DVD Review: Halloween II (2009) Unrated Director’s Cut

hiidcThis is the version of Halloween II that should’ve been released in theaters.  Rob Zombie’s director’s cut of Halloween II is out now with fleshed out story lines, more face time for Michael Myers, and a nihilistic ending much better than the pitiful one haunting the theatrical version.  Two years after her last encounter with Michael Myers (Tyler Mane), Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) is an emotionally crippled pill head quickly sliding into madness.  Her relationship with Annie (Danielle Harris)  is more explosive than nitro and the two former friends frequently engage in bitter arguments.  Michael Myers, believed dead even though his body is missing, roams the countryside living off garbage and dog meat until the voices in his head tell him it’s time to go back home to reunited his family with a glorious bloodbath.

Rob Zombie’s commentary reveals the production/filming of Halloween II was one giant cluster fuck of mistakes, studio tampering, sudden cuts in budget and  shooting days, bad weather, and an insane race to finish the film before the August theatrical release.  Zombie also explains plot points that confused fans, making clear Debra Myers (Sheri Moon Zombie) is just a hallucination produced by Michael’s diseased mind, not a real ghost.  Some of the anecdotes about the actors and locations are pretty humorous, especially the one about residents in Georgia calling 911 when they saw the fake signs for Haddonfield’s most famous strip club.  Considering all of the behind-the-scenes drama involved it’s amazing Zombie managed to finish and release the film on time.

The deleted/alternate scenes special feature shows a mask-less Michael killing the stripper, Big Lou, and a delivery driver.  A deleted scene involving one of Laurie’s hallucinations shows Michael hanging a girl from a tree in front of a playground full of children.  It’s a disturbing scene that should’ve been left in the final version.  Danielle Harris fans will enjoy her additional scenes including an encounter with a comic book geek trying to seduce her with promises of tickets to a comic con.

Other special features include audition footage, make-up test footage, blooper reel, a music video of Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures, and all of Uncle Seymour Coffins’ stand up routine at the Halloween party.  There are plenty of previews for other Sony releases but none for Halloween II.  The blooper reel footage is entertaining but short.  Uncle Seymour’s bit is really just the ramblings of a sad drunk too wasted to know it’s time to get off the stage.  At least there are plenty of strippers on stage to distract the viewer from the bad jokes. 

If you hated the theatrical version I doubt there is much here to change your mind about Zombie’s handling of the franchise.  I know all of those fans angry over Laurie’s sudden evil turn in the theatrical version will hate to learn she is pretty much bat shit crazy at the beginning of this version.  Both versions of the film suffer some of the same weaknesses.  Malcolm McDowell’s Loomis is still an unlikable prick and that damn white horse is still a stupid plot point that should’ve been deleted.  Overall, though, the director’s cut of Halloween II is a much better film than the theatrical version.  If you loved, liked, or thought the theatrical version had some promise, then you should really enjoy the director’s cut.

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16 Responses to “ DVD Review: Halloween II (2009) Unrated Director’s Cut ”

  1. I love this movie, the only problem i had with the director’s cut version was how love hurts was playing at the end when Laurie sees her mom and the white horse, the laurie’s theme from the original halloween fit better i think, other than that i liked this version better that the one in theaters :)

  2. I liked it as well, but I hated the Laurie character, she was totally unsympathetic!

  3. I loved it in the theater and now it’s even better. It’s so much better having Michael as a real sick and disturbed person instead of the so called boogeyman who showed up as a different actor with a different mask every Halloween. IMO the Halloween franchise (that I grew up with) after the first one just went from bad to worse to unwatchable.

    In my eye Zombie’s 2 films have nothing to do with all those pitiful sequels and stand on there own. Also was glad there was none of the carpenter score. It’s a great score but was destroyed by playing it over and over and over again. Kind of like Pink Floyd Darkside of the Moon. great album killed by being overplayed on the radio.

