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Halloween II (Unrated Director's Cut)
Halloween II
Unrated Director's Cut
Actors: Scout Taylor-Compton, Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane, Sheri Moon Zombie
Director: Rob Zombie
Genres: Horror, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2010     1hr 59min

Rob Zombie's H2 (Halloween) picks up at the exact moment that 2007's box-office smash, Halloween stopped and follows the aftermath of Michael Myers's (Tyler Mane) murderous rampage through the eyes of heroine Laurie Strode...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Scout Taylor-Compton, Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane, Sheri Moon Zombie
Director: Rob Zombie
Genres: Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/12/2010
Release Year: 2010
Run Time: 1hr 59min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
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Member Movie Reviews

Keith A. (Keefer522)
Reviewed on 10/14/2013...
Two years after Rob Zombie's "Halloween" reboot (which I didn't hate, but didn't love either) a still-traumatized Laurie Strode tries to get on with her life and Michael Myers continues to pursue her, apparently following orders from the ghost of his dead mother and a white horse (?).

The violence is fabulously brutal as usual, but this movie meanders on waaaaayyy too long for its own good and is pretentious as hell to boot. Sorry, Rob ...Slasher movie fans want to see slashing, we don't want to see a study on the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder on dysfunctional families, or whatever the hell you were trying to portray here.

Avoid.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Douglas R. (paranoid-knight2008) from ABERDEEN, OH
Reviewed on 10/16/2010...
Rob Zombie is an auteur, whether you like to admit it or not. When it comes to mainstream horror filmmaking, no other director this decade has managed to create a group of horror pictures so stylistically different as Zombie has in such a short timespan. His directorial debut, "House of 1,000 Corpses" is like a carnival freakshow rotting under a colorful assortment of bubble gum imagery. His second film, "The Devil’s Rejects", manages to be a full-blown neo-grindhouse flick in ways Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino only dreamed of accomplishing and a completely exhilarating and surprisingly moving meditation of violent human nature. Zombie’s third film just so happened to be a remake of the 1978 classic "Halloween"; however the film wasn’t as much a "remake" as a "re-imagining". Somehow with that film, Zombie managed to skid a thin line of being one of the dumbest films of its year, but also one with a few brilliant moments. From a stylistic approach, the film felt uneasy, as if Zombie was trapped inside a box, trying his best to break free and take over and feed what he wants to personally provide for us. Now comes his sequel to that film called, unsurprisingly, "Halloween II"; not a remake of the 1981 film, but Zombie himself taking complete control over his own demented version of the Myers story – delivering his deranged breed of filmmaking in all of it’s beastly, compelling glory. This is Rob Zombie out of the box, and showing us what he’s made of.

One year after Michael Myers wrecked massive bloodshed on the sleepy town of Haddonfield, his sister Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) approaches the following Halloween in fear of his return. The girl now lives with her friend Annie (Danielle Harris), who also survived the massacre, and Annie’s father Sheriff Brackett (Brad Dourif), who also become weary of the serial killer’s possible return. Throughout the film, Zombie takes complete control of the character Laurie, creating a very believable girl who now suffers from a devestating amount of traumatic depression. This is something many horror sequels from the past fail to touch upon, but here – Zombie approaches it because he knows that this is a reality for anyone. Who "wouldn’t" change for the worst after spending a whole night running from a sadistic killer who slaughtered your foster parents and friends? And with this character arc, and similar albeit personal ones given to the Brackett characters, "Halloween II" gains a poignancy that you normally wouldn’t expect. Zombie actually establishes these characters as human, therefore we naturally worry for their safety when Michael Myers "does" make his way back to repeat his acts of ferocious carnage.

"Halloween II" touches on the character of Laurie far more than the first film, as she was presented as a one-dimensional bore there. When Laurie tried to escape from Michael Myers in 2007’s "Halloween", we never respond to her cries for help because the screenplay drew attention to the fact that she was nothing more than a paper-thin, generic horror movie heroine. Here, however, Laurie is the absolute main focus, her life so messed up and off-balance that you just want to lend a hand and help her, even though she’d probably still just push you away. There is a scene in which Laurie breaks down in her car that is a testament to how much of a well-developed character she has become, and Taylor-Compton’s performance only helps bring out Laurie’s deteriorating grip on humanity. Those who connect to human drama will undoubtedly love this film more than those looking for the typical Michael Myers fodder. This is a surprisingly deep picture.

But don’t think Laurie is the "only" focus of the story, of course the iconic ghost-faced killer is too. But instead of creating him as a hellbent psychopath, Zombie pulls through to some inner-mind sequences of such hypnotic and orgasmic imagery that bleeds with an eerie atmosphere of dread. Instead of just following Myers through his killing spree, we are treated to the workings of his mind, further giving an understanding to his animalistic urges to slaughter. Does he become sympathetic? No, and he’s not supposed to be. Instead we are peering completely into an allegorical mindset that works metaphorically for where the film ultimately ends up in its devestating and disturbing final minutes.

