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With Jim Sabatini

Halloween II

Halloween II
Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane, Scout Taylor-Compton and Brad Dourif

Rated: R 
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: August 28, 2009 Released by: The Weinstein Company

Rob Zombie continues his hell-billy take on the John Carpenter low-budget suspenseful horror picture with his graphic gut-wrenching sequel.

Halloween II stars Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane, Scout Taylor-Compton and Brad Dourif. The backstory of Zombie's first foray into Michael Myers looked into the origins of an inexplicable killing machine with the dysfunctionality and sadness that characterized his childhood. This sequel thrusts forward in a more deplorable rancid way working off the nightmares of Laurie Strode (Taylor-Compton) who supposedly offed the marauding, mauling Michael whose spree did in her parents.

The early reels signifies the filmmaker's fondness for fashioning and slashing up the sanguine if a hospital sequence and a truck accident are any indication. Laurie continues to deal with her misery a year later staying at the residence of Sheriff Brackett (Douriff) and his daughter Annie (Danielle Harris).

Presumed dead by authorities, Myers went missing from a coroner's van, and is back to celebrate the ghoulish holiday at home. His erstwhile analyst, Samuel Loomis, as McDowell hams it up, is touting his book on Myers that reveals the truth about mad, maniacal man and Laurie, as he continues to deny that Michael still could be roaming somewhere.

Halloween II is pervasive and gratuitous when it comes to its visuals and even sound effects while mindful of Michael's troubled past. Sheri Moon Zombie (Zombie's wife and a fixture in his movies) as his montonic mom and Chase Wright Vanek are his spectral guides, so to speak in this garish, rather bleak and hideous flourish as the production and very unsteady lensing demonstrates.

This mostly sickening fleshing out of Michael is extreme and far from a chilling night at the cineplex as Zombie doesn't seem interested in his characters like the sneering McDowell and the terribly tremulous Taylor-Compton. Even minor appearances from the likes of Howard Hesseman, Margot Kidder, and moustache-less "Weird Al" Yankovich is hardly a consolation. Maybe Zombie has figured out that he should stop trying to trash a franchise that's already been trashed before it worked so well off of implication as the gonzo video mind perhaps can use close-ups and slow-motion to better, more well thought out effect.

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