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Saturday, August 29, 2009

HALLOWEEN II - review

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Just when you think you're in familiar territory, an homage to Carpenter's world -- BAM! -- you're reminded that this is Zombie's house. Rob Zombie, I love what you've done with the place. Halloween II was fantastic. It defied tradition and portrayed a very realistic take on the characters' lives in this fictional world. All too often when you open on a horror sequel, people are moving on with their lives, hiding their scars, and forgetting this past. Not here. Here there are therapy sessions and nightmares. To me, that makes sense. SPOILERS BELOW!

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The movie starts off with a bit of a prologue, giving us a flashback that we haven't previously seen. It's a visit from Deborah Myers to Michael at probably the first Christmas that he's in Smith's Grove Sanitarium. She's giving him a simple plastic white horse toy, which serves to explain much of her appearances the rest of the movie. I'm really fine with this because 1) it's adding to the story now without having muddled the first movie and 2) I say the more on-screen appearances of Sheri Moon Zombie, the better.

After this prologue, we hear the gunshot and Laurie's scream that that ended Halloween while the title of the movie flashes on the screen (if I remember correctly), after which, we're taken to just a few minutes later where a very disturbed and shocked Laurie (played by the awesome Scout Taylor-Compton) is ambling down the street, bloody, gun still in hand.  Fortunately, Sheriff Brackett (Brad Dourif) is able to intercept her and get her to the hospital.

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Here's where things briefly get 1981 and we borrow Richard Riehle from Office Space. This turns out to be one of many nightmares, though, and simply more fodder for Laurie's therapy session with Lois Lane… I mean, Margot Kidder. By the way, we also find out that she's living with Sheriff Bracket and his daughter Annie (4-Halloween-movies veteran Danielle Harris), who barely survived her last encounter with Michael Myers. She's also working at some coffee shop/bookstore with Brea Grant (who will be wishing she could run as fast as she could on Heroes before the end of the movie).

Meanwhile, Michael is squatting in a barn, hallucinating himself as a boy with his mom dressed in white, and he's killing off some rednecks.  Oh, and he also finally shut down his mom's old place of employment. 

Also meanwhile, Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) has a new book out. He's a real dick this time around. His book lets the cat out of the bag. {You saw my spoiler warning above, right??} Like I was saying, in his book, he totally betrays the Sheriff's trust. Those things that Brackett told him in confidence in the first movie? Well, they are in Loomis' damn book for Laurie to read. Ever wanted to find out what Laurie's real name was? Turns out she's Angel Myers! Yes, holy shit, Rob Zombie just gave the youngest Myers sibling a name!! And those dreams she's been having though? It's almost as if she already knew before she knew. It's like something inside was fighting to get out.

Skip to the end – everybody dies. Well, I mean we knew that Rob had said in interviews that he was not going to do a Halloween 3, and he's not really the type to say something just to lead people astray. I figured that the ending had to really be an ending. I didn't really think that Annie was going to make it through a second encounter. When Loomis died, it seemed fitting because he had become an irredeemable character. So then it came down to Michael and Laurie. If Laurie died, what would there be left for Michael to do really? What would his purpose be. Instead, though, she killed him.  But what walked out of that shed… I don't believe that was Laurie Strode. That was Angel Myers. Laurie's gone.

Now, Rob's said he's completed his story. What if another director wants to come behind him? Well, Laurie/Angel is already 18, so how are you going to have her grow into a hulking, behemoth, coverall-wearing, female serial killer?

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