There is no doubt "Halloween II" received terrible reviews. This is that kind of film that is so ambitious, yet so sensational that the picture was literally doomed to experience immense words of hatred. This hate could sprout from the way Zombie completely makes the film one that easily stands alone in the "Halloween" series itself, or just the biased hate from fans who don’t want to see the original John Carpenter masterpiece touched. (In actuality, this pre-conceived loathing for Zombie’s film is something I really fail to understand, seeing as Zombie’s world in "Halloween II" is so different on a creative and psychological level that the original film really doesn’t come off damaged.) Zombie’s direction in the film is like a demented mad scientist piecing together his own crackling world with an immense amount of the idiosyncratic. But he does so without becoming obvious, or ham-fisted. With all the hate this film gets, I wouldn’t be surprised if, with time, the film really does gain the respect of those who originally hated it. Take, for example, 1980’s "The Shining", a film now considered a masterpiece but a Razzie-nominated critical failure back when it was first released. "The Shining" was a victim of bias due to the way director Stanley Kubrick strayed far away from the source material (a well-loved Stephen King novel) and directed the story with a very stimulating and incredibly innovative alteration of the conventions familiar in the horror genre. This way of approach is what "Halloween II" works with in its own macabre way.

I will probably get flack for this following statement, but will also be smiling in about ten years when "Halloween II" is treated with more appreciation. I am going to go as far as to say that, with this film, Rob Zombie has paved his way to coming a fresh face in the new brilliant line of stylish, rewarding cinema directors such as Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Soderbergh, Spike Jonze, and Harmony Korine, who have all proven to completely OWN a film in the same way Martin Scorsese, Werner Herzog, Louis Malle, and Stanley Kubrick put a distinctive stamp on theirs. Likewise, Zombie treads his way toward greatness in a way John Cassavetes stormed the scene with his first film "Shadows" and slowly arrived at his senior effort, the brilliant and bold "Faces" (his greatest achievement). This seems to be the way Zombie’s filmography has come off, coming in with an original bang with his freshman film and paving his way to his fourth film that shows his abilities at creating his own trashy world, showing us that he "can" in fact succeed at bringing forth something of such radical brilliance.

And there’s a twisted beauty to his craft. The way Zombie constructed "The Devil’s Rejects" as a reflection of the good in the bad people, and the bad in the good, was a daring and honest example of Zombie’s affection for his normally vile characters. The first hour of the film examines the violent Firefly clan as they torture, abuse, and murder a motel room full of innocents, while the last fifty minutes treats us to the twisted psyche of the supposed good guy who tortures, abuses, and tries to murder the Firefly clan himself based off of a personal vendetta. With this morality dissection of brutality existing in the pit of instinctive human behavior, Zombie manages to pull through with a powerful final scene which helps give meaning to the reason he uses the grindhouse atmosphere in the wake of a blood-soaked western. The classic story of good vs. evil often associated to the genre contrasts and connects, simultaneously, to the overall motif.

Zombie uses this similar approach to "Halloween II", only this time its not a call on the clichés of the western genre, but that of the avant garde (think David Lynch shredded through a grindhouse grinder) and of grunge pop culture. Look at the way Laurie reacts with such bitter resentment to her former all-American good girl image with that of a trashy head-banger after her experience. Some negative reviews have pointed out that Laurie is not believable at all in this presentation of an unclean goon, but that’s only because Laurie herself is putting on the show to impress her own personal demons. What the pop culture references of the slimy, dirty side of the entertainment industry manages to do for this film is help focus in on Laurie’s proclivity, almost in the same way Michael Myers’ subconscious is filled with striking similar allusions to the pulpy, expressionistic nature of Laurie’s own nightmares. One that immediately comes to mind is a sequence in which Laurie nervously waits in a security office for the guard to return, the music video of The Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin” playing on the television. In a later scene, when Michael arrives at the nightclub his mom used to strip at when he was younger, the song plays menacingly in the background. It’s obvious through this, and many other scenes, that Laurie and Michael are linked psychologically. It’s not until the final scene that we realize that this link reaches farther within the cerebral than the viewer would ever expect.

