Halloween II (2009)



Rob Zombie's Halloween IIReviewed by Andrew Kasch

Starring Scout Taylor Compton, Tyler Mane, Malcolm McDowell, Danielle Harris

Directed by Rob Zombie


Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

That’s an average line spoken in Halloween II, sometimes – and I’m not kidding – for minutes at a time. From the overuse of profanity, trailer trash stereotypes, gratuitous use of cameos and angelic images of Sheri Moon, it's as though Rob Zombie listened to every complaint about his remake and amped it up for this badly self-indulgent sequel. Is it out of spite for his critics, or is it because the man just can’t do anything else? Regardless, Halloween II is every bit as pointless a sequel to the first as that film was a pointless remake of the John Carpenter classic.

It’s pretty clear in the first twenty minutes that Zombie has already run out of story ideas and is simply stringing his characters along just for the sake of making a sequel. Things start off okay enough with a near-catatonic Laurie Strode rushed to Haddonfield Hospital in the bloody aftermath of Michael Myers’ rampage. Unfortunately the coroners didn’t think to remove the “dead” Myers’ mask and check for a pulse, and he quickly rises to go after his kid sister. There’s an abridged version of the original Halloween II hospital rampage as Myers stalks Laurie that’s well shot and ratchets up some decent tension. But it’s all for naught because Zombie decides to make the first act an elaborate dream sequence. So much for stakes.

We catch up with Laurie a year later. She’s traumatized, morphed into a grunge chick and Margot Kidder is her therapist (so you know she’s really fucked). She lives in the secluded backwoods with surviving pal Annie (Danielle Harris) and even has slutty replacement friends to fill out the body count portion. But Michael Myers, now dressed head-to-toe in homeless rags and sporting a ZZ Top beard, has spent the past year living in the wild somewhere far away and decides it's time to go after his sister once again. Tis the season…

Rob Zombie's Halloween IIThe maskless Hobo Myers spends about half the film walking through barren fields like we’re watching some Werner Herzog nature documentary. He randomly kills any cameo actor who crosses his path and dons a tattered version of The Shape mask whenever he gets really pissed. In the second half Myers finally shows back up in town and begins systematically knocking off Laurie’s friends all over again. How does he know where she’s hiding? And why does he continue to stealthily bump off everyone around her when he can just go straight for the prize kill? I have no idea.

Meanwhile, Dr, Loomis (a returning Malcolm McDowell) has reached celebrity status with his latest tell-all Myers book and has turned into a cartoonish ego-maniac who hurls insults at journalists and throws diva tantrums (“I’m the NEW Loomis!” he screams when he sees an old photo of himself dressed in Donald Pleasence’s signature trenchcoat). The return of Loomis really serves no purpose other than to vocalize Zombie’s anger towards fans and critics, but McDowell is clearly having fun with the character, and his scenery chewing is the only thing that breaks up the boredom of the Laurie/Michael storyline.

It's no surprise the most embarrassing moments belong to Sheri Moon Zombie, who appears alongside a giant white horse (!) in several bad David Lynch-wannabe dream sequences. For reasons unknown both Michael and Laurie are having the same dreams and even witness visions of Young Michael, horrendously played by a new kid actor (Zombie would’ve been better off re-casting an older Daeg Faerch). These rapid-fire music video sequences are so mind-scathingly awful, they border on unintentional hilarity. Everything else in this film is a bloody bore of ancient slasher cliches. Every kill is painfully telegraphed and executed in Zombie’s typical shaky-cam fashion.

The high point of Halloween II is Brad Dourif, who is the only cast member delivering something beyond a two-dimensional performance. He gives a genuinely likable, sympathetic portrayal of Sherriff Brackett, and every time he’s on screen, you can’t help but dream of a better film where a gun-toting Dourif leads a Michael Myers manhunt without the rest of these annoying hick characters.

Of all the films in the Michael Myers franchise, this Halloween II may be the most plodding and thin entry to date. It should also be noted that the classic Halloween theme doesn’t appear once in this film except during the end credits where it is paired with a reprisal of “Love Hurts”. Thanks, Rob.

