Zombie's "Halloween II" is amateurish dreck

by Phil Fava on August 28, 2009

in Print Reviews

“Halloween II” was not shown to press, but last night contributor Phil Fava attended a midnight screening just so he could file this report. Here’s Phil:

What was I expecting, here? I don’t know. I didn’t necessarily anticipate good taste or stunning craftsmanship, but I definitely didn’t anticipate this. Truth be told, I’m just angry. I was angry at this movie immediately. I almost want to forgo writing a review and send the director a list of my grievances instead. I’m not scared; I’m resentful.

halloween IIIsn’t Zombie supposed to be a massive horror movie buff? Shouldn’t he be clued in slightly to what works and what doesn’t? I just wanna grab him and scream, “Stop trying to humanize your villain! Please! It completely works against you and serves no useful purpose!” Showing Michael as a small child with deep affection for his mother doesn’t make him scarier.

Anton Chigurh (“No Country for Old Men”) and Heath Ledger’s Joker were a thousand times more menacing than this limp juggernaut could ever be, and that’s because the Coen Brothers and Christopher Nolan had the good sense to avoid giving those characters lame expository passages to explain their behaviors. Every murder in this movie hits precisely the wrong note. Michael Myers is not seen as a malevolent force; he’s seen as an oaf with bizarre hallucinations who obeys his wraith-like mother’s every command.

When I see a human being murdering another human being, it doesn’t scare me. It just upsets me. It’s ugly and depressing. And honestly, even if this hacky, borderline-Oedipal character treatment had been done well, it still would’ve been counterproductive. But, for the record, it wasn’t. It was cheesy and embarrassing.

michael myers zombie halloween IIWhat else? Oh yeah. Nausea and fear are not interchangeable conditions. Carefully showing me a person’s stab wounds, again, does not scare me. It grosses me out. It makes me queasy. Never, ever confuse this with the kind of sensation experienced when watching a horror movie made with prowess and integrity (like, for instance, the original “Halloween”). He might as well be showing us feces.

Also, I’ve had it with the parade of grotesqueness. Another major self-defeating portion of this movie is attributable to Zombie’s penchant for giving us awful, insufferable, disgusting, scummy characters who exist merely so they can cease to do so moments later. This renders every killing totally inconsequential. Why should I care when Myers decapitates an ambulance driver who’s spent all his screen time happily discussing necrophilia? Why should I care when Myers bludgeons two men to death who’ve both just assaulted him for trespassing?

Even the color palette is completely inappropriate. The grungy look accentuates the wretchedness of these characters and augments the audience’s disinterest in their deaths. If the victims are cruel and arguably deserving and even the undeserving ones inhabit a dreary, unrealistic world, how can I conjure up any level of sympathy for them? How can I have a stake in their survival?

This is basic stuff, Zombie. Seriously, what the hell are you doing? Haven’t you made a few movies already? Have you learned nothing from them? Even if this were your first film, it’s not like you didn’t have an impeccable frame of reference. You’re remaking good movies and changing everything about them that made them so.

I felt a lot of things while I was watching “Halloween II”: depression, annoyance, discomfort. Mostly, it made me want to shower. This is an ugly, clumsy, surprisingly awful film. Like I said, I didn’t expect high art. But I definitely didn’t expect to hate it. And I really hated it. So did my fellow audience members. They, too, were disinterested. They didn’t scream. They didn’t gasp. They laughed when they weren’t supposed to. As a matter of fact, laughter was their only audible response. Let’s just say a prayer for Malcom McDowell and move on with our lives.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 cleavy August 28, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Phil – I’m curious as to whether you’ve liked any of Zombie’s other films?

Horror is my favorite genre of film – I like everything from the silent classics (Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari…) to what I would consider the genesis and heyday of the modern horror film (Night of the Living Dead, Last House on the Left, Halloween, Jaws, The Fly, The Thing, Hellraiser, The Hills Have Eyes, Friday the 13th – I could go on and on…) to current horror (Cabin Fever, Hostel, 28 Days Later, Slither, Black Sheep, The Strangers, yes – even Saw). In fact I can even get into most B/C horror movies (The Howling (4?): The Marsupials, Ghost Lake, Big Bad Wolf…).

