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.
  • mattius

    Everyone whos complaining that Rob Zombies Films destroyed Michael Myers are just ignorant in my opinion. People expected Rob Zombie to make a film that the fans wanted but he did that in the first remake (Which was the best Halloween movie of them all hands down!!!). H2 is Rob Zombies own creative take on the halloween series. Although the writing could have used some serious tampering with, and some scenes that could have been shortened or even taken out, he still gives a good sense of Michael’s Psychotic motives. Rob gives u a complete background, from why he is what he is, to where he goes in between halloweens, it makes him less immortal and taking off the mask even aggravated me when i was watching the movie, but after watching it i appreciate what Rob zombie gave Michael, a sense of realism.

    So the movie wasn’t the “SCARIEST” horror flick of all time but how many horror films really scare horror fans. He gave the audience the priviledge of not totally knowing where his movie’s direction was going. His mom on the white horse, Laurie having the same visions connecting the traumatized mind of Laurie with the psychotic mindset of Michael, he clearly doesnt use his own take on how the movie ends, it was bitten off of previous Halloween movies, but the fact of the matter is, is that you get more depth and actual friggin’ storyline out of Rob Zombies only 2 Halloween movies, then you get out of ALLLLL the other Halloween movies combined, i LOVED Rob Zombies 2 movies The first remake being the BEST HALLOWEEN MOVIE OF ALL TIME NOW AND FOREVER, he took his own take forget what the haters say about his genious take, all thats needed is suspense/thrills, and more original stalker myers, rather then surprise you and cut you’re head off in the front seat of a crashed coroner ambulance.

    To end Halloween ’07 greatest horror movie ever for me and Rob Zombie i wish u would have done a 3rd but clearly the critics stressing you out do you’re thing, and the rest stop hating.

  • mattius

    Everyone whos complaining that Rob Zombies Films destroyed Michael Myers are just ignorant in my opinion. People expected Rob Zombie to make a film that the fans wanted but he did that in the first remake (Which was the best Halloween movie of them all hands down!!!). H2 is Rob Zombies own creative take on the halloween series. Although the writing could have used some serious tampering with, and some scenes that could have been shortened or even taken out, he still gives a good sense of Michael’s Psychotic motives. Rob gives u a complete background, from why he is what he is, to where he goes in between halloweens, it makes him less immortal and taking off the mask even aggravated me when i was watching the movie, but after watching it i appreciate what Rob zombie gave Michael, a sense of realism.

    So the movie wasn’t the “SCARIEST” horror flick of all time but how many horror films really scare horror fans. He gave the audience the priviledge of not totally knowing where his movie’s direction was going. His mom on the white horse, Laurie having the same visions connecting the traumatized mind of Laurie with the psychotic mindset of Michael, he clearly doesnt use his own take on how the movie ends, it was bitten off of previous Halloween movies, but the fact of the matter is, is that you get more depth and actual friggin’ storyline out of Rob Zombies only 2 Halloween movies, then you get out of ALLLLL the other Halloween movies combined, i LOVED Rob Zombies 2 movies The first remake being the BEST HALLOWEEN MOVIE OF ALL TIME NOW AND FOREVER, he took his own take forget what the haters say about his genious take, all thats needed is suspense/thrills, and more original stalker myers, rather then surprise you and cut you’re head off in the front seat of a crashed coroner ambulance.

    To end Halloween ’07 greatest horror movie ever for me and Rob Zombie i wish u would have done a 3rd but clearly the critics stressing you out do you’re thing, and the rest stop hating.

