Directed by: Rob Zombie
Cast: Scout Taylor-Compton, Malcolm McDowell
Running Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Release Date: August 28, 2009
Plot: Serial killer Michael Myers returns to Haddonfield, Illinois, to finish some family business left off from 2007’s Halloween and kill his sister (Taylor-Compton).
Who’s It For? Fans of mainstream horror, especially those who can forgive some obvious imperfections for the sake of seeing lots o’ blood on the big screen.
Expectations: I am a big fan of the Halloween that started it all back in 1977, but I must say I was not that impressed with my recent viewing of Rob Zombie’s remake of the film from two years ago. Still, I was very curious to see if this could be the first Zombie movie I’d actually like.
Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie Strode: It’s difficult to compare her aura with that of the original Laurie, Jamie Lee Curtis, but it’s easy to praise Taylor-Compton for dedication to Zombie’s vision. She’s a total team-player to the path that the writer/director is carrying this character, giving every freakout or scream of terror a great amount of effort towards believability. Not for nothing, she’s a stupendous screamer and crier. Without someone as powerful, Zombie’s two reboots would be next to nothing.
Malcolm McDowell as Sam Loomis: Since trying to help Michael in the first film, Loomis is now banking off the tragedy that occurred last Halloween. For the most part, this character is on the sidelines, his sudden ego offering a few moments of comic relief. His importance to the Halloween story is a bit diminished, as he is only used for two key moments of the film before stepping back out into a somewhat useless realm. McDowell, still an actor with some fire burning behind his eyes, nevertheless makes whatever Loomis is out to be watchable.
Talking: Rob Zombie speaks through a nerd at one of Loomis’ book signings when the fan says something like “Michael Myers is different in that he eats at the core of his victims.” An interesting point indeed, and the only bit of dialogue that actually says something interesting throughout the film. Well, that and when a drunk Laurie exclaims “I’m Michael Myers’ sister. I’m so f***ed!” Ain’t no way around that, sis.
Sights: At times the editing is too messy to distinguish what’s going on in the film’s more chaotic moments, which is something that works to a certain scene’s advantage only half the time. But regardless of whether some of the action is distinguishable, it’s certainly gruesome. Zombie also takes the time to make us really feel every stab that Myers wallops his victims with, – his camera seems to document every downward slice of rage.
Sounds: My sound designer roommate told me that only fruits and vegetables are destroyed in the process of making such audio, but the sounds are so good here that some real bones might as well have been crushed in the process. Simply put, Mike Myers’ forte, stabbing, looks awesome and also sounds equally terrifying. Overall, the film is quite loud, but at the same doesn’t use many jump scares like one would expect.
Rob Zombie is a big, hairy man with tattoos and songs like “Living Dead Girl” under his belt, but with the Halloween series, he might as well be the adoptive mother of a beauty pageant contestant. He pours a lot of passion into someone he now considers his own seed, and yes, his dedication for his project is quite visible in the child’s presentation (audible and visual brutality enhance Halloween II’s horror experience). Disappointingly, Zombie coaches his son by the book too much – his pride and joy is too punctual with the “spook clock” and loses points when it comes to being a surprising terror. How about not showing up at exactly the right time, just once?
Though it doesn’t bring much that is new to the table, Halloween II is still guided with more heart than those other murderous kids (Jason Voorhees, etc.) Lil’ Mikey looks good, sure, but his form needs some work.
Final Score: 6/10