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H2: Halloween 2

A movie released August 28, 2009

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Completely Different Vision of Michael Myers and the "Halloween Mythos"..

  • Jan 15, 2010
Rating:
+3

I was admittedly quite satisfied with Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” (I saw the director’s cut) remake a few years ago. It wasn’t as good as the original but Zombie managed to put together a solid re-imagining of Carpenter’s horror classic while adding some nice (if flawed) additions to its mythos. I am a bit put off with the idea of a sequel of a remake, but I decided to give it a chance. Well, I haven’t seen the theatrical cut but I have been informed that the extended director’s cut has more depth and characterization with a different ending than the version seen in theaters. I can review this movie in two points of view as a comparison to the original and as a stand alone sequel to the remake. One thing’s for sure, it has a very different feel to Carpenter’s vision and would stand better as a stand alone film or as rip offs of the exploitation films of the 70’s.
 
2 years after the events of the first film, Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) is trying to put her life back together. She is living with her friend Annie (Danielle Harris) and her father sheriff Brackett (Brad Douriff). Laurie was so traumatized by the events of two years ago that she is currently under therapy, fearing the return of the masked killer that hunted her since his body was never recovered. Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis (Malcolm MacDowell) is publicizing his new book and is a expected to make a huge profit for his story of the Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) phenomena. When Loomis’ book does go on sale on Halloween, Laurie Strode is revealed as Angel Myers, Michael’s lost sister. Understandably upset, Laurie is almost pushed to the breaking point as she seeks comfort in the company of her friends. Little does she know that her brother Michael is alive and well; urged on by visions of his mother (Sheri Moon Zombie) to return home to Haddonfield, killing his way back home…

Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Samuel Loomis in "Halloween II."  Tyler Mane and Scout Taylor-Compton in "Halloween II."
 
I guess the film’s tag-line “Family is Forever” says it all. This is a very different Michael Myers; the original “Halloween” portrayed Michael as a cold, enigmatic and emotionless killer and this time around, Zombie tries to give him a bit more ’character’. Ok, granted, it isn’t exactly an improvement but Zombie does seek to make his version a little different from Carpenter’s version. After all, no one wants to see the same exact film in a remake and that there have been several cultural changes since then, so this is justified. Well, yes, but for some reason I had major problems connecting to Zombie’s version.
 
This time around, Michael Myers is one angry S.O.B. and he is damn intimidating (rightfully played by 7 footer Tyler Mane). He appears to be filled of murderous rage as Zombie explained in the minor mumbo-jumbo of the white horse and he is a killer on a rampageous mission. The latest addition to the film are the visions of Deborah Myers and Michael’s younger self. Also, the viewer gets to see Michael’s face and wears his pale emotionless mask when he is on a kill spree. Zombie had Myers shed the jumpsuit and dresses him with filthy clothes, a hoody that make a bum. I guess Zombie is trying to establish some groundwork as to how Michael is able to wander around. Well, it is easy to spot a guy in a mask and jumpsuit; but then isn’t this why Michael kills on Halloween so that his appearance would appear normal? Also, a departure from the original and Zombie’s first “Halloween” film, is the appearance and atmosphere of the town of Haddonfield. It looked like a regular quiet suburban neighborhood in the first film, and this time, it looked like a smaller isolated town. I have no idea as to why Zombie would make such a radical change, but I had very mixed feelings about it.
 
             A scene from "H2."
 
The story is pretty simple and I am not exactly sure why Zombie added the ghosts of Deborah Myers and his appearance as a child. Either Myers has become so disturbed or maybe this isn’t him at all? I’m not sure, the ‘mother Myers ghost’ hampered the film’s storytelling quite a bit. This and the inclusion of some flashbacks, may have lowered any feelings of suspense. The kill scenes were quite good thankfully. Michael grunts, stabs and appeared to be enraged when he does a kill. The kills were pretty bloody and brutal; there was one scene that reminded me of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” because of the amount of blood. See, I enjoyed Michael’s original one stab-one kill, makes him seem more precise and emotionless, while all this repeated stabbings make him appear a little more human (it has been theorized that humans stab repeatedly to feel as if the deed is ‘nothing’ at all or if it is a crime of passion) with all the grunting and heavy breathing.

Tyler Mane as Michael Myers in "H2."  Sheri Moon Zombie as Deborah Myers and Chase Vanek as Michael Myers in "Halloween II."
 
The script although flawed does have its shining moments. The scenes with Laurie and Annie as well as the one with Sheriff Brackett displayed some genuine emotions.  It was a little too late since they were already hampered by the messy dialogue. Zombie seems to be obsessed in dropping F-bombs that the characters appear like they’re ripped from the pages of a redneck comic book. I guess this is my main problem with the movie, I didn’t care even one tiny bit for the characters; actually I wanted them to die and I found myself rooting for Michael Myers the anti-hero/killer. Samuel Loomis is portrayed as the sleazy, greedy former psychiatrist-turned wannabe best-selling author. I am pretty sure Donald Pleasance would dislike this new rendition of the original character. The film also has unneeded plot devices that I thought were too forced that it killed the film's atmosphere. (I didn't like the goth-like party as it felt like it didn't match the film's tone and mood)
 
To his credit, writer/director Rob Zombie does know how to shoot a movie like this, he plays with shadows and he did come up with some pretty iconic shots. He plays a lot of silhouette and uses the close-ups to enhance the emotion of pure panic. “H2” isn’t so much as scary or creepy but more gritty, stylish and rather brutal in its depiction of the murders. It all depends on how you look at things, despite Zombie’s lackluster skills in generating suspense, (the film telegraphs its punches) the kill scenes were decent and fun to watch; the film also has a decent body count. Oh, there is some nudity but fairly mild compared to Zombie's first "Halloween" film.
 
