Thursday 15 October 2009

Review: Halloween 2

Year: 2009
Director: Rob Zombie
Screenplay: Rob Zombie
Starring: Sheri Moon Zombie, Scout Taylor-Compton, Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif

Plot Synopsis is here

The first film was dull, loud and self indulgent, great stuff eh? Well if you liked Rob Zombies drab retread of John Carpenter's seminal horror classic, you'll love H2. It's even more simple-minded, it's louder and overloaded with gallons more self-indulgence. How bad? Well here's a film in which a teenager whose been through a traumatic event has a poster of Charles Manson over her bed a year after.

The biggest problem with Rob Zombies supposed thriller is that it's so unbelievably in love with its so called "vision", that it has no clue that it's just as bland as other re-imaginings. Zombie pukes up as many warped heavy metal music video images as possible but it can't even be bothered to clear up the things that truly matter. Things such as those aggravating slasher cliches which telegraph scares faster than a fat kid in a sugar factory. This is a film that truly believes that some jive about white horses will distract the viewer long enough to show that Halloween 2 has no story or atmosphere. Sorry Rob, you haven't caught me out, mostly because I know that's your wife (again) in those boring dream sequences. Once again Neopism rears it's head and Zombie finds yet another way of shoving his loved one into his film, so once again you can watch (with hands clasped tightly over face) another awful performance from her.

Zombie's got such a hard on for his wife, random dreams and romanticizing the villain of the piece (for some reason). That he misses a sub-plot that runs through his movie that is far more interesting. Zombie's vision of Halloween involves bulking up much of the plot to give Micheal Myers a stereotyped, ripped off (This film clearly nabs from psycho) background to raise some sort of empathy. What he fails to see is the plot that involves Dr Loomis (A truly hapless Malcolm McDowell) as a soulless shadow of himself, selling the story of Micheal for blood money. It's an interesting aspect of plot which is wasted, so Zombie can lavish masturbatory images of people getting bludgeoned, maimed and hacked to pieces. Not only is this tiresome but it's execution is far too over the top for it's own good. It only serves to a select few of people who believe this is extreme.

Unfortunately the best extreme cinema comes nowhere near a trite Rob Zombie screenplay, but is found in European and far east Asian endeavors. These films also have what people in the business call STORY, and do not have to resort to swearing in every other word to emphasis emotion. Swearing in dialogue is a true art form and Zombie has not mastered it with is trite screenplay.

It's clear that a Rob Zombie music video would be visually interesting, however to extend this over such a long period of time becomes extremely boring. The visuals look good but hold no tone. I'm not looking for complicated subtext in slashers but I do wish to feel some sort of tension. Zombie's film didn't even give me the cheap pleasure of jump scares, such is how bad this movie fails.

I could mention performances but why? The screenplay cares not for the characters or dialogue and the director cares not for the displays so there's no point complaining about them as these actors (or hot girls) have nothing to work with. Even the ever formidable Brad Dourif looks more embarrassed than anything thing else.

What gets my goat about Zombie's film the most is how lost his original voice is. When watching small aspects of the the film you can see that Zombie isn't truly incompetent. But of course it means nothing as the directors boorish self-importance overrides anything of interest. Indulgence is a difficult thing to keep in balance and for some filmmakers, it allows some true flourishes of inspiration for others such as Zombie you are given loud, obnoxious movies that have nothing to say other than how brilliant the filmmaker must be because they say so. At first I had given Zombie the benefit of the doubt with his debut movie House of 1000 corpses, but now I've released what's living behind Zombie's eyes is purely and simply....monotonous.

Hear more talk about this movie at Geekplanetonline