HALLOWEEN 2 (2009) Review
Written by: Capt_Howdy
I just returned home from the premiere of Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 (thanks for the tickets!) and I've got to say that I'm very disappointed. Being the first reviewer of the film on the site, I hate that I'm not raving about it. I wanted to like this film so bad! I really enjoyed Rob Zombie's original remake, too.
Let me give it some praise before I get into what I didn't care for: It starts with a bang, and keeps the tension up throughout the entire film. I can not say that I got bored at all, and the movie moved along really quickly. It also looked good. Say what you will about Rob Zombie, but I think he's got a distinct style that is pleasing to the eye.
Having said that, however, let me slide into my first complaint: This is Rob Zombie-ville. Where Haddonfield the first time around seemed like a middle class white neighborhood, this time it looks like a backwoods village that hasn't had running water in a month. I don't know why, but Zombie makes all of the characters greasy, dirty, and just really unattractive. Laurie this time around looks like shit run over twice throughout the film, (understandable considering), and everyone around her just looks...gross.
Secondly, I really didn't give two shits about any of the characters this time. Laurie bumbles her way through, either screaming hysterically or sobbing uncontrollably; her friend Annie is back, but to no effect; and most disappointing is Dr. Loomis. First time around, he was portrayed as a generally likeable guy with a questionable moral compass. This time he's just an asshole. When he's not yelling at someone, he's screaming profanities to himself. I really disliked his character this time. VERY disappointing.
Then there were the kills. The excessive blood didn't bother me, nor did the body count. What drove me crazy were the sound effects. The stabbing, slicing, crunching, snapping noises were so ridiculously loud and over the top, that I felt like they should have just taken the Batman route and had giant cartoon letters on the screen that yelled SPLAT! CRACK! It was one of those things that once you notice it, you realize how ridiculous it gets.
And finally, my biggest gripe is surely going to be the most controversial one. This film is not a Halloween film. If it weren't for the William Shatner mask, I wouldn't have ever known this was in the Halloween family of films. We complain with remakes at times because we feel like the remake served no purpose - that the filmmakers didn't take it in a new direction or add anything new to the mythology. Well, Rob Zombie can never be accused of that. He certainly puts his own spin on the story. We are in Michael's head for the first time...and I think it ruins part of the mythology. I personally hated the whole "Kill for Mommy" idea. I saw it in the trailer, and had hoped it was just one scene. Well, it's not. It's basically the driving force.
For a character that was referred to in the original script in 1978 as "THE SHAPE," this Michael sure has got a lot of backstory. He's Michael, for God's sake! We don't have to know why he kills, or see that he's got mommy issues and some weird, warped sense of family! While Zombie dabbled in the ethos of Michael in the first film, he dives in head first into it this time around. I can appreciate the fact that they were trying to make a horror film with substance, that had deeper meanings and symbolism, really, I can, but to me, Halloween 2 comes off as an akward, unsuccessful attempt at experimental film. There's flashing images and bizarre dreams, and a white horse, and Michael as a boy (played by a different kid than in the first, and he must be related to Zombie, because there's no way a kid that is that completely awful at acting would ever get a gig on his own. Honestly painful to watch.)
I have other problems with the film, (like how Michael does a lot of grunting when he's stabbing people, and the absence of even a note of John Carpenter's classic theme song until the end credits) but this is dangerously close to turning into one of those reviews where the reviewer seemingly just hates the world. I'm sorry if this dampens anybody's excitement, and obviously this is just my little opinion. Keep in mind that I enjoyed the first, which many of you didn't, and I really dislike this one partly because it's absolutely nothing like the first. So perhaps that means if you hated the first, you'll love this one? I don't know. Still go see it, tell me what you think, disagree with me, call me an idiot, it'll be fun.