Rob Zombie’s Halloween II: Unrated Director’s Cut (2009)

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When I first saw this film in the summer of 2009, I hated it. It did not sit well with me at all. Micheal Myers was shot point blank in the face at the end of the remake, leaving no room or reason for a sequel. Rob Zombie’s horror cred was rapidly diminishing around this time because of him going back on his word on ever doing remakes, and also saying his

Halloween  was to be a stand-alone film. Zombie was someone whom I really admired for a long while and I was really shocked he was doing these things. However, I was a bit excited for the sequel given how off the wall he seemed to be going with it. It seemed he was swinging for the fences with the film, doing odd things like casting Weird Al to be on a talk show segment with Dr. Loomis.

After I watched the film, I left the theater feeling really sour towards Rob Zombie.

At the time, the movie felt derivative and unnecessary. But something about the films visual stuck with me after all these years.  I’ve always liked Rob Zombies music videos, and the visions of Micheal Myers’s hallucinations were really amazing to look at and some of Zombie’s best works. It was because of this that I always wanted to give the film another go when the unrated cut came out.

I was unable to get over my dislike for the film to ever get around to re-visiting the film until I purchased the new blu-ray box set. I  recently popped the film in, and by the time it was ending I was impressed at how much more I enjoyed this cut of the film.

The opening of the film is essentially a cliff-notes version of the original Halloween 2, but with Knights in White Satin played over it.  It’s effective, and a great scene; but then it turns out that it’s a dream sequence and never took place, which makes it’s inclusion in the film irrelevant.  It totally kills the narrative and serves no purpose in the film.  This is what led to me originally hating the film when I first watched it back in 2009.  I always liked the scene and felt it a huge cheat to the viewer for it to lead absolutely no where  with the plot. This is also a film where characters who died violently come back without any scars or explanation for no other purpose than just because. The planning on this film is piss poor and flies in the face of any discernible real world logic, which Rob Zombie tried so hard to accomplish with the first film.

I came to terms with that upon second viewing.

After the events of the first film and the death of her family, Laurie (aka Baby Boo) now living with the Brackett’s, and her and Annie have completely trashed the house.  Why Sheriff Brackett allows them to draw graffiti in his house is never explained; maybe he feels bad for them because they were nearly murdered in the first film and he’s just glad to have them around.  This is another issue that I couldn’t get over in the first viewing.  No man worth his salt is going to allow teenage girls to do that to his house.  But this is a Rob Zombie movie and he has a fetish for trashy people, so there ya go.

After dying in the first film by having his eyes gouged out, Dr. Loomis is back and better than ever, touring Haddonfield two years after the events of the first film for his new book.  He’s a sell-out trying to make a buck and feeling absolutely guilty for doing so.  Shortly after this film came out, Sherri Moon-Zombie did an interview in HorrorHound magazine where she mentioned that Rob Zombie did this film to help put food on the table, so maybe Zombie is writing himself a bit into the character of Loomis.

h2visionMeanwhile, Micheal Myers is also back from dying in the first film after having been shot point blank range in the face.  Affectionately dubbed “Hobo Myers” by the internet, Micheal spends his time killing strippers at his mom’s former work place and rednecks who harass him before making his way to his sister.  This film attempts to place Micheal in the midst of a vision quest as he’s aided by hallucinations of childhood self, a white horse, and his dead mama.  The visions are done up in classic Rob Zombie video style, and aid a cool aesthetic to the film that makes these ludicrous ideas somehow work.

Meanwhile, Loomis’s book is unleashed and Laurie finds out she’s Micheal Myers’s sister (we’re not supposed to remember Micheal told her this in the first film).  This leads to a downward spiral of alcoholism and depression.  This theme of a female being predestined by fate for destruction would be used again in Zombie’s next film The Lords of Salem.  After a pretty kick-ass Halloween party, Micheal finally kills poor Annie Brackett and kidnaps Laurie, who begins to inexplicably share in his visions.

h2_21This leads to a rather intense hostage situation in an abandoned farmhouse where Micheal and Laurie share in their visions as Haddonfield PD police and helicopters surround them on the outside.  Loomis tries to redeem himself by rescuing Laurie, but gets stabbed for his efforts, and Micheal is shot to death by the police.  That worked so well last time.  The original version of this film ends with Laurie seemingly in a mental institution seeing a vision of her mother coming towards her with a white horse.  The audience interpretation of this was that Laurie was going to carry on the Myers curse, much like Jamie Lloyd was supposed to at the end of Halloween 4.  This cut, however, shows her trying to stab Loomis herself after the stand off, and she is shot to death for her effort.  We then cut to the three of our main characters dead in a field while a very effective cover of Love Hurts plays over them.  The original scene of Laurie’s vision of her mom still exists after that part in this cut, but now we know it’s a last vision before she dies.

I came down very harshly on this film and deservedly so.  The writing is lazy, the reasoning for it is simply to make money, and the narrative for the first half of the movie is poorly handled.  Once it finds it’s footing though, it’s a really entertaining, bleak film.  The main reasons people will hate it is because of Hobo Myers, and while I can understand that, I can also respect the changes (even though some decisions are poorly handled).   People who think this is the worst of the series need to re-watch Halloween:  Resurrection.   However, it’s not the travesty I and the majority of people though it was upon it’s initial release.  The directors cut really fixes a lot of problems I had with the original version and it looks great on blu-ray.  It also helps that I’m a big Rob Zombie fan, so if you’re not an RZ fan, you’ll probably still hate this film and I can’t really say I blame you.

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1 Comment

  1. Looking forward to giving this flick another whirl. You’re spot on about the first sections of the film, which were absolutely awesome, only to then crap and piss on our faces.


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