Halloween II (2009)
Bad Movie Studios Halloween-A-Thon Finale
It’s taken me a lot longer to get out this review than I had anticipated. I’ve been busy with the production of my short film “The Unexpected Evil of Dr. Baracula”, so doing a review has been on the table, just far from my plate. Well now I have the time to do one and with it we’re gonna wrap up Halloween-A-Thon. This time around I’m gonna look at Halloween 2. But not the original Halloween 2 from 1981 directed by John Carpenter, oh no, this is the sequel to Rob Zombies remake of Halloween (2007). Now I know this must seem like an odd choice of film from the Halloween franchise, but if you read my other reviews it’ll make sense. See I recently wrote a column on movie sequels, and another on movie remakes. I reviewed the original Halloween (1978) in my second only post to my page, and so that one couldn’t make it on the list. When picking the films I was gonna do for Halloween-A-Thon, I decided to work with the idea of sequels and remakes. As I mentioned in my columns, endless sequels have a habit of ruining a franchise, and remakes can be very polarizing subjects. With that in mind I took on Halloween 6: The curse of Michael Myers (an aforementioned poor sequel), then Halloween H20 (both a reboot and sequel to the franchise), it’s direct sequel Halloween Resurrection (2002), and what better way to incorporate the sequel/remake idea than to review the sequel to the remake. And that leads us to Halloween 2. I’ll give a quick word on Halloween (2007) before I get into the review. It was a far different film than the original, and had many different plot elements. We get a real look at Michael Myers childhood and learn that he was abused as a kid by his father. It gives more information that we ever got in the original, and I kind of like that idea but at the same time think that it gives the “monster” just a bit too much humanity. Something else different in Rob Zombies adaptation was the music. As a musician, you would expect to hear something interesting on the soundtrack for the film, and I guess that’s what you got. The Halloween theme in my opinion was used too much and in improper circumstances, as well as there being some really odd choices for musical ques (Love Hurts?). Overall thought it was a decent film, not breaking any new ground, but I guess it didn’t completely beat the proverbial dead horse too much. So now lets take a look at Halloween II, a film that got the Batman Returns treatment, in that after the success of the first one the director was given creative control. We’ll debate on if that was a good thing when it’s all said and done.
The plot of this movie picks up around 25 minutes in the film. You see, the opening sequence drags on making you think that it’s the movie, but it turns out to be something else entirely. Spoiler alert, it’s a dream sequence. I don’t want to spend too much time talking about it because it is only a dream, but you can assume that some of what happens actually did happen and even though it’s spoiled by the reveal at the end, it’s actually a decent part of the film. It has a lot of “seen this before” slasher cliches in it, but It’s still pretty good. Good gore effects and a touch of humor make it not boring. Well anyway, the gist of this film is that two years after the events of the last movie, Laurie (played by Scout Taylor-Compton) is struggling to cope with the residual effects of Halloween night. She lives with her friend Annie, who’s played by Danielle Harris. Danielle Harris was the main protagonist Jamie Lloyd, daughter of Lauri Strode, in Halloween’s 4 and 5. It’s cool to see her back in the series again. Her father is the sheriff of Haddonfield, and is played by Brad Douriff. Douriff is most well known as the voice of Chucky the killer doll and Grima Wormtongue in the Lord of the Rings. Personally I think he does a good job with the role. We also get to see Dr. Loomis as he’s become a celebrity, who’s in the midst of releasing a book about Michael Myers’ rampage from before. Here he is portrayed by Malcom McDowell, an actor who I like and is admittedly a good choice, but he doesn’t come close to Donald Pleasence to me. Loomis has become what seems like a real sell out and total asshole. Malcom McDowell does do a good job with the role though, and you really do find a dislike for the guy.
Back to the plot. Michael’s body hasn’t been found (how many times have we seen THAT before?) and Laurie keeps having recurring nightmares about the events that transpired. She’s changed a lot as a person, from your average American teenager, to a sort of punk chick. She’s been taking drugs and going to therapy to try and help herself get over whats happened. Not too far later, we see Michael Myers is alive and having visions of his mother that are part of a “White Horse” theme that I’ll talk about more later. He travels back to Haddonfield in search of Laurie. Again, how many times have we seen THAT before too? Anyway, Laurie starts having hallucinations that are nearly identical to the ones Michael experienced as a kid. Not only that, but she also lead her to start acting out some of Michael’s murders and envisioning herself doing them. Michael keeps slowly killing his way towards Haddonfield, and Lommis’ book is released. It’s through here that Laurie discovers that she’s actually Michael Myers’ long lost sister, real name Angel Myers. She’s been acting crazy and having a lot of issues before this but learning this is what sends her over the edge. So she decides to go to a party with a few of her friends to deal with her stress as Loomis goes on to a talk show and gets criticized for exploiting the deaths of those Michael killed.
