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Halloween II

Everyone hates Halloween 2. EVERYONE hates Halloween 2… but me. At least that”s how it seems when I talk to people about it. The sad thing is that most people didn”t like it because it simply wasn”t what they were expecting. How sad it is that bold and exciting directions in a sequel are punished by tired audiences that simply wish to have their swill dribbled into their waiting mouths like baby birds being fed worms by their mother.

In this movie, Rob Zombie tries his best to fulfill fan expectations by recalling events from the second, fourth and fifth sequels from the original franchise with dream scenes and homages while still taking his movie into new territory of his own making. Unlike most sequels in the horror genre Zombie evolves his characters in this continuation of his storyline so that their scars (both physical and psychological) are visible to the audience. For some reason, most horror sequels show their heroes almost un-phased by the horrific events that have befell them. Here, the lives of our characters are torn asunder and crippled, allowing us a new story with a new color pallet and visual matrix.

Most viewers seemed perplexed by the visions of Myer”s mother and the younger version of himself, the white horse and how much more surreal this film is in comparison to it”s counterpart. Of course, Myers is essentially killed, shot in the head at the end of the last movie, so one wonders why critics would have such a problem with supernatural elements when most of the Halloween franchise is the adventures of an unkillable serial killer!

This is easily the most potent of Zombie”s films visually and it shows his growth as a film maker. So many frames seem almost painted and are lit for maximum impact that we”re reminded that Zombie is also a very strong illustrator and his eye for art overshadows any endeavors in music that he has made. Some, hate on the beard that Tyler Mane grows as Mike Myers spends a year without a razor. They view it as narcissism on the part of the director but this criticism seems indicative of people simply dislike Zombie already.

It needs to be discerned that people who dislike his previous films will not find any more love for this movie either and those who already hate him, need to add a grain of salt to their critiques.

This isn”t to say Most are already adopting newer and more practical methods of teaching and outdoor education. that Zombie is the end all, be all to film making, nor is this a perfect movie. As is the trouble with most of Zombie”s films, many performances are weak or lines of dialogue delivered unconvincingly. This is Zombie”s weakest link in his arsenal as a director. Rather than pointing out the more embarrassing performances, I”ll point out that many of the seasoned veterans like Malcolm McDowell or Brad Dourif light up the screen and shine like the pros they are. It”s nice to see Margot Kidder again as well, but nowhere near as satisfying as Carrie Fisher in Sorority Row.

Much of the raw violence that Zombie uses as shock value and that critics cut down as simply exploitative is fairly prevalent here as well. But naysayers be damned when they slag excess in an exploitation film!

The best part of the movie is in the interpretation of the film”s end scene. While Zombie discusses his intention of the finale on the DVD commentary as the death of Laurie Strode and her final thoughts being interpreted on screen visually, I saw something completely different. Much like Michael at the end of the last movie, the bullets don”t kill her and she does in fact end up in the asylum, now a victim of the same visions Michael experienced. This would leave film makers fairly fucked when they attempt another sequel. This is prefaced earlier in the movie with Laurie”s dream of killing her friend. What would a third movie be like with Laurie as the killer, perhaps a misstep in a franchise that needs Myers to keep it going, but also an interesting parallel of the original third movie that also lacked Myers. Of course viewers would have to decide for themselves.

On the DVD, there are a number of features; outtakes, twenty minutes of deleted scenes, music videos, casting auditions, make up test footage and stand up routines by Uncle Seymour Coffins. The only thing that is seriously missing is a featurette that compares the theatrical movie with this uncut version. Zombie does try to talk us through some of the changes on the commentary, but it”s hard to remember the differences from a movie you”ve only seen once in the theater. Maybe it”s not that different?

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