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Halloween II (2009)
Movie Review by The Spastic Cannibal

Halloween II (2009) Rob Zombie's follow-up to his much contended 2007 remake of John Carpenter's classic came as quite a disappointment, considering how much I wound up digging all his other flicks. The thing with Zombie is - he seems to be hung up on wanting to "reinvent" himself with each movie. It worked in concord with "House of 1000 Corpses" and "Devil's Rejects", but when it came to expanding his version of "Halloween", it just turned into a mess. I actually thought "H2" started off strong - what with the hospital setting and a few grisly kills, I was smitten and ready for an abrasive, Rob Zombie styled viewing experience. But then, as we begin learning the current state of our few returning characters - Laurie Strode, Annie Brackett, Sheriff Brackett, and Dr. Loomis - I felt entirely disconnected from both Carpenter AND Rob Zombie's original versions and vastly annoyed by everything I was seeing and hearing. Loomis, experiencing the full star treatment after his Michael Myers book hits it big, is an over-the-top swaggering douche-bag whose character is hugely unnecessary in this. Laurie and Annie are coping with their horrific encounters with death by acting like a couple of classless, obnoxious, foul-mouthed bitches. Laurie's constant outbursts of wailing were enough to make me impotent! Brad Douriff, I could handle, since he is given much more screen time and actually shows off an exceptional performance. Tyler Mane returns as Myers and does his hulking madman thing fine, yet the decision to leave out the acclaimed mask (much more in the director's cut, apparently) was a LESS than ample move, in my opinion as a fan.

Also, the whole concept of Michael and Laurie sharing a supernatural link to their mother and young Michael came across a little pretentious and avoidable. Any excuse to get the wife on screen, apparently. A heavy Don Coscarelli influence was clearly visible and confounded the entire spirit of the "Halloween" concept entirely. Now, I could appreciate Zombie's initial "devising" of Michael Myers' previously unexplored roots and modulate personality as killer, but having him living in the woods, mask-less and actually speaking is something else entirely and not AT ALL prevalent in the fan based vitality of the story.

Granted, the atmosphere was interesting sometimes and there are a few decent death scenes (namely the stripper getting a good mirror-bashing). Only if the momentum of the first twenty minutes or so could've kept up, I think the movie would have had it right. Unfortunately, the overall "feel" of the movie said "a sequel is expected so we'd better do a sequel and make this sequel have more explanation and attitude than it really needs". There was just too much here that didn't quite "jive" with what "Halloween" is all about...

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