Anyway, I guess what I’m getting to here is that I enjoyed
House of 1000 Corpses, though it was obviously a first-time feature directorial effort – it was kind of like a feature length music video, but it had a fresh, passionate feel to me.

I loved The Devil’s Rejects. I felt that Zombie displayed respect and reverence for the genre and its history, while still bringing us something new, timely, and inspiring.

I’ll admit, I found his first Halloween remake fairly forgettable, but I did see it twice and enjoyed it.

Zombie’s characters, sets/locations, color palette, narrative, etc… are dark, dirty, dingy, seedy, unpleasant, obscene, disturbing, etc… and, in my opinion, pretty damn honest (of course, I consider Cannibal Holocaust to be one of the most honest films I’ve ever seen). A lot of the best horror films should make you “want a shower”, so to speak. I’m not saying he’s a genius or an auteur, but I do think he has a passion and respect for the genre that can be very hard to come by, and that he generally manages bring at least a little something new and personal to the screen.

I’m as sick to death of remakes as the next horror fan, but I won’t write this one off until I’ve given it a fair shake. Your review strikes me as the offended, appalled ranting of someone who has no love for the genre to begin with. Of course, if it really is as bad as you say it is, I’ll be even more angry and ranty than you are.

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2 cleavy August 28, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Phil – I’m curious as to whether you’ve liked any of Zombie’s other films?

Horror is my favorite genre of film – I like everything from the silent classics (Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari…) to what I would consider the genesis and heyday of the modern horror film (Night of the Living Dead, Last House on the Left, Halloween, Jaws, The Fly, The Thing, Hellraiser, The Hills Have Eyes, Friday the 13th – I could go on and on…) to current horror (Cabin Fever, Hostel, 28 Days Later, Slither, Black Sheep, The Strangers, yes – even Saw). In fact I can even get into most B/C horror movies (The Howling (4?): The Marsupials, Ghost Lake, Big Bad Wolf…).

Anyway, I guess what I’m getting to here is that I enjoyed
House of 1000 Corpses, though it was obviously a first-time feature directorial effort – it was kind of like a feature length music video, but it had a fresh, passionate feel to me.

I loved The Devil’s Rejects. I felt that Zombie displayed respect and reverence for the genre and its history, while still bringing us something new, timely, and inspiring.

I’ll admit, I found his first Halloween remake fairly forgettable, but I did see it twice and enjoyed it.

Zombie’s characters, sets/locations, color palette, narrative, etc… are dark, dirty, dingy, seedy, unpleasant, obscene, disturbing, etc… and, in my opinion, pretty damn honest (of course, I consider Cannibal Holocaust to be one of the most honest films I’ve ever seen). A lot of the best horror films should make you “want a shower”, so to speak. I’m not saying he’s a genius or an auteur, but I do think he has a passion and respect for the genre that can be very hard to come by, and that he generally manages bring at least a little something new and personal to the screen.

I’m as sick to death of remakes as the next horror fan, but I won’t write this one off until I’ve given it a fair shake. Your review strikes me as the offended, appalled ranting of someone who has no love for the genre to begin with. Of course, if it really is as bad as you say it is, I’ll be even more angry and ranty than you are.

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3 Phil Fava August 28, 2009 at 8:33 pm

I saw “The Devil’s Rejects” a few years back and wasn’t enthusiastic about it. I appreciated some of the in-jokes and things and felt it had enough humor to redeem its depravity, but, at the end of the day, it’s not my thing. With this film, I guess I found myself tackling most of my problems with Zombie and his movie universes in general which seemed to be personified in it and which seemed to occupy the majority of its content. In other words, the gimmickry of gore and grotesque characterizations was all there was to see and it left me totally unsatisfied.

I tend not to favor one genre in particular. So, it’s hard for me to identify with a person’s unabashed love for a specific breed of movie when the breed matters more to them than the movie itself. I like the horror movies over the years that are also just good films, apart from their genre.

