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Blu-Ray Review: ‘Halloween 2’ Continues Torture of Original Remake

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CHICAGO – Not quite as poorly paced or simply awful as Rob Zombie’s first foray into the world of Michael Myers with his abyssmal remake of John Carpenter’s timeless “Halloween,” the sequel, now available on Blu-ray and DVD, still finds a way to continue the torture.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 1.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 1.0/5.0

I respect what Zombie is attempting with these films. He’s taken what worked about easily his best work, “The Devil’s Rejects,” and tried to use the same approach to rebooting one of the most legendary horror franchises of all time. That film worked because of its stark, brutal realism, refusing to play into the cliches and showing the audience the effect of true violence.

Halloween 2 was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 12th, 2010.
Halloween 2 was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 12th, 2010.
Photo credit: Sony Pictures Home Video

Why not take Michael Myers just as seriously? Wasn’t one of the biggest problems with the original “Halloween” how it turned into too much of a cartoon? No, it’s not Zombie’s approach that doesn’t work. It’s his - and this is truly the right word - execution. He only pretends to avoid cliches with his gritty camera work (which looks awful in HD) and provocative level of violence. He still wallows in all the traps of the mainstream horror movie with his excessive jump shots, oppressive score, and horrendous dialogue.

Halloween 2 was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 12th, 2010.
Halloween 2 was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 12th, 2010.
Photo credit: Warner Brothers Home Video

As with Carpenter’s sequel, “Halloween 2” picks up right after the end of the first film. Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) is presumed dead, is not, and goes on killing again. Almost all characters in Zombie’s universe are merely inevitable fodder for his taste for gore. Some will die quickly, some will die after a few scenes, but most will die. And most will perish in Zombie’s over-the-top style. At one point, Myers has stabbed a victim in the back a dozen or so times, looks down and pauses as he can see she’s clearly dead. He stabs her again. That’s Zombie’s aesthetic in a nutshell. Why stab twelve times, when you can stab thirteen?

Zombie’s plotting and dialogue are bad enough but it’s the cast and the way Zombie directs them that sinks “Halloween 2”. Malcolm McDowell adds some much needed talent to the cast but most of the young stars are not adequately directed by Zombie, who either doesn’t know when he needs another take or simply chooses the wrong one in the editing bay. The shrieking Scout Taylor-Compton is simply awful as Michael’s sister and most of her supporting cast isn’t much better. Only Mane, an imposing force of a villain, the always-good Brad Dourif, and McDowell make it out unscathed.

And the string of odd cameos - Margot Kidder, Howard Hesseman, Weird Al - only adds to the sense that Zombie is sort of taking the legend of “Halloween” seriously but only to a point. Don’t get me started on the dream sequences of the white horse, a symbol that Zombie feels the need to explain with a title card at the beginning of the film. Hint - if you have to explain your symbolism, it’s not effective.

So, why is “Halloween 2” not quite the disaster of “Halloween”? Well, the first had much further to fall. Just as those who saw “Saw III” shouldn’t have expected much from “Saw IV,” no one should be surprised by this one. There’s also a bit more solid pacing to the sequel. The first film was wildly scattershot, as if Zombie was trying to do too much with his beloved property. This one feels a little less ADD and a little more confidently made (although the dream sequences of Michael Myers may be the dumbest decision in Zombie’s filmography to date). There are moments and scenes in “Halloween 2” that far exceed anything he did in the first awful film, but that’s not saying much. I suppose a little improvement is better than none.

The video transfer of the Blu-ray release of “Halloween 2” looks awful but I think that’s more due to Zombie’s direction than anything else. However, the sound is somewhat problematic as well with effects and score mixed much higher than they should be. Once again, that could be intentional. If it’s loud, it must be scary, right?

Special features include deleted and alternate scenes, audition footage, make-up test footage, blooper reel, “Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures” music videos, “Uncle Seymour Coffins’ Stand-Up Routines,” and a commentary with Rob Zombie.

‘Halloween 2’ is released by Sony Pictures Home Video and stars Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane, Sheri Moon Zombie, Brad Dourif, Danielle Harris, and Scout-Taylor Compton. It was written and directed by Rob Zombie. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 12th, 2010. It is rated R (and unrated version on the same disc).

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

Crystal's picture

are you f#$@in crazy??!!!

YOU HAVE NO IDEA OF A GOOD MOVIE WHEN YOU SEE ONE.. ROB ZOMBIE IS ONE OF THE BEST DIRECTORS OF OUR TIME.. HE IS CREATIVE AND ARTISTIC AND CATCHES YOUR EYE AT THE VERY BEGINNING OF EVERY MOVIE HE HAS MADE YET.. HAVE YOU SEEN THE NEW REMAKE OF THE NIGHTMARE OF ELM STREET??!! NOW THATS A BAD REMAKE!! DO THE MATH.. HOW MUCH MONEY DID ZOMBIE’S HALLOWEEN REMAKES (NOT 1 BUT 2)BRING IN COMPARED TO THE PISSY ASS WANNA BE ROBERT ENGLUND ELM STREET REMAKE!!! DONT WORRY ROB, YOUR FANS ADORE YOU AND ENCOURAGE YOU TO KEEP DOIN ALL THE THINGS YOUR GOOD AT….MUSIC AND MOVIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dean C.'s picture

NOT GOOD !!!!!!

Rob Zombie should have kept to the movies original intention, to showcase a cold mentally ill murderer. Michael Meyers never killed with anger and rage. It was always cold and unemotional. Thats what made it scary. One slice and move on. The victims along the way were just people in the wrong place at the wrong time and were killed because they were in the way, no because Michael was pissed. He had a mission and don’t get in his way! WOW actors were HORRORABLE no pun… was the script F&^%, F#$$, F$#@ or could have writers with more than 1 word vocab’s been consulted. Zombie fell short of being “Hitchcock” with the 700 camera angles per frame, it just made me dizzy. Last..dream sequence….WHAT A STUPID IDEA ! that finalized my dissapointment with one of my favorite classics…. oh well Whats next….
P.S. How can you trash SAW series?…are you crazy?…..IT RULES !!!

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