Movie Review: Halloween II (2009)

That fateful night in Haddonfield, Laurie Strode shot and killed Michael Myers or so she thought. As the ambulance pulled away with what was thought to be the corpse of the world’s most notorious serial killer, Michael Myers made sure everyone knew he was still alive the best way he could: By slaughtering everyone who got in his way. Now, two years later, Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton) lives with Sheriff Brackett and his daughter Annie (Danielle Harris). Laurie struggles with hallucinations and panic attacks while believing the therapy she’s receiving is only making her worse. As she struggles with her new found issues, Michael has visions of his mother with a white horse accompanied by his younger self. Michael wants to reunite with his family and he is returning to Haddonfield to finish the job.

Halloween 2 has to set the record for dream sequences, which makes you wonder if the entire film is nothing more than a dream. I wasn’t exactly a big fan of the remake from 2007 and expectations for this sequel were incredibly low — yet nobody can really be prepared for how terrible this movie really was. Since there’s so much wrong with this film, I’ll try and start with what was actually enjoyable.

Brad Dourif, as Sheriff Brackett, is really the highlight of the film as far as acting goes. While that probably isn’t saying much and his role isn’t as big as you may expect, he does a good job with the screen time he gets. His character is intense right from the start, but as things take a turn for the worst, his character’s downward spiral is the most enthralling to watch. A few of the deaths were also really satisfying. Mainly Buddy the security guard. There’s also a cool night scene where an officer is out on Sheriff Brackett’s lawn and we’re looking at the silhouette of a tree while the officer searches the premises. Before you know it, we see Michael emerge from that tree silhouette and do what he does best.

Everything else in the film was just horrendous. The flaws are almost so overwhelming that it’s nearly impossible to know where to begin. The whole white horse thing is ridiculous. So if Deborah Myers (Sheri Moon Zombie) tells young Michael that he can think of her whenever he looks at the white horse figurine she gave him, wouldn’t that make her a horse by default? The inconsistencies in the film are incredibly glaring as well. Laurie and Annie’s injuries from the previous film seem more severe at the start of Halloween 2: Laurie is able to put weight on her injured leg by walking on it but it causes her extreme pain when she’s lifted from a stretcher to a bed at the hospital; Michael chopping off a guy’s head with a shard of glass; etc.

Music/sound and camera work fare little better. The “Nights in White Satin” thing was literally beaten into your skull by the time the film ended. If you sit through it, it’s like Rob Zombie is sitting next to you each time the song comes on nudging you with his elbow going, “Eh? Do you get it? You get it?” Michael was way too vocal for my liking too. Heavy breathing is one thing, but when we’re hearing him grunt loudly every time he stabs somebody then it takes a lot of the mystique out of it. Then there’s a scene where water gets on the camera and it’s on there the entire time — it’s interesting at first, but after a few minutes you just want someone to get a towel to wipe it down.

As powerful as Michael seems to be, it at least made a bit more sense in the original Halloween by John Carpenter. Michael was pure evil. That was the explanation, so the idea that he was not able to die at least sort of made sense. Now that he’s been given this white trash upbringing in the remake, his super strength and inability to die just seems even more farfetched than it originally did — so when Michael is busting through walls and lifting cars with his bare hands all Incredible Hulk style, it’s laughable.

Rob Zombie has certainly made Halloween his own with Halloween 2. It’s just a shame that it’s really not worth watching. Seriously. (A cameo by Weird Al Yankovic should not be a highlight in a horror movie of this pedigree). After five films of dealing with white trash families, it’s time for Zombie to move on to something different (it’s safe to say he’s bled that idea bone dry). I wouldn’t seriously recommend this film to anyone (not even my enemies), but if you’re looking for a film to laugh at and make fun with some friends then this may be the perfect choice.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
1 Star Rating: Stay Away


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The Critical Movie Critics

I've been a critic for about four years now. Joined the Houston Film Critics Society in August of 2010. I hope to become a Tomatometer critic for Rotten Tomatoes and a member of the Online Film Critics Society in the coming months.

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