Saturday, October 11, 2014

HALLOWEEN 2 (2009)

Rob Zombie's 2009 film HALLOWEEN 2 is the most brutal slasher movie I have ever seen. When I saw it at the theater I thought it was an okay slasher flick but a pretty terrible Michael Myers tale. Purists beware, this film is not for you. While not really liking the theatrical version I still stood up for the movie explaining to haters that director Rob Zombie was experimenting with the franchise and the genre itself. But would agree with fans that this installment wasn't the best iteration of the classic horror character.

After recently watching the unrated director's cut of Zombie's HALLOWEEN 2, my opinion on the film has changed. In my review of his remake of the first Halloween film, I stated how I prefer the theatrical cut over the director's cut (which he claims as the definitive version). This time around for HALLOWEEN 2 it's the exact opposite. I like the unrated director's cut way more than the theatrical cut. And no, it's not because there is more gore but rather because the story Rob Zombie is trying to tell makes a lot more sense.

In the theatrical there are way too many WTF moments. The fact that Micheal Myers now has visions of his mother and a pale white horse aren't explained very well, leaves audiences snickering at these scenes. They are still weird but at least now the unrated cut extends these scenes giving more context to the story. This is probably the biggest artsy move that Zombie does to make this and the other Halloween entry “his”.

Another thing that the unrated cut improves on is Scout Taylor-Compton's performance. I thought she did a good job as Laurie Strode in the first film, but I hated her in this movie. This is one of the reasons why I waited so long to give the unrated cut a chance. She was just terrible from what I remember. Well, I like her performance a whole lot better in the unrated cut. I could be wrong on this because I haven't researched it, but I really think her scenes/performance got edited to death in the theatrical cut? After the events of the first film Laurie Strode goes very dark. Can you blame her? Her family and friends got murdered by Micheal Myers, and even she barely got away with her life. So yeah, she's messed up. In both versions we see Laurie have visions of Micheal Myers, and how she is slowly becoming like him. I like the unrated version more because these scenes are extended and better explained. I remember in the theater just being confused and annoyed by her performance. And who knows, I might be wrong about the whole thing? Maybe her scenes are the same? But I like it now and that's all that really matters.

One thing that did not change from the theatrical cut unfortunately was Dr. Samuel Loomis. I liked him in the first film but for the sequel, Rob Zombie really betrays the character. In HALLOWEEN 2 Dr. Loomis becomes a celebrity because of his bestselling book about the Micheal Myers murders. He lets it all go to his head and he becomes a big jerk. At first I liked it and thought it was kind of funny but in the end it's just a terrible and disappointing turn for the Loomis character.

Okay. So I already told you I like this film a little better now because of the added story elements to the unrated cut. Let me tell you what I love about the film. Now I am not for certain if the film was shot on 16mm, but it sure looks like it was. I love the look of this film! It's grainy, it's dark, and it looks like it belongs in a grindhouse theater.

Speaking of grindhouse. This is the most brutal slasher flick I have ever seen! Lot's of stabbing and bashing people's face in. This is definitely not the Micheal Myers from 1978. I don't have a problem with that, but a lot of fans do.

The big controversy among fans of the Halloween series and these films/remakes in particular is the portrayal of Micheal Myers. “Micheal Myers does not grunt or speak when he kills people”! This is the deal breaker amongst most fans. I get it. I totally understand why fans hate it. But I give it a pass because this is Zombie's take on the character and I give him major kudos for being different.

In the long run these Halloween remakes will be better for it, it'll give them longevity. At least that's what I think.

I have a few more reviews coming your way; but in the meantime, Happy October!

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