This movie is all over the place. It's a bit of a mess. I understand what director Rob Zombie was trying to accomplish and respect it, but he sacrificed too much in character to create his monster.
He makes you hate ALL of your favorite characters from the series. There are still a few likeable characters, namely the Bracketts, but they aren't the main focus of the story. That's a big deal for me.
As far as gore and horror, that is where this movie succeeds. The opening is amazing. It shifts in greatness after the opening (you'll see). Regardless, the movie carries it's gore through the end. This is undoubtedly the most violent Halloween movie yet. Usually those are the only things one needs in a horror movie, so at least it accomplishes that.
You may love or hate this movie. That depends on what you're looking for. For me personally, it is both.
Rob Zombie is not my idea of a particularly good director. I think he's way to over-the-top gore and language. He really wanted this 'Halloween 2' to be crazy violent and gory. I also didn't like most of the characters. I really didn't understand the white horse reference either. It didn't make much sense to me. But i am a collector of the Halloween movies and so he belongs in my collection. I did like that he adds celebrities such as Margot Kidder and even Weird Al. But I just don't care much for his style of directing. However, it does have its entertaining moments so I will give it 3 stars overall.
I remember watching this film when it was originally released and not liking it at all and the reason for that is because so much was hacked from the theatrical version to the point that it made no sense - too many missing scenes that were actually instrumental.
In this unrated version, the relationship between Annie and her Father (the sheriff) was done really well. Just so much more extra that I don't have the time to get into. I would say at least give this version a shot.
Also, yes, the typical Rob Zombie movie characters are at work here but the film is so brutal (easily the most brutal in the series) that they really do fit with the tone of the film.
Excessively violent to the point that you just want to turn it off. There is no plausible plot to the movie and the director just tries to make the violence as brutal and graphic as he can for no reason whatsoever.
I will start this by saying I wasn't a big fan of Rob Zombies Halloween 1 but I had heard this one was much darker (which the original was also) so I was hopeful. Sadly it was just darker but kind of a chaotic mess. Michael Meyers was now a person and we actually see his face. He grunts and yells while killing and ultimately just didn't feel like Michael Meyers we all know and love. What this movie did do was make me actually like Rob Zombies Halloween 1 remake a little more. I recommend seeing it but not sure I can recommend owning it unless it's really cheap (which it was when I bought it). The BluRay looked great of course and extras are good.
honestly, i loathed rob's first halloween. i thought it was boring, needlessly violent, and a generally uneven attempt to pay homage to carpenter's, while adding his own, new material. but i love rob's other flicks and his music, so i gave halloween 2 a whirl and loved it. i couldn't stop thinking about it. it unsettled me, it excited me, it made me wonder why i like horror movies in the first place.
from the opening scene of laurie wandering bloody through the streets, i was hooked. her hospital scenes are excruciating. as we bleed into her normal routine later on, her emotional distress felt very real and believable to me. i enjoyed seeing the family that she, annie and the sheriff forged from tragedy and horror. i found her visitations to margot kidder to be illuminating and interesting.
watching michael drift across the country side reminds me of shelley's frankenstein's monster. like the monster, michael is attempting to find himself, figure out his purpose, and act on it. to do this, reuniting his family seems the best option, and he acts on it. i also found many of these scenes beautiful, wonderfully, sumptuously shot. the night shots were especially effective, shrouded in dark blue, but clear and discernible.
loomis' character in halloween 2 seems to generate the most criticism of anything, so attached to donald pleasance's brilliant portrayal of sam loomis most people seem to be, but i like this about the movie. the characters are carpenter's in name and position only; in terms of behavior and personality, they are all zombie's. this doesn't bother me, as i knew i wasn't seeing carpenter's movie (or rick rosenthal's, in the instance of the original halloween 2). i like the friction it creates in my brain to see characters i have long thought of in one way, presented in a different, oppositional light. i mean, why not explore all possibilities. genre fiction has long explored the doppelganger; everything, star trek, superman, bewitched, stephen king, whatever, has explored the notion of a dark half. is sam loomis so sacred? and in the end, he realizes his mistake--his self-absorption and aggrandizement--and does what he can to make things right.
i love the vibe of this movie. rob gets a lot of grief for his "white-trash" sensibilities, but i like it. i like captain clegg. i like all the supporting characters that show up. i like the country-fried feel of this movie.
the savage nature of the violence deeply affected me. on the one hand, it was horrifying and forceful, on the other, gratifying to see the anarchistic way that rob views human life. i find this chilling. i also thought annie's death, though horrible and raw, was thoughtful and beautiful. all the friction between her and laurie made her death matter when it happened. it was deeply moving, and showed me that rob can maintain a gentle hand, even when depicting horrible violence.
additionally, the make-ups, by wayne toth, also deserve props. the opening scenes, especially of laurie's hand, i found to be very convincing. i also love the set design. each space, each room, is gloriously trashy. halloween 2 is totally punk rock.
and while it may have been a tad obvious and seemingly out of step thematically with the rest of the movie, i think the whole white horse stuff added a nice touch of fantasy to the movie. who says you can't dramatically juxtapose images? frankly, i find it rather daring of rob, and it was a much more effective and interesting exploration of inner michael than the first films dysfunctional-by-the-numbers family portrait. and look, honestly, the white horse connected this movie to two other movies i adore--blade runner and (to a lesser degree) legend.
halloween 2 is about family, ultimately, about michael's attempts to make sense of his life and reconstruct his family (albeit with a knife) the only way he knows how. similarly, michael's actions in the first movie have forced laurie, annie, and the sheriff to forge a necessary family out of each other. family drives this movie, which is all the more awesome, considering what a brutal, rockabilly good time it is.
it seems that rob can't win: try to take halloween and its' characters in his own direction--while, i might add, paying homage to a variety of movies throughout horror's illustrious and varied history--and he just gets crucified. i mean, we bitch (well, not me, i don't mind them) about remakes and sequels and lack of originality, and someone comes along and takes an established character, who, c'mon, only really had one classic movie to his resume, arguably two that were decent (not saying i don't like more than that, just, you know, objectively), and moves the character off in a different direction, different vibe, and he gets taken apart, like he's never made any meaningful contributions to the genre.
halloween 2 is refreshingly original, vibrant, chaotic, tense and interesting. i think it's sort of rob's middle finger to the world, to make something so polarizing, and, for me, it works. i find truth in it. i urge viewers, especially fellow horror fanatics, to step outside their boxes, take off their visors, and embrace this manic work of creativity. it's a beautiful, horrible thing.