Movie Review: Halloween II

Halloween II
Directed by Rob Zombie
Starring Tyler Mane, Brad Dourif, Chris Hardwick, Mark Christopher-Lawrence, Jeffrey Daniel Phillips
Rated R
Released date: August 28, 2009

A few years ago the Halloween franchise was in dire need of a change in direction worse than anything. The logical step from a Hollywood studio standpoint was to take the series’ iconic masked madman Michael Myers back to his roots and start anew. The idea of a remake of the original Halloween wasn’t warmly accepted at first among the franchise’s longtime fans with good reason but the series had long since scraped the bottom of the barrel so clean you could eat off it. The time had come for a new director to take the reins of Michael Myers’ gory exploits and put their own unique spin on the beloved horror series. Musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie was an odd choice for that job and the movie he ultimately delivered in the late summer of 2007 was greeted with the kind of warm enthusiasm Michael Myers usually reserved for his murder victims. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve seen the remake several times and I even own it on DVD. It’s not a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination but I regard it as a fascinating failure possessing greater re-watch value than 95% of the horror remakes being released these days.

Zombie did the best job he could when you consider the circumstances but the slow-burning narrative of his remake’s first two acts was crippled in the third act by the crude insertion of a compact rehash of the original that gave us no time to really get to know the other characters. Even the character of Laurie Strode, one of horror cinema’s greatest heroines, was reduced to a giggly, perky cipher I had little or no sympathy for. Zombie was heavily criticized for attempting to give Michael Myers a detailed origin complete with a broken home, a family who couldn’t give much of a shit about him (with the exception of dear ol’ mum Deborah, a fine performance by the underrated Sheri Moon Zombie, the director’s missus), and a society that has written him off before they even knew him.

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