A lot of the film’s cynics write-off the final scenes as anti-climatic and illogical, as well as being cliché. But on deeper thought, it’s easily realized that the final moments remain introspectively consistent to the logic of Zombie’s analysis on the muddled perceptions of the damaged, confused and weak mind. The way Zombie connects the subconscious mind to that of art immediately reminds me of the way 2000’s underrated "The Cell" used subliminal paintings to concrete effect in expressing art’s effect on human behavior. It also reminds me, to a lesser effect, the way Marco Bellocchio used Catholic beliefs and teachings in 1965’s "Fists in the Pocket" to create the basis for its twisted main character’s views on social hypocrisy and what leads him to murder his family. Sometimes, we forget how effective the works of an artist can have on our minds. Zombie isn’t the first to examine this view (obviously) but he does it in a way nobody else has and does it with such a subtle grace under the icy surface of extreme and ugly nihilism. Thinking more about the way this film treads this line of the self-conscious in terms of its genre and its central message, it makes me realize how heavy-handed Quentin Tarantino’s "Inglourious Basterds" was in handing it’s similar self-conscious elements concerning film’s power to dominate all boundaries including life history itself. I now can’t help but wish QT’s effort would have somehow had a little something more to tell me, no matter how unapologetically fun and entertaining it was. "Halloween II" doesn’t have a fun inch in it’s body, which is another aspect that puts it far outside the boundaries of the slasher flick norm. The film tests audiences expectations to be entertained, and instead confronts them head-on with the harsh realities of its story. This may be the reason why so many walked out of theater in the middle of the film looking so uncomfortable, Zombie isn’t making this a pleasant time at the movies.

In the end, my final statement on "Halloween II" is that it, quite surprisingly, managed to pull through and become practically the first slasher sequel to make me feel rejuvenated and full of hope in a genre that finds itself in a repetitive cycle of dumb cash-in slashers. It also comes as a surprise that I myself will be placing this film on my ten best films of the year list; and seeing as the film is, in itself, a fairly original piece of work I don’t mind doing this at all. I can hope, and really wish, that this film gets fairly treated in the future and recognized for its truly well-delivered merits. With the films Rob Zombie directs in the future, I wish the best that he sticks to his personal aesthetic and is treated with a lot more respect for doing so. He "is" a filmmaker, "not" a hack and the comparisons to Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich are almost laughable. I dare you to try and name another single director, or film for that matter, that is even remotely similar to the directorial workings of Rob Zombie’s films ESPECIALLY this film. Can’t do it can you?

Movie Reviews

Yuck.
R. J. Werner | California | 01/31/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I totally loved what Rob Zombie did with the Halloween subject the first time out, especially being a massive fan of the original film itself. But this sequel just plain sucked. I found myself laughing out loud at the pitiful acting ("Breathing excercises? BREATHING EXERCISES?!?"), and the needless, excessive gore was just - well - just that: needless and excessive. Was there even a plot to this flick? In the end it just seemed like a back-and-forth marathon of over-acted crying scenes with the girl playing Laurie Strode, then a ridiculously gory murder, then the crying, then a murder, and so on. Skip this. Seriously. "Saw VI" was Gone With the Wind compared to this crap."
One sad ass sequel
Jeffrey P. Falcon | New Orleans, LA | 02/03/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)

"The worst movie i have ever seen in my entire life. Laurie and Dr. Loomis have now become mean. The personalities are completely different from the original. I was wishing Michael would kill them so this nightmare of a movie would end. Recommend this one to all your enemies"
What a MESS!!!!!!
Jose M. Amezquita | 02/14/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Going against what my gut instinct was telling me about the current crop of "remakes" that keep springing up, I went ahead and got a copy of Rob Zombie's Halloween 2, which after viewing is the equivalent of Vince McMahon's (Brainstorm!) XFL, meant to improve on the traditional NFL. Like Vince, Zombie falls flat on his face!

What a total waste of effort(??)! Forget the obviously lame storyline! Zombie has taken the BEST parts of what I & others loved of John Carpenter's masterpiece and has profoundly spat on them, transforming & transposing them away from what made them appealing- Laurie Strode from a straight-lanced, innocently appealing & ultimately doomed heroine who we ended up rooting for to a foul-mouthed, UN-likeable blithering mess. Sam Loomis has been remade from a truly concerned savior, determined to stop his quarry (while being believably terrified of him at the same time)from spreading death & destruction into a greedy, uncaring opportunist. And what a howler THIS Michael Myers is......! Where-as he was a terrifying, shadowy form of living darkness in total control of his actions without expression or remorse in the original, Zombie's version is laughably inept, just another thuggish brute without the cunning or resilience of a true screen villian, led only by his childhood/"inner-self" visions/images to explain his actions (oh, so T-H-A-T's why he does & is what he is!!!!! I d-i-d-n-'t k-n-o-w THAT!). I'm not sure how much effort was made by Tyler Mane to "get into character" but you never really truly believe he's Michael Myers, or at least I didn't. Dick Warlock ('the Shape' in 1981's H2) was more convincing, emerging out of a dark corner with the occasional creepy head tilt while remaining stoic was all that was really needed.

The way I see it, the only real excuse for these re-makes (or are they re-boots???)is a set-up for a future "Michael vs Jason" clash!"