31 Days Of Horror: Rob Zombie’s Halloween II

Rob Zombie’s Halloween II (2009) is actually the tenth entry in the series.  I know it’s because the filmmakers keep rebooting the storyline, but it’s definitely a lot of work to keep track of what’s going on with these films.

Rob Zombie's Halloween II
Michael Myers is acted a lot more dynamically in this one, which I don’t think is a good thing.

We start off with a caption of another irrelevant quotation that’s not in the film or in any previous film, then we get a scene from the ‘fifteen years previously’ part of Rob Zombie’s Halloween, with Deborah Myers visiting Michael in the sanatorium (the latter played by a different child actor in this film).  Michael has had a dream about a white horse, and has been able to make quite a realistic-looking one out of craft materials, because the sanatorium just rolls like that.

Back to fifteen years later, and we pick up where the last film left off.  Laurie is walking about in a daze after shooting Michael, and screams and screams as she’s taken into hospital.  Loomis is also shown still to be alive.

Sheriff Brackett orders Michael’s body to be secured properly in the ambulance, but we know it won’t happen.  The ambulance drivers are too idiotic while driving, joking around, and end up getting into a crash.  Like the first film, these scenes are lit too darkly to see anything, so I don’t really know what’s going on.  Michael wakes up, unsurprisingly, and finishes off the surviving ambulance driver.  He then sees a white horse and a woman in white, which is presumably a hallucination.

In Laurie’s hospital room, the TV is playing some footage of the Moody Blues performing Nights In White Satin.  She wakes up and hauls herself out of bed, which is pretty surprising, given that a few scenes ago we saw her entire body being gruesomely stitched up and she should be under heavy sedation.  She visits the unconscious Annie in another room, and is soon taken halfway back to her room by one of the nurses, but Michael shows up and kills the nurse.

There’s then a sequence where Laurie finds the other nurse dead, escapes outside, hides in a hut where the Moody Blues are still playing on the TV, nearly gets rescued by a security guard before Michael catches up to him…and then wakes up on 29th October a year later.  The sequence was all a dream!  Thing is, it’s not really clear when the dream started.  Did the nurses and security guard really get killed, or did Laurie dream the whole sequence about the hospital?  I’m going to say the latter, because it means the film makes marginally more sense.

Laurie is now living with the Bracketts, seeing a counsellor (who provides the backstory that they never found Michael’s body after the ambulance crash), and working in a record store.  Dr Loomis, meanwhile, has turned into a total villain, only concerned about the sales of the new book he’s written about Michael.  This is an absolutely terrible way to treat a classic character and is the aspect I most hate about this film.  Loomis is convinced Michael is dead, which is completely out of character.

We get more hallucination stuff with the woman in white, who on closer inspection turns out to be Deborah Myers.

Michael shows up in a field in the middle of the night.  A farmer, farm worker and farmer’s daughter confront him, and the worker beats him up.  Naturally, they’re soon killed for their trouble.

Laurie and the Bracketts are eating pizza, which is juxtaposed with Michael eating the farmer’s dog.  Ew.  It’s almost enough to put you off pizza.  Almost.

The woman in white scenes are very pretty and artistic, with lots of floaty black ‘n’ white imagery, but also very nonsensical.  Laurie’s mind seems to be being taken over by Michael (shades of Jamie in Halloween 5), as she’s now dreaming about the woman too.

We go back to the ‘Rabbit in Red’ strip joint from the first film.  Maybe Michael’s just drawn to where his mother used to work, or maybe it was just an excuse for the completely unnecessary chase scene with a naked stripper that we get here.

Sheriff Brackett reads Loomis’ incendiary book, and panics, calling Annie to try and find Laurie before she can read it.  Meanwhile, Loomis is doing a book signing, which is incredibly awkward, especially when Lynda’s dad shows up, trying to kill Loomis for causing his daughter’s death.

Laurie, of course, ends up reading the book.  It really sets her off, due to finding out about having been Angel Myers, and that Brackett knew about it.  She doesn’t want to speak to Annie, and goes to find her record store colleagues instead.

Loomis is now going on talk shows.  This whole thing is incredibly uncomfortable.

Laurie wants to go out and get drunk to forget things, so she and her two record store friends, Mya and Harley, get dolled up in Rocky Horror outfits and head out to a Hallowe’en party.  The band at the party has strippers on stage, which reminds me of some very bad gigs I’ve attended.

Harley goes off to sleep with some guy in his trailer, and the guy says ‘I’ll be right back’ about ten times!   This is really hitting the viewer over the head with Scream‘s Rule 3, which must have been deliberate.  Either way, it takes you right out of the story.  Both characters are unsurprisingly soon killed.

A drunk Laurie starts freaking out and hallucinating the woman in white.  Mya takes her back home.

The cop that Brackett has sent to keep an eye on Annie is a classic Haddonfield incompetent cop, and so Michael takes him out easily.  He then finally kills Annie…seemingly.  Laurie and Mya arrive at the Bracketts’, and Mya gets killed while calling 911, though the call does go through (why has Michael stopped taking out phone lines in this storyline?).

Annie is still alive!  How?  Does she have some small amount of ‘final girl’ power left over from Danielle Harris’ previous role as Jamie Lloyd?  Anyway, she finally dies in Laurie’s arms, and Laurie has to run, as Michael is still around.  After they’ve left, the 911 responders show up slightly too late, and Brackett finds Annie’s body.

Laurie nearly gets rescued by some guy in a car, but Michael kills the rescuer and carries the unconscious Laurie away.  He holes up with her in a hut nearby, and Laurie’s hallucinations of the woman in white become super sinister, with the woman forcing her to call her ‘Mommy’ and generally being really creepy.

Loomis sees a TV report about Michael having taken Laurie hostage, shows up at the location, and enters the hut despite Brackett telling him to leave.  ‘I owe you this, Sheriff,’ he says as he goes in, so I guess this is supposed to be him redeeming himself.  Inside the hut, Michael kills Loomis, enabling the police to get a shot at him through the window.  Laurie is freed from the hallucinations as a result.

Michael is still alive, but doesn’t kill Laurie.  She stabs him repeatedly instead, then comes out of the hut in her Rocky Horror Magenta outfit and Michael’s Shatner mask, which is a nice creepy image.

In contrast to the unclear ending of the previous film, Laurie has definitely gone mad at the end of this one – she’s shown to be in a white hospital room, smiling like Norman Bates and still having hallucinations of the woman in white, along with a white horse.

I’m glad that’s over, and I’m really looking forward to seeing John Carpenter’s return to the series this weekend.

Something old and monochrome tomorrow!

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