  4. I will buck the trend here and admit I loved the theatrical cut, but I really did not like this Unrated Directors Cut. Laurie was sympathetic in the theatrical cut, but all that sympathy is gone in the new edit. The new ending also doesn’t sit well with me, gone is Laurie taking out her rage on Michael Myers, which I found very satisfying. Finally, all of the additional footage of Michael without his mask removed a big chunk of his fear factor.

    I only wish it wasn’t so hard to find the theatrical cut on DVD, most retailers only carry the Unrated Directors Cut.

  5. Thomas, I couldn’t agree more with your review. This version of the film is so MUCH BETTER than the theatrical version of the film which was nearly absurd. I agree completely with your thoughts on the white horse as well and all in all I could not have written a more spot on review myself. The film is still severely flawed but this version is much superior to the original theatrical version, even watchable now. I will never like the direction Zombie took with the Loomis character but be that as it may, it’s out there.

  6. Hambone, i know what you mean, i wanted to get both versions of the movie, but could only find the directors cut after searching about every store in my area, i had to order the theatrical cut online, too bad they couldn’t have included both versions on one disc.

  7. Hello,

    There are very few movies where the director’s cut is so much superior that it changes the original viewing. One has to think about how much. 10%? 35%?

    In the case of Halloween II, it is WAY better, like I felt ripped off at seeing the theatrical version.

    Laura is a much more developed character in this film, especially in the therapy session and especially the end. I like the tone of the film more as well.

    Just my opinion.

    DN

  8. While this was TECHNICALLY a well made film, it didn’t “feel” like a TRUE “Halloween” film. If they cut out the Halloween party at the end, this could have taken place any time of the year. I respect Zombie, as I feel he DOES have talent, but the Halloween films just weren’t meant for him. Director’s Cut was about the same as the Theatrical Cut for me. He would have been better off handling something “grittier” like the TCM or Last House on The Left remakes, I think those would have suited his Directing style much more.

    -RHR

  9. I cant believe that so many like this film! i thught it totally sucked and ruined everything that was good about michael myers, 1. he doesnt talk and 2. you dont see his face. and laurie was so irritating i hated her! and this white horse an her mommy and young michael was ridicilous. Shame in this movie!

  10. No matter which version, it’s still a pile of dogshit!

  11. Check out Zombieland that movie is good

  12. This movie was better than half the horro films to come out in the last few years and much better than a simple rehash of John Carpenters work which is just untouchable. I’m glad he took his own route here. Two franchises I enjoy based on the same character with very different flavours and tones. I love em both

  13. I like this a lot and I actually like Loomis. He’s basically like an old soldier trying to make a bit of money out of telling his war stories and hoping it will impress young ladies.
    I also like the stuff with the white horse. Though Zombie hides his brains behind metal dude posturing, I suspect this is a nod at Epona.
    Epona was the only Celtic deity to make it into the Roman pantheon. She was often depicted beside a white horse and was said to appear to the dying before leading them into the after-life.

  14. I loved this film. everything about it. both versions. Rob Zombie is probley the best horror director in this decade. he knows what his fans want and he gives it to them. scout taylor compton is a promising young actress and has the skills to make her way in the movie industry. Thank u Rob Zombie for such an awesome great best film of 2009 thank u

  15. This cut didn’t add anything to the movie. Nothing could save it. This version was even worse for the character of Laurie, who came off as the worst, most annoying, shrill, and unlikeable horror heroine in movie history. Just the worst. You wished Michael had gotten her in the opening and Danielle Harris was the star.

  16. I think the theatrical ending is better but I don’t really like either one. I think they should have put the alternate ending on the dvd with the rest of the bonus footage, and i dont like the fact that Michael talked. That doesn’t make him more human than in the original movies. If he was more human in the remake than the gunshot to the head at the end of the first movie would have killed him. The original Halloween movie’s ending is the greatest and can never be matched, and neither can Donald Pleasance portrayal of Dr. Loomis.

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