Aka – H2, Halloween 2 – The Devil Walks Among Us
So much has been said about Rob Zombies entries in the Halloween series. For a franchise with many low points (but 2 classics, a misunderstood gem and a well received return to form) it was to be expected that a remake would receive a backlash from fans of the classic original. Zombies’ remake wasn’t terrible, it was just unnecessary, like most remakes. After the amount of bile that was spewed over the sequel, I figured I owed it to myself to give it a look. After all, I’d seen every other Halloween flick, so why not ?
The sequel picks up a year after the events in the first film. Micheal Myers had (seemingly) been killed and his sister (unbeknownst to her yet) Laurie Strode has become a shell of her former self, emotionally ruined by her ordeal. She’s moved in with her friend (and co-survivor) Annie and her Sheriff father (played by Childs Play’s Brad Dourif) but the events of the first film have put a strain on her and Annie’s friendship. As Halloween approaches, Laurie worries that Micheal isn’t dead after all, and is coming back to finish the job.
Most of the principal actors return in this sequel, and even if she hadn’t been in the first one you knew Zombies’ wife Sheri Moon would be in it. Malcolm McDowell adds some layers to his Dr Loomis character, Tyler Mane does a good job as Micheal (for a lumbering monster that is) and Scout Taylor Compton is … Okay as Laurie. I mean, I know the character has been through a lot, but she was really kind of bitchy and irritating at times, I’m just saying. Not terrible, but kind of shrill and shrewish.
Watching this movie was a lot like watching the remake of “A Nightmare on Elm Street”. I’d heard such terrible things about them, both essentially remakes of classic genre films that apparently dropped the ball big time. It’s really hard to be let down by a movie that has already let everyone down for a few years prior, but I like Zombie as a director and still wanted to hope this was a good attempt. At this point he may never top the (nearly) universally lauded “Devil’s Rejects” (itself a sequel to a RZ film), but how bad could H2 really be ?
The thing is, it’s not terrible. There have been several terrible Halloween films (no, part 3 isn’t one of them. I don’t care that MM isn’t in it, it’s a cool flick !) and its easy to make a “by the numbers” MM flick and be bored to tears throughout. H2 definitely isn’t a “great” film, but it’s very much a Rob Zombie film. It’s surreal, esoteric, out there, violent, etc, but it’s as interesting a Halloween flick as we’re likely to get. Unless you count the whole “Thorn Cult” thing in Part 6 with Paul Rudd, but that’s not so great either.
Now, make no mistake, I’m not saying this is a good movie or that I’m recommending it or will ever watch it again. I will say that I watched the Directors Cut which is apparently a much better version of the story. It’s dreamlike and strange, but it attempts things other Halloween films won’t / haven’t, and for being the 10th Halloween film, that’s something at least.
Halloween 3D has stopped and started a few times, and who knows what the next film will look like and who will shepard it’s story. A lot of the reason I didn’t hate this movie was how little I expected from it based on the onslaught of reviews condemning it. It isn’t great, but it did its own thing and Zombie won’t be back, so I guess I’m saying it’s not great, but I’ve seen much worse.