So how is “H2” as a remake? Well, it miserably fails. There are barely any homage scenes to pay respect to the original film, and this reinvention of Michael Myers is a very mixed bag; “H2” doesn’t feel like a “Halloween” movie but feels like a simple ‘slasher’ flick. As a horror film, it may prove entertaining; the film is nicely shot for the most part and Zombie does know how to shoot a ‘scream scene’. This movie would have gotten by without the “Halloween” brand and without the excessive F-Bombs (it almost made me fall asleep). I guess one can be satisfied with the film’s body count.
 
So is “H2” is a bad movie? Well, of course not. It can be real fun but just don’t expect excellence in this sequel.
 
RENTAL [3 Stars]

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October 22, 2010
"H2" isn't so much as scary or creepy but more gritty, stylish and rather brutal in its depiction of the murders." That is so well said WP, and I am with you I really don't get into sequels of a remake, this one was a let down after Zombie's first, which I LOVED. I felt the same way about the "Hills Have Eyes" sequel to the really good remake. With that said, over time I have come to kinda like this one.
October 22, 2010
I may need to re-watch this. I only saw the director's cut; which I was told was different from the theatrical. I liked Zombie's first Halloween flick too--probably why I had high expectations for this. Thanks, Alex!
 
January 18, 2010
Zombie, oy! I'm with Count Orlok on this one, not sure if he's purposely burying the series (no pun intended) or if this is his definition of paying it homage but what little desire I had to check it out went bye bye. Like always William, fantastic critique. As always your word is bond.
January 18, 2010
This movie feels more like TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE than HALLOWEEN.
 
January 17, 2010
Knowing how much Rob Zombie loves the original "Halloween" film, why does he continue to piss on its legacy?
January 18, 2010
I think he's trying to make it different. But in cases like this, while I appreciate the attempt, why call it Halloween? I rather feel that Zombie should steer clear of those redneck themes (having it for every movie becomes grating after awhile) and write dialogue a lot better. The constant swearing wasn't cool, it was annoying!
 
January 17, 2010
Zombie manages to keep me away from the theater on a regular basis. But then I'm not his target audience, I'm just a horror movie fan.
January 17, 2010
I know what you mean. Dave liked this director's cut quite a bit (I am waiting for his review), I'm not exactly a Zombie fan either. I wanted to like this movie, I tried to like it, but I guess characterization is something vital for me in a horror flick. This had its shining moments (kept me from rating it a 2) but I thought it was just so different from even his first Halloween movie. Zombie has the right stuff with the shots but he can't write shit for dialogue.
January 17, 2010
What bothers me is that he says his characters are real people and that he knows people like that. Okay...He needs know a few who can utter coherent sentences.
January 17, 2010
I guess if he did hang out with those types then they must all have potty-mouths. I cannot believe all the F-bombs in this movie. It was just annoying and seemed like Zombie was punished for swearing as a kid so he abuses the word now that he is an adult.
January 17, 2010
I think he did probably come from a family where everybody talked like that--I'm sure his peer group did.
January 17, 2010
Most possibly.
 
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More H2: Halloween 2 reviews
review by . June 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I would rather lick a dirty toilet bowl than watch this movie again.
I don’t even know where to start……       First and foremost I am going to put this out there; I do not care for Rob Zombie. I never really cared for his music, not to say it is bad it just doesn’t do anything for me.  So when I first heard he was going into the realm of cinema I wasn’t too excited about it.  I totally detested “House of a 1000 Corpses”, awful.  My friend suggested to me to watch his version of “Halloween&rdquo …
review by . November 17, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Day Of The Devil
Surely purists of the original Halloween will undoubtedly keep the flame burning by trashing Zombie's latest horror flick. Either that or they will just sit this one out to wait for the Redbox rental & Netflix. In my honest opinion, I'd much rather be stabbed to death by Michael Myers himself than to sit through another one of those inane sequels to the original Carpenter flick. In fact, I'm kinda disappointed that no one acknowledges let alone admit that …
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I liked this all but the whit looking witch and horse i think Rob Zombie should of kept his hot wife out of this movie
review by . August 28, 2009
H2 is the follow up to the first film of the rebooted Halloween series.  This time around Rob Zombie doesn't try to emulate the sequel of the original series, instead he creates a surrealistic dreamscape of a film that's totally unique in it's own way.  The murder set pieces are very brutal, violent and hardcore.  You wont see any PG-13 nonsense here.  Just a straight forward horror film that goes right for the jugular.      The film picks up right where the …
Quick Tip by . January 26, 2010
Nope, Rob didn't sell out. People need to reserve that comment un til they've actually seen the film. It didn't suck like Paranormal
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William ()
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Please "Like" Film and Movies and Keep the Economy strong....LOL!!      My Interests: Movies, Anime, History, Martial Arts, Comics, Entertainment,Cooking, Things I don't … more
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Rob Zombie's follow up to his rebooting of the Halloween franchise.
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