H2: Halloween II (2009) Movie Review

39 Comments

IRS auditors and repo men have encountered cheerier faces than those seen leaving a screening of Rob Zombie’s latest magnum opus. Where is Michael Myers, and what has Zombie done with him? Instead of a horror icon, we’re given a shambling hulk who looks like a homeless man with a pituitary problem.

“Halloween II” picks up just after Laurie Strode blasted Myers point blank in the face. Found covering in blood and wandering dazed on the road, she’s taken to the hospital. In a reverent nod to the original sequel, Michael Myers reappears to wreck bloody havoc upon the nursing staff–then on the parking lot attendant when he runs out of nurses. But in a flash it turns out to be only one of Laurie’s nightmares; two years have elapsed and she’s gone from being a good girl to looking like she buys her outfits from vendors at rock concerts. She’s in therapy, haunted by Myers and the death of her parents; her therapist must have been working wonders since she works at a beatnik bookstore and has a mouth an ocean of Scope wouldn’t wash out.

Michael Myers has been busy as well. Despite being presumed dead, he’s apparently taken advice from Henry David Thoreau and living in an abandon farm in the woods. Now sporting a mountain man beard and doing God could only guess what to occupy his time, he gets a call to action. It seems ever since his mother died, she’s appeared in visions leading a white horse imploring him to kill Laurie so the family can be reunited. The past two years have now been kind to Dr. Loomis, he’s turned into a media whore in order to promote his new book on Myers no matter whose wounds are reopened.

The inevitable happens and Michael Myers is back in action, intent on slaying Laurie and warming up by leaving a gory trail in his wake. Laurie reads Dr. Loomis’ book, and learns something that she could really do without knowing; meanwhile said author finally comes to the realization his behavior has been, to put it kindly, wretched. All three paths are on a collision course that will end in a deserted shack. Only one will walk out, but will never be the same.

If there are any therapistist looking for some high profile pro bono work, Rob Zombie would be an ideal candidate. His insane fixation with white trash culture was tolerable in his first two films and his “Halloween” remake, but now its’ simply become tiresome and at times repellant. A scene in which two ambulance drivers discuss necrophillia goes on way too long, as if Zombie was trying to convince eHarmony to add a new dating category. With any Rob Zombie film there’s the requisite past their prime players showing up for one last film that’ll get theatrical release, a Felliniesque parade of faded stars from the 70s and 80s there to snag a paycheck even though they serve no purpose to the film. Weird Al Yankovic, Margot Kidder, Howard Hesseman….they’re all in the this film for roughly 3 or 4 minutes. Naturally, you can’t have a Rob Zombie film without Sheri Moon-Zombie, once again playing Michael’s mother. Since’s she died in the previous film, she appears now as an apparition leading the Lone Ranger’s horse around and imploring Myers to kill a sibling. While she tries to look cold but etherally beautiful, she only succeeds in looking like the understudy to the White Witch from “Chronicles of Narnia”.

While Rob Zombie may have failed as a writer, there’s a chance that he could succeed as a director. Those hope are dashed pretty quickly, while he can stage a few well crafted scenes, on the large he make the leap from helming a five minute sequence to being responsible for a full length feature film. With this being Zombie’s fourth film this is bordering on inexcusable. With him planning on remaking “The Blob”, it verges on criminal.

But what is even worse is Zombie’s treatment of Myers. For practically all of Michael Myer’s return to Haddonfield, he shambles around wearing an old parka with the hood up. Since his mask is mainly obscured, the killer ceases to be the iconic Michael Myers; this is a massive problem since everyone in the theater came to see Michael Myers. If we wanted to see a big guy in a hooded parka, we could go to the park after dark and see one for free–or at least for a dollar if he asked for one. Hasn’t anyone learned from the debacle of 1998′s “Godzilla”, that you don’t re-imagine an icon? It’s bad enough we’ll have to suffer the sight of Dwayne Johnson as “The Tooth Fairy”, this this keeps up there’ll be a run on tranquilizers.

Malcolm McDowell and Brad Dourif give fine performances with the material they have, which isn’t much. Tyler Mane has little to do under a mask and hidden under a hood, but does have a spectacular moment near the film’s climax. Face to face with Laurie, both with knives, he gives her a pleading look to release him from an existence of constant butchery. The monster has a soul, and Mane finds it despite all Zombie does to hide it.

