Friday, September 4, 2009

Zombie Fumbles the Ball

Halloween 2 2009
Director: Rob Zombie
Writer: Rob Zombie
Starring Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane, Sheri Moon Zombie, Brad Dourif, Scout Taylor-Compton, Danielle Harris, Chase Wright Vanek and Caroline Williams

This is one of the films I had been highly anticipating all summer along with G.I. Joe and I was hoping it would exceed my expectations like that did, and I will say it came close but ultimately it is a weaker entry than Zombie's first film. I think it was a very strong film, with powerful imagery and good acting, but the characters were lacking I think, as you really had no sympathetic characters in the film to root for. A lot of the imagery just seems to confuse the viewer and the film really would have benefited with a supernatural element, as Zombie expects you to take a lot of things on faith and his story just doesn't warrant that. It seems he wanted to make a story about the passing of the torch of evil and it just didn't come together, because people want to see Michael Myer's not his drug dependent and mentally scarred sister and that is ultimately where the film fails.
The plot basics are this we open with a flashback between Michael as a kid (Vanek) with his Mom (Zombie) with allusions to a white horse and how it will comfort him. We then flash forward to the ending of the last film, after Laurie (Compton) shoots Michael, she is found walking in the middle of the street holding the gun limply and Sheriff Brackett (Dourif) comes to her and takes her to the hospital. She is patched up but then Michael somehow comes to and comes to the hospital killing everyone in his path and killing her it seems, and then she wakes from a dream about a year later. She is a harried and broken soul at this point. She is seeing a psychologist and living with the Bracketts and as Halloween quickly approaches Michael is on his way back to Haddonfield killing anyone in his way while the spirit of his Mom urges him on to get the family back together. While all this is happening Loomis (McDowell) is back on the book circuit with a new book with many revelations that Lori does not know about. This all leads to a bloody showdown that does not end the way you expect it to.
This was a gripping film, even if you did not always understand what the hell was going on. Zombie's direction was good, but sometimes he was not clear enough about what was happening. His script has the same problem, he tries a metaphysical touch and it just doesn't work and also, the characters are not very approachable or likable and that is another fault the film has. The acting is very good, but there is only so much you can do with the characters. The best performances are by Mcdowell and Dourif. Loomis is made into a real asshole, and I commend that approach as McDowell could never duplicate or equal Pleasance's performance so he goes in a completely different direction. Dourif seems to me to be the anchor of the film, he is the only one you feel for during the film. Compton was good as Lori but she was out of her element, she really doesn't have the acting chops for this type of role and it shows. The SFX by Wayne Toth were great, very bloody and excessively gory, definitely one of the high points of the film. Finally the music is great as always in a Zombie film, and I especially loved the music by Captain Clegg, especially Honky Tonk Halloween. Though the film had numerous faults I quite enjoyed it and if you are a Zombie fan definitely see it, but if you did not like the first film I do not think this will be for you.
This one gets 3 out of 5

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