(Warning: Spoilers Throughout. Also pretty long sorry about that, if you don't want my opinion on the franchise I marked the official review itself enough you can just jump down to it)
I love the Halloween franchise, I have to say that quite a bit of it is a guilty pleasure of mine, though the original will always be the best in my heart. While others loved the brutal kills and the raunchy sex scenes of Friday the 13th, I was being scared to death by the silent, emotionless holiday killer, Michael Myers. Jason is fine and dandy, but when you want to be scared, Michael is your man, and since I've always been more of a horror fan than a slasher fan, Myers will always be my main man there. The first was undeniably a classic, while two was very good, but had too many flaws to completely ignore. While I enjoyed two, even then I began to see the engine light signaling the inevitable downward spiral this series would take, from the ramped up violence, lack of shadows and glaring lack of genuine scares. Still it's a good film, though I even felt three was an 'okay' film, no where near the level of crap people claim it to be. For just a movie it's okay, granted as a 'Halloween' movie it's automatically disappointing.
Some people loved Four but I actually hated it, mainly because I couldn't get past how horrible Michael looked in that film, the mask was ugly and the actor didn't really DO anything except walk from point A to point B like a robot, just very stiff, and for some reason looked very strangely built to me. Five was just plain bad, from the mask (which some how managed to morph into a completely different shape and look between falling into the well in 4 and waking up with the hermit in 5), to the psychic niece, Curse of Thorn (worst...excuse...ever), and the new stereotypical haunted mansion design of the Myers home. The only real redeeming quality I can say was Loomis' total beatdown on Michael near the end where he just slapped him silly with a 2x4. Six was 'meh' at best, better than 4 and 5 but still not at the level of the original two, so really not much to talk about there.
H20, on the other hand, I think was actually one of the better sequels of that series, feeling like a better successor to Halloween II than any of the others even came close to. It had everything; the return of Jamie Lee, darkness, decent suspense, and a battle for the ages. I love Laurie's evolution from the same scared woman just trying to survive, into a woman whose willing to accept that she's the only one left who can stop this monster, and faces him for the final battle with a fitting end to a beloved series of films...except...it wasn't the end, was it? No....he came back, killed Laurie, and then got his ass kicked by Busta Rhymes. That's all I have to say about the crap fest that was Halloween Resurrection.
So then for some reason (money) they decided to revisit the beginning of the franchise with Rob Zombie's Halloween. Hearing about this I knew it would be a failure; your remaking a classic film that doesn't need to be fixed, that's always bad. Shockingly though I actually came out of Rob's Halloween pleasantly surprised. It wasn't great, but it was a competently made new take on Michael Myers. The mask looked fantastic, Tyler Mane did a good job playing the mute killer, and Malcolm McDowell...come on! It wasn't perfect though, as I really, really don't like the idea of deconstructing the originally mysterious, impossible Myers, but at least it was better than the curse of thorn. The violence was over the top, which is always a detractor for me in 'horror' films, but I was able to over look it for the most part. For me a horror film is built on scares less on violence, everything else is either slasher or torture porn, though there are some contradictions to the rule, so obviously excessive violence in a film like this just isn't scary, this not genuine horror. Sadly there was just too much Michael, too little shadows, and you could see most of his kills coming a mile away. Still, a good film, and much better than the one we got before it (though I preferred the original cut ending myself).
Finally; The Review!
So after that, I was actually looking forward to H2. But as more and more footage came out about the film I became more and more nervous. But I forced myself to remain objective, and finally went to see it. In a word?
I mean wow, I suddenly miss the Curse of the Thorn and that's saying something. While the first film was a fairly faithful yet also new adaption of a classic, H2 is just ugly, hateful, profane to the point of annoying, and overall just horribly written and directed. Plenty have mentioned Michael's new hobo look, which was stupid, but at least the mask still looked good...when he actually wore it. Of course they had to ruin it by tearing half of the mask off early on in the film, which would have been fine late in the film or during the climax. The start of the film seems promising for the first few minutes, picking up right where the first left off, with Laurie, Loomis (who some how survived his head being crushed.....hmm.....) and Annie being carted off to the hospital while Michael's *dead* body is sent off to God knows where. Can nobody check a freaking pulse in these damn movies?
So after the most random and coincidental car wreck in slasher history, the most uses of the word f**k in one shot, and the most prolonged and actually pretty disturbing beheading scene I've seen in a while, things begin to pick up when Laurie wakes up in the hospital. Now I'm not the type who watches a remake to see the same thing over again, but I have to say the Hospital sequence was probably the best part of the whole film. Not because the original Halloween II took place in a hospital, but because this sequence feels the most like a true Halloween film. It was tense, Michael was...well...Michael (aside from the stupid grunting and the whole 'ten stabs too many' bits), and it was actually really enjoyable from a slasher film perspective. But then, Laurie wakes up from this now revealed dream, just as I and many others did from their brief little dream that told us that H2 would be a good movie.
