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Halloween II

Theatrical poster
Directed by Rob Zombie
Produced by Malek Akkad
Andy Gould
Rob Zombie
Written by Screenplay:
Rob Zombie
Characters by:
John Carpenter
Debra Hill
Starring Malcolm McDowell
Tyler Mane
Sheri Moon Zombie
Brad Dourif
Danielle Harris
Scout Taylor-Compton
Music by Tyler Bates
Cinematography Brandon Trost
Editing by Glenn Garland
Distributed by Dimension Films
Release date(s) August 28, 2009 (2009-08-28)
Running time 105 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15 million[2]
Gross revenue $37,665,801[3]
Preceded by Halloween (2007)

Halloween II is a 2009 American horror film written, directed, and produced by Rob Zombie. The film is a sequel to Zombie's 2007 remake of Halloween (1978), and the tenth film in the Halloween film series. Picking up where Halloween ended, and then jumping ahead one year, Halloween II follows Laurie Strode as she deals with the aftermath of the previous film's events, Dr. Loomis who is trying to capitalize on those events by publishing a new book that chronicles everything that happened, and Michael Myers as he continues his search for Laurie so that he can reunite with his sister. The film sees the return of lead cast members Malcolm McDowell, Scout Taylor-Compton, and Tyler Mane, who portrayed Dr. Loomis, Laurie Strode, and Michael Myers in the 2007 film, respectively.

A sequel to the 2007 film was first announced at the 2008 30 Years of Terror Convention; at the time, Zombie passed on doing a sequel to his remake, feeling as though he had no energy left to make another Halloween film. Two years later, after unsuccessful attempts to draft a script for a sequel, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Malek Akkad, and Rob Zombie, who had a renewed interest in the film, secured a deal for the director to return. For Halloween II, Zombie decided he wanted to focus more on the connection between Laurie and Michael, and the idea that they both share similar psychological problems. Zombie also wanted the sequel to be more realistic and violent than its 2007 predecessor. This time around, Zombie had trouble finding a place to include John Carpenter's original Halloween theme music; although the score was used throughout Zombie's 2007 film, the theme was only included with the final shot of the sequel.

Halloween II was officially released on August 28, 2009 in North America, and was met with a negative reception from critics. On October 30, 2009 it was re-released in North America to coincide with the Halloween holiday weekend.

Contents

Plot

In a short flashback, Deborah Myers (Sheri Moon Zombie) visits a young Michael Myers (Chase Wright Vanek) at Smith's Grove Sanitarium where she gives Michael the gift of a white horse statuette. Michael explains 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, Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) is found wandering around in a state of shock and covered in blood after having shot Michael (Tyler Mane) until Sheriff Brackett (Brad Dourif) finds and takes her to the emergency room. Meanwhile, the paramedics pick up Annie Brackett (Danielle Harris) and Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell), who are still alive after their attacks by Michael, and take them to the hospital. Presumed dead, Michael's lifeless body is loaded into a separate ambulance; when the driver wrecks the transport 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 seeing 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.

As Michael travels to Haddonfield, Laurie begins having hallucinations that mirror Michael's, which involve a ghostly image of Deborah and a young Michael in a clown costume. In addition, her hallucinations also begin to include her acting out Michael's murders, like envisioning herself taping Annie to a chair and slitting her throat while dressed in a clown outfit—similar to how a young Michael murdered Ronnie White. While Laurie struggles with her dreams, Loomis has been going on tour to promote his new book, only to be greeted with criticism from people who blame him for Michael's actions and exploiting the deaths of Michael's victims. When his book is finally released, Laurie discovers the truth: that she is really Angel Myers, Michael's long lost sister. With the truth out, Laurie decides to go partying with her friends Mya (Brea Grant) and Harley (Angela Trimbur) to escape how she is feeling. Michael appears at the party and kills Harley, then makes his way over to the Brackett house and stabs Annie repeatedly. When Laurie and Mya arrive, they finds Annie bloodied and dying. Michael kills Mya and then comes after Laurie, who manages to escape the house. While Laurie manages to flag down a passing motorist, Sheriff Brackett arrives home and finds his daughter dead. Before Laurie can escape, Michael kills the driver and flips the car over with Laurie in it. Michael takes the unconscious Laurie to an abandoned shed he has been camped out in. Laurie awakens to a vision of Deborah, and a young Michael, ordering her to say "I love you, mommy". The police discover Michael's location and surround the shed. Loomis arrives and goes into the shed to try to reason Michael into letting Laurie go. Inside, he has to inform Laurie, who believes that the younger Michael is holding her down, that no one is restraining her and that she must maintain her sanity. Just then, Deborah instructs the older Michael that it is time to go home, and Michael grabs Loomis and begins repeatedly slashing his face and stabbing him in the chest. Stepping in front of a window while holding Loomis's body, Michael is shot twice by Sheriff Brackett and falls onto the spikes of some farming equipment. Apparently released of the visions, Laurie walks over and tells Michael she loves him, then she stabs him repeatedly in the chest and finally in the face. The shed door opens and Laurie walks out, wearing Michael's mask. As she pulls the mask off, Laurie transitions to isolation in a psychiatric ward, grinning as a vision of Deborah dressed in white stands with a white horse at the end of her room.