No doubt, Zombie will release a “director’s cut” on dvd, and everyone will suddenly have enormous respect for whoever responsible for the cutting. In the meanwhile, it has been announced that next summer will bring “Halloween 3D”. Hopefully, it’ll undo all Zombie’s damage, and do it right in your lap.

Rob Zombie (director) / Rob Zombie (screenplay)
CAST: Sheri Moon Zombie … Deborah Myers
Scout Taylor-Compton … Laurie Strode
Brad Dourif … Sheriff Lee Brackett
Caroline Williams … Dr. Maple
Malcolm McDowell … Dr. Samuel Loomis
Tyler Mane … Michael Myers


Buy H2: Halloween on DVD

Author: Joseph Savitski

Joseph is a contributing writer for BeyondHollywood.com and ScifiCool.com, where he critiques movies, television, and books. He lives in PA, and obsessively loves movies, books, and the New York Yankees.
  • Farva123

    This article nails it. I’ve been a huge fan of the Halloween series for years, but Rob took this movie in the wrong direction. First, I’d like to say that I’m a huge fan of his other films, including his first take on Halloween. But H2 takes a nosedive into white trash land. Hadonfield doesn’t look the same, Mikes not wearing a mask, the classic soundtrack is gone (I’m not kidding, the piano sounds aren’t in the movie!), Sherri Moon’s role puts a strain on the plot-line, and everyone looks like they have just returned from a Rancid concert! I respect the fact that Rob wanted to create a new monster with a new story, but don’t do it to a horror icon! The First 20 minutes of this film are great and for 1 reason…it feels like a Halloween movie and wether you, me or Rob likes it or not, sometimes the cookie cutter structure works. In the first scene, the Zombie gore is there (and its great!), the sound effects are vivid, and the suspense builds quickly. The story takes a turn for the worse once Laurie wakes up from her nightmare. People have grown to love the Halloween series for many different reasons but mostly because they know what to expect. Rob should have taken this story and used it towards his own original monster. Mike Myers wants off the steriods and he wants his damn mask back!

    • Newmoongan04

      i know what you mean. the movie would have been 10 times better if the origonal soundtrack was in it! whats a halloween movie without it? Just another “scary” made by kenny ortaga or something!! WOW that movie would SUCK!!!!

  • Farva123

    This article nails it. I’ve been a huge fan of the Halloween series for years, but Rob took this movie in the wrong direction. First, I’d like to say that I’m a huge fan of his other films, including his first take on Halloween. But H2 takes a nosedive into white trash land. Hadonfield doesn’t look the same, Mikes not wearing a mask, the classic soundtrack is gone (I’m not kidding, the piano sounds aren’t in the movie!), Sherri Moon’s role puts a strain on the plot-line, and everyone looks like they have just returned from a Rancid concert! I respect the fact that Rob wanted to create a new monster with a new story, but don’t do it to a horror icon! The First 20 minutes of this film are great and for 1 reason…it feels like a Halloween movie and wether you, me or Rob likes it or not, sometimes the cookie cutter structure works. In the first scene, the Zombie gore is there (and its great!), the sound effects are vivid, and the suspense builds quickly. The story takes a turn for the worse once Laurie wakes up from her nightmare. People have grown to love the Halloween series for many different reasons but mostly because they know what to expect. Rob should have taken this story and used it towards his own original monster. Mike Myers wants off the steriods and he wants his damn mask back!

  • loverboi

    the movie was amazing i dont care what anyone says you gotta understand zombies side of this was he ever a guy not to make it all blood guts and core thats what i love about him seriously no one could ever do better work then him with the way his mind works… and do you people not see what he did in the second movie it was not michel meyers at all it was his younger sister the whole time seriously did you guys not figure that out when she was freaking out in the shed hello she was fucking nuts!!! the she saw her mom and her brother at the end she was the killer the whole time after all that happened to her and when she found out she was his sister is what really got to her and made her kill everyone…

  • loverboi

    the movie was amazing i dont care what anyone says you gotta understand zombies side of this was he ever a guy not to make it all blood guts and core thats what i love about him seriously no one could ever do better work then him with the way his mind works… and do you people not see what he did in the second movie it was not michel meyers at all it was his younger sister the whole time seriously did you guys not figure that out when she was freaking out in the shed hello she was fucking nuts!!! the she saw her mom and her brother at the end she was the killer the whole time after all that happened to her and when she found out she was his sister is what really got to her and made her kill everyone…

  • nick romer

    I think that H 2 was one of the better halloween movies in a while. maybe i’m nuts but i think it was a good movie.

