CHATTANOOGA (The Loop/UTC) – Full of sick and twisted slaughter scenes and substantial doses of suspense, Halloween II, or H2 to separate it from the 1981 sequel, offers what is expected from a film that continues the “grab and stab” series of Halloween movies.
The second of director Rob Zombie’s takes on the horror classic franchise offers a peek into the psyche of the giant, knife-wielding murderer, Michael Myers.
Beginning where Zombie’s last film left off, Myers, along with his dead mother and the image of his childhood self, trudge their way from the psychiatric ward toward Michael’s hometown. There, Myers goes on a quest to find his sister Laurie, who discovers well into the film that she is a descendant of the murdersome Myers family.
Full of psychological imagery and overtones, this episode in the Halloween series delves into the man behind the mask. Instead of portraying Myers as the usual white-mask wearing, undead stabber, Zombie attempts to show us the more human side of the killer, both physically and psychologically.
Myers appears as more of a giant-sized vagabond compared to his normal masked-mechanic look. Zombie, in an interview with slashfilm.com about H2, said that he saw Michael as a forgotten man living on the fringe of society. “For me, that was the only realistic way to play it,” Zombie said. “I think it’s pretty ridiculous that this guy would just disappear and then pop up, and he’s wearing his brand new white mask and his brand new mechanic’s overalls.”
This film also offers a new driving force behind Michael’s series of killings. He has the company of his dead mother’s ghost, his childhood self (dressed as a clown of course), and a white horse representing his rage. These figures fuel the psychological fire that is Michael’s drive toward his sister Laurie. By using additional characters to push along Michael’s quest, Zombie pulls the inner child out of Myers and places it front and center. After a while, it starts to seem that it is really the clown-costumed child that is the true murderer; we just see his grown up shell.
Students around the UTC campus have varying opinions about the movie.
Daniel Bishop, a sophomore from Chattanooga, said that although he has not yet seen the film, he thinks he will enjoy it. “He’s a real guy who goes out and kills people, that’s what makes it so scary,” Bishop said. “I’m getting goose bumps just talking about it.”
Chris Williams, a Chattanooga freshman said he was not very impressed with this latest in the Halloween series. “It’s not that scary,” Williams said. “The first (Rob Zombie version) was better than this one.”
The film lives up to its expectations. Following a steady pace of alternation between flashbacks, brutal murders, Michael’s sister, and the ghost of his mother, it somehow manages to be both suspenseful yet never reach its climactic potential.
Overall, it rivals the scare factor of the previous Halloween films and also offers the audience more of a connection to the character making it a good Halloween-time experience.
I give this movie 7 out of 10 Choo-Choo whistles.