Production

Development

"'Don't feel hindered by any of the rules we've had in the past. I want this to be your vision and I want you to express that vision."
— Producer Malek Akkad speaking to writer/director Rob Zombie.[4]

In 2008, at the 30 Years of Terror Convention, Halloween producer Malek Akkad confirmed that a sequel to Rob Zombie's 2007 film was in the works. French filmmakers Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Muary were in negotiations to direct the sequel in November 2008,[5] but on December 15, 2008 Variety reported that Rob Zombie had officially signed on to write and direct the Halloween sequel.[6] In an interview, Zombie expressed how the exhaustion of creating the first Halloween made him not want to come back for a sequel, but after a year of cooling down he was more open to the idea. The writer/director explained that with the sequel he was no longer bound by a sense of needing to retain any "John Carpenter-ness", as he could do "whatever [he] wants to do".[7] Producer Malek Akkad said the original intention, when they believed Zombie was not returning, was to create a "normal sequel". Akkad and his Trancus producing company hired various writers to come up drafts for a new film, but none worked. Akkad and the Weinstein brothers then turned to Bustillo and Muary, whose film Inside had recently been bought for distribution by the Weinstein Company. According to Akkad, the producers really wanted Rob to return, as Akkad felt that there was something "lost in the translation" when the French filmmakers took over the project. After his work on the 2007 remake, Zombie had earned the trust of Akkad, who informed him to ignore any rules they had set for him on the previous film. Akkad suggested that he wanted Zombie to move the franchise away from some of its established rules.[8]

Casting

On February 2, 2009, Zombie confirmed through his official website that Tyler Mane would be returning as Michael Myers,[9] as well as Malcolm McDowell in the role of Dr. Loomis, and Scout Taylor-Compton and Danielle Harris returning as Laurie Strode and Annie Brackett, respectively.[10][11] Halloween II also saw the return of Sheri Moon Zombie as Deborah Myers, Michael's mother,[12] and Brad Dourif as Sheriff Brackett, Annie's father.[4] Daeg Faerch, who portrayed a young Michael Myers in the 2007 remake, was set to reprise his role for Halloween II. By the time production was getting started for the sequel Faerch had grown too big for the part. According to Zombie, the director had to recast the role, much to his own dismay, because Faerch's physical maturity did not fit what was in the script. Although Faerch is not in the sequel, the first trailer for Halloween II contained images of Faerch, but Zombie pointed out that those images were test shots done and were not intended to be in either the trailer or the film.[13]

"And as Laurie is Michael’s sister, I’m playing like he’s clearly insane and so is she, but her insanity doesn’t manifest itself in the same way. In the first movie, Michael Myers was clearly insane by age 10, so I figured, ‘Well, maybe hers comes at age 19.’ So that’s pretty much what it is: She’s slipping into insanity throughout the whole movie."
— Zombie describing Laurie's psychological state.[4]

The two main characters, Michael and Laurie, go through their own changes in the sequel. Taylor-Compton described her characters as having "these bipolar moments", where her emotions are spontaneously changing from points of happiness to agitation. The actress stated that Zombie wanted to see Laurie Strode travel into "these really dark places". Taylor-Compton clarified that when the film starts Laurie is still not aware that Michael is her older brother, and as the film progresses more and more pieces of information are given to her and she does not know how to deal with them. The actress explained that the darkness brewing inside Laurie is manifested externally, generally through her physical appearance and the clothes she chooses to wear—Zombie characterized the look as "grungy".[14]