  • nick romer

    I think that H 2 was one of the better halloween movies in a while. maybe i’m nuts but i think it was a good movie.

  • Joseph Peter Savitski

    Loverboi, I really am having a bit of a hard time understanding your point about how his sister was at fault. His sister wasn’t going on a killing spree, she didn’t hide out in the wilderness then killed people who had nothing to do with him or his family (as in the strip club workers). Myers held the knife that killed everyone, how was Laurie the killer just because she shared Myers visions at the end?????? She didn’t kill a dog and eat it raw. Sorry, I might have missed what you saw being that Myers kidnapped his sister, was surrounded by shotgun weilding police and killed(??) Loomis who came in unarmed only wanted to talk sense into Myers. She didn’t butcher her defenseless best friends either. She wasn’t even there.

  • Joseph Peter Savitski

    Loverboi, I really am having a bit of a hard time understanding your point about how his sister was at fault. His sister wasn’t going on a killing spree, she didn’t hide out in the wilderness then killed people who had nothing to do with him or his family (as in the strip club workers). Myers held the knife that killed everyone, how was Laurie the killer just because she shared Myers visions at the end?????? She didn’t kill a dog and eat it raw. Sorry, I might have missed what you saw being that Myers kidnapped his sister, was surrounded by shotgun weilding police and killed(??) Loomis who came in unarmed only wanted to talk sense into Myers. She didn’t butcher her defenseless best friends either. She wasn’t even there.

  • 1-2-MikeysCominForYou

    If you will notice by the name I have entered, it reflects my feelings about this film. NOTHING, and I repeat, NOTHING, about this film is original. Every kill scene, every element about Michael can be found in one of the previous Halloween movies or of some other horror flick of the last twenty years. Two examples are: the parka he wears came from I Know What You Did Last Summer, and the mother apparition/fixation from Friday The 13th.

    Everything is borrowed, slightly manipulated, and repackaged as new. There is no creativity, no suspense, and not even a hint of good story telling. The only element I found remotely well done was the tribute to Psycho at the end. I felt that was a true nod to the die hard fans.

    But what can I say? I never found white trash hillbillies scary. I live out in the sticks with the Ted Bundy’s and Ed Guinn’s and a 7 ft. tall hillbilly just doesn’t scare me. Someone who went nuts and killed his sister for no apparent reason at the age of six scares the shit out of me.

    Have you ever asked a question that you thought you wanted to know the answer to but when you received the answer you were highly disappointed? This is clearly one of those instances. The reason why just doesn’t justify Michael’s actions, or at least the way Zombie has presented it, it doesn’t. Now all we have left of our once icon is an average hillbilly with a knife. Thanks for trashing everything!!!!!

  • 1-2-MikeysCominForYou

    If you will notice by the name I have entered, it reflects my feelings about this film. NOTHING, and I repeat, NOTHING, about this film is original. Every kill scene, every element about Michael can be found in one of the previous Halloween movies or of some other horror flick of the last twenty years. Two examples are: the parka he wears came from I Know What You Did Last Summer, and the mother apparition/fixation from Friday The 13th.

    Everything is borrowed, slightly manipulated, and repackaged as new. There is no creativity, no suspense, and not even a hint of good story telling. The only element I found remotely well done was the tribute to Psycho at the end. I felt that was a true nod to the die hard fans.

    But what can I say? I never found white trash hillbillies scary. I live out in the sticks with the Ted Bundy’s and Ed Guinn’s and a 7 ft. tall hillbilly just doesn’t scare me. Someone who went nuts and killed his sister for no apparent reason at the age of six scares the shit out of me.

    Have you ever asked a question that you thought you wanted to know the answer to but when you received the answer you were highly disappointed? This is clearly one of those instances. The reason why just doesn’t justify Michael’s actions, or at least the way Zombie has presented it, it doesn’t. Now all we have left of our once icon is an average hillbilly with a knife. Thanks for trashing everything!!!!!