Monday, August 31, 2009

Review: Halloween II (2009)


Starring: Scout Taylor-Compton, Danielle Harris, Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif and Tyler Mane

This film has, as expected, already begun to take a beating as it is a sequel to Rob Zombie's Halloween, which opened to some pretty good reviews but was savagely received by fans who were expecting more of the same.

Rob Zombie's film is different for the Halloween series. It does not destroy the original classic and it would have to try hard to be as bad as Halloween III. Now, to get on to the film itself. As you can see, I was a fan of Zombie's Halloween remake. Here, I was equally impressed. With this film, there were no more boundaries, as Zombie made all the characters his own at the end of the first. This is Rob Zombie's Halloween II and he's free to do whatever he wants with it. Luckily, the directions he takes it in are pretty damn interesting.

This film is well-written and every character has something to do. It's a psychological movie and Zombie goes into depths exploring how each character from the first is dealing with the events, and no two are going about it the same way. Annie (Danielle Harris) has become a recluse unable to leave the house, Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) has become a shadow of himself, almost a joke, totally ignoring the events to surpress whatever guilt he feels. Sheriff Brackett (Brad Dourif) is totally devoted to his job, coming much closer to filling Loomis' normal role in a Halloween film.

Obviously, the focus of the film is Michael and Laurie, and it is portrayed in a way that feels real. A question constantly raised throughout the film is whether or not Laurie (obviously the most traumatized - especially when she discovers she's Myers' sister) will be gripped by her brother's madness. We get keen looks into Michael's head as well as Laurie's, their very similar dreams and visions. And Michael, now a bearded vagrant, even gets some fun ground to play with in realizations that he has to put the mask on to kill and that in his visions, he speaks through his childhood persona.

Overall, another enjoyable effort by Zombie and a worthy entry in the (now 31 year) Halloween saga.