After watching Rob Zombie’s first crack at the Halloween franchise, I wasn’t sure things could get much worse. News flash: Halloween II is worse. God only knows what the studio was thinking in bring Zombie back for the sequel. Released in 2009, only two years after the first, this final (for now) installment of the Michael Myers story was beyond disappointing. As much as Zombie trashed the franchise the first time, he trashed it even more the second time around with excessive raunchiness, an unlikeable protagonist and a weird dream plot that left me confused.
Halloween II takes place two years after Laurie Strode was attacked by Michael Myers on Halloween. Now an orphan, Laurie lives with her friend Annie and Annie's father the sheriff. In the two years since we last saw Laurie, she’s changed quite a bit. Her run-in with Myers left her alone, extremely angry and dressing like Alice Cooper. True to form, Myers returns to Haddonfield for another Halloween adventure with his sister.
Zombie continued his tradition of filling this film with as much raunchy dialogue as possible. I am not an easily offended person and I am not afraid of rough dialogue. This film is different, though. It uses the dialogue in such an offensive manner that it’s distracting and off-putting. Now, I know what you’re going to say... horror films should make you feel uncomfortable. This is true, but not only with their dialogue. Zombie uses raunchy situations far too much, when he should be using his villain to instill discomfort. With each horribly offensive scene, I was less and less engaged in Myers’ story and therefore less and less afraid of him. What does it say about Rob Zombie if the scariest aspect of his horror remake was the dialogue?
Moving onto the next reason why I hated this film, Zombie totally ruined Laurie Strode. He took his protagonist and led her down his dark and twisty rabbit hole, only for her to emerge on the other side dressed like some punk rocker. I would understand rage and devastation emanating from Laurie on a daily basis; I mean, she was viciously stalked and attacked. But turning her into a Rob Zombie mini-me was stupid and ridiculous. Once again, Zombie managed to make everything in the film about him. Laurie is supposed to be the girl everyone roots for. Viewers follow her adventures and pray she makes it out alive. In this film, she was whiney and emo and needed to wash her hair. It would have been far more powerful to make her damaged goods, not damaged goods/Rob Zombie’s new guitarist. And don’t even get me started on Dr. Loomis - Zombie managed to ruin that character too by turning him into a diva.
And finally, the white horse dream sequence. Throughout the film, viewers are given the pleasure of odd dream sequences featuring Michael’s dead mother, dressed in white, standing with a white horse. There’s even a quote at the beginning of the film about the white horse. Maybe I’m just not smart enough for Zombie’s grand white horse analogy, but I thought the sequences were dumb and irrelevant to the film. Once more, it was a distraction. There’s nothing worse than your scare being interrupted by a white horse. These sequences felt like a bad acid trip to me, and I’ve never done acid.
Everything about both of Rob Zombie’s Halloween films was incredibly distracting. The music, the costumes, the raunchy dialogue, the white horse and the horrible character development left me wondering what I was watching and what I should be scared of first. Say what you want about the original franchise and talk trash about Halloween Resurrection (I know I did), but none of those films are as horrible as these two. Perhaps Zombie feels the need to fill his films with a ton of trash to distract from the fact that he sucks as a filmmaker. He’s certainly not saving horror, and he put the nail in the coffin on this franchise. Here’s to a remake of the remake...
If you liked Halloween 2 (2009), you might also like Friday the 13th (2009), A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) and Halloween (2007).