Family is forever
Compared to Rob Zombie’s take on the first Halloween, I was expecting his sequel to follow along the same lines, but was very surprised to find that it didn’t; he chose instead to make it a completely different film from the original Halloween 2, and though I know that many fans of the original feel differently about it, I felt that Rob Zombie’s iteration was a more fitting closer to the tale than the original.
Like in the original movies, Rob Zombie’s “H2” picks up exactly where Rob Zombie’s Halloween left off. Barely surviving her first encounter with Michael (Tyler Mane) since she was a baby, Lauri Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) managed to shoot her brother in the head with the last bullet in Dr. Loomis (Malcom McDowell)’s gun, leaving the monstrous serial killer for dead. Unfortunately for everyone, Michael is still alive, albeit terribly injured. Perhaps as a result of his head injury, Michael permanently enters into a kind of somnambulistic dream state, and begins having visions of his mother (Sheri Moon Zombie) and younger self (Chase Wright Vanek) , who guide him into hiding for the next two years.
Meanwhile, the survivors of the original Haddonfield massacre are struggling to cope with the event while carrying on their lives, to varying degrees of success. Lauri suffers from persistent night terrors and wild mood swings, and she relies heavily on medications to keep her emotions under control. She has turned from the innocent girl-next-door she was in the first film into a gothic punk, with a penchant for looking toward the more morbid side of life. Having been adopted by Sheriff Brackett (Brad Dourif), her one surviving best friend from the original murders (Danielle Harris) is now her sister, scarred by Michael’s knife. Even Michael’s old psychologist Dr. Loomis was affected by the murders; having survived Michael’s attempt to crack his skull in the first film, he becomes a grade-A asshole to everyone around him, using the high profile Haddonfield murders to boost sales of the books he writes about Michael, much to the chagrin of the citizens of that fine county. Even as they each try to live out their fractured lives, they little suspect that Michael lives and as a new Halloween approaches, a fully recovered Michael prepares to take care of some unfinished family business.
As much as I enjoyed the original Halloween 2, I found myself enjoying this take on it just as much. Zombie does things very cleverly in this one; though it does not mirror the original film at all, he plays his artistic cards close to his chest, making sure that the film never derails itself with this new story and that the characters stay true to his vision. A lot of the problems that his first Halloween film had are fixed in this one, by being deliberately modern and doing away with unnecessary sex scenes. However, it retains a lot of the original’s style, so once again, it isn’t a suspense-thriller like its predecessor film; it’s a slasher flick. But it’s a very well done one, and the surprising finale is the kicker that drives the whole point of the film series home: family is forever.
PS: Be on the lookout for some Weird cameos in this film. You won’t be disappointed.