  • too many haters

    I enjoyed this film very much. Every death scene was brutal, efficient, emotional. I thought the scenes with Michael Myers’ mom added a certain supernatural creepiness which benefits the dark overtone of the film. I don’t care at all that there was barely any of the trademark soundtrack from the original two films. The characters seemed very real. The fact that Myers’ mask was absent for some of the film doesn’t matter at all. To be fair I’ll give this criticism; the scene with Michael rampaging the strip club seemed out of place. I look forward to the director’s cut. Laurie’s dream sequences were essential and well placed. No one can tell me they did not have a major emotional reaction to the following scenes: Laurie waking up screaming from the nightmares, Laurie opening up to the psychiatrist, Laurie sneaking into Annie’s hospital room and begging to remain to the protest of the nurse, Laurie discovering Annie butchered. All these scenes make you feel so sorry for this innocent young woman. I found myself pulling for her so hard. So in conclusion, there are too many negative comments and not enough positive ones. I hope this reply opens up some of your minds. A Rob Zombie interpretation of a film is 9 times out of 10, not going to emulate the original. Zombie does not feel like he owes some payment or homage to the original films. Oh and this is unrelated but I thought the first Rob Zombie Halloween movie was absolutely spectacular.

  • too many haters

    I enjoyed this film very much. Every death scene was brutal, efficient, emotional. I thought the scenes with Michael Myers’ mom added a certain supernatural creepiness which benefits the dark overtone of the film. I don’t care at all that there was barely any of the trademark soundtrack from the original two films. The characters seemed very real. The fact that Myers’ mask was absent for some of the film doesn’t matter at all. To be fair I’ll give this criticism; the scene with Michael rampaging the strip club seemed out of place. I look forward to the director’s cut. Laurie’s dream sequences were essential and well placed. No one can tell me they did not have a major emotional reaction to the following scenes: Laurie waking up screaming from the nightmares, Laurie opening up to the psychiatrist, Laurie sneaking into Annie’s hospital room and begging to remain to the protest of the nurse, Laurie discovering Annie butchered. All these scenes make you feel so sorry for this innocent young woman. I found myself pulling for her so hard. So in conclusion, there are too many negative comments and not enough positive ones. I hope this reply opens up some of your minds. A Rob Zombie interpretation of a film is 9 times out of 10, not going to emulate the original. Zombie does not feel like he owes some payment or homage to the original films. Oh and this is unrelated but I thought the first Rob Zombie Halloween movie was absolutely spectacular.

  • J

    Save the first 10 or so minutes, the movie sucked in all aspects. I loved the first H Zombie movie much more than the original but this was horrible. Malcolm McDowell did an injustice to all the work Donald Pleasance did in the film.

    Laurie, understandably a mess from her ordeal now becomes a douche bag rather than a misunderstood girl, and fights with Annie, her friend who also went through the ordeal.

    Never mind the mother and child who follow Robinson Caruso all over the movie withe the white horse? What was that? For Zombie to be the supposed new master of horror, I watched this solo at night and couldn’t wait for it to be over and wasn’t scared in the least.

    Unfortunately, I spent money on this piece of crap hoping it was as good as Zombie’s first. Major brain fart for Zombie.

  • J

    Save the first 10 or so minutes, the movie sucked in all aspects. I loved the first H Zombie movie much more than the original but this was horrible. Malcolm McDowell did an injustice to all the work Donald Pleasance did in the film.

    Laurie, understandably a mess from her ordeal now becomes a douche bag rather than a misunderstood girl, and fights with Annie, her friend who also went through the ordeal.

    Never mind the mother and child who follow Robinson Caruso all over the movie withe the white horse? What was that? For Zombie to be the supposed new master of horror, I watched this solo at night and couldn’t wait for it to be over and wasn’t scared in the least.

    Unfortunately, I spent money on this piece of crap hoping it was as good as Zombie’s first. Major brain fart for Zombie.

  • jessd

    (in my opinion)

    the good:
    the beginning with Laurie in the hospital. Zombie doesn’t hold anything back when showing Laurie’s wounds, horror movies are meant to make you squirm, this absolutely makes you squirm, even if gore doesn’t bother you, just thinking about how all of that would feel is insane. another good part of the movie is when Myers finds Annie, even though it is very predictable, and the “bad guy in the mirror” aspect is very out played, i still think this is a great portrayal of pure terror, seeing her turn that corner and the look on her face, i also like that you don’t actually get to see what Myers did to her, just the aftermath, thought Zombie did really well with that whole situation. all in all i thought most of the killing scenes were great.

