Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

If you make the trek to the multiplex to see Rob Zombie’s follow-up to his ‘Halloween’ reboot from a couple of years ago, you can pretty much leave your imagination in the car. Not needed here. Save that imagination for… hell, I don’t know… a porno movie or something. For instance Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) is about to come down hard on somebody’s skull with a butchers knife, a butchers knife that is apparently made of Ginsu material because it probably should’ve broke a while ago considering the force my man used it in eviscerating people, but instead of perhaps taking the camera away from the carnage so that you can feel and hear the devastation… we get to watch it. And watch it again… and watch it one more time again. This is what you’re gonna get with ‘Halloween II’, a movie that is consistently grotesque from start to finish. And if you like that kind of thing, then have at it.

Picking up where the last movie left off Laurie Strode (Scout-Taylor Compton) has just ‘killed’ her brother Michael, is a total physical and mental wreck and is in desperate need of some surgery, some therapy and a shower. Unfortunately, despite the fact that  Michael sure did look dead and didn’t seem to have any kind of registerable vital signs… we all know he’s not dead.

A year later Laurie’s physical scars have healed but she is still a total emotional mess, unable to get a decent nights sleep without dreaming of her murderous big brother. Helping Laurie get through this tough time by putting her up is her best friend Annie (Danielle Harris) who also managed to survive Michael from the first movie and Annie’s old dude, Sheriff Brackett (Brad Dourif).

Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) is still around as well exploiting his former patient Michael Myers to the maximum, going coast to coast hawking his book and pissing off everybody on the planet earth by profiting greatly from this horrific tragedy. He’s also getting tired of answering silly questions from reporters querying him on whether Michael is really dead or not considering nobody has found his body. Loomis assures all of us that Michael is indeed dead. The trail of brutally mutilated bodies Michael is leaving behind as he treks across the United States to see baby sis leads us to believe otherwise.

It’s simple enough. Halloween is coming, Michael, accompanied by his young self (Chase Vanek), his Mom (Sheri Moon Zombie) and his moms horse - don’t ask - is on his way to find his sister and reunite the family once and for all. And kill white trash rednecks. Rob Zombie has apparently has had much trouble with white trash rednecks in his past because they get it bad.

‘Halloween II’ is less a movie and more a string of horrific imagery expertly strung together to halfway form a semi-coherent narrative. None of that makes this movie entertaining to me however. This is a movie that is extremely unpleasant from its first frame to the time the final credits roll, while never actually being scary, which I kind of thought was the purpose of a horror flick in the first place. Sure some of the overt brutality you see will make you wince, maybe even force you to turn your head away, but it doesn’t frighten. Even when Michael wasn’t on screen standing over his victims sawing their heads off with a dull stone or stabbing them in the back of the skull over and over again, the atmosphere of this movie was bleak and unforgiving. I’m pretty sure that Zombie designed his movie to be this way and from that perspective his film is a smashing success… but that’s a level of success I could’ve done without.

Let’s talk about Laurie Strode a little bit. Laurie comes home to find her home ransacked and her buddy brutalized and yells at her other buddy to ‘call 911’. If Laurie was a real friend she would’ve told her buddy to ‘run like hell’ and don’t look back. Laurie knows Michael did this and Laurie knows that Michael is still hanging around. Not good looking out Laurie. Again, Laurie is running from big brother and flags down a car to help her out. Laurie obviously likes watching her brother kill people. This made rooting for Laurie to live difficult. Actually it made rooting for anybody difficult. Michael Myers could very well be the most sympathetic character in the movie. Seriously, for the most part he killed slutty strippers, fornicating teens, red neck assholes, young women with filthy mouths and more undesirables with missing teeth. There was this rather grotesque Halloween party going on and I couldn’t wait for Michael to get up in there and completely clean that mess up.

So when we have a character in movie who rips peoples spines out their backs without emotion and he’s the best you got for someone to lean on, then you have ‘Halloween II’. If that’s your thing then have it. I would’ve been just fine to let that slide.

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