Halloween 2: Rob Zombie (2009)

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HALLOWEEN 2 (ROB ZOMBIE) SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And so, Halloween 2, does it live up to the expectations and does it follow nicely from Zombies first? In my opinion, damn fucking right it does and thankfully it aint at remake (as such). Here, Michael escapes from being dead, and comes back in the hope of killing his sister and himself and reuniting the family! We start the film with some typical Zombie unsettling music, and the words “White Horse: Linked to instinct, purity and the drive of the physical body to release powerful and emotional forces, like rage with ensuing chaos and destruction”. Its a piece on dreams, and Michael, and eventually Laurie, are dreaming of a white horse, what could it mean?

One thing really bugged me about this sequel and that was the fact the kid who played a young Myers in the first has been replaced. Clearly something went wrong because in the ace between films, the original kid would’ve still looked fine, but there you go. He is replaced with a less scary looking kid, and thankfully only plays a small part or has his face blanked out by light for the majority of the “dream” sequences.

Halloween 2 starts EXACTLY where Zombies original left off, Laurie is being driven away by ambulance hysterical, and Myers is in the coroners van presumed dead. He’s clearly not, or we wouldn’t have film! Anyway, a sense of nausea will probably fill you within the first two minutes as Zombie shows us the extent of Lauries injuries, all broken face and fingers broken and cut up, lovely! We are in typical Zombie character territory as the coroner drivers smoke, spit on the floor, swear and talk about other coroners who have sex with dead women, and one is eyeing up one of the corpses! I swear, everyone in a Zombie film is scum and not worth being alive, he truly creates some monstrous characters! Thankfully our coroners don’t last long, and while talking dead girl sex, they crash into a cow causing one of the bloodiest car crashes ever put to film. Yes, Zombie and his love of blood are at it again. One dead driver, the other is killed by a now alive and escaped Michael Myers.

Judging by these first ten minutes, its clear Halloween 2 is a much more darker film in tone that will rely more on story. We soon head to hospital where Laurie and Annie are staying and by some miracle , Myers has found them. As Laurie tries to escape, Myers viciously attacks a nurse. When i say viciously, i meant to say that this is one of the most violent stabbings in movie history, and owning the region 1 version, i’m not sure all of this is available in the UK. Myers plunges his big kitchen knife into the nurses back a number of times, grunting, all the while Zombie expertly follows the blade with his camera. This is a more vicious film than its predecessor, if thats possible! Laurie runs into the hospital carpark and Zombie expertly uses torrential rain to great effect, and she runs into the security guards hut. The security guard returns with his doughnuts and all hell breaks lose. One thing you have to admire about Zombie, he never follows rules or clichés. Non of his victims here do the usual stupid things to get caught. Nah, course they aren’t, this is Rob Zombie, and he doesn’t even give them the chance! Just to add to the effect of the security cabin attack, the Moody Blues are on the tv singing Knights in White Satin, an incredibly powerful song but one of the few times Zombies messed up. The song is playing for over ten minutes and feels like its on repeat. Another added feature to this attack is Michael is actually grunting more, a sign we are going to see a more human side to him later?

Turns out its all a dream, but these dream issues have been used in horrors for years, but never to quite a violent jolt and effect as we have here. What this dream here shows, is really how fucked up Laurie has really become, there is clearly lots of truth into what actually happened with Myers in this dream and it allows you to piece together Zombies story so far.  We find out that Laurie is now living with Annie and works in a tattoo shop. Zombies superb attention to detail is shown here, as we see both Laurie and Annie covered in scars from Myers’ first attack. Halloween 2 is a slow burner and builds strongly on the relationships between Laurie, Annie, her Dad and Laurie’s shrink. This is Zombie’s Devil’s Rejects to his House of 1000 Corpses.

Dr Loomis makes his welcome return, but clearly the limelight has got to him and he is a less caring and more celebrity orientated man, caring not much for Myers’ and more about his reputation. He’s grumpy, selfish and not very nice. Michael eventually returns  to, with a bear and long hair. I struggled with this, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Who the hell has ever taught him how to shave? He’s broke out of a coroner van, the least he’s thinking about is shaving, so yet again, another brilliant piece of detail from Zombie who clearly misses nothing.

After a slight lull in killings, and a more focused story on the sister and her friends etch, we get right back to business as Michael confronts some angry farmers in a field. The set up is spot on, pitch black, mist, condensation from breath and some expertly placed  tractor lights. The 2 farmers beat Michael for being on their land, and in a great cinematic, almost David Gillespie Beer Movie Gold Status, Myers pops on his ragged Willam Shatner mask and gets his revenge. Being a Zombie film, this aint pretty. He slices out one mans eyes, the other is impaled on the deer horns on his tractor, and the woman is violently stabbed. Zombie and is use of knives is a bit of a concern! Myers’ is back!
Laurie has panic attacks, and all the shrink can talk about is breathing exercises. Laurie desperately wants some drugs to help her sleep but she aint getting it and is going madder and madder. This situation is all too true as it reminds me of going to the Dr’s and being told to do anything but take medicine! Bastards! Laurie and Annie’s relationship falls apart and this shows Zombie’s maturity and capabilities to hold down an important story without the need for constant violence.
As Myers goes on the rampage a sickening scene arrives, hot on the heels of Irreversible. I have seen many horrors copy or be influenced by the fire extinguisher scene, but none have bettered it. Zombie, out of the blue, hits us with a scene close to Irreversibles savageness. A guy in a club takes out the rubbish and meets Myers in the car park. He tries to bargain and then threaten him which has no effect. As he punches Myers, the brute dodges and clobbers the poor guy to the floor. In a move of genius effects, Myers stamps on this guys head, caving it in. Unlike Irreversible, we only get glimpses, which shows Zombies ability to hold back for a much greater effect. What to be applauded is the way the guy hits the floor and continues to wriggle as Myers stamps on him. Its one of those, “How did they do that?” moments, and is utterly sickening. Michael then goes into the bar and beats up the manager and uses a wall mirror to literally pummel and girls face. Make no mistake, this is more violent n a vicious sort of way than the original.

