Six years after Michael Myers last terrorized Haddonfield, he returns there in pursuit of his niece, Jamie Lloyd, who has escaped with her newborn child, for which Michael and a mysterious cult have sinister plans.
Three years after he last terrorized his sister, Michael Myers confronts her again, before traveling to Haddonfield to deal with the cast and crew of a reality show which is being broadcast from his old home.
Heidi, a radio DJ, is sent a box containing a record - a "gift from the Lords". The sounds within the grooves trigger flashbacks of her town's violent past. Is Heidi going mad, or are the Lords back to take revenge on Salem, Massachusetts?
Sheri Moon Zombie,
Michael Myers is still at large and no less dangerous than ever. After a failed reunion to reach his baby sister at their old home, Laurie Strode is immediately taken to a hospital to be treated by the wounds that had been afflicted by her brother a few hours ago. However, Michael isn't too far off and will continue his murdering 'Halloween' rampage until he gets his sister all to himself.Written by
[at the beginning before the opening credits] WHITE HORSE - Linked to instinct, purity and the drive of the physical body to release powerful and emotional forces, like rage with ensuing chaos and destruction. --excerpt from the Subconscious Psychosis of Dreams. See more »
The Director's Cut runs 14 minutes longer (119 minutes). Among the changes:
The opening scene with Laurie walking and Loomis being placed into the ambulance is longer.
The hospital dream scene has an extra sequence of Laurie attempting to cross over a pile of bodies.
An on screen title that said "One Year Later" in the Theatrical Cut now says "Two Years Later."
During the breakfast scene, Laurie and Annie now argue about going to the psychiatrist.
More dialogue with Laurie and the psychiatrist. Laurie looks at a framed inkblot on a wall and says that it looks like a white horse.
Loomis' press conference is expanded. Loomis discusses Michael's Oedipal complex, as well as the idea that Michael perhaps saw Loomis as a father figure.
Added sequence where Laurie runs a bath and begins to freak out.
Laurie stopping to play with a pig on her way to work is removed. She instead goes to the psychiatrist and tells her about playing with the pig (we see a few seconds of it, now in flashback), and how it triggered a nervous breakdown of sorts. When the shrink denies her more pills, Laurie freaks out and swears.
The scene where Annie finds Laurie drinking a beer in her room has been expanded: They have another fight.
A non-masked Michael (along with Young Michael and his mother) angrily looks at a billboard that advertises Loomis' book.
When Laurie and Maya come home from the party, there is a short added sequence of them making tea in the kitchen prior to going upstairs. There's also an added shot of Michael apparently walking out of the house.
Brackett's reaction to finding Annie's body is longer, containing video flashbacks of real-life actress Danielle Harris as a child.
The ending is significantly different: After Loomis enters the cabin, Michael throws him through a wall, and the two of them wind up outside. Michael then removes his mask, yells "DIE!", and stabs Loomis. The cops then open fire and kill Michael. Laurie then comes out, takes Michael's knife, and approaches Loomis with it, implying that she may stab him. The cops then open fire on her and seemingly kill her. We then fade to the same hospital footage seen at the end of the theatrical cut as a cover of "Love Hurts" plays on the soundtrack.
Ignore the rules of the genre, and this is what you get
Halloween (1978) is a classic that may have lost a bit of its shine over the years because of its copious use of genre clichés, but it is the movie that actually *started* most of these clichés, and therefore worthy of its status. It was a film that didn't necessarily need a remake, but one was made nonetheless in 2007. And apparently it made money, which explains why there had to be a sequel. However, Rob Zombie's vision for the remake, though authentic to his usual style, wasn't particularly groundbreaking, and this sequel is of the kind that makes the original Halloween II (1981) pretty good in comparison.
Where did it go wrong? A better question would be: where didn't it? The biggest problem may be director Rob Zombie himself. Granted, I am not a big fan of his work. I liked his House of 1000 Corpses as a tongue-in-cheek slasher, but The Devil's Rejects and 31 got bogged down in a lot of nasty and humorless physical and psychological torture, lacking any redeeming suspense. What I will say for him is that he is a good actor's director, though. No matter how uncomfortable his movies get, the casting is always good, his characters feel authentic, and I have not spotted the bad acting that plagues many horror movies. He also has a keen eye for uncomfortable situations, gory details and, unlike many American directors, he doesn't shy away from the amounts of nudity that were common in the 70s.
But a quality that I have consistently missed in his movies is a talent to build a tense atmosphere and suspense. His first Halloween had plenty of explicit killings, but you saw them coming from miles away, and they weren't very scary. Sure, there was gore and violence, but we have seen enough of that during the horror renaissance of the 90s and 00s to no longer look away (or faint) from that. The even bigger lack of suspense and good scares in Halloween II is what makes this an overlong, boring and predictable horror movie. You can actually set your clock to the jump scares this time, and Zombie still doesn't understand how to create a suspenseful scene. The trick is to suggest that there is danger around the corner without showing, or to let the audience know more than the characters. Sadly, he seems too preoccupied with his leading ladies correctly delivering the lines from his script, or having knives thrust into bodies repeatedly to bother with that.
Another problem is that despite all the previous criticism, Zombie keeps trying to (literally) give Michael Myers a human face. He clearly hasn't learned his lesson from the previous movie where he controversially gave him a complete backstory. What makes Myers scary is his complete inhumanity: like the Terminator, Michael Myers is a silent, single-minded and unstoppable force that can't be reasoned or bargained with, and whose inner mechanics and motivations remain undisclosed. Zombie now found it necessary to have Myers without the mask and talking, and give him visions of his mother guiding his younger self. It is killing for the horror, but potentially interesting if this were a character piece on Myers; however, Zombie has no further interest in that dramatic side of him as soon as the mayhem starts.
The final blow comes from the other main characters. Dr. Loomis has now been reimagined as a sensational writer who is making a living off his famous case. The complete antithesis to his previous incarnation who was determined to stop this force of evil in any way he could. This could have been an interesting spin if they had stuck with it until the end. However, not only does this plotline have little to do with the central story most of the time, it suddenly changes direction at the end, as if the makers chickened out. At least Malcolm McDowell is a joy to watch with his characteristic British politeness with thinly-veiled disdain. Something that can't be said of Scout Taylor-Compton, whose continuous hysterics get so annoying that you actually hope that she runs into a knife somewhere. Giving her character PTSD could have worked, but not in the direction that the movie takes her.
So this film managed to make all the wrong choices because it failed to follow the basic rules of the horror genre: you should feel sympathy for the victim and hero, and fear for the killer. I apparently watched the Director's Cut, which adds 12 minutes of tedium to an already long-winded snorefest, something that isn't exactly compensated for by the gore or shocks. It would actually take another 9 years for someone else to make a Halloween film that was received favorably. I am anxious to see it, and hope it can erase the memory of this dull slasher.
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