Now we're one year later, Laurie is sufficiently f-ed up after her experience understandably, though I have to question the turn she took, apparently becoming a Charles Manson fan....say what? Anyway, here we see the return of Annie Brackett and her father the sheriff. I have to say that, though it sounds like it's not saying much, Brad Dourif's performance here as Sheriff Brackett is fantastic. you really get to feel for the guy, and everything he experiences and feels you can't help but feel the same way. Loomis turned into an asshole apparently, acting like the worst form primadonna and using the slaughter of the last film to sell his book. It could have been used to interesting effect actually, to show Loomis' downfall from fame, and eventually redemption. Of course Rob Zombie hates happy things, so instead when Loomis begins to attempt his redemption he just get's stabbed in the face until he dies a horrible, abrupt death.
Annie is just as much of a jerk as in the last film, and what's really sad to say is that when she is inevitably killed here it isn't surprising at all, and the only sadness I felt was when Sheriff Brackett found her dead and his over all reaction was heart wrenching. So basically I didn't feel bad that she died, I felt bad that Sheriff Bracket was upset....wow. I don't know if that's a compliment to Brad Dourif or a slap in the faces of Danielle Harris and Rob Zombie. Maybe a little of both. Scout Taylor Compton, who I actually really enjoyed in the last film as Laurie, returns here with a constantly sobbing, shivering, jibbering performance that seems to combine every horror film shrieking damsel and manages to amplify the stereotype ten fold. Too many times the scene will turn into Laurie jibbering and whimpering to someone trying to help her, and she's so impossible to understand that all the would-be saviors can do is calm her down with a patronizing tone, do the opposite of what she says, and subsequently get killed as a result.
Michael is a mess in this film, basically any of the minor problems in the original Halloween II are increased ten fold here. The violence is ugly and malicious (from a directing stand point), too much focus on Michael just putting these people through hell as he kills them. Granted that sounds a little weird to say, but when a character is so well known for his quick, out of nowhere kills, it's a bit weird to see Michael being so thorough with how he decides to kill these people. He will stab a person to death, and then stab them ten more times, and then another five just to be sure. You never know with these normal people, just because their staring blankly at a wall, guts spilled on the floor and not breathing doesn't mean their dead. Already mentioned was the weird grunting sounds that Michael inexplicably makes now, after being absolutely silent throughout the whole of the first RZ Halloween. It's jarring, but not in the way that was intended; rather than being shocking or disturbing, it just seems really out of character, even for what RZ already established in his first film.
The dialogue in this film is pretty bad, the usual trailer park southern trash way of speaking that's in every single Rob Zombie film to date (Isn't this supposed to be in Illinois?). Oh and I haven't even gotten to possibly the worst part; now Michael kills because he's told to by visions of his dead mother, Mrs. Voorhee....I mean.....Mrs. Myers. Seriously, I can't be the only person seeing the parallel here, even if Zombie didn't. Which is actually a funny irony in itself; for years Jason was, let's face it, a result of Michael's popularity in the late 70's. That doesn't make him a bad character, but he may not have come to be if not for the success of Halloween, thus some see him as a rip-off (I don't but some do). Now, over time, Halloween films became more and more like Friday the 13th films, with over the top violence and Michael becoming more and more powerful. Now with the Halloween remakes, he's now a 6'9, giant of a man, who can flip cars with his bare hands, likes to kill people in over the top and gory ways, and lumbers around more like a tank than a sleek stealthy man. And now he's killing for his mother, which is the icing on the cake. Yet arguably, in the Friday The 13th remake, it seems like Jason took on a stealthier, more hunter like killing style like his older days, and in my opinion much more like what Michael should have been here.
I won't go in-depth with the ending, basically Laurie kills Michael, loses her mind, and is insinuated that she's just like Michael was now, seeing the exact same visions he was (huh...I didn't know insanity induced hallucinations (the same exact ones) were shared through families like that). It was really stupid but I saw it coming from the earliest trailers, and even from the ending of the first film I had an idea. It's really a shame to see a franchise I've loved so dearly driven so deeply into the ground. After seeing how superior RZ's first attempt was to the horrible Resurrection, it's really disappointing to see something that, in some ways, is worse than all of the worst points in the series so far. It's not as cheesy as many of the sequels, but that's partially why it's worse. With the others they were stupid, but they were still cheesy fun enough to at least have some semblance of fun with. Here it's just bad in the depressing sort of way. If you're a fan of the franchise, you may want to stay away, if your a fan of RZ's first Halloween alone, you may like it, but for the general movie going audience it's definitely not good in the slightest, and made me nearly walk out numerous times (which I've never done in a film in my life).
As a critic: Some ole Bulls**t
As a long time Halloween fan: F*** You!
And that's my review, if you managed to survive this long, please comment and tell me what you think.