    the bad:
    Zombie ruined Micheal Myers. what makes Myers so terrifying and what people love about him, is that he’s so lifeless, and inhuman. you see his face in this film, you hear him speak, it’s all the things you don’t want Myers to do.
    Young Myers. Young Myers in this movie was absolutely awful, in the first film Zombie found the creepiest kid i have ever seen, the absolutely perfect kid to cast in this film, i actually believed that that kid could murder his whole family. in this movie, Zombie found the most adorable kid he could find… what? the scene where Myers and his mother are in the ward and she tickles him, is just dumb, he’s a heartless killer. it turned everything about young Myers from the first film completely upside down.
    sherri moon zombie did not need to be in this movie at all. the whole her and the white horse aspect is just completely pointless, it’s like she said “but rob, you have to put me in your movieeeee” so he just threw her in.

    these are only a few of the things i think about this movie.

    side note, when the van carrying Myers body crashes, and you see the guy spitting blood and saying f**k for entirely too long, is the scariest part of this movie. that guy is so creepy.

    • Newmoonfan04

      I couldnt agree with you more!!! I absolutley LOVE halloween, but most of the things Rob Zombie put in this movie was just horrible! UGH!!! The worst part was that he put Sherri Moon Zombie in it. Dont get me wronge, shes an awesome actress and everything, but she so was not cut out to play the role of micheals mother. I mean she played in House of a thousand corpes and The devils rejects as this wicked, man eating killer that i just couldnt get enough of!!! Come on Rob, just because shes your wife, doesnt mean you have to put her in a movie where you could get some Very BAD reviews!!! Anyway, the ending was AMAZING!!! It couldnt have been any more spectacular then it was! So… thank you sooo much Rob Zombie for bringing us another wonderfull film. I hope youll reconsider and make another! Your fans are just CRAVING more!!!

  • jessd

    (in my opinion)

    the good:
    the beginning with Laurie in the hospital. Zombie doesn’t hold anything back when showing Laurie’s wounds, horror movies are meant to make you squirm, this absolutely makes you squirm, even if gore doesn’t bother you, just thinking about how all of that would feel is insane. another good part of the movie is when Myers finds Annie, even though it is very predictable, and the “bad guy in the mirror” aspect is very out played, i still think this is a great portrayal of pure terror, seeing her turn that corner and the look on her face, i also like that you don’t actually get to see what Myers did to her, just the aftermath, thought Zombie did really well with that whole situation. all in all i thought most of the killing scenes were great.

    the bad:
    Zombie ruined Micheal Myers. what makes Myers so terrifying and what people love about him, is that he’s so lifeless, and inhuman. you see his face in this film, you hear him speak, it’s all the things you don’t want Myers to do.
    Young Myers. Young Myers in this movie was absolutely awful, in the first film Zombie found the creepiest kid i have ever seen, the absolutely perfect kid to cast in this film, i actually believed that that kid could murder his whole family. in this movie, Zombie found the most adorable kid he could find… what? the scene where Myers and his mother are in the ward and she tickles him, is just dumb, he’s a heartless killer. it turned everything about young Myers from the first film completely upside down.
    sherri moon zombie did not need to be in this movie at all. the whole her and the white horse aspect is just completely pointless, it’s like she said “but rob, you have to put me in your movieeeee” so he just threw her in.

    these are only a few of the things i think about this movie.

    side note, when the van carrying Myers body crashes, and you see the guy spitting blood and saying f**k for entirely too long, is the scariest part of this movie. that guy is so creepy.

  • Michael

    H2 was awsome. Tyler Mayne was fatastic as Michael. This movie is way better than Haloween 4,5,6,7 and 8. I loved how he looked with his torn mask and hood. It didn’t take anything away from this iconic killer infact Michael hasn’t been this menacing in a long time. Nice to have someone actually acting the part rather than a stuntman with a mask. I thougt it was all over in Resurrection when Busta Rymes went ninja with Michael. Thank you Rob and Tyler for making Michael cool again