Zombie clarified that after the events of Halloween, all of the characters have changed, but the sequel focuses on the emerging "insanity" from within Laurie. As the writer/director described it, Laurie and Michael are not that different psychologically, Laurie's "insanity" just manifests itself later and to a different degree than Michael's.[4] Zombie further described Laurie as a "wreck", who continually sinks lower as the film moves forward.[15] Even Sheriff Brackett goes through his own changes. Brackett, who receives more screen time in this film, allows Laurie to move in with him and his daughter after the events of the first film. Zombie explained, "He's old, he's worn out, he's just this beat-down guy with these two girls he can't deal with."[16] Zombie characterized Loomis in the sequel as more of a "sellout", who exploits the memories of those who were killed by Michael in the 2007 film. Zombie explained that he tried to channel Vincent Bugliosi into Loomis's character for the sequel; noting that he wanted Loomis to seem more "ridiculous" this time.[17] As for Michael Myers, the character is given almost an entirely new look for the film, which is being used, according to Taylor-Compton, as a means to illustrate a new emotion for the character as he spends much of his time trying to hide himself.[14] Zombie pointed out that of all of the characters that return in the sequel, Michael is the only one that does not change: "All the other characters are very different. Laurie; Loomis; they're having all kinds of problems in their life, but Michael just moves along. Michael is no different; he's exactly the same as he was ten years old and he killed everybody [...] He has no concept of the world around him, so he can never be affected by it."[18]

Filming

Production began on February 23, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.[19] Zombie acknowledged that filming in Georgia provided certain tax breaks for the company, but the real reason he chose that location was because the other locations he was planning to use were still experiencing snowy weather. For him, Georgia's landscapes and locations provided the look that he wanted for his film.[13] Zombie described the sequel as being very realistic and very violent.[7] The writer/director has said that he is trying to create almost the exact opposite of what people will expect.[20] Known for filming multiple sequences during production of his films, Zombie filmed an alternate ending to Halloween II. In the alternate ending, Loomis and Michael crash through the shed the police have surrounded, and out into the open air. As Loomis grasps at Michael's mask, and pleads for him to stop, Michael stabs Loomis in the stomach as he tells Loomis to "Die!".[21]

Music

For the sequel, Zombie only used John Carpenter's original theme music in the final scene of the film, though the director admits that he and music composer Tyler Bates did try to find other places to include it. According to Zombie, Carpenter's music did not fit with what was happening in the film; whenever he or Bates would insert it into a scene it "just wouldn't feel right" to the director. Zombie also utilized pop culture songs throughout the film, with "Nights in White Satin" appearing the most prominently. According to Zombie, he chose songs that he liked, and that would enhance a given scene within the film.[18] An official soundtrack for the film was released on August 25, 2009.[22] In addition, an album featuring the music of psychobilly band Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures is set to be released in conjunction with Halloween II on August 28, 2009. Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures is a fictional band that appears in Halloween II.[23][24] Nan Vernon, who recorded a new version of the song "Mr. Sandman" for the end credits of 2007 remake,[25] also performs "Love Hurts" for end credits of Halloween II.[26]

Release

Dimension Films released Halloween II in North America on August 28, 2009 to 3,025 theaters.[27] Following that, the film was released in the United Kingdom on October 9, 2009.[28] Dimension re-released Halloween II in North America on October 30, 2009 to coincide with the Halloween holiday,[29] across 1,083 theaters.[30] The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on January 12, 2010; the theatrical cut and an unrated director's cut, which Zombie claims is "very different from the theatrical version," are available.[31][32][33][34]

