Halloween II (2009)

Halloween II (2009) — Anyone noticing a pattern here?  Three Michael Myers movies in one day.  Plus a movie featuring Mike Myers yesterday (interestingly enough Mike Myers is mentioned in Halloween II).  So more of what worked in Rob Zombie’s Halloween, less of what didn’t, but it still evens out to about the same.  The main strength of the sequel is that it feels less beholden to the iconography of the original series.  The flaw with the first was its effort to take John Carpenter’s story and Rob Zombie’s story and mash them into one.  It was wildly uneven.  This is fully Rob Zombie.  True, the characters of Laurie, Michael, Annie, and Sheriff Brackett are all still there but they’ve clearly evolved beyond being retreads of characters that weren’t very developed to begin with in the 70s.  I tried to forget the original [1978] Halloween when I watched this movie.  If I think of the 70s version it reminds me that Rob Zombie pisses all over the best thing about Michael Myers: you don’t know why he does what he does and he’s so damn normal-looking.  That was Carpenter’s strength (this is all very redundant if you’ve read my last two reviews by the way).  But taking the film on its own merits, Zombie has tried to create something different and he does the exact opposite of what Carpenter did: he delves even further into the mind of the killer.  This works maybe about half the time, but it’s interesting to see the movie go in new directions.  More of what works are that Laurie seems to have PTSD.  I’m always interested in sequels like Scream 2 how after surviving a bloodbath the heroine goes on to live such a normal life.  Laurie is fucked up.  Anyone who went through a slasher movie scenario would be, so that’s cool.  It’s interesting to see some depth to a character that was just a caricature of a teenager in Zombie’s first movie.  Loomis is an even bigger prick than he was in the first movie (er… I mean the remake… the 2007 one) which works well to move the plot forward but gets annoying after a while.  Laurie’s friends (both Annie and her two new friends [one of whom is the speedster from Heroes]) are still cardboard-thin characters who serve no real point but to add to the body count.  Speaking of, the kills are brutal and numerous plus there are a few good jumps in the movie, even when you can see them coming a mile away.  Rob Zombie’s movies are kind of a weird subgenre of their own.  In some ways he’s like a horror film Tarantino, picking up influences from various sources and throwing them all in his movie.  For some it works, for others not so much.  I have kind of a lukewarm reaction to them but it tends to fall on the positive side.  I don’t know if you’d call that a ringing endorsement but whatever.

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