Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 Review
I'm a big fan of Rob Zombie, despite what a lot of people have said in the past about his film, and career. I thought his previous films were amazing, well, the first one was amazing, and well the second started to ask too much then things got fumbled and I thought for sure this sequel would redeem his work to a better place. He did raise the bar in some areas, but in other areas completely missed the mark.
Halloween 2 came out in the summer, if I recall correctly, completely missing the opportunity to compete with the Saw franchise and make sure that people actually had a good scary movie to see. I use the term "good" loosely for the sake of the release date. From what I've heard, the studio was scared to release this film head to head with Saw VI and therefore pulled it out early, to mediocre fan fare and disappointing box office returns.
Halloween 2 has some key elements going for it. It upholds that Rob Zombie look and feel. The throwback style is impressive, and you'll swear at times that you're watching an Argento movie, as the hospital scenes use light and shadow mixed with vivid colors to muted scales at times, in order to present a creepy state of mind and being. There are also long shots shown, edited together with close shots, and mind numbing circular shots that are really well done, and if you're not paying attention, you'll miss them. This sort of "horror" genre style is definitely one of the better things that Rob Zombie does in his film making, and while Tarantino gets praised for literally stealing sequencing from grindhouse films and kung fu films, Zombie is not praised for his work in framing some of the better shots of this film. Maybe that honor goes to the DP instead.
The first half of this film is brutal. It is beyond brutal and I think that's the best part of this film. The brutality in this film is bar none, and rivals many other films and overpasses a majority of high end films in the way it features the brtuality. I'm reminded of "Irreversible" at one point when a man's face is stomped into hamburger. It's really a sight for sore eyes, considering pg-13 films are not nearly as brutal. This is where Rob Zombie really shined in making this second edition of Halloween.
The pacing also thrives, as this film runs on rails into a rollercoaster style ride with lots of thrills, shocks, and bumps leading to slow down thoughts that really seem to come out of left field. The ending leaves you with something to be desired, but not before showcasing a rise of brutality the likes we're not accustomed to come out of major studios.
This film really falls apart with the story. There are several tying stories going through the film all based on the first film, then there is some supernatural elements and weird "mother" ghost story told that really frustrates the hell out of me. The way they made it work seemed like a music video concept for a Rob Zombie song (Living Dead Girl) or something of that nature, not a Halloween film. It was so bad that when I mentioned this film to friends, they completely trashed it. I don't think this film deserves a complete thrashing, but it's definitely lacking in the story department, and that's where this falls out of favor with me and most of the audience.
The whole "selling" of a serial killer is odd to me. There are many books based on Dahmer, Gacy and more, and yet they don't get protested like the book in this film. You really have to throw logic out of the window. I mean, come one, people still read books? HAHAHAH This isn't a comedy!
Is Halloween 2 Scary: Yes.
This film has a lot of scary moments. The scary parts to me really fell with the hospital sequencing. The way that our victim goes through safety to insecurity and has to find a way out, has always been a scary thing to me. I've never liked hospitals, and here's another good reason why. Is it believable? It could be, I really let belief be suspended for the sake of this film because these sequences were just unnatural to say the least. They offered such a scary notion.
Another scary point was when our victim leaves the hospital to find a rainy desolate parking lot. That to me is also scary, the point of being alone, after escaping certain doom, and not having a plan, wow, that just is something you can't really take for granted in horror.
In the end, Halloween 2 does not offer enough good story to back it's brutality up front. I liked the way this one was a hard edged R rated feature and the unrated film was also worth checking out, however the story suffers so much that it's not worth me recommending outside of hardcore fans. I thought it was good for the brutal aspects, the artwork involved, but the story was just so disjointed to me and really an after thought.
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