My biggest complaint is that I just wasn’t scared. I gave several reasons for this, but perhaps I’m off base. At this point in time, is it unreasonable to expect a horror movie to scare you? If you’re saying a person should feel “unclean” after seeing one instead of scared, I don’t really know what to say. The pedigree of the original “Halloween” was in my mind during yesterday’s viewing and that’s a film with little gore, no hyperbolic sense of obscenity and it scares me to this day.

If this movie is something fans of the genre can get behind, by all means, don’t let my review stop you. But there were a lot of people in that theater and I’d bet anything they left as unsatisfied as I did. If this is standard horror fare and it’s no worse than the majority of the films like it released, I guess my defense of my review’s harshness is that the film’s somewhat big release and audience turnout permit me to speak to the sensibilities of average moviegoers, not seasoned fanboys.

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4 Phil Fava August 28, 2009 at 8:33 pm

I saw “The Devil’s Rejects” a few years back and wasn’t enthusiastic about it. I appreciated some of the in-jokes and things and felt it had enough humor to redeem its depravity, but, at the end of the day, it’s not my thing. With this film, I guess I found myself tackling most of my problems with Zombie and his movie universes in general which seemed to be personified in it and which seemed to occupy the majority of its content. In other words, the gimmickry of gore and grotesque characterizations was all there was to see and it left me totally unsatisfied.

I tend not to favor one genre in particular. So, it’s hard for me to identify with a person’s unabashed love for a specific breed of movie when the breed matters more to them than the movie itself. I like the horror movies over the years that are also just good films, apart from their genre.

My biggest complaint is that I just wasn’t scared. I gave several reasons for this, but perhaps I’m off base. At this point in time, is it unreasonable to expect a horror movie to scare you? If you’re saying a person should feel “unclean” after seeing one instead of scared, I don’t really know what to say. The pedigree of the original “Halloween” was in my mind during yesterday’s viewing and that’s a film with little gore, no hyperbolic sense of obscenity and it scares me to this day.

If this movie is something fans of the genre can get behind, by all means, don’t let my review stop you. But there were a lot of people in that theater and I’d bet anything they left as unsatisfied as I did. If this is standard horror fare and it’s no worse than the majority of the films like it released, I guess my defense of my review’s harshness is that the film’s somewhat big release and audience turnout permit me to speak to the sensibilities of average moviegoers, not seasoned fanboys.

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5 Angie F August 31, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Yeah, I was extremely disappointed with the 1st Rob Zombie Halloween. I had really high expectations for the self-proclaimed horror fanatic. I don’t know, maybe Zombie has been taking the same drugs Romero took when he did Diary of the Dead.

sigh.

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6 Angie F August 31, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Yeah, I was extremely disappointed with the 1st Rob Zombie Halloween. I had really high expectations for the self-proclaimed horror fanatic. I don’t know, maybe Zombie has been taking the same drugs Romero took when he did Diary of the Dead.

sigh.

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7 cleavy August 31, 2009 at 5:17 pm

You’ve argued your point of view well (in your response to my comment), Phil, and I see where you’re coming from. I think the root of our problem here is that we are coming from slightly different perspectives (though I wouldn’t consider myself a “seasoned fanboy”, or fangirl, as the case happens to be). I do have a tendency to become defensive when critics seem to jump at the throats of nearly any horror movie released – in the contemporary period, as well as historically.

Horror films/directors are often labeled as obscene, depraved, offensive, sick, and revolting – maybe they are, but that doesn’t necessarily make them valueless. What a person wants and expects from a film or genre is often subjective. What I love about the Horror genre is its ability to reveal and tap into the raw, visceral, innate aspects of human nature. In my opinion, all of the disturbing things we find reflected in horror films are within all of us – unconsciously buried through thousands of years of domestication and socialization, and sometimes consciously buried out of our fear of what’s inside of us and what others would think if they only knew. This is the reason why horror films are disturbing – why we might feel like we need a shower. Of course, some films do this with less overtly “offensive” content – the Shining, Halloween, Psycho – and these films typically manage to cross genre barriers, winning fans (including critics) from accross the board. These films often have a higher production value, recognizable (good) actors, a well-written script, etc… It’s pretty easy to appreciate them, even if you don’t generally favor horror.

