Before I get to H2…
Halloween (John Carpenter) is one of my favorite movies of all time. It is also one of the best movies of all time and is considered to be a classic horror film. It’s up there with Psycho, Exorcist, and the Frankenstein series. So when Rob Zombie remade Halloween I wasn’t too happy.
Problem – After the original Halloween 2 the series was very miss or miss worse. Part 3 was just ok, no Myers, but I was ok with it. Part 4 was sloppy and Myers looked silly in that light brown-haired mask. Part 5 was good, but the ending was a cliffhanger that led to part 6 which is the worst of the series. Then H20 came out with Jaime Lee coming back and continuing from the original part 2 again – they just ignored the whole Druid-Thorn-Symbol angle. H20 was just ok, the last act was really cool, but that should’ve been the end of Myers. But then Resurrection came out and actually I thought that overall it was better than H20, with Myers returning to scary mode – however, Busta Rhymes really destroys this movie. He is so awful and the fact he kills Myers in the end is so horrific that I consider Halloween Resurrection to have the worst ending of any horror movie ever made.
Back to the problem – I love Myers but the last 6 movies were very whatever – what else could you do but remake it. I mean if Spiderman 3 wasn’t up to standards, then I would still do Spiderman 4 and make it better – instead of rebooting. But when you have 5 bad movies in a row, it’s time to start over again.
So the first part of the remake is really a prequel and the last half is a remake – the last half is great! Brutal killings and pretty good atmosphere. The first half is all about kid Myers – which I don’t like. Too much swearing, and a too obvious back-story of how he was raised in a white trash home and everyone treated him like crap. What happened to the mysterious Michael Myers that no one knew why he killed? I guess to make it his own (something Carpenter told Zombie to do) Zombie gave us more back-story, which is fine, but now we have a different Myers than in the other films. So I guess in part this movie did its job of keeping it similar yet different. So I don’t think the remake was really as bad as everyone says and you know what, it was better than half the sequels, so there.
However, due to this new angle with Myers, we ended up rooting for him. Even in the second half! The teens are so stupid and obnoxious you end up wanting them dead. So I guess Zombie wants us to side with Myers – which is interesting for sure, since most horror films don’t do that, so I think Zombie identifies more with the villain than heroes.
That brings me to Halloween 2.
Well it continues from the last one – Myers was shot and left for dead, but he really wasn’t. The first act of this film (which totals 2 hours!!!) is a kind of remake of the original Halloween 2. Myers stalks Laurie at the hospital. This part is so amazing and in some ways even better than the original part 2. Myers is really pissed off and he is very brutal in his killings.
In fact, this movie was really harsh and you got a lot of lingering shots at the victims which made you feel really bad for them, especially the innocent ones, like the nurse.
I think Zombie is trying to show the aftermath of death. How it affects lives etc. Laurie is still having mental issues and is seeing a doctor (not Loomis this time, but Margot Kidder!) and everyone who survived the first movie is still trying to get over everything. I kind of like that approach and the film itself is shot really nicely.
It was shot on 16mm most films are done in 35mm or 70mm (for the epics). But this 16mm look makes it really nice and gritty. And I like that the grittiness wasn’t done in post production like it was with Planet Terror and Death Proof. Zombie was committed to the grainy look and it was no turning back!
The problem with this movie is that I am cheering way too much for Myers. Laurie is just a bitch in this and so are ALL her friends! I know she has been through a lot but she could be a bit nicer. Zombie is too blame. I believe that Rob Zombie is a good director. The look of the film and the dream sequences are really good. The pacing is good for a longer movie and I love the brutality. But I don’t think he is a good writer. His female characters especially are really despicable and just annoying. You want them dead so bad that you forget the tragedy of the death.
All in all this movie is a mixed bag with more good than bad – the dream sequences and the white horse motif are defiantly a bit weird, but you know I have to give Zombie this credit, he certainly makes an entertaining horror film and this is one of the better entries. In fact, it’s probably in the top 3-4 of the series.
On a personal note I love the ad campaign for this film and I love the poster above. It just seems really creepy and it tells a good story. I hate posters that have no movement, or are just faces lined up the side (see any modern poster). Oh and one last thing, Myers is without his mask for some of this film and its defiantly weird, but I think it works in Zombies alternate reality Halloween film series.
Just for kicks, this is my order:
Halloween 2 (Orig)
Halloween 2 (Zombie)
I am interested to see what happens with Michael Myers next – if there is going to be a next!