film is hardly worth the price of admission. Simply put, you watch as Rob Zombie destroys everything good about the iconic horror villain.

One of the biggest disappointments to "Halloween II" is Sheri Moon Zombie returning as Deborah Myers. Zombie decided to include the ghost of Deborah Myers in the sequel as something that pushed Michael to kill. We saw glimpses of this imagery in the first trailer released and I truly hoped it wouldn't play a pivotal part in the plot, but it does. The result is revolting. I hate the fact the Rob Zombie used a recycled storyline to change things in Michael Myers back story. One of the best aspects to Michael was not knowing what drove him to kill. Zombie instead hand delivers Myers devilish desires to kill and puts them solely in the hands of his mother. To make matters worse Sheri Moon Zombie is at the very minimum a grating actress to watch in any performance. She is terrible and here in "Halloween II" her performance had me considering not even finishing the film.

It must be noted how destructive Rob Zombie was with the character of Dr. Samuel Loomis played by Malcolm McDowell. He turned him from a caring psychologist into a money hungry tyrant that has absolutely no redeeming qualities. McDowell still portrays Loomis in commanding fashion, however the character development Zombie penned in his screenplay is pitiful. Zombie also takes a similar path with Laurie Strode played by Scout Taylor-Compton. It felt logical that Strode could have become a stronger yet troubled female after the events of Michael's first attack, but to make her into a gothic rocker who is a border line psychopath just felt a bit over-board for me. Granted Laurie had gone through a horrific event, but where Zombie takes the character by the end of the film, will most certainly having you laughing your ass off.

Tyler Mane is daunting as Michael Myers and he does a great job of creating the eerie demeanor Michael is known for. I actually enjoyed the new look to Myers in the sequel, it made sense that the killer would have (over the course of one year) gained some new attire outside of the usual cover-alls. One huge thing that bugged me was the grunting Michael does while killing his victims. Michael has always been a silent killer and here in "Halloween II" it was very distracting to constantly hear Myers grunting as he killed. Brad Dourif as Sheriff Lee Bracket represents the best performance and character development in "Halloween II". He is the only character that Zombie did not tarnish in the sequel. Dourif has always been a solid actor and here in "Halloween II" he does a worthy job with the little screen time allotted.

In the end, I can't recommend seeing "Halloween II". The film is plagued with destructive character development and a piss poor spin of the Myers mythology. The film does have some brutal killings, but I have seen better and more original deaths from Zombie in the past. The film is overtly dark and watching the shadow play throughout the film does become draining and diverting. If I were you I'd save my money and re-watch the original 1981 Halloween II, Zombie's attempt is better left for dvd or cable for that matter.