As I mentioned, I’m not exactly a seasoned fangirl, but I do appreciate the human honesty at the root of nearly all horror films. And, yes, I’d rather watch a crappy horror film any day over any other crappy genre film (comedy, romance, action, etc…). That being said, I also love independent drama, classics, documentary (Vincent Gallo, Bergman, Herzog, Kubrick, Polanski, Tim Burton).

I guess I just feel that sometimes we need to level the playing field a bit, and approach the Horror genre on it’s own terms – I think it has a lot to tell us about our neighbors, friends, lovers, family and, most importantly, ourselves. There is a lot of value here, even though it can be difficult to watch.

Oh, and I haven’t seen the film in question, yet – went to Inglourious Basterds and District 9 this weekend instead. Haha! I’ll check back in when I do, though.

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8 cleavy August 31, 2009 at 5:17 pm

You’ve argued your point of view well (in your response to my comment), Phil, and I see where you’re coming from. I think the root of our problem here is that we are coming from slightly different perspectives (though I wouldn’t consider myself a “seasoned fanboy”, or fangirl, as the case happens to be). I do have a tendency to become defensive when critics seem to jump at the throats of nearly any horror movie released – in the contemporary period, as well as historically.

Horror films/directors are often labeled as obscene, depraved, offensive, sick, and revolting – maybe they are, but that doesn’t necessarily make them valueless. What a person wants and expects from a film or genre is often subjective. What I love about the Horror genre is its ability to reveal and tap into the raw, visceral, innate aspects of human nature. In my opinion, all of the disturbing things we find reflected in horror films are within all of us – unconsciously buried through thousands of years of domestication and socialization, and sometimes consciously buried out of our fear of what’s inside of us and what others would think if they only knew. This is the reason why horror films are disturbing – why we might feel like we need a shower. Of course, some films do this with less overtly “offensive” content – the Shining, Halloween, Psycho – and these films typically manage to cross genre barriers, winning fans (including critics) from accross the board. These films often have a higher production value, recognizable (good) actors, a well-written script, etc… It’s pretty easy to appreciate them, even if you don’t generally favor horror.

As I mentioned, I’m not exactly a seasoned fangirl, but I do appreciate the human honesty at the root of nearly all horror films. And, yes, I’d rather watch a crappy horror film any day over any other crappy genre film (comedy, romance, action, etc…). That being said, I also love independent drama, classics, documentary (Vincent Gallo, Bergman, Herzog, Kubrick, Polanski, Tim Burton).

I guess I just feel that sometimes we need to level the playing field a bit, and approach the Horror genre on it’s own terms – I think it has a lot to tell us about our neighbors, friends, lovers, family and, most importantly, ourselves. There is a lot of value here, even though it can be difficult to watch.

Oh, and I haven’t seen the film in question, yet – went to Inglourious Basterds and District 9 this weekend instead. Haha! I’ll check back in when I do, though.

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9 Phil Fava August 31, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Thank you. I agree that we seem to be coming from different perspectives. However, the way you feel about horror is akin to the way I feel about Japanese Kaiju or old kung fu movies, though I certainly wouldn’t classify them as my favorite(s). Also, I wouldn’t compare them in terms of significance to horror films. Regardless, my point is that I understand the affection for a particular genre. I enjoy most monster movies regardless of their quality and I left that tidbit out of my original reply out of sheer forgetfulness.

But that’s all background info, really, and I only brought it up to put us somewhere on the same page. I do actually want to address your main point. Let’s take the most obvious example of a great horror film labeled “obscene, depraved, offensive, sick, and revolting” which also garnered critical acclaim and several Oscar nominations: “The Exorcist.” In that particular case, all of those qualities were a good thing. They served a higher purpose. If a film’s depravity is only there for depravity’s sake – as it is with Zombie’s “Halloween II” – then it’s pointless; I’m sure you’ll agree. It didn’t frighten, excite or thrill me in any way and Zombie’s intentions (or lack thereof) were fairly clear. He wanted to bypass all meaning or purpose in his gore and just focus on supplying it in spades. For that reason, the film angered me. And I hated it. I don’t know if that was clear in my review, haha.

