Credentials: 21% Certified Rotten (rottentomatoes.com)/4.8 out of 10 (imdb.com)/46 out of 100 (metacritic.com)
Plot: After surviving her run in with seasonal serial killer Michael Myers (Tyler Mane), Laurie Stroud (Scout Taylor-Compton) has turned into a beer swillin’, cussin’, Charlie Manson lovin’ Dave Pirner (of Soul Asylum fame) impersonator. Meanwhile, the formerly awesome Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) has been replaced by a preening peacock who only cares about shilling his tell-all book. Myers spends about ¾ of the movie aimlessly wandering around in fields, occasionally killing random, badly stereotyped side characters at the behest of his deceased mother and her white horse. True story. When Halloween rolls around, Mikey heads back home to finish the job he started in the god-awful first film! Who will survive? What will be left of them? More importantly, will anyone care?
Writer/director Rob Zombie’s sequel to his remake, “Halloween II” is loud, in-your-face and just about any other adjective you’d hear used in an energy drink commercial. One thing it’s sorely lacking is substance, which brings us nicely to the movie’s biggest problem: Zombie’s script.
His characters are so paper thin that in the right light you can almost see through them. With the exception of one: Annie Brackett (the lovely Danielle Harris). Like Laurie, Annie survived the first movie, but unlike Laurie, Annie’s scars are purely physical. Annie comes across as wonderfully endearing while playing mother hen to her Sheriff father (Brad Dourif) and her batshit crazy friend Laurie.
Zombie must have detected Harris was classing up his movie too much, so she gets left to toil in the background, while Laurie picks up two new squealing, vacuous vessels to be her best friends.
So back to that stupid horse. It’s part of some dime-store psychobabble nonsense about dreams and energies. It sounds all well and good on paper, but in practice it looks silly. It’s just Zombie’s wife Sherri in Alice Cooper eye makeup toting around a massive horse.
Somewhere, in his heart of hearts, Zombie knows he’s got no story here. He covers it up by tasking Michael with viciously killing as many people as possible. He throws a literal metric ton of blood, gore and boobs into the mix. Basically, he sides with cheap shock value over building suspense and eliciting genuine fear.
Even worse, the movie opens with a near 20-minute long dream sequence! Unless your movie is called “Inception,” it shouldn’t have a dream sequence that long.
Outside of Harris, the rest of the cast stinks. Dourif is fine, but his range is clearly limited. His big emotional breakdown in the movie isn’t exactly convincing.
Compton’s the least likeable scream queen of all time. I’m not sure how much of it is her fault, though. The script’s a disaster. I suspect she’s certainly an accomplice. Girl makes some annoying noises when she’s running. I wonder what these movies would have been like if Harris had been cast as Laurie? (Answer: Better.)
I could go on like this, but I won’t for your sake, dear reader. I would say readers, plural, but I doubt that’s accurate. If for some reason you want more of my thoughts on “Halloween II,” check out the review I wrote a little while back for WCU’s student newspaper: The Quad.
Let me close with this thought. The problem with all of Rob Zombie’s movies after his first (“House of 1000 Corpses”) is they lack the campy sense of humor his debut wielded so expertly. He’s tried too hard to be serious and brooding. That’s not you Rob. Leave that stiff, humorless crap for Alexander Aja (“Piranha 3-D” not included). Now, get out there, let your hair down and have some fun. Bring back Capt. Spalding!
|The cow on the right was actually lucky. At least it didn't have to watch the rest of the movie.|
|Trust me, it doesn't make any more sense in context.|
|Ladies and gentlemen Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner!|
|And here's Scout Taylor... wait a minute.|
|I'd describe Brad Dourif's look in "Halloween II" as hillbilly colonial. The moustache let's you know he's brewin' up moonshine in his basement, but the powdered wig hair just screams the red coats are coming.|
|When you lose your car keys, you flip over the seat cushions. When Michael Myers loses his car keys...|
And now for a look inside the home of a respected public official! (As invisioned by Robert Zombie)
So there it is, "Halloween II." And because I'm one of the more pretentious horror movie fans you'll ever encounter, check back shortly for some more thoughts on and pictures from "Halloween II."