ROB ZOMBIE’S HALLOWEEN 2

As divisive as the previous film was, it was a huge financial success. So in 2009 Rob Zombie was brought back to write and produce a sequel. Tyler Mane returns as Michael, while Taylor Scout-Compton, Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif, and Danielle Harris as return as their characters. Also brought back is Sheri Moon Zombie, appearing as Deborah Myers in flashbacks and vision (I’ll get to that in a minute), while Chase Wright Vanek takes over the part of playing 10-year old Michael Myers.

We open with a flashback of Deborah visiting Michael in the Sanitarium, and giving him a plastic white horse. Coincidentally, Michael tells her he’s been having dreams of her visiting him, dressed in all white, while riding a white horse, coming to take him away. How odd. Jump ahead to soon after the ending of the last film. Laurie, all beaten and bloody, is wandering down the street carrying the gun she shot Michael with. Sherriff Brackett drives up to her and takes her to the hospital, where we soon see her screaming in pain. I have to say that Taylor Scout-Compton does an excellent job when it comes to screaming and portraying terror. She looks really messed up here, and has to be sedated. Meanwhile, Michael’s body has been loaded into a van and is being taken to the morgue, but the driver crashes into a cow (seriously), and flips over. Michael gets out, kills the surviving driver, and then walks towards a vision he sees of Deborah in the distance, wearing a white dress and standing next to a White horse, with a bright light shining on them. Whatever. Back at the hospital, later that night, Laurie wakes up and gets out of bed and discovers a nurse stabbed to death. Michael has followed her to the hospital and is killing everyone who gets in his way, while Laurie tries to get away of find some help. At this point it appears as if this is a remake of the John Carpenter’s Halloween 2, which was mostly Michael stalking Laurie in a hospital. And you know what? If that’s what this had been, it would have been pretty cool. Seriously, the first 25 or so minutes of this film is Michael chasing Laurie through the hospital, and it looks great. Again, Scout-Compton expresses the sheer terror she’s feeling, and Michael is a brutal killing machine. But then, just as Michael has caught up to Laurie and is about to kill her, Laurie wakes up. It was all just a bad dream that Laurie was having.

Okay, let me stop here and say that that 25 minute hospital sequence deserves it’s own grade:

Unfortunately it goes downhill from there. We learn that in the two years since the previous film, Michael’s body was never found. Since her adopted parents were killed, Laurie has been taken in by Sherriff Brackett and is living with him and Annie, who survived her own attack by Michael. Laurie has been severely traumatized ever since, and is on multiple medications, and is seeing a therapist (played by Margot Kidder). She frequently acts out, and this has put a strain on her friendship with Annie (who, unlike Laurie, doesn’t seem to be feeling any trauma over her ordeal…you’d think being almost killed during sex with your boyfriend, who was killed, would affect you for awhile, bu I guess she’s just more emotionally stable). Dr. Sam Loomis has written a 2nd book about Michael Myers, and is now a bit of celebrity. We see him on a talk show, giving speeches, and signing books at bookstores. All of this celebrity attention has gone to his head, as he’s a bit of an asshole now, and only concerned with cashing in on his notoriety. We see Michael, who has apparently been living on the streets all this time. He looks like a big homelessman, and carries his mask with him. He doesn’t wear it during the day, though the camera makes sure to obscure his face during the daytime, as he wears a hoodie so we can’t get a good look at him. He only puts the mask on at night when he’s preparing to kill someone. His visions of Deborah tell him to that it’s time to “reunite” their family, so he goes back to Haddenfield.

I did not like this twist on Michael. It’s Jason Voorhees who is obsessed with his mother, and hears her voice telling him to keep killing. Adding that to Michael Myers’ backstory feels cheap. We get several scenes throughout the film of Deborah speaking to Michael, and a vision of 10-year old Michael also appears, speaking as adult Michael’s subconscious, talking to the vision of Deborah. At first it’s hard to tell if these vision are just Michael’s hallucinations or are the result of an actual ghost. But then Laurie starts having similar visions of Deborah, despite being two years old when Deborah killed herself, therefor having no memory of her. Laurie still doesn’t even know that she’s Michael’s sister, but then she finds out because Loomis put that in his new book (see, told you he was an asshole now). And when she finds out that pushes her even further over the edge.

So on Halloween night, Laurie and her new friends (a couple of one-dimensional Goth chicks) go out to party and get wasted. But Michael starts hacking his way through town, trying to find Laurie. He kills the Goth chicks and this time her really kills Annie. Loomis finds out what’s happening and tries to find and stop Michael. Blah blah blah, it’s all more of the same, really. Eventually Michael kidnaps Laurie and takes her to some shack out in the woods, where they both see and talk to the vision of Deborah. The Sherriff’s surround the place and try to order Michael to surrender. Somehow, Loomis manages to get inside the shack and tries to reason with Michael, while Laurie is being held back by young Michael, although Loomis doesn’t see anyone holding her, proving that it’s all in her head. Michael takes Loomis outside and Loomis rips off Michael’s mask, giving us a clear shot of his face then shouts “Die!” and stabs him.

Ugh. I hated that. We’re never supposed to get a clear look at Michael Myers’ face, and he shouldn’t speak!

Anyway, the Sherriff’s all open fire on Michael and he falls to the ground. Laurie comes out and picks up the knife and is then shot too. Pan out to seeing the bodies of Michael, Laurie, and Loomis laying, apparently dead, on the ground. But then we jump forward to Laurie now locked up the Sanitarium, so she’s still alive. She sees Deborah walking towards her with a white horse, and close up on Laurie’s face as she smiles an evil smile. THE END.

While I did enjoy the way Taylor Scout-Compton showed Laurie’s slow descent into madness, and Michael did get several decent kills in this film, I’m just not happy with all the mother/vision stuff. That killed most of my interest. I wish Zombie had continued the story he began in the first 25 minutes. But as for the rest of the film, I’ll be generous and give it:

GRADE:

Available on Amazon

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