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Overall Rating

Awesome: 15.91%
Worth A Look36.36%
Average: 11.36%
Pretty Bad: 6.82%
Total Crap: 29.55%

2 reviews, 32 user ratings

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Halloween II (2009)
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by brianorndorf

"I'll take misguided lunacy over the same old stabs"
4 stars

No matter how many times the producers reboot, reimagine, or remake the “Halloween” series of horror films, it doesn’t erase the fact that there have been 10 of these pictures, with true creative clarity bled out of the material long ago. This is why I don’t hold a grudge against writer/director Rob Zombie, who seems consumed with turning the bland knife-wielding bombardment of Michael Myers into a psychological dark ride of supreme violence and everlasting eccentricity. “Halloween II” is going to infuriate many, especially those who like their slasher treats served up nice and unassuming. While a direct continuation of his finely scattered 2007 retread, Zombie’s “Halloween II” is a demented, uninhibited sequel that tears off in a vividly lunatic direction. Zombie’s making this one for himself, folks, and either you succumb to the experience or every single scene is going to feel like multiplex imprisonment.

A year after her horrific experience battling Michael Myers in Haddonfield, Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) has reclaimed a small part of the her life, but the nightmares are as excruciating as ever, pulling her slowly into the depths of psychosis. Trying to rebuild her sanity in the care of Sheriff Brackett (Brad Dourif) and friend Annie (Danielle Harris), Laurie finds her worst fears confirmed when Michael returns on Halloween to find her and finish the job. Michael, now guided by the spirit of his dead mother (Sheri Moon Zombie), viciously cuts down anyone who dares march into his path. Profiting from the experience is Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell), who’s written a book on Michael’s earlier rampage and has now inadvertently triggered a chilling date with destiny for Laurie as she fights to survive the holiday.

Flat-out recommending “Halloween II” is a personal impossibility. This film is an acquired taste, requiring a certain level of squinted Zombie appreciation to act as the appetizer for this immense feast of suffering. This is Zombie’s full “Halloween” vision, not the fragmented storytelling rhythms that overwhelmed the 2007 film. Like it or not, “Halloween II” has a full-bodied sense of its own delusions, directed by Zombie in a manner that showcases more concentration on mood and more fearlessness in narrative design. It’s not a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination, but I enjoyed sensing Zombie’s virulent DNA throughout the film, shedding all the bulky John Carpenter reverence to play dirty pool in the ominous world of Michael Myers.

“Halloween II” avoids furthering the Laurie saga to hungrily plunge into the recesses of Michael’s mind, where he’s encouraged to kill by the ghost-white vision of his mother, described by Zombie as a “White Horse” texture of subconscious delusion. It’s a fascinating touch to the Myers legacy, with Zombie staging surreal visions of demonic assembly, regressing Michael to his adolescent shell to confer with his beloved mother, using the famous Shatner mask as his literal face of death. It’s Zombie tinkering in the playground of David Lynch and Alejandro Jordorwsky, and while unreasonably bizarre, the abstract flourishes provide needed stimulation to an otherwise routine set of kills. Is it a reach? Sure, but Zombie believes in it, and that lends the picture an intriguing pinch of madness that keeps the filmmaking alert.

It also helps to have cinematographer Brandon Trost delivering stupendous work throughout the film, elevating the grim elements with an inventive lighting design and evocative countryside menace. I can understand a complete rejection of Zombie’s ideas, but “Halloween II” is one of the sharpest looking horror films in quite some time.

Ratcheting the violence beyond the boundaries established in the 2007 feature, “Halloween II” plunges full steam ahead with frightful gore and stomach-churning brutality, and Zombie seems to linger on ugly for as long as he can. Since there’s really no gripping sweep to the picture (the plot tries, but fails to entangle all the leads compellingly), the rage numbs after the first half. However, it’s a thrill to see Zombie return Michael Myers to a place of terror, and while instantly nauseating, the killing spree is memorably severe, stripping any laughs out of the equation. I was fond of Zombie’s original “Halloween” because it brought a fresh perspective to the table, even while in the midst of playing dress up. “Halloween II” doesn’t have enough gas to make it to the finish line, but again Rob Zombie is forgoing trends to cherry pick imagery from his own delirium. That home field advantage has its perks.

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originally posted: 09/04/09 22:19:46
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User Comments

8/07/14 David Hollingsworth unneccessary sequel remake 1 stars
11/18/11 cody a cool follow up to the remake , but has a bad ending with a sad song 3 stars
5/30/11 art ROB ZOMBIE sure knows how to put together a GREAT HALLOWEEN FILM! 5 stars
5/26/11 Glenn Laurence Hardy Junior i absolutely love Sarah's opinion!!!!!!!! (friend me on facebook!) 5 stars
10/12/10 art i agree to what MR.MIKE SAID! 1 stars
10/10/10 mr.mike I recommend it only to horror junkies. 3 stars
9/11/10 art IF YOU HAVE seen ONE HOLIDAY THEMED slasher MOVIE,you've SEEN THEM ALL! 1 stars
9/03/10 Charles Tatum The paranormal back story just never catches on 3 stars
7/04/10 art A FINE sequal. 3 stars
6/21/10 Sarah Friday the 13th is shit. 5 stars
4/07/10 art FRIDAY THE 13TH is a hundred times better! 1 stars
3/03/10 Stanley Thai After watching this film, it's apparent everything was rushed to make the movie. 1 stars
2/17/10 Danny B Zombie's films are works of art - from Dvls Rjcts to Hallwn - awsome filmaking 5 stars
1/13/10 art THOSE halloween movies all look a like TO ME! 1 stars
1/10/10 randy todger excellent zombie is the man 4 stars
12/31/09 Ralf The best Halloween I have seen since the orginal, BY FAR. 5 stars
10/26/09 Crazy65 Mitchell Cahn Founder of Unionwear, union made in America custom logo hats, shirts, and b 4 stars
10/26/09 Alex27 They were put to great trouble to fit the new garment on me and to even greater trouble b 2 stars
10/24/09 Settor27 Auto Train uses enclosed car carriers and their rates are fairly high, starting at around $ 3 stars
10/24/09 Barbara98 Simone Simon had already attempted to forge a Hollywood career in the mid-thirties, and had 2 stars
10/23/09 Wolf78 This personalized approach points students in the right direction by introducing them t 2 stars
10/22/09 Daddy76 Online instructors need to set clear expectations and guidelines for course and discussio 5 stars
9/21/09 Aaron Best film with the word Halloween in the title to come in a long time. 5 stars
9/05/09 Obi Wan Horrible. Uncomprehensible disturbing violence, lead actress is garbage! Watch original! 1 stars
9/05/09 ravenmad interesting interpretation, brutal violence, lots of eek!! moments. Not a first date flick. 4 stars
9/02/09 wenjon Pile of fuckin shite - not that i expected anything else! 1 stars
9/02/09 irbear Amysmal! Shaking the camera does not create tension!! 1 stars
9/01/09 Pastafarian Rob Zombie stop making movies NOW! 1 stars
8/31/09 Byron_th_BrainSurgeon Its good. 4 stars
8/30/09 Stephen Guthery Not just the worst halloween film ever, the worst HORROR film I've ever seen 1 stars
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  28-Aug-2009 (R)
  DVD: 12-Jan-2010


  DVD: 12-Jan-2010

Directed by
  Rob Zombie

Written by
  Rob Zombie

  Tyler Mane

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