Michael is talking to his Mum in his dreams, and in yet another move which proves Zombie’s perfectionists status, he can only talk to her in his little boy form as this was the age he was when she died. So many films miss these little details, and yet Zombie has got it spot on! Going back to the manager of the club, can i just say he was about to have sex with the girl. Now, what is it about Zombie and his cast about to have sex before they are murdered. If its an excuse to get he girl naked before she snuffs it, then fair play and well done, i won’t complain, but it does happen alot!

Loomis is starting to struggle with his celebrity status, he’s making enemies and he has just been threatened by a parent of a Myers victim at his book signing. Its brief, but the way his downfall is handled is honest and powerful. The caring Dr from the original has let it all go to his head and now he is paying the price and  you just know where it will all lead. His new book going into detail about Myers reveal exactly who is sister is. Laurie, struggling to deal with her nightmares, picks up the book and soon realises who she is. Due for a night out, she goes anyway, and a truly brilliant piece of filming using gripping live music, strong colours of red, orange and yellow and slow motion perfectly captures her paranoia attack. All the while her friend, who has gone to the Halloween party with her, is trying to have sex with a lad dressed as a werewolf. This adds some much needed comic relief, if only for a brief moment.

We soon move on to one of the most upsetting and disturbing scenes of the film. Laurie has been living with best friend Annie and Annie’s Dad the Sheriff, only this night Annie stayed in and Myers has visited and killed the patrolman outside. We don’t see what happens to Annie as she gets ready for a shower, but when Laurie finds her we see glimpses in flash back and its fuckin brutal. We find Annie naked, in the bathroom which is plastered in blood like something out of a nightmare, and she is slashed all over. The most upsetting scene is as Brad Dourif arrives and screams out to his daughter in such heartfelt agony. The madness slows to a halt, the music suddenly becomes chilled and we get two small flashbacks of Annie as a littlegirl holding a dog. This is where Zombie gives us one final kicking while we’re down, with all the added slowmotion, music and flash backs and sound cut off, Zombie gives us a chance to reflect as if it were our own. Proof, yet again, that this man has talent way beyond his pears and far superior to any other horror director around right now!
Eventually it gets too much for Laurie and soon she is trapped by Myers and yet another climatic and brilliant scene see’s Laurie walk through the woods at night with both ages of Michael, their Mum and a car on fire in the woods behind them. Its a poster worthy scene. I will admit the ending is slightly confused and muddled and a bit too easy but in all honesty, and on reflection from watching this for a third time, the un-masking of Michael Myers is actually an incredibly powerful moment and his screen presence is probably amplified! The whole thing is wrapped up quickly but impressively and with the song “Love Hurts” playing, it all adds to the powerful effect of an end of an era.
9/10

Where they go from here is anybody’s guess.  Hughes has kindly kept us informed of what is happening with Halloween 3, but we must remember the original Halloween 3 had no Michael Myers, just that blasted song!

Overall, i think Zombie has truly outdone himself both with style and bringing something new to the franchise. He never ever set out to do a remake, it was always gonna be his “re-imagining”  which he achieved perfectly. The problem is re-imagining a film  as good as Halloween will always cause issues and the fans will take a lot of persuading. Hell, just the thought of an Exorcist remake gives me sleepless nights! But, i believe Zombie should be applauded for doing his own thing, not re-making it scene for scene, bringing his own style and charisma and quite literally making the film his own. There are shit remakes, good remakes and great remakes, i  believe Zombies falls in the category of great remakes. Anyone wanting to argue, go and watch The Fog or the Ring remake and tell me, seriously, are Zombies versions rally as bad as them? Not a chance in Hell

[pt-filmtitle]H2 (Halloween 2) (2009)[/pt-filmtitle]

Matt Wavish
About Matt Wavish 10125 Articles
A keen enthusiast and collector of all horror and extreme films. I can be picky as i like quality in my horror. This doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a classic, but as long as it has something to impress me then i'm a fan. I watch films by the rule that if it doesn't bring out some kind of emotive response then it aint worth watching.

3 Comments

  1. I watched this earlier and thought it was much better than his first outing in the Halloween franchise. Rob Zombie built up more character with Laurie, showing her as a person. I didn’t care for Laurie much in the first film, but getting to know her in H2 was better. I must say, you’re bang on with the brutal aspect of the film. it had me wincing in places, like the nurse at the beginning of the film, the head stomp and the shocking bathroom scene with Annie… which we didn’t need to see in it’s entire form – so glad Rob Zombie chose the ‘less is more’ option. The sounds and flashes of visual were more than enough, coupled with her slashed body and the blood splattered across every single wall, top to bottom.
    I didn’t like Halloween 1 by Rob Zombie. I adored John Carpenters. Never did see original Halloween 2, but as DJ says this is a reimagining, I think it was a good enough story and better than some other things out there. Good show by Mr Zombie. Not excellent, but not bad either. 🙂

    • See, i just have a real fondness for Zombie’s work, really do and he out classed himself with Halloween 2. Glad you enjoyed it though mate, and this site is starting to take off! I had a reply on one of my reviews today, well pleased! How do you post them smilies then?

      • Just put a colon then a bracket as you would do in a txt message 🙂
        It automatically turns into a smiley.
        I did think H2 was a better film for RZ. Its the same with House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. I preferred TDR as I hadn’t a clue what was happening with 1000 Corpses.
        Btw, did you get an email notification of a reply to your review?

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