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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Halloween 2 takes itself too seriously

Posted By on Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 9:44 AM

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Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake of Halloween did a fairly good job of putting a fresh spin on a horror classic. By no means did it measure up to John Carpenter’s original, but it wasn’t bad. Not all horror fans were happy, but that’s par for the course. Now, despite having said he wouldn’t direct a sequel, Zombie has returned to helm the further adventures of masked killer Michael Myers (Tyler Mane). Other returning cast members include Scout Taylor-Compton as “final girl”/Michael’s sister Laurie, Danielle Harris as Laurie’s friend Annie, Brad Douriff as Sheriff Brackett, and Malcolm McDowell as psychiatrist-turned-best-selling author Dr. Loomis. And of course, Zombie finds a way to bring back his wife Sherri Moon as Michael’s mother, despite killing her off in the first film.

Halloween II starts with an explanation of the symbolic meaning of a white horse, which immediately raises a red flag that Zombie is taking himself too seriously. However, the sequence that immediately follows, essentially a condensed remake of the original Halloween II, offers up some pretty effective moments. That is, until it all turns out to have been a dream. It’s hard to say which is more numbing: the relentless brutality, the heavy-handed symbolism, the overabundance of dream sequences and flashbacks, or the seemingly endless stream of scenes and ideas lifted from other films. Zombie even goes so far as to steal the endings of both Psycho and Night of the Living Dead, because apparently one plagiarized ending that calls attention to a better film than this one just isn’t enough. There are some good performances and even a few decent scenes scattered about in Halloween II, but it’s not worth having to sit through the rest of the movie to get to them. *

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