Someone put the leash back on Rob Zombie. Now. Halloween II, the sequel to the hit Rob Zombie remake, is now out on DVD and Blu-Ray, which means millions of horror fans are going to invest in one of the worst movies of 2009.
Zombie's first Halloween movie was surprisingly good. He apparently got off the acid for a few months and directed the most grounded movie of his career, delivering an authentic psychological thriller coupled with a legitimate slasher flick. The Weinsteins apparently got lucky, because Halloween II is a noisy, obnoxious and trippy disaster of epic proportions.
Halloween II starts off where the first one left off, with Laurie Strode (once again played by Scout Taylor-Compton) being taken to the hospital to be treated for her injuries. Her brother Michael soon rises from the grave and kills everyone in the hospital. Oh wait, that's all a dream sequence. And the last sign of coherency in the entire two-hour film.
The movie quickly devolves into a mess of hallucinations, dream sequences and way too many scenes of a psychologically destroyed Laurie Strode screaming and crying at her friends, family and psychiatrist. Zombie, for some reason, thought that he was doing another sequel to House of 1,000 Corpses. Mr. Zombie, this is Halloween. A slasher film about a silent killer with a Captain Kirk mask. The franchise has a built-in audience, an audience that doesn't want to see an incoherent disaster of hallucinations and ghosts. The movie is truly hard to watch and even harder to follow.
Taylor-Compton, who was fine but unremarkable in the first one (she's no Jaime Lee Curtis), shows that she has some chops here, but she's also incredibly annoying. Though most of this can be blamed on Zombie, who also wrote the movie (bad mistake, Bob and Harvey!), she is completely unrecognizable as the character who has defined the good side of the Halloween franchise for nearly thirty years. She cries, screams and swears her way through every scene, which will wear down even the most patient of audience members. She's so obnoxious that after she escapes from Michael's clutches early on, Michael turns the knife on himself.
The sound design and editing (what's the difference again?) are also awful. The movie is full of extremely loud and obnoxious sounds of knife stabs, bones crunching and more. Combined with the gore, which is over the top (and this coming from someone who really enjoys gore), the sound is so bad most will consider muting the film - if they don't turn it off entirely.
A Halloween sequel should be easy to do. It won't necessarily be great, but it will offer up what the fans want. With Halloween II, Zombie has gone off the deep end and delivered a dreadful, nearly unwatchable piece of crap.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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