MOVIE REVIEW: Hallowe'en II (Cert 18)

OH Rob Zombie, the founding member of metal outfit White Zombie and newly established writer/director of the dirtiest and worst horror movies of this decade. After two dreadful attempts of his own characters, namely the horrible (for all the wrong reasons

OH Rob Zombie, the founding member of metal outfit White Zombie and newly established writer/director of the dirtiest and worst horror movies of this decade.

After two dreadful attempts of his own characters, namely the horrible (for all the wrong reasons) Firefly Family, he's decided to 're-imagine' the Halloween series.

One notable film I saw of his was quite a memorable experience. It was a year ago and I'd foolishly seen The Devil's Rejects going cheap in HMV, so picked it up and settled in for a night of horror fun. The back of the box seemed perfect; plenty of gore, a scarily bloodthirsty family and a few positive review quotes too. If only I'd checked for real reviews - I'd have known how out of context the box ones were.

And then the movie, full of the dirtiest and most horrible filmmaking I have ever seen. The level of writing I witnessed was beyond the level of cringing, it just made me think of the state of the movie business when this torrid reel got the money and backing to make it into cinemas.

But I won't be too judgemental before I actually watch the film (that'd be way too unfair, his track record may be a little rough but this could be his masterpiece).

I think the fact it stars the director's wife, who's previously starred in practically everything her husband has done filmatically (including eleven music videos of his), is not the best draw either...

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One possible savoir (maybe) is the casting of Malcolm McDowell, the star of the brilliant Stanley Kubrick classic A Clockwork Orange. Don't get me wrong, this is over thirty years since that heyday (with not too much of note since) but it'll be interesting having the veteran actor on screen.

So who knows; this could surprise everyone and actually be the perfect film over the trick-or-treat season...

Thoughts Afterwards

I left the cinema so frightened tonight, scared for the future of the horror genre if Rob Zombie is to create the modern clique of horror directors.

Gone are the days of remakes being lovingly crafted works of arts, attempting to keep way beyond the raw essence of the original whilst adding a sprinkling of your own creative talent. Well, what happens if you have no creative talent to begin with?

The answer is a convoluted mess of white horse dream sequences, an almost-offensive portrayal of posttraumatic stress and a plot as full of holes as one of Michael Myer's victims.

You see, in the original series (you better skip this if you've not seen the supreme originals, well the first couple anyway) Michael Myer's had a supernatural flow in his essence, that coyfully explained all the mysterious happenings - but this also add an unstoppable edge to the character that made him as terrifying as he is. He is shot, falls out of a window and within seconds is gone; it's this original unexplained but unearthly quirks that made them work.

So Rob Zombie, obviously not happy with this and wanting to add his own twist, took them out and decided to make the Michael Myers character, well, just mental and following orders from his deceased mother.

Which is all well and good if, obviously, you don't have rather strange things happen that then 'need' explanation!

How did he get shot in the head but then need no treatment or recovery? Well, after what seemed like a billion flashbacks from the killer and his attempted (recovering) victim from the first film, did it take a year for him to return to Haddonfield?

These glaring plot holes, as ripe and obvious as the unnecessarily gory wounds that splatter across this tripe, add up to a meddling of an original that tried to add depth but only added to another expected mess.

Acting-wise, this is a story of irritants. We hate Michael Myer's in a very different and much more negative way than in the original movies. Laurie, played somehow more irritating than the first movie by Sheri Moon Zombie, is no longer quite the typical teenager annoyance but more a depressed punk annoyance. We should be rooting for her, I think, but ultimately everyone in the theatre was secretly wishing Myers would finally get his target.

Even Malcolm McDowell's portrayal of the previously heroic and cool Dr Loomis is brought right back down to hell by Zombie's lacklustre screenplay and direction; becoming possibly the most unlikeable figure in the movie. Even the once great McDowell can't transform these terrible script traits into something half-decent.

So it's with sadness I watched this, wondering how this ever saw the light of day. It's not just that it's a bad movie, oh no, it's that it's a remake so horribly made and offensive to the original source material (which no doubt has quite a following, to make so many sequels someone had to be buying them!) that one wonders what John Carpenter thinks of this.

I'll never forget the sheer frozen fright I felt on watching the first five minutes of the original Halloween; the absolute perfect introduction to arguably the best and most iconic big screen serial killer of all-time.

So if you're going in thinking this has any moments that will fill you with dread then look away now; there will be costumers on Halloween night that will be scarier. If you want an overlong and false portrayal of posttraumatic stress, mental disorder, character personality as likeable as flatulence and extreme close-ups of gore then this is the film for you.

Head to Pound Land, grab a �1 horror DVD and get your moneys worth. It may not be scary but it'll be a lot more watchable than Halloween II. Avoid.


1/5 Stars