With a deep timbre the voice in the trailer for Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 tells us “Rob Zombie completes his extreme vision of a terrifying legend”. That vision however, he should have kept for himself, because after a decent re-imagining of the first movie Zombie absolutely fails on bringing a decent second one. Which is somewhat of a feat in itself as this is a slasher movie, not the hardest type of movies to make. But in trying to delve into the psyche of Michael once more Zombie loses himself in weirdo images of Michael being driven by the ghost of his dead mother and a child-version of himself. People familiar with The Friday The 13th franchise will probably recognize this as this was the case with Jason, especially in Part 2. Michael has become Jason, while Jason himself was a rip-off of the original Michael Myers. And to completely finish the insult to the character of Myers: Zombie has him ditching the mask and grunt while killing.
In the remake of the original Zombie chose to show us more about the youth of Michael Myers, something unseen in the previous entries in the series. Even though it took some part of the mystique away from the character it did not do him much harm. What does him harm is that in this movie Michael is getting his orders from his deceased mother played by Zombie’s wife Sheri Moon. She’s portrayed in a white dress with a white horse. So we see our beloved kitchen-knife-wielding man-mountain listening to Sheri, and to make things worse a kid-version of himself is constantly next to her, telling Mike what to do also.
The movie started of fairly decent though. It takes of where the first one ended and has Michael’s corpse being taken to the morgue. During this ride the van crashes into a cow (I kid you not) and gives Michael the opportunity to escape and continue his killing spree which takes him to the hospital where Laurie and Annie are treated after their encounter with him. But before Michael gets the opportunity to kill them Laurie wakes in her bedroom crying and screaming. It was only a dream… Now thinking back I’m wondering what actually was: all of it, or just the parts about Laurie and Annie in the hospital?
A couple of things become clear at this point: Laurie is now living with Annie and her dad Sheriff Brackett and she has issues, Dr. Loomis has written a book and is using Myers as a cash cow. He’s also a complete prick now, only focused on increasing his book-sales. There’s Michael who apparently has gone missing after the murders but is presumed dead, but he’s living in the country-side in some excluded barn with the ghost of his dead mother and his kiddie-self. 2 years later on October 29th Michael is going home again. 29 October? Yes, it’s a long walk from the country-side to Haddonfield.
From here on it’s a rather sloppy path he’s on. And to not draw attention Michael has taken of his mask and looks like a vagrant. I slapped myself on the forehead the minute I realized that giant bum walking around the countryside was Michael Myers. Halloween rule #1: You do not show Myers’ face, never period! Damn I always loved the character more in movies where you couldn’t even see the eyes in the mask, just two dark holes, now they’re showing his entire face. Bye, bye suspense, there you go, what was left of it.
Of course there’s the strip-club where Mike kills some people and of course he walks into other people here and there as well. Only this time he’s constantly in the presence of his dead mother’s ghost. Well I could go on and on, but it just comes to one point and that is that Zombie has gone over-the-top with the dream sequences, creates no tension and doesn’t incorporate a laugh or creative death to fill in for the lack of tension. Most of the characters are obnoxious and that includes laurie no matter how much she went through in the first film. Only Brad Dourif as Sheriff Bracket is 3-dimensional and is the only person we identify with.
Halloween kick-started the whole slasher-craze during the 80 and the original is highly rated by many critics. It saddens me to that a franchise with such a critically acclaimed first film has so many dreadful installments. Halloween III, Halloween V and VI and Halloween: Resurrection all are very bad. This one can be added to the staple and for that I’m in shock. I mean how difficult could it be to create a good slasher film? Far less talented directors have made better movies than Rob Zombie now has with Halloween II. The problem is that directors like Zombie probably think themselves of being too talented for a slasher movie and want to reinvent the genre or the franchise and to do that they try to explore the psyche of the killer. But a good director would know that the less we know about the killer, the scarier he is.