Film Reviews

Rob Zombie Goes Slumming With Halloween II

Serial killer Michael Myers, it turns out, has mother issues. In this disappointing sequel to his intense and much underrated 2007 remake of John Carpenter’s 1978 classic, Halloween, rock star turned filmmaker Rob Zombie sends Michael (Tyler Mane) on another killing spree at the urging of his now-dead mom (Sheri Moon Zombie), who appears (all too frequently) as a beckoning ghost standing next to a white horse.

Once again, Michael hunts baby-sitter extraordinaire Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton), who’s living, one year after the first film’s murders, with the town sheriff (Brad Dourif). In his 2007 movie, Zombie dug deep into Michael’s screwed-up, white trash family history, a process which humanized Michael and made his subsequent brutality all the more unsettling. This time, Zombie doesn’t appear to have many deep thoughts, so Michael doesn’t just stab his victims, he slices and chomps them into gooey pulp — an overkill motif that actually feels false to the character and quickly becomes a depressing bore.

As evidenced by his previous Halloween flick and 2005’s astonishing (and irredeemably brutal) The Devil’s Rejects, Zombie has talent to burn, but he’s slumming here, and one suspects that he knows it.

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Chuck Wilson is a regular film contributor at Voice Media Group and its film partner, the Village Voice. VMG publications include LA Weekly, Denver Westword, Phoenix New Times, Miami New Times, Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Houston Press and Dallas Observer.