Box office

On its opening day, the film grossed an estimated $7,640,000,[35] which is less than the $10,896,610 Zombie's 2007 remake pulled in during the same weekend of August.[36] By the end of its opening weekend, Halloween II had grossed $16,349,565.[3] The film's opening weekend earned more than the entire box office performances of Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers ($11,642,254), Halloween III: Season of the Witch ($14,400,000), and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers ($15,116,634), in unadjusted dollars.[37] The film dropped 64.9% in its second weekend, only grossing $5,745,206 and slipping from third to sixth place. Grossing just $2,114,486 in its third weekend, Halloween II dropped out of the box office top ten to fourteenth place.[38] The re-release of the film was intended to take advantage of the Halloween holiday, but the film only brought in approximately $475,000.[30] As of November 3, 2009, Halloween II has grossed a total of $33,398,563 in North American, and an additional $4,272,828 overseas for a worldwide total of $37,665,801.[3] Compared to the other Halloween films, the 2009 sequel sits in fourth place, just behind the original Halloween.[37]

Critical reception

Based on 68 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, Halloween II has an overall 21% approval rating from critics, with an average score of 3.7 out of 10.[39] Among Rotten Tomatoes' Top Critics, which consists of popular and notable critics from the top newspapers, websites, television and radio programs,[40] the film holds an overall approval rating of 18%.[41] By comparison, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 46, based on 15 reviews.[42]

