Friday, October 9, 2015
HALLOWEEN 2 (2008)
Written & Directed By: Rob Zombie
Cinematography By: Brandon Trost
Editor: Glen Garland & Joel Pashby
Music by: Tyler Bates
Cast: Scout Taylor-Compton, Tyler Mane, Sherri Moon Zombie, Danielle Harris, Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif, Caroline Williams, Octavia Spencer, Margot Kidder, Richard Riehle, Sean Whalen, Brea Grant, Mary Birdsong, Angela Trimbur, Howard Hesseman, Duane Whitaker, Mark Boone Junior, Daniel Roebuck, Chris Hardwick, Weird Al Yankovich
*Please note that some trivia and facts have been republished from imdb among other sources In this review
Michael Myers is still at large and no less dangerous than ever. After a failed reunion to reach his baby sister at their old home, Laurie Strode is immediately taken to a hospital to be treated by the wounds that had been afflicted by her brother a few hours ago. However, Michael isn't too far off and will continue his murdering 'Halloween' rampage until he gets his sister all to himself
Now I am a fan of horror Films.
Though this film just feels like a continuous display of brutal murders, usually by stabbing. Then a slasher film. As the situations and motivations have been set up. So the film just feels like it decides to cut to the chase. Michael Myers uses a big butcher knife throughout. Which practically could have been a machete or axe with how much damage he seems to do with it.
Though It sets up some good ideas it short changes them. Never really exploring the possibilities.
The idea of surviving a massacre and what physical plus psychological scars it leaves on you and then just when your life gets back to somewhat normal. The threat happening again.
There are too many close ups barely an wide shots, close ups aren't bad except since the camera oxides on such ugly and unattractive visuals (not actors per se) it seems a bit not only cringe inducing, but nauseating. Not only for the violence, but the cruddy visuals and the bad art direction.
I can applaud director rob zombie for trying to run the tables on the horror genre, by giving the audience why it wants then subverting the violence to seem more realistic to make then be appalled by what true are waiting and cheering for, making it more personal and to shame them to a degree. Making the deaths of the characters more tragic as we watch them slowly die. Which would work in that presentation. Instead it feels like a way to further exploit the violence even more.
Rob Zombie originally stated he would never do a sequel to Halloween, until the studio decided to make it. Then he signed on to write and direct, because he didn't want someone to ruin his vision. Which might be why he seems to go for broke, yet with low energy
Half the dialogue in the script feels like one liners. You've heard a gifted times before. It's like a exploitive grindhouse film without the gore.
First Halloween movie to include Michael clearly walking around without his mask on. And also shows him eating. Making him seem more human and not this unstoppable specter as much
I respect Mr. Zombie as a director, but know he is capable of being better than this film. In his vision and creativity.
He tried something different, but this was the wrong project, plus the killings though brutal also seem repetitive after awhile. They are gruesome but seem like a carbon copy of the one before it. There are some great ideas that are not thought throughout are bungled. The film just gets far featured and confusing as it goes along and even though it has it's fair hate of victims of both sexes.
The killings of the women seem much more brutal though that may be my sensibilites.
Sometimes horror movies can come off as morality plays. The wicked perish and the innocent survive though are tested and tortured to show strength I conviction and see the perils of a wanton life.
The killing not being a manifestation of superhuman strength or being so over the top they become ridiculous. Really effects the film as it seems more realistic. As the killings are more simple stabbing a and strangulation a things that can actually happen in reality. Not so much fantasy that brings the movie so close to home and is an aspect never presented before. Especially in a well known horror franchise that is at heart a slasher film, but one where the so called villain is supposed to be human, but comes off more supernatural.
Certain aspects are well considered like not knowing if Laurie is maybe the killer as she seems to be suffering from a developing mental illness that might run in the family or at least between her and her brother. That makes them kill others or at least want to sever the bloodline and be willing to do whatever it takes to do it include slaughter innocents.
The only people who come out of The film unscathed is Brad Dourif. As his role seems to give him full range and allows him to be a real sympathetic character
I feel sorry for Danielle Harris, her character feels like the most tragic of all the characters. as it seems she is repeating the same performance from the first film. She survived only to be victimized more brutally this time. It's a shame as she gives such a strong performance. Here it just seems like a brutal assault all over again only this time reliving the nightmare and not necessarily surviving. Though she is a veteran of this series the original and this re-imagined one.
Danielle Harris and Jamie Lee Curtis are now tied at four appearances each in the Halloween series. They are both behind Donald Pleasence, with five films.
