Halloween 2 (2009)

Rob Zombie remaking Halloween in 2007 seemed sacrilegious, especially since many felt Zombie’s modernisation of John Carpenter’s classic was poor and needless. A sequel to a poor remake seems like an even more ridiculous idea, but here it is, Halloween 2, the apparent conclusion of Zombie’s opus. Why see it? You shouldn’t. It is bloody terrible.

Kicking off at the exact moment Halloween 2007 ended, at least the sequel keeps the original cast in place, who continue to desperately mug their way through an overdone and needlessly pessimistic script. The plot is non-existent. There literally isn’t one. We just watch a shadowy Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) butcher random strangers whilst Laurie Stroud (Scout Taylor-Compton) has some nightmares. Finally the two collide in a dull and irritatingly directed finale.

The single thread of story anyone could possibly care about is Malcolm McDowell’s Dr Samuel Loomis. Previously the life-long psychologist of Michael Myers, he is now touring the States shamelessly promoting his book about the Haddonfield murders. Since avoiding being one of the victims himself, he has become an arrogant, narcissistic bastard, who is thankfully blessed with decent dialogue. When he utters “Bad taste is the petrol that drives the American dream” you actually feel like you’re watching a proper film and not just a selection of grotesque images and a sub A-Level media studies project. McDowell practically saves the film from drowning in its self-important ugliness, his subplot a wonderful relief from the boredom of Michael Myers. And Myers is boring. Carpenter’s antagonist had an eerie and intimidating quality, casting an imposing figure that stuck in the mind, whilst Zombie’s is just a giant chunk of mean-spirited dumbness.

Despite Zombie’s desperate attempt to humanise Michael Myers with flashbacks of him as a child and some trite nonsense about family being forever, this dog-eating, girl-raping, murderous idiot is utterly repellent. Zombie clearly wanted to add depth to a mask-wearing serial killer movie, but this was a mistake, misjudging blatant and overblown metaphor as subtle and thought-provoking. Myers’ actions are senseless, his geographical knowledge amazing, his ability to overtake a sprinter without running a miracle. He is a typical slasher film assailant with added pointless background and complete lack of menace.

Presumably, we are also expected to care about Laurie Stroud, but her increasingly demented dreams and dull personality push the audience away instead of towards sympathy. Scout Taylor-Compton is just immensely unlike-able and, dissimilar to Laurie original Jamie Leigh Curtis, she completely lacks vulnerability and strength. She merely exists. Her friends are slutty, annoying goth chicks, her “sister” Annie is a whiny bitch and all the other characters in Halloween 2 are mostly repugnant or forgettable. Apart from McDowell, only Brad Dourif fairs well as Sherriff Lee Brackett, who gets to display a little warmth in a world painted mostly in black and dark crimson.

For those perhaps expecting an explosively bloody affair like Zombie’s previous work (before it all went wrong), please prepare to be disappointed. The violence isn’t particularly inventive or exciting, mostly it is just repetitive stabbing and a lot of it is done via stuttering camerawork or hidden in shadow. Entire sequences and characters just exist to be in the way of Myers, and he nudges them aside dispassionately as he bumbles towards his ultimate goal. There is some unnecessary surgery at the beginning, but this is as close to shocking as it gets. There is nothing for anyone in this movie.

Halloween 2 is completely pointless. No one wanted it, no one needed it, and now we have it we wish we didn’t. It is an ugly maggot festering on the decomposing corpse of a franchise. Avoid.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

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