I hope I’ve ceased appearing to be an easily-offended ninny. I subscribe to the belief that any subject matter can be redeemed by its execution in its art form of choice. If the film’s brutality had any extraneous functionality to it, I’d applaud it. It did not. But please let me know what you think once you see it! I’m highly interested in your thoughts post-experience.

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10 Phil Fava August 31, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Thank you. I agree that we seem to be coming from different perspectives. However, the way you feel about horror is akin to the way I feel about Japanese Kaiju or old kung fu movies, though I certainly wouldn’t classify them as my favorite(s). Also, I wouldn’t compare them in terms of significance to horror films. Regardless, my point is that I understand the affection for a particular genre. I enjoy most monster movies regardless of their quality and I left that tidbit out of my original reply out of sheer forgetfulness.

But that’s all background info, really, and I only brought it up to put us somewhere on the same page. I do actually want to address your main point. Let’s take the most obvious example of a great horror film labeled “obscene, depraved, offensive, sick, and revolting” which also garnered critical acclaim and several Oscar nominations: “The Exorcist.” In that particular case, all of those qualities were a good thing. They served a higher purpose. If a film’s depravity is only there for depravity’s sake – as it is with Zombie’s “Halloween II” – then it’s pointless; I’m sure you’ll agree. It didn’t frighten, excite or thrill me in any way and Zombie’s intentions (or lack thereof) were fairly clear. He wanted to bypass all meaning or purpose in his gore and just focus on supplying it in spades. For that reason, the film angered me. And I hated it. I don’t know if that was clear in my review, haha.

I hope I’ve ceased appearing to be an easily-offended ninny. I subscribe to the belief that any subject matter can be redeemed by its execution in its art form of choice. If the film’s brutality had any extraneous functionality to it, I’d applaud it. It did not. But please let me know what you think once you see it! I’m highly interested in your thoughts post-experience.

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11 Eric August 31, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Is this sequel really that different from Zombie’s first “Halloween”? I haven’t seen it yet, but what I loved about his first is that it made me angry for all the right reasons. I almost felt like most of the deaths and terrible encounters were happening in reality because I identified with the disturbing characteristics that show up in the childhood years of some of the worst serial killers we’ve come to know. Until 2007′s “Halloween”, Michael’s story and background remained sorely unexplored as far as I’m concerned. Zombie went back and added depth, and I applaud him for doing so because the biggest criticism I always read and hear about horror characters is that they AREN’T human enough. I’m terrified more with reality than I am with whispers in the dark and other common scare tactics.

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12 Eric August 31, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Is this sequel really that different from Zombie’s first “Halloween”? I haven’t seen it yet, but what I loved about his first is that it made me angry for all the right reasons. I almost felt like most of the deaths and terrible encounters were happening in reality because I identified with the disturbing characteristics that show up in the childhood years of some of the worst serial killers we’ve come to know. Until 2007′s “Halloween”, Michael’s story and background remained sorely unexplored as far as I’m concerned. Zombie went back and added depth, and I applaud him for doing so because the biggest criticism I always read and hear about horror characters is that they AREN’T human enough. I’m terrified more with reality than I am with whispers in the dark and other common scare tactics.

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13 Xavier September 1, 2009 at 1:18 am

gotta say without having seen the film I’m leaning more towards Phil’s arguement of, even if you like a genre of film above others it doesn’t mean you have to watch any old rubbish just because it fits into the genre. I don’t think horror films should be given a free pass just like rom coms shouldn’t be given a free pass simply because they have fan bases and we have come to expect less of them. Most of the typical horror films just aren’t scary, often they are predictable which takes all the fear away and t=both the motives of the villains and the visuals are nothing new and again I agree with Phil that quantity of visceral violence and blood does not make a film scary. There have been some great films that we can classify as horror; silence of the lambs, psycho, the shining and more recently no country for old men. Again execution and brilliance in the art of film should be favoured over genre and the conventions that go with it.