Film:

2 out of 5

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Didn't See It Coming's picture

Once again a Kasch review is met with ire and controversy. It's obvious that anyone who dislikes the movie is wrong for being biased while liking it is, by no means biased.

I really hate Rob Zombie and his fans. There I said it. I'm biased as fuck and proud of it.


Submitted by Didn't See It Coming on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 5:15pm.

I didn't see THAT coming! ;-)


Submitted by PelusaMG on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 10:18pm.
Sandstonesoft's picture

Stop using logic. It scares the RZ fans. That's why his movies are ... well, the way they always are.


Submitted by Sandstonesoft on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 6:23pm.
Sirand's picture

Why does every rabid RZ defender have trouble with basic English skills?


Submitted by Sirand on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 4:42pm.
moderator Best comment ever! From
Steve Barton's picture

Best comment ever! From IMDB:

"serously now these people r just jelous of rob & want to tear him down cuz they will never be him or have talent & fame like he do

i feel they do not get robs new masterpeice of horror cuz let us face it they r morons basicaly who do not get it & need to go watch boreing old crap like that boreing ass halloween from 500 year ago

rob zombie halloween 2007, the one true halloween"


Submitted by Steve Barton on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 5:58pm.
Daniel's picture

I must go rent this Halloween from 500 years ago!


Submitted by Daniel on Sat, 08/29/2009 - 10:13am.

Talent and fame... talent and fame... talent... fame... Nope! I still can't see how those two things are related, especially when Paris Hilton is walking around on the planet!


Submitted by PelusaMG on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 10:27pm.
Shambling_in_Bandages's picture

Talent and Rob Zombie... talent and Rob Zombie... Nope! I still can't see how those two things are related, either. :)


Submitted by Shambling_in_Ba... on Sat, 08/29/2009 - 4:59am.
Holy shit.
The Unknown Murderer's picture

Holy shit.


Submitted by The Unknown Murderer on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 9:37pm.
AriesofPitt's picture

It always cracks me up when someone wants to attack someone or call them dumb or stupid because 9 times out of 10 they have the most horrific (hey, we're on a horror site I had to put that word in my post somewhere lol) grammar and/or spelling. Makes me laugh!! Happens on YouTube ALL the time!


Submitted by AriesofPitt on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 9:06pm.
Didn't See It Coming's picture

You're a better man that I am for weeding through those posts to find that gem. Wow, I never get enough of the irony.


Submitted by Didn't See It Coming on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 7:09pm.
Bone Daddy's picture

5-buck maninee for me on this one with Jack and Coke along for the ride...


Submitted by Bone Daddy on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 3:38pm.
Gus Bjork's picture

Ah, a man after my own heart.


Submitted by Gus Bjork on Sat, 08/29/2009 - 3:21pm.
quaznik's picture

i think a lot of you are being a tad dramatic over this movie. First off, DC has never really been a fan of the first remake and was not at all too excited about the sequel so we can only expect a bias opinion as far as a review. Second, has everyone turned idiot all the sudden and forgotten about the terrible Halloween Resurrection? Or the questionable Curse of Michael Myers? Yeah, i think zombie has done some things to the film that were unnecessary but it's better than what the studio was doing for the series. I'd rather watch 2 hours of a white horse than ANY Saw film any day.


Submitted by quaznik on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 12:46pm.
moderator We stand to gain nothing
Steve Barton's picture

We stand to gain nothing from giving this movie a negative review so why would we be bias? The only thing we hold a stake in, as do all fans, is our love for the genre and this franchise. Of course we want this to be good. I'm a fan of Rob's music and his movies with the exception of his last, and even then I stated publicly that I gained a semblance of respect for what Zombie did with Halloween after seeing the far more abysmal Friday the 13th remake. You're entitled to your own opinion but don't label us biased just because we gave ours. I'm reserving my judgment until the weekend.


Submitted by Steve Barton on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 2:31pm.
Shambling_in_Bandages's picture

"DC has never really been a fan of the first remake and was not at all too excited about the sequel so we can only expect a bias opinion as far as a review."

