Read at your own risk, I provide this report from a test screening monkey with no confirmation or disclaimer, for the expressed purpose that you can waltz into the theatre with plausible deniability if you don’t like the sound of it.
“Let me start off by saying that even though I’m a horror movie fanatic its been maybe 15 years since I’ve seen the original HALLOWEEN 2. I remembered not liking it very much and even though I still consider the first in the series the best horror film ever made, nothing ever really drew me back to part two. So besides a few fuzzy memories of it, I went into the film last night being able to take a real unbiased look at a remake. Ill run it down and go through the film for anyone interested (All of it being spoilers, so if you don’t want to know what happens in the movie stop reading HERE). Remember that I’m sure some of this will change by the time it hits theaters later this summer, especially after the focus group met and gave opinions after the film. Ill mention what we/they thought during the review, as well for those interested.
The movie opens with Laurie, bloody, walking down the street. Sheriff Brackett finds her and takes her to the hospital (I remember the hospital scene taking place towards the end of the original, correct me if I’m wrong but in any case its the beginning here.) The next 15 minutes, besides being WAY too loud, to the actual point where I had a bit of a headache afterwards are really fantastic and I had hoped would set the film up very nicely.
Zombie chooses to show us most of the gore in this one scene and for the rest of the film shows a lot of restraint in what he shows, letting our minds do most of the work which I really appreciated. Nowadays a lot of directors think blood & guts = scares which just isn’t true.
We spend the next 20 minutes or so getting to know this new grunge Laurie (who now lives with her friend Annie and the Sheriff) and her friends who work at a book/record/indie type store and we learn they looove to party. The characters are really your standard issue, cookie cutter horror movie characters and you can pretty much pinpoint who will die and in what order. After this we see Loomis who has become a real media whore and a just an all around ****after the release of his book about Michael, which is doing a media tour for and just happens to be somewhere near Haddonfield, IL where they film a major late night talk show. Lucky him. Hes no longer a sympathetic character he is now just a famous diva who only cares about himself and his new career and let me say the focus group and the end was more than vocal about how much they hated this.
Interspersed through all of this are visions Michael has with his mother (the gorgeous Sherri Moon Zombie), a white horse and the younger version of himself guiding him to kill more so they can all finally be together. This might work in a different film but the problem here is that Laurie is having visions of them, too. The same visions. This is never explained or touched upon and even when she learns she’s Michael’s sister, if this was supposed to mean they were all connected in some way, it still doesn’t make any sense. As much as I love her, Michael s mother has no business being in this movie at all. About 90% of the people in the focus group said they didn’t like her scenes at all which weren?t many to begin with and I’m sure will now be sliced down pretty heavily.
As you guess right after we meet the characters, Michael starts killing again. Obviously he needs to get through people to get where hes going, but too many scenes were set up just to kill someone with no further advancement of a plot you could tell they desperately were trying to do something with – including scenes in a strip club stomping a mans face until its just meat, taking a naked stripper by the hair and smashing her into a mirror until she goes bye-bye, not to mention Michael killing a dog, gutting it and eating its insides. Let me just say that when I got the chance last night I let them know just how unnecessary that was and every single person there said that needed to be cut out immediately. I’m hoping it is because its something that I really should have walked on the film because of.
Soon after, Laurie discovers shes Michael s sister and all hell breaks loose. She does a LOT of screaming in this movie, almost to the laughable point which she does most of in the next few scenes. She tells her friends she needs to go out and PAR-TAY which we all know means Dead Friends so when Harley (the slut of the group) goes to a random man?s van, you don’t have to be a genius to know what will happen. That scene is so predictable and so stupid pretty much everyone agreed afterwards it was just too much. When you can count down to when the attack will happen you know your movie has become too formulaic.
After this, Michael decides to visit the house of our dear friend Annie who until this point has had a decent amount of screen time cooped up in her house. When she opens that medicine cabinet you don?t have to be a rocket scientist to know what shell see when she closes it! Cut to a few minutes later, Laurie and her only living friend now, Maya (the beautiful Brea Grant who plays Daphne on HEROES) both completely drunk go back to Annie’s house to crash but theres a big mess there so being as bright as they are they know something is wrong. Maya is the first to get hers, when she goes downstairs alone to call 911. Luckily Laurie escapes the house and runs into the woods (because when you’re being chased by a killer you obviously run into the woods) where dagnabit, she gets caught by Michael and taken to an old shack. Now, she must have been in there for quite a while because we cut to Loomis in a swanky hotel (obviously in town) after he just finished his talk show appearance opposite Weird Al, where he sees the breaking news that Michael Myers (not the same Michael Myers from the Austin Powers films as Weird Al points out) is at it again. Loomis rushes to the site where poor Laurie is screaming again being held by her brother while we see Mommy and Little Michael watching her. Loomis informs her that nobody is holding her which we now see is true. Michael is on the other side of the barn and she?s just imagining she?s being held. The word ?HUH??? came to mind last night. Michael slices up ol? Loomis but I couldn’t pay much attention to that because I was still trying to figure out how and WHY Michael and Laurie had been having the same visions of young Michael and the Mother the entire movie.
Anywho, long story short Laurie stabs Michael, and walks out of the barn wearing her Halloween costume (she was dressed as Magenta from ROCKY HORROR) and Michael s mask which elicited a LOT of laughter, seeing this little girl with this enormous mask on. We than cut to Laurie in a white room. Is she in a mental institution? I didn’t think so, but others did. We see her look up and see Mrs. Myers walking towards her with the same white horse we’ve seen her with the whole movie. Laurie gives an evil little smile and the film ends.
So a good part of the discussion after was spent on that last scene. To me and a lot of other people it made no sense and was just, well, stupid. The fact that you think Laurie has turned bad for no reason at all didn’t sit well with people because A) Its not who the character is and B) there is no reason for it. Shes had nothing happen to her to turn HER into a killer now.
A lot was also said afterward about the fact that we see a lot of Michaels face in this film. He has a very long beard and looks a lot like Zombie, himself which I wasn’t sure if that was on purpose or not. But to me and most others there this isn’t a good thing. Humanizing Michael doesn’t make him more scary, it makes him completely unbelievable. If we see him as just a regular guy, how are we to believe? he can survive having his body bashed with baseball bats, bullets, etc and just get right back up again and keep killing. In the films current state, he is more like Jason, not Michael.
I’m sorry if this was a bit all over the place. I’m at work and doing a million things at the same time as trying to do this, but that’s pretty much the gist of the film as it is now. I’ll say again for as much as I detested the first one, this one was much much better. I’ll even go to see it again to see what changes they’ve hopefully made to it.”