Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2 (2009)

Immediately following the events of the first "Halloween", this movie picks up with Lauri Strode being found wandering the streets, crying out in shock, traumatized by the horrific events that preceded. She is taken to the hospital, gets stitched up, and you fans of the original series all know what happens next, right? If not, prepare yourselves, because we're about to destroy a franchise.

Nothing could have prepared me for what followed...

1. The opening title describes the meaning behind seeing a white horse in psychosis, dribbling on about some crap that sounded deep. Anyway, we're reintroduced to a post-committed young Michael Meyers where we see his mother (played by Rob Zombie's wife) talking to him while he plays with a toy white horse. He tells her that he's been having dreams of her riding on a white horse. Gee, do you think this has anything to do with the opening "white horse" description? And where are they going with this? Why does this white horse have such a huge influence on the tone of the film? Well, here it is: The whole "white horse" bullshit was created as a way to have Rob Zombie's wife play a bigger role in the movie. Every ten minutes we see Michael Meyers' mom walking around with a white horse, telling him random things about nonsense that would only make sense to a psychopath. Lauri Strode actually tells her psychiatrist that she also has been having dreams about a white horse, because having a psychotic Jamie Lee Curtis' character apparently is what we're going for here.

2. Just as every other Rob Zombie movie, we have the cliche perverted characters that make inappropriate jokes at awkward moments of the film, i.e. the coroners. While transporting Michael Meyers' body in a van, the coroners have a Deliverance-inspired discussion about rear entry necrophilia, because it's apparently illegal to have any normal damn people in a Rob Zombie movie. On top of random perversion, we again have the "preachy" Rob Zombie characters that go off on random tangents about normal people not really being normal, and actually being the "real" monsters, laced with the word "fuck" about thirty-seven times per sentence. This character is found in each and every Rob Zombie movie and it gets old quick - only this time, it's Lauri Strode. After this, I knew I was going to witness just another Rob Zombie movie and not a Halloween movie.

3. When the van crashes, Michael bursts from the van door and walks around to the injured coroner where he proceeds to slowly saw off his head while the coroner says "fuck" over and over. The camera zooms in to let us see the blood shoot everywhere and hear the sound of his head rip off. All the while, we are witnessing Lauri get stitched together in a gruesome hospital scene. The whole time I was hoping the movie wasn't going to rely on gore alone to be scary and instead would actually try to be suspenseful - I was wrong. The movie relies entirely on gross close-ups and loud noises to be scary. Michael Meyers breaks through walls, floors, windows, hell, anything he can to try and "jump out" at the audience. I don't recall the Michael Meyers theme even playing, perhaps because none of the scenes are quiet or suspenseful enough for it to be appropriate. Like I've said before, if you can't even fit the theme song into the movie, then you don't have a Halloween movie. This is not the franchise I remember...

4. Let's discuss how every single character is warped from who they were in the original series. Remember Dr. Loomis? Well, in this movie he's an asshole, exploiting the victims of Michael Meyers for personal gain. Having recently published a book about the events from the first film, Dr. Loomis rides around in his limousine from book signing to book signing, flirting with any woman who looks at him, and abusing his personal assistant. I mean really abusing her. There's one scene where he tells her "When I want your opinion, I'll beat it out of you!" He grabs her, saying "Get your ass back in the car!" Lauri Strode is now an alcoholic teenager who screams at everyone, drinks till she passes out, and has weird "episodes" that could only come from the mind of a looney toon - but we'll get to that. Michael Meyers is now a dude with a full ZZ Top beard and long hair... sound like someone we know? *Cough* Shameless-plug-to-make-him-look-like-Rob-Zombie *Cough* Aside from the beard, Michael now grunts and moans and yells when he's killing someone - like he's really enjoying it. No more silent, suspenseful Michael Meyers. No, we've upgraded to Michael 2.0 and now he's ready to burst through every door - just to take 10 minutes to slowly kill his victims. Great. But we don't only get to see the full grown Michael Meyers, because for some reason his younger self is always walking around with him... ? So we get twice the Michael... Yay?

5. Remember those "episodes" I mentioned Lauri having? Well, here's a description of just one: Lauri dresses in the same clown costume Michael wore when he was a kid and she kills her adopted sister. Meanwhile, a seizure-inducing scene of Lauri with an upside down cross carved into her head begins while Michael's mom holds up her arms, then the camera pans down to Lauri in a clear, plastic coffin. Yep, so that happened... Guess what? After the first 30 minutes of the film, you know, where we see Lauri get stitched up, the coroner get killed, Michael killing all of the nurses in the hospital, and eventually killing Lauri with an axe, Lauri wakes up at home and the words "Two Years Later" appear on the screen. So, which part was the dream? Was the first 30 minutes of the film a dream? Or was it just the incredibly descriptive scene at the hospital? Is the whole movie a dream? Well, in the end, Lauri Strode walks out to a bunch of armed policeman holding a knife and eventually gets shot. Yeah. The movie ends with the Jamie Lee Curtis character turning evil and getting shot... right before we see her in a padded room with her mother and a white horse.

In closing, this movie is confusing beyond belief. It's so random that it's barely watchable and often boring. The Michael Meyers character is so warped from the original that it almost bares no resemblance aside from sharing the same name; a name that has grown to be synonymous with the holiday itself - Halloween. If you want to watch something good this year, make it the original. If you want to watch some random garbage that has nothing to do with the original, Watch Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, and leave this movie out of it altogether.

2 out of 4

Technically it is part of the Halloween franchise, and it does include Michael Meyers, which is more than I can say for Season of the Witch.

Cheers and goodnight.

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