Now explain the negative reviews coming in from other sites. Are they all out to get Rob?


Submitted by Shambling_in_Ba... on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 1:50pm.
Didn't See It Coming's picture

I haven't forgotten about those movies. Sure, the remake was better than Resurrection, but it's still a terrible movie. It doesn't get a pass for being a slightly better piece of shit.

As for accusations of bias...If the movie was actually good, I doubt anyone would have a problem saying so. Especially since so many of the DC guys loved The Devil's Rejects. And no one WANTS to hate a movie. It's an unfortunate side-effect of watching a bad one.


Submitted by Didn't See It Coming on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 12:53pm.

Awesome review, even though it tells me exactly what I already knew. I still see people excited for this film, and I wonder "Did they see the trailer?"

I'll skip this, just as I skipped the first one (which I regrettably watched on DVD) and watch Carpenter's Halloween 1 & 2, ya know, since they are actually good.


Submitted by SCanfieldFilms on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 12:33pm.
Didn't See It Coming's picture

Wait, you mean this movie isn't good? I mean, how can that be? Everything else he's done has been awesome? How could a sequel to a horribly misguided remake possibly be terrible? Oh yeah, Rob Zombie wrote it.

I still think he might be able to direct, but I know for damn sure he can't write.


Submitted by Didn't See It Coming on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 12:29pm.
BigMatt's picture

Your review is dead on. There are so many problems with this film, it is hard to list them all. Just one that bothered me, if MM killings and visions were for/about the family, then where is Judith in the visions?
I'm one of the fans of RZ's first remake, and I gave this film every chance, but I wish I could express the wave of disappointment as it rushed over me when I realized how bad this movie is! There was so much material for a good sequel and RZ just screwed it up!


Submitted by BigMatt on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 1:59pm.
solus's picture

"Of all the films in the Michael Myers franchise, this Halloween II may be the most plodding and thin entry to date."

I suppose you haven't seen any of the Halloween films after the 1980 Halloween II.

Admittedly, this film wasn't what I hoped it would be, but it's light years beyond any of the drivel that's been put out under the Halloween moniker since the Myers-less third installment.


Submitted by solus on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 5:07am.
Sirand's picture

Yes, I've seen all the sequels. But ya know what? As awful as they were, they were shorter and had more going on. At least Myers did his Myers-thing instead of walking around through fields half the movie.


Submitted by Sirand on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 1:23pm.
DavidFullam's picture

"I suppose you haven't seen any of the Halloween films after the 1980 Halloween II.
Admittedly, this film wasn't what I hoped it would be, but it's light years beyond any of the drivel that's been put out under the Halloween moniker since the Myers-less third installment"

Seriously, Andrew must have missed those while blowing his wad over Funny Games (It breaks the 4th wall you know).


Submitted by DavidFullam on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 11:21am.
The Unknown Murderer's picture

Too bad..I was hoping for "So bad it's fun" at the least.

I'm beginning to think Rob Zombie never had any real filmmaking talent at all and that 'The Devil's Rejects' was just an anomaly.


Submitted by The Unknown Murderer on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 4:38am.
Mr. Gray's picture

Same here. After the first film got the burden of being a remake out of the way, Zombie had a blank slate for this one. He could have just gone nuts with it and done just about anything he wanted.

And this is the best he could come up with?


Submitted by Mr. Gray on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 5:26am.
The Unknown Murderer's picture

No kidding. Now he's remaking The Blob.

I say 'Screw it'. I'm staying home and I'm gonna watch "It" and "Return of the Lving Dead" for the umpteenth time.


Submitted by The Unknown Murderer on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 6:53am.
Mr. Gray's picture

What you say about Loomis reminds me of Roland Emmerich throwing a bumbling "Mayor Ebert" into the American Godzilla.

It's as if these guys think critics and fans are just picking on them to be dicks. We just don't understand them, so their subsequent efforts drip with mockery.

This is the cinematic equivalent of taking your ball and going home.


Submitted by Mr. Gray on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 4:10am.

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