The decision to give Laurie the name Angel as her real name was meant to emphasis her as an extreme opposite to Michael.
This film has a much higher body count.
This movie seems more crueler because unlike in most horror films. The victims here are not killed quickly they all seem made to suffer cruelly. More like torture porn, then their deaths are brutal. I don't know if director Zombie is trying to make a statement about having violence in films be more exciting and visceral for the audience making them just as bloodthirsty and villainous as the killers themselves. This here by making us watch the victims die slowly and show the killer having a uncontrollable compulsion and evil as he has no remorse or sorrow. Not even the decency to put them out of their pain quickly. Or is he just trying a different artistic flourish? Either way this might have been the wrong project to do it with. As already a certain brand and style was set-up. So a sequel to a remake is not the best time to make an artistic statement. I applaud him for trying something different. I just can't praise him as it doesn't work.
Also many of the killings seem unnecessary. Like they are filler so that the film has a decent body count.
In the director's cut, Micheal takes off his mask and yells "Die" before stabbing Dr. Loomis. Based on this scene, it marks the first time ever in the series where Michael Myers actually speaks. This is also the first time the characters face can be seen clearly.
Which might be the problem with many Rob Zombie movies. They have style, yet they all seem a bit similar and just over the top when it comes to brutality. So far he has made only one movie that seemed to work perfectly and I generally enjoyed all around THE DEVIL'S REJECTS also EL-SUPERBEASTO if you consider animated films. I always like the idea of a rob Zombie film, even though usually they have great parts but are disappointing as a whole though for each new project, I line up to see.
As usual the highlights his fascination for the 70's with the song Knights In White Satin as Michael Myers slaughters memorable genre character actors. Making the killings more realistic. I guess as a way of finger pointing at the audience, for watching the violence and paying to be entertained by it. Well there is little to be entertained by Here even with the killings
Maybe that is what makes this film worthwhile that the uncomfortable nature of the film. Is what is intended as it makes you feel the reality of the scenes. As well as following in the slasher genre. It just makes us feel appalled. As in the first film and films of this nature we can take some kind of comfort that the cause of this destruction is some deranged unstoppable maniac. Though usually has some kind of supernatural element even if minor. As there is no reason for instance in the original Halloween series for Michael Myers to have such superhuman strength and almost be invincible. As he never seems to need to eat, sleep, breathe, rest. Then again he might the filmmakers though know the audience won't care and makes the killer that much more mysterious and scary. Even when it comes to Jason Voorhies is he a zombie? A demon? Possessed?
So I can give the film kudos if that is what was intended. Then again I might be reading more into it then is there.
At least he isn't made into a sympathetic villain or someone who is a crusader against others who end up being evil, but take out the good too.The killings aren't played up to be some kind of visceral thrill or something the audience looks forward to nor particularly are scared of.
This film payed well as this film seems more sympathetic to the victims. While also making you feel the injustice and stomach turning all too real violence.
What works for it is the continuing violence and threat. While a community tries to mourn past tragedy. As well as the survivors of the previous film and years. Deal with the damage that has been done and how the characters try to move on but are still trapped.
So that when Myers return seems even more a maniacal cruel fate as even he seems more burdened and tired for his mission, but must do this out of not only duty, it being haunted in his visions himself. Showcasing his deteriorating mental health.
Here it suggest the bloodline is tainted as we begin to see Laurie Strode's character become more and more unhinged. Losing balance between reality and getting lost in delusional fantasies.
Which makes me admire this film even more. It still has plenty of flaws, but the ideas that go into this film surpass the usual sequel and shows that here are thoughts going into this film and even though not a fan of his remake of Halloween. It is needed if only as a reference for this film to feel fully felt. As it continues as this film becomes a necessary companion piece.
Even if I suspect this could have even worked as a stand alone. I don't believe it would be as strong without the first one to inform and resonate.
Even as both are horror what works for the films. Is that though still seemingly unstoppable. Michael Myers not the films feel quite as supernatural with no explanations. It is one of the few times explanations works when it comes to remakes. As it feels more dramatic and well rounded.
The film occasionally swerved off road due to Rob Zombie's antics of casting and white thrash situations and characters. Though this film feels more dramatic and realistic than it should and is a truly interesting tale and direction for the series as well as for a horror film especially a sequel. It makes me wonder if there was a third in his series where he would have taken it. Even if this one feels like an ending already.
In the Unrated Director's Cut commentary Rob Zombie says that the original ending, the 3 main characters all die and Laurie Strode's psychiatric ward stay is really in fact her last thought as many mistake it as she's alive still.