Seven years ago, on Halloween night…or, well actually, it was like in August I think, we watched Halloween II, the sequel to Rob Zombie’s divisive Halloween remake. Both Joanna and I hated it. So, of course, we had to watch it again and see if our initial hatred was warranted or if, with the passage of time, opinions had changed.
In short, no. This movie is…near unwatchable for me.
But I really don’t like just being negative, so I’m gonna start with the Positive Paragraph and look at the things I did like. First on the very short list: the music, mostly. Songs here and there by Void and Bad Brains, specifically. And kinda related, Laurie wears some cool shirts, even if they don’t fit her character at all: Ace Frehley, Government Issue and Black Flag. Another good thing is that Sheri Moon Zombie’s part is pretty minimal, but more on that later. Really, I think that’s about all I can say positive about the movie.
Onto the stuff that bothered me…and I’m gonna have to use bullet points. There’s just too much:
- Scout Taylor-Compton. Along with Michael’s backstory, she was the part of Zombie’s first Halloween that really annoyed me. And that is amplified by 20 in the sequel. You can’t compare her to Jamie Lee, of course, and I don’t even try too. It’s a remake. Things change and directors and actors put their own stamps on the icons. But, man, Scout is not Laurie Strode. I see no essence or semblance of that original character on display in the first movie, and she has just devolved so much by the sequel. Her shiny new punk lifestyle feels so forced. Like, I get she’s been through shit and could go down a dark path, but it just feels so not right. When she and her friends are rocking out to MC5 in the record store….it’s just embarrassing.
- Sheri Moon Zombie. Yes, her part in this is comparatively minimal…but it is so extraordinarily unnecessary. Her presence in these hallucinations and dreams adds a certain Vorheesian oedipal complex layer to Michael Myers. Granted, family has been a part of his shtick since the original Halloween II, but you could remove every frame that Sheri Moon is in and, aside from the end, the movie would be unaltered. If we want to keep watching Rob Zombie movies, though, I guess we just have to accept that she’s gonna be a part of them, and unless she’s playing a character like Baby Firefly, she’s not gonna be very good.
- Michael Myers. I have no issue with Tyler Mane, per se, and he played a hulking stalker maniac as well as anyone is going to, but Zombie’s vision of Michael doesn’t do it for me. In the 21st century, he’s this ogre of a dude who wears a parka and comes crashing out at people with thunderous jump scare score behind him. Speaking of the parka, when he’s running around without his mask during the last chunk of the movie, and he’s bearded and has long hair…I feel like Rob kinda modeled Michael after himself. Weird, dude.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show I don’t know why this annoys me so much. I have no problem with people wearing Rocky Horror costumes generally or anything, but it feels so obvious. Zombie pulls influences from and homages so many things, I feel like he coulda done something a bit more obscure maybe? I don’t know, maybe that’s the point. Laurie’s kinda new to this…fringe community, so maybe it seems fresh and rebellious to her?
- The dialog. At this point, I guess it goes without saying, but I’m gonna say it anyway. You know it, I know it, we all know that Rob Zombie cannot write dialog. At best it’s unintentionally funny and at worst it’s painfully embarrassing.
- The fact that we bought it on Blu Ray. I guess it’s not a big deal because we already owned all of his other movies, but still…I do not foresee ever wanting to watch this movie again.
- Scout Taylor-Compton. I can’t help it, I gotta mention her twice. It doesn’t really help that the only things I’ve seen her in, aside from The Runaways (where she has a minimal part as Lita Ford, and I didn’t mind her at all), are the two Halloween movies and April Fool’s, where she was also grating. Maybe she’s perfectly good in other, better made movies?
You can hear our full discussion about this flick on the most recent episode of the Bloody Popcorn podcast. And now, I don’t think I ever want to talk about this movie again.