Saturday, August 29, 2009

Halloween 2

You know when the first Halloween remake, came out there where all of these end of the world editorials about how Zombie had sold out and would never be the original voice in horror that he was meant to be, blah blah blah. At the time I thought they where just exaggerating. Even when it was announced that he was doing this over Tyrannosaurus Rex, I figured, hey he’s just taking advantage of having a movie pre greenlit, more power to him. But now that The Blob has been announced as his next movie, those editorial’s are looking more and more prescient. This coupled with the fact that for the most part (Keith Phipps being an important exception) the reviews for Halloween II made the divisive reviews from the first movie look like raves, I was less then confident about Halloween II's quality. Despite the fact that I genuinely like Zombies take on Halloween, I felt genuinely nervous walking in to see the movie.

Well call it Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull syndrome (having one’s expectations lowered so much before hand that the movie succeeds just by virtue of not being two hours of a Monkey farting) but I enjoyed Zombie’s second trip to Haddonfield. It’s not perfect by any means; there are certainly some monstrous flaws, but on the whole, this is a bizarre, creepy as hell horror movie that ends up being something I haven’t seen before.

Let’s get the bad out of the way first. This is a Rob Zombie movie, there is no bathroom too dirty, no snaggletooth too gross, and no string of words too profane that it can’t be lingered on lovingly. For those who complain that Zombie’s film are nothing but “White Trash behaving badly", there’s nothing here that will change your mind. The characters who are not from the first movie are strictly cannon fodder. Most will hate what Zombie has done to Loomis. In my case, McDowell is having too much fun for me not to. The film does have a lot of padding to it, McDowell is superfluous for most of the run time, and there are sequences which are clearly the result of Zombie getting a studio note on his script saying, “You oughta kill someone here.” Most annoying though is the fact, that everyone in this movie has learned how to teleport. Now it’s the time honored tradition and right of the slasher to be able to appear wherever he damn well pleases. In this film, EVERYONE is doing it, at one point Loomis seemingly teleports to another city in a matter of seconds. It’s just a bit ridonculous.

Other then that, I can’t see what all the hatred’s about. It’s a solid slasher movie, with some unique disturbing imagery. Zombie’s trips inside Meyer’s mind are showcases for his directorial talent. He comes up with some disturbing imagery (tell me the family of pumpkinheads eating dinner in silent movie land didn’t freak you out and I’ll call you a liar) but shoots it in a completely understated way as thought they’re just your average ordinary part of the mental landscape.

I stay firm in my belief that Scott Taylor Compton makes a good Laurie, even if I am the only one, and Brad Douriff all too often underused makes the most of his roll. All in all this is a good slasher movie, and not deserving of the drubbing it’s getting. Sure it has it’s flaws/ Sure it’s brutal, vulgar, and a little sloppy, but damn it what slasher movie isn’t? Doesn’t brutal, vulgar and a little sloppy sum up the genre’s appeal? The fact is this movie found new twists on the tired old genre games. It's something new, something I haven't seen before (And yes I am aware that I'm going borderline Armond White, writing that about a sequel to a remake)

The movie sets itself up for a Halloween: Season Of The Witch style bizarrothon, and I for one am kind of looking forward to see it. Now if only we can slap some sense into Zombie and get him to do some original work first, I’ll be a happy horror fan.

1 comment:

AE said...

I completely agree with you about this movie! My expectations were just rock bottom -- I mainly wanted to spend a couple hours in some air conditioning -- and it just rocked my face off. Scout Taylor-Compton does a really good job... I kind of do hope they cut Michael out of the third movie and just do one about her going batshit crazy. (She's certainly got more motivation than wee Michael ever did, given Zombie's weird backstory.) Anyway, glad someone else liked it. I have felt lonesome.