Friday, January 15, 2010

Halloween II (2009)

Rating: A
Vehemently derided by the majority of viewers, Zombie's re-imagining of Halloween is a movie that has made waves to say the least, and I'm probably going to lose a lot of [whatever the equivalent of street credit is to blogs] for posting this. I, Chris, hereby unabashedly proclaim that I enjoyed this film from start to finish. With each successive film, Zombie has shown his maturity as a director. I was never bored, and I enjoyed the new dimensions he added to the film where he could have produced yet another remake.

My positive experience is arguably due to two major factors: (1) I had only seen/heard panned reviews since its theatrical release, thus lowering expectations; and (2) I set aside the original franchise and viewed Zombie's take as its own entity. The editing shows that Zombie was pressed for time, uninterested in making the remake altogether. However, the clipped editing of the film appeals to something inside of me (ADHD?). I love the extensive surreal sequences, the psychological symbolism, and Lori's mental deterioration. The score is equally pleasing, though I still like the score from Inside and High Tension best!

One complaint I'm seeing a lot of is that this movie isn't scary like the original. It's hard for me to accept/use this as a substantive argument against the film. Most of the said reviewers watched the originals as kids for one thing, so of course it will not appear to be as scary. In fact, it's hard for any horror movie to be scary once you've grown up, which is quite sad actually. The only way recent horror movies have successfully affected viewers is by trying new tricks, à la Martyrs, Paranormal Activity. Now, this isn't to say that I think Zombie made the second one scarier, but I appreciate his bravery for stepping outside of the true-to-the-original remake.

Almost all other complaints stem from comparisons to the original franchise. BC of Horror Movie a Day has written an exhaustive review of the movie. I agree with almost all of his points, but my ultimate decision is not ambivalent. As BC has shown, this movie easily provokes a lot of discussion. With such an ending, for example, interpretations abound--I'm not even sure Zombie knows exactly what he was getting at, which is awesome. Reminds me of Lamberto Bava's commentary to Demons when the helicopter falls through the roof ("I don't know what's going on here").

HorrorBlips: vote it up!


  1. I loved part one and I am not a Rob Zombie basher like some people, but I can't say I liked this movie. I can say it was one of the biggest horror movie disappointments for me in 2009. I was really excited to see this movie, but it didn't live up to my expectations. It was just too weird, and like you said not that scary. Halloween is a slasher film and he should have kept it that way. He brought too much psychology in it. All the dreams or visions were too much for me. Now, I am afraid of what they are going to do to Halloween 3 in 3-D. Zombie may have gotten out at the right time.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, HorrO!

    Yeah, I didn't even notice the low body count. And I'm probably partial to the psychological aspects since I'm studying psychoanalysis!

    Speaking of 3-D movies (who isn't these days?), I have a bad feeling about Piranha, despite my respect for Alexandre Aja!