Review: ‘Halloween II’ (2009)

After nailing a Michael-centric retelling of the original Halloween, the only point to Rob Zombie’s unfocused and oft-times boring sequel appears to be in making the remake look like genius in comparison.

A year after meeting “the bogeyman” face-to-face, Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) lives with Sheriff Brackett (Brad Dourif) and his daughter Annie (Danielle Harris). As the days draw down to the anniversary of the attack, Halloween night, Laurie begins to experience intense dreams of being stalked by a serial killer everyone thinks is dead. Meanwhile, a towering lone figure is making his way overland to reach Laurie’s home town by the end of October, and Heaven help whoever gets in his way.

The setup as listed above could have served as a perfectly good beginning to this unremarkable sequel. Instead, the production focuses on moving between subplots with no purpose other than tying up loose ends from the original. The weakest arc goes to Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell), who instead of a voice of warning has cashed in with a new book; was he meant to be comic relief? The rest of the time is divided between the sheriff emoting, Laurie dealing, and far too much Michael Myers walking. Okay, he’s killing people, too, but (dare I say it?) the kills are actually dull, neither frightening nor entertaining. This begs the question: was this what was intended?

It’s no secret that Sheri Moon Zombie reprises her role as Deborah Myers, but perhaps this story’s first misstep is writer/director Zombie’s unwillingness to keep secrets and maintain any air of mystery. There are no revelations here that the audience isn’t aware of, so the only surprises must come from the actions of the characters themselves, and there just aren’t any. The story seems to be building toward something, but even the ending seems to fall apart as it never becomes clear what’s supposed to happen. A lack of a main character to focus on going into the ending renders the entire story inert with the possible exception of (minor spoiler) very few characters left for another sequel.

There were a few simple things which could have reigned in this catastrophe. First would have been focusing primarily on Laurie Strode and keeping Michael a shadow in her dreams. Next would have been Dr. Loomis stalking Strode, perhaps as something of a crackpot being the only person who believes Myers will return. Finally, having a new character reveal Laurie’s secrets might have made more sense (a nosy reporter, perhaps?) Rob Zombie has been reported as saying the reason he chose to do this sequel is because he didn’t what anyone else to screw it up, and as it should be perfectly obvious by now, he succeeded in exactly that.

(a one skull recommendation out of four)

One comment

Speak up, Mortal -- and beware of Spoilers!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s