Sunday, October 25, 2009

Psycho-Babble

Just in time for Halloween...Here is my full review of Rob Zombie's Halloween II...

I saw the recent sequel (even though I loathed Zombie's first Halloween) shortly after the film's August release--not expecting much...And boy did Mr.Zombie deliver making the 2007 remake seem like a masterpiece...I am so glad Zombie has been replaced for the upcoming Halloween III-3-D...



The film starts with a title card that explains the symbolism of a white horse in dream analysis and then the plot goes downhill from there...

In a flashback to the '07 film Deborah Myers (played by the director's wife--Sheri Moon Zombie) visits a young Michael (Chase Wright Vanek) during his incarceration in the Smith's Grove Sanitarium in which she gives Michael the gift-- a white horse statuette. Michael explains that the horse reminds him of a dream he had of Deborah's ghost, all dressed in white and leading a horse down the sanitarium halls toward Michael, telling him she was going to bring him home.

Following the events of the first pic we then cut to fifteen years later, Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) is wandering around in a state of shock and covered in blood after having shot Michael (Tyler Mane) until Sheriff Brackett (Brad Dourif) finds her and takes her to the emergency room.



Meanwhile, the paramedics pick up Annie Brackett (Danielle Harris) and Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell), who are still alive after their attacks by Michael, and take them to the hospital.

Presumed dead, Michael's lifeless body is loaded into a separate ambulance; when the driver wrecks the transport Michael awakens and escapes the ambulance, walking toward a vision of Deborah dressed in white and leading a white horse. Gotta love Zombie's use of foreshadowing eh? But I digress...

Michael appears at the hospital, and begins murdering staff and patient alike on his way to Laurie. Trapped in a security outpost at the gate, Laurie watches as Michael tears through the walls with an axe, but just as he tries to kill her Laurie wakes up from her recurring nightmare.

Now it's one year later since she was attacked and Laurie is living with the Bracketts. Michael's body went missing and he is presumed dead...Laurie deals with her trauma through therapy, Loomis has chosen to turn the event into an opportunity to write another book--seeking more fame and fortune along the way.

Meanwhile, Michael has been seeing visions of Deborah's ghost and a younger version of himself, who instructs him. As Halloween approaches Michael decides that it is time to bring Laurie home;--he sets off for Haddonfield...





With the sequel--Zombie solidifies the fact that he turned the Michael Myers saga into a study of human dysfunction rather than a scary movie meant to make lock your doors at night...Scenes of blood soaked gore and characters dropping F-bombs every other minute doesn't a horror movie make...It sure seemed as though the only reason Zombie gave Mikey mommy issues ala Psycho was to ensure another acting gig for the wife.

The dream analysis stuff--Who knew you'd have to study up on Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung before seeing the film? As with the first Zombie Halloween--who cares. Most horror pics give you someone to root for. Not here. McDowell's Loomis is such an A-hole here that even as he tries to redeem himself at the end it comes too late. As for Taylor-Compton's Laurie--Once again she is underwritten--Yes she's a good screamer but that's about it...I will not even talk about what happens to her at the climax of the film--Lame...Indeed the only thing I was rooting for here was for the end credits to roll.

The reason the original Halloween and to a lesser extent its direct sequel Halloween II work is simple--they are Scary and Fun. They don't rely on much yet still manage to scare ya with the less is more approach.

It's OK to be bloody as long as the story, characters and fun are there as well--H2 2009 has none of that and then some...

No comments: