Comments on watching and making films.

Monday, June 13, 2011

DVD - Halloween 2 (Director's Cut)

When Rob Zombie's remake of the original Halloween was released, I was super excited for it. I think Zombie has an amazing visual sense as a filmmaker, even if some of his stories seem very homage oriented, to the point where they almost feel like remakes. So, when he did an actual remake, it felt like that was going to be something awesome. No BS, just an honest, updated, hardcore version of Halloween. But, unfortunately, I was left disappointed. While the visuals were awesome, my problems with the film were simple - I hated the main characters and telling Michael's backstory took all of the steam out of the mystery. Unfortunately, not much has changed in the follow up.

Halloween 2 picks up two years (1 year in the theatrical release) after the events of the first movie. Halloween is nearing, and Laurie Strode is falling apart. Michael has healed himself, and is making his way back to Haddonfield to finish the job, and a psychic connection between him and Laurie, along with her being a basket case from the events of the first movie, is driving her to the brink. Michael eventually reaches Haddonfield, and terror ensues.

The great thing about the original Halloween 2 was that it picked up right where the first one left off, that very night. While Zombie leads us to believe this is the case with his version, as well, we find out that it's a dream, and Michael really has disappeared for some period of time. During this period, Laurie becomes a raging bitch, and Annie, who somehow survived the first attack, becomes a surrogate mom figure. I don't think this relationship works on screen, especially since you would think that an event as horrific as what happened in the first film would have brought them closer together, not driven them further apart. Laurie has made new friends, in the form of a couple of boozing punk rock girls, who's characters are so small and unlikable that you don't really care when they die. Loomis is a complete dick, which doesn't help. Not to mention Michael.

In this new film, Michael has visions of his mother, which is cool, to an extent. At some point, though, it dives into over kill when she starts "leading" him into doing what he does. Part of the success of the original film is the fact that Michael's motivations are very vague, and his past is never discussed except for that opening sequence where he kills his older sister. Zombie gives away everything he can about Michael, which takes away all of his frightening aspects - That he is a shadow with no motive and one mission - Kill. I also hated the fact that Zombie has him take off his mask. Michael should never take off his mask. His mask is what makes him who he is. He only exists inside of it. Take it off, and one would assume he should simply vanish into thin air.

While the film was not awful to watch (it wasn't like treading water), it still left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I still like Zombie, and look forward to seeing future, "original", films by him, but I kind of hope he stays away from remakes in the future.

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