Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Rob Zombie’s Halloween II

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 21% (Critics) / 44% (Audience)
Directed By: Rob Zombie
Written By: Rob Zombie
Starring: Scout Taylor-Compton, Tyler Mane and Malcolm McDowell
Studio: The Weinstein Company

Synopsis: Laurie Strode struggles to come to terms with her brother Michael’s deadly return to Haddonfield, Illinois; meanwhile, Michael prepares for another reunion with his sister. (Source)

The Good:
As I have mentioned on this blog a couple times before (here and here to be exact), I am a fan of Danielle Harris and would rank her as the modern horror movie scream queen. She is also the only good thing about this train wreck of a movie. As the doomed Annie Brackett she brings more depth and screen presence than all the other actors in this film combined. While I think both of these Halloween films would have been bad movies, I think having cast Harris as Lori instead of the wooden Scout Taylor-Compton would have improved at least one major failing of a seriously flawed film.

The Bad:
Why does Rob Zombie work so hard to identify with Michael Myers? In the first film he tried to give his madness a reason by showing a horrible upbringing and in this film he tries to delve into Michael’s psyche by having him see the ghostly apparition of his mother (Zombie’s wife, Sheri Moon Zombie who must have had it written into her prenup that Rob has to cast her in all of his films) and by having him suffer an unprovoked attack by a bunch of rednecks. You would think that a guy who claims to have been such a fan of the original film would have recognized that Michael Myers doesn’t need to have a reason for his actions other than the fact that he is evil. In Rob Zombie’s world Michael Myers is some misunderstood manchild with anger issues and no impulse control all wrapped up in a twisted Oedipus complex.
And how the hell does Michael locate Lori’s address anyway. All we see of the guy is that he slowly walks to Haddonfield, kills an entire strip club, somehow locates and kills Lori’s two new best friends (who she didn’t know the last time Michael was in town) and then makes it out to the home Lori stays at despite it being far from town and in what looks like a pretty remote location.
I also was really annoyed by what Zombie does with the character of Dr. Loomis. Granted, the character was no great shakes in the first film but in this one he is just so vapid. What in the original films was a complex, very gray character with dubious motivations became in Zombie’s sequel a sleazy, attention starved hack that would be looked down upon by the likes of Kim Kardashian.

The Ugly
The transformation of Lori from horror movie heroine to what I assume was meant to be the new successor to Michael Myer’s reign of terror may have seemed cool when Zombie bounced the idea off of his wife but in actuality it was the dumbest thing these re-imagined Halloween films have done and that is sayi9ng something because these two movies are just terrible.

Final Verdict: This was a dreadfully stupid movie that had one saving grace in Danielle Harris so of course her screen time was limited. That 30some minute dream sequence at the beginning of the movie that was, I guess, Zombie’s paying homage to the original Halloween sequel had the potential to be good but fell victim to Zombie’s heavy handed directing style. It was interesting to see a pre-Oscar Octavia Spencer as a nurse that Myers quickly dispatched but even that kill was overdone. Zombie is almost pathologically incapable of subtlety.
Zombie made every bad directing and writing choice that could be made with this movie (a white spirit horse, really?) and watching it felt like more of a chore than doing a week’s worth of laundry.

Grade: D-

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