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14 Xavier September 1, 2009 at 1:18 am

gotta say without having seen the film I’m leaning more towards Phil’s arguement of, even if you like a genre of film above others it doesn’t mean you have to watch any old rubbish just because it fits into the genre. I don’t think horror films should be given a free pass just like rom coms shouldn’t be given a free pass simply because they have fan bases and we have come to expect less of them. Most of the typical horror films just aren’t scary, often they are predictable which takes all the fear away and t=both the motives of the villains and the visuals are nothing new and again I agree with Phil that quantity of visceral violence and blood does not make a film scary. There have been some great films that we can classify as horror; silence of the lambs, psycho, the shining and more recently no country for old men. Again execution and brilliance in the art of film should be favoured over genre and the conventions that go with it.

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15 Dana September 1, 2009 at 8:35 am

I must start off saying that I absolutely hated Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween back in 2007, that being said this sequel is so bad it makes me want to watch his 2007 version. I applaud him for trying to give Michael more depth but he ripped it from Jason Voorhees (who kills for his Mother!!) He has Michael killing randomly just for gore and nudity purposes. I’m all for that in my horror films but it’s not even tongue in cheek or funny. *SPOILER ALERT* He stops by a party that his sister is at and kills a couple getting ready to get it on but doesn’t bother to stop and look around for his sister?

*SPOILER ALERT*
The only thing I can applaud him for is what he did with Laurie Strode’s character. I do believe she would have went crazy with all the traumatic things that happened to her in both films.

I truly believe that just because you’re a fan of horror films does not mean you should direct them. I know there are a lot of Rob Zombie fans out there that will eat me alive for that statement, but I don’t care. A local critic once said about the first remake “He took a classic and made it boring”. I very much agree with that. The original Halloween was scary for what they didn’t show you, letting you make up what you didn’t see. I think Rob Zombie should take a clue from Hitchcock and “Psycho” and leave some things to the imagination.

PS- I don’t care that he has a hot wife, she doesn’t need to be on screen every five minutes!!

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16 Dana September 1, 2009 at 8:35 am

I must start off saying that I absolutely hated Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween back in 2007, that being said this sequel is so bad it makes me want to watch his 2007 version. I applaud him for trying to give Michael more depth but he ripped it from Jason Voorhees (who kills for his Mother!!) He has Michael killing randomly just for gore and nudity purposes. I’m all for that in my horror films but it’s not even tongue in cheek or funny. *SPOILER ALERT* He stops by a party that his sister is at and kills a couple getting ready to get it on but doesn’t bother to stop and look around for his sister?

*SPOILER ALERT*
The only thing I can applaud him for is what he did with Laurie Strode’s character. I do believe she would have went crazy with all the traumatic things that happened to her in both films.

I truly believe that just because you’re a fan of horror films does not mean you should direct them. I know there are a lot of Rob Zombie fans out there that will eat me alive for that statement, but I don’t care. A local critic once said about the first remake “He took a classic and made it boring”. I very much agree with that. The original Halloween was scary for what they didn’t show you, letting you make up what you didn’t see. I think Rob Zombie should take a clue from Hitchcock and “Psycho” and leave some things to the imagination.

PS- I don’t care that he has a hot wife, she doesn’t need to be on screen every five minutes!!

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17 Jason September 1, 2009 at 11:07 am

A remake has an instant recognition when released. That is why they’re ‘no-brainers’ for studios who churn them out each year. Now even the not-so-classic films are being remade, sometimes with better results (eg. Prom Night, My Bloody Valentine). However, a sequel to a remake usually only appeals to the crowd who were fans of the remake. Usually they suffer a quick death in theatres before rebounding on DVD. I personally liked Zombie’s first Halloween. Mind you, no where near as good as the ’78 classic (a perfect film in my opinion), but a nice, fresh take on the basic story. Zombie even had enough respect for the series to hold back on his usual ‘shock horror’ and kept the gore to a minimum (at least by his standards). However, I think with this one he must have gotten a little bored with the formula and went back to doing what he likes best. To ‘humanize’ Michael Meyers is to take away his greatest appeal with his ‘unmasking’ a close second.