Of course, nothing can go right for Laurie, and Michael shows up at the party and kills one one of her friends. Oddly enough though, Laurie doesn’t even find out and leaves the party drunk with her other friend. The sheriff sent over an officer to watch the house while Annie was there alone. Well, guess what, Michael ends up there too and kills the poor guy. He then goes after Annie and although we don’t see what happens, it’s pretty clear he kills her. Laurie shows up back to the house with her other friend (they’re minor characters so their names aren’t important). And they find Annie’s body. Honestly, it’s not really clear what Michael did to her. When we see her she’s naked on the floor and the walls are more or less painted with her blood. Laurie’s friend is killed too but she does manage to get a call out t the police who intern notify the sheriff. Then we’re underway with another chase scene (there’s one in the opening sequence). Standard fair nothing special. I will say that when the sheriff comes to the house and discovers his daughter is dead, the scene is done really well and actually manages to put some emotion into the movie. It’s a cool sequence.
Well, Michael doesn’t end up getting Laurie, but he doesn’t kill her. Instead he actually kidnaps her. He takes her to some shack that he’s been living in and she hallucinates some more about her mother, and the mother forced her to admit that Laurie loves her. Frankly this sequence is just weird. The police show up, as well as Dr. Loomis. Loomis manages his way into the shack and tries to reason with Michael, while Laurie continues to hallucinate. Then Michael stabs Loomis, uttering the only words he’s ever spoken in his adult life that we’ve ever seen. And it is the most bland thing possible. All he says, is “Die!”. Then the police gun him down, turning Myers into 7th of Swiss cheese. Then Lauri takes Michaels knife, and appears as if she’s going to stab Loomis some more, and the officers shoot her too. Finally, we see Laurie in some sort of insane asylum, and she see’s her mother and the White Horse again. To play us out, we get Love Hurts again.
Let me point out that this isn’t the only ending to the movie. There’s another ending to the movie that was played in theaters that has Lauri stabbing Michael or something. I can’t tell you what’s in it because I haven’t seen it so I can’t really comment. I watched the unrated DVD so maybe that’s why there was a difference.
So now that I’ve covered the story for the most part, let me talk about some of the particulars. The character’s are well acted for the most part. Malcom McDowell does a really good job as the asshole Dr. Loomis. And Brad Douriff is a stand out in my opinion doing a very believable job as the sheriff. Really I can’t complain too much about anybody. Some of the characters are just abstract and strange but that’s really just Rob Zombies style. So no surprise. The only one that I don’t like is Laurie actually. We’re supposed to see the drastic change in character that she goes through from the first movie, and I suppose this film does that, but really she just comes off as a total bitch. She’s almost always arguing with someone who never did anything to deserve it and although she DID go through an incredibly traumatic experience, I still find it hard to side with her. Scout Taylor-Compton does take the role in a completely different direction than did Jamie Lee Curtis, but I have to say that I prefer Jamie Lee by far. She was much easier to relate too and didn’t make me plug my ears every time she opened her mouth.
The tone of the film is a bit different than others in the series. It’s weird. Really weird. You watch it not really sure how you should feel about the situations at hand. This is because the movie jumps around from horror, to comedy to…weird psychedelic exploitation? Yeah those hallucination bits are kind of hard to place. But in general the movie flops between gritty violence and ridiculous humor. There isn’t really a proper balance. Somehow though, it works. Whatever garbled mess of strange, violent, over the top humorous sort of mush that this film gives you, at the end of the day it is entertaining.
Something else that I want to mention about in this movie was the practical effects. With the kills, there’s no CGI enhancements to the blood and gore. It’s all good old Karo Syrup and food coloring and that’s the way I like it.
Overall this movie is a decent entry into the series. It’s not the best, has none of the atmosphere or mood of the original, but it isn’t nearly the same incoherent mess as Halloween 6 was. I’d actually say that it’s worth a watch, just know ahead of time that you’re in for some weird stuff.
Rating – 77
Final Thoughts: Well there you have it, the conclusion to Halloween-A-Thon. I hope you enjoyed the reviews, I enjoyed doing them for the most part. I know this one won’t be as good as I’d hope but I wasn’t able to focus as much time to it as I would have liked. Filming has been a chore. But I did have a good time and I look forward to moving on to other projects and reviews. So stick around because next is going to be a 2 part of The Wolf Man (1941) and it’s remake, the Wolfman (2010).
- Bad Movie Studios Halloween-A-Thon Review: Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (thatfighterguy.wordpress.com)
- Bad Movie Studios: Halloween-A-Thon! (thatfighterguy.wordpress.com)
- Bad Movie Studios’ Halloween-A-Thon Part 3: Halloween Resurrection (2002) Review (thatfighterguy.wordpress.com)
- Bad Movie Studios’ Halloween-A-Thon Part 2: Halloween H20 (1998) Film Review (thatfighterguy.wordpress.com)