I will start this post off by saying that I am one of the few horror fans out there that prefer Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” to John Carpenter’s “Halloween”. I know, it’s blasphemy and I will go down in horror hell for saying such a thing. But I personally love the back story that Zombie gave Michael and feel as though everything about the film (from the acting to the directing to use of music) was just about perfect. Everything about the film really worked for me and it was with appreciation that I approached the sequel. Going in, I had heard nothing but TERRIBLE things. I mean downright AWFUL comments. “One of the worst horror sequels ever made” and “Rob Zombie will burn in hell for what he has done to this series were some of the nicer comments. So is “Halloween II” really as awful as horror fans have made it out to be?
In a short flashback, Deborah Myers (Sheri Moon Zombie) visits her son, a young Michael Myers (Chase Wright Vanek), at Smith’s Grove Sanitarium. Deborah gives Michael a white horse statuette as a gift. Michael says that the horse reminds him of a dream he had of Deborah’s ghost, all dressed in white and leading a horse down the sanitarium halls toward Michael, telling him she was going to bring him home. Moving ahead fifteen years, after having shot an adult Michael (Tyler Mane), Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) is found wandering around in a state of shock and covered in blood by Sheriff Brackett (Brad Dourif). Brackett takes Laurie to the emergency room. Meanwhile, the paramedics pick up the Sheriff’s daughter Annie (Danielle Harris) and Michael’s psychiatrist Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell), who are still alive after having been attacked by Michael, and take them to the hospital. Presumed dead, Michael’s lifeless body is loaded into a separate ambulance. When the driver has a traffic accident Michael awakens and escapes the ambulance, walking toward a vision of Deborah dressed in white and leading a white horse.
Michael appears at the hospital, and begins murdering everyone he comes across on his way to Laurie. Trapped in a security outpost at the gate, Laurie watches as Michael tears through the walls with an axe, but just as he tries to kill her, Laurie wakes up from the dream. It is actually one year later and Laurie is now living with the Bracketts. Michael’s body has been missing since last Halloween—still presumed dead—and Laurie has been having recurring nightmares about the event. While Laurie deals with her trauma through therapy, Loomis has chosen to turn the event into an opportunity to write another book. Meanwhile, Michael has been having visions of Deborah’s ghost and a younger version of himself, who instructs him that with Halloween approaching it is time to bring Laurie home; so he sets off for Haddonfield.
I know that most horror fans seem to despise this movie but I find it to be a beautiful shot, misunderstood gem of a horror film. I admire Zombie for not doing a straight up remake of the original sequel and I like how you actually are able to see the emotional grief that the first travesty has caused its characters. We are able to see Laurie and Annie as real, flesh and blood characters that are each trying to deal with this travesty the only way that they know how. It’s not a perfect film (the horse imagery is out of place to say the least) but it is an ambitious film and that’s more than you can say about most horror movies today.