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18 Jason September 1, 2009 at 11:07 am

A remake has an instant recognition when released. That is why they’re ‘no-brainers’ for studios who churn them out each year. Now even the not-so-classic films are being remade, sometimes with better results (eg. Prom Night, My Bloody Valentine). However, a sequel to a remake usually only appeals to the crowd who were fans of the remake. Usually they suffer a quick death in theatres before rebounding on DVD. I personally liked Zombie’s first Halloween. Mind you, no where near as good as the ’78 classic (a perfect film in my opinion), but a nice, fresh take on the basic story. Zombie even had enough respect for the series to hold back on his usual ‘shock horror’ and kept the gore to a minimum (at least by his standards). However, I think with this one he must have gotten a little bored with the formula and went back to doing what he likes best. To ‘humanize’ Michael Meyers is to take away his greatest appeal with his ‘unmasking’ a close second.

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19 cleavy September 3, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Eric: “I’m terrified more with reality than I am with whispers in the dark and other common scare tactics.”

Agreed (sort of). I still haven’t seen H2, but I think there’s an interesting discussion to be had between those who think the mysterious, masked, semi-supernatural, seemingly motivationless killer is “scarier”, and those who think the more realistic killer with a character damaging backstory, and sympathetic human charateristics is “scarier”. I’ve heard both sides of this coin referenced. Hmmm…

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20 cleavy September 3, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Eric: “I’m terrified more with reality than I am with whispers in the dark and other common scare tactics.”

Agreed (sort of). I still haven’t seen H2, but I think there’s an interesting discussion to be had between those who think the mysterious, masked, semi-supernatural, seemingly motivationless killer is “scarier”, and those who think the more realistic killer with a character damaging backstory, and sympathetic human charateristics is “scarier”. I’ve heard both sides of this coin referenced. Hmmm…

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21 Phil Fava September 3, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Characters without humanizing back stories are demonstrably more frightening; I honestly think anyone suggesting the counter is being dishonest and only trying to advance his or her argument.

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22 Phil Fava September 3, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Characters without humanizing back stories are demonstrably more frightening; I honestly think anyone suggesting the counter is being dishonest and only trying to advance his or her argument.

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23 horror October 23, 2009 at 7:30 pm

hi there i know i am replying to this late but i just found this and all i have to say is horror is what i grew up with at age 6 to know and there has been good movies and bad ones. my favorite movie growing up was michael myers i have seen all of them except H2 the new one i have not seen that one because i was not that happy about the first one zombie made or really any of his movies. i could tell from the first halloween he made that michael had human characteristics and could tell the same from the preview of H2, i do see where he was coming from doing that but he should not have making him like that does not make him scary at all. a lot of remakes have been made and the only reason some of them are good is they keep with the same story and just add the graphics they can now.
truth be told you cant make another horror movie they have all been done, all are the same in away and you know what is going to happen next. for one i dont think saw is a scary movie i think of it as a thriller also like law n order but ten times better.

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24 horror October 23, 2009 at 7:30 pm

hi there i know i am replying to this late but i just found this and all i have to say is horror is what i grew up with at age 6 to know and there has been good movies and bad ones. my favorite movie growing up was michael myers i have seen all of them except H2 the new one i have not seen that one because i was not that happy about the first one zombie made or really any of his movies. i could tell from the first halloween he made that michael had human characteristics and could tell the same from the preview of H2, i do see where he was coming from doing that but he should not have making him like that does not make him scary at all. a lot of remakes have been made and the only reason some of them are good is they keep with the same story and just add the graphics they can now.
truth be told you cant make another horror movie they have all been done, all are the same in away and you know what is going to happen next. for one i dont think saw is a scary movie i think of it as a thriller also like law n order but ten times better.

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25 emory November 2, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I completely agree. As a rule though, I usually don’t like Zombie’s movies (or most modern “horror”, read “gore-core” movies). To me personally it’s just violence for violence sake, with gratuitous gore thrown in there to excuse the fact that the writing/acting/plot is pretty much non-existent. Zombie’s movies in particular seem to just slant to pornography (in the bad way)

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26 emory November 2, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I completely agree. As a rule though, I usually don’t like Zombie’s movies (or most modern “horror”, read “gore-core” movies). To me personally it’s just violence for violence sake, with gratuitous gore thrown in there to excuse the fact that the writing/acting/plot is pretty much non-existent. Zombie’s movies in particular seem to just slant to pornography (in the bad way)

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