References

  1. ^ Mike Hale (August 29, 2009). "Halloween 2 (2009) - Masked Slasher Is Back: Rampage Is Inevitable". The New York Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/2009/08/29/movies/29hallow.html. Retrieved August 29, 2009. 
  2. ^ Ben Fritz (August 27, 2009). "Movie projector: 'The Final Destination,' 'Halloween II' splitting horror audience". Los Angeles Times. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2009/08/movie-projector-the-final-destination-halloween-ii-splitting-horror-audience.html. Retrieved August 29, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c "Overall Box Office". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=halloween209.htm. Retrieved September 15, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d Philip Nutman (April 8, 2009). "First report from Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2!". Fangoria. http://www.fangoriaonline.com/home/news/9-film-news/2043-first-report-from-rob-zombies-halloween-2.html. Retrieved April 28, 2009. 
  5. ^ Kevin Powers (November 3, 2008). "More Details on the Sequel to Rob Zombie's Halloween". Dead Central. First Showing. http://www.firstshowing.net/2008/11/03/more-details-on-the-sequel-to-rob-zombies-halloween/. Retrieved November 4, 2008. 
  6. ^ Michael Fleming (December 15, 2008). "Zombie making 'Halloween' sequel". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117997402.html?categoryid=13&cs=1. Retrieved December 16, 2008. 
  7. ^ a b "The First Pic from Rob Zombie's H2". Shock Till You Drop. February 26, 2009. http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/topnews.php?id=9682. Retrieved February 26, 2009. 
  8. ^ Ryan Rotten (May 4, 2009). "Set Interview: Halloween 2's Malek Akkad". Shock Till You Drop. http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/interviewsnews.php?id=10392. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Two Coroners Cast in Halloween 2". Shock Till You Drop. February 2, 2009. http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/topnews.php?id=9419. Retrieved February 23, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Malcolm McDowell officially returning in 'H2'". Bloody Disgusting. http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/news/15300. Retrieved February 14, 2009. 
  11. ^ Butane, Johnny. "Daeg Faerch officially back for Halloween 2!". DreadCentral.com. http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/30395/exclusive-daeg-faerch-officially-back-halloween-2. Retrieved February 12, 2009. 
  12. ^ Keith Carman (April 13, 2009). "Rob Zombie Causing Controversy With Halloween Sequel". Exclaim!. http://www.exclaim.ca/articles/generalarticlesynopsfullart.aspx?csid1=115&csid2=844&fid1=37785. Retrieved April 26, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b Jeff Otto. "H2 Set Visit and Exclusive Interview with Rob Zombie". Bloody-Disgusting. http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/interview/560. Retrieved May 5, 2009. 
  14. ^ a b Ryan Rotten (April 10, 2009). "Interview: The Dark Side of Laurie Strode". Shock Till You Drop. http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/topnews.php?id=10171. Retrieved April 26, 2009. 
  15. ^ Scott Collura. "Exclusive: The Shape of H2 (page 3)". IGN. http://movies.ign.com/articles/963/963622p3.html. Retrieved March 22, 2009. 
  16. ^ Ryan Rotten (July 25, 2009). "SDCC: Dourif to Have a Larger Role in Halloween II". Shock Till You Drop. http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/topnews.php?id=11196. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Jimmy Kimmel Live, August 31, 2009". http://abc.go.com/watch/jimmy-kimmel-live/93521/232978/jimmy-kimmel-live-831. Retrieved September 7, 2009. 
  18. ^ a b "Shock Video: Rob Zombie talks Halloween II". Shock Till You Drop. August 26, 2009. http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/topnews.php?id=11530. Retrieved August 27, 2009. 
  19. ^ "'Halloween 2' Seen Through New Eyes". Shock Till You Drop. January 9, 2009. http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/topnews.php?id=9138. Retrieved January 11, 2009. 
  20. ^ Scott Collura. "Exclusive: The Shape of H2 (page 2)". IGN. http://movies.ign.com/articles/963/963622p2.html. Retrieved March 22, 2009. 
  21. ^ Ryan Rotten (August 30, 2009). "What We Saw on the Set of Halloween II". Shock Till You Drop. http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/topnews.php?id=11580. Retrieved September 1, 2009. 
  22. ^ "Full Halloween 2 Soundtrack Listing". Amazon. Shock Till You Drop. July 15, 2009. http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/topnews.php?id=11078. Retrieved July 15, 2009. 
  23. ^ James Zahn (June 3, 2009). "Halloween II: Captain Clegg & The Night Creatures CD on the way!". Fangoria. http://fangoria.com/features/halloween/2731-halloween-ii-captain-clegg-a-the-night-creatures-cd-on-the-way.html. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  24. ^ James Zahn (June 5, 2009). "Exclusive: 2 New Halloween II Captain Clegg Posters!". Fangoria. http://www.fangoria.com/features/halloween/2758-exclusive-2-new-halloween-ii-captain-clegg-posters.html. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  25. ^ Matt Marcheschi (August 17, 2007). "Rob Zombie's Halloween soundtrack to include vintage recordings from KISS, Alice Cooper, Rush, Peter Frampton, Nazareth, Blue Oyster Cult, BTO, and More". SoundtrackNet. http://www.soundtrack.net/news/article/?id=1051. Retrieved September 5, 2009. 
  26. ^ Melanie Falina (August 25, 2009). "Rob Zombie's Halloween II Original Soundtrack CD review". Examiner.com. http://www.examiner.com/x-2579-Chicago-Metal-Music-Examiner~y2009m8d25-Rob-Zombies-Halloween-II-Original-Soundtrack-CD-review. Retrieved September 5, 2009. 
  27. ^ "'Halloween 2' Takes Familiar Spot". Shock Till You Drop. January 1, 2009. http://shocktillyoudrop.com/news/topnews.php?id=9066. Retrieved January 12, 2009. 
  28. ^ "UK Film release schedule - past, present and future". LaunchingFilms.co.uk. Film Distributers' Association. http://www.launchingfilms.co.uk/releaseschedule/schedule.php?sort=date&date=today. Retrieved September 17, 2009. 
  29. ^ "TV Spot for Zombie's Halloween II's Re-Release". Shock Till You Drop. Rob Zombie. October 22, 2009. http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/topnews.php?id=12424. Retrieved October 22, 2009. 
  30. ^ a b Ben Fritz (November 2, 2009). "Michael Jackson film 'This Is It' performs well overseas". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-boxoffice2-2009nov02,0,4641634.story. Retrieved November 4, 2009. 
  31. ^ "Halloween II (Rated) - DVD". Sony Pictures. November 16, 2009. http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/catalog/catalogDetail_DVD043396341883.html. 
  32. ^ "Halloween II (Unrated) - DVD". Sony Pictures. November 16, 2009. http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/catalog/catalogDetail_DVD043396344433.html. 
  33. ^ "Halloween II- BD". Sony Pictures. November 16, 2009. http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/catalog/catalogDetail_DVD043396341876.html. 
  34. ^ "Director's Cut of Rob Zombie's Halloween II Ready to Go". Dread Central. January 7, 2010. http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/34203/directors-cut-rob-zombies-halloween-ready-go. 
  35. ^ "Daily Box Office". Box Office Mojo. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=daily&id=halloween209.htm. Retrieved August 30, 2009. 
  36. ^ "Daily Box Office Totals". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=daily&id=halloween07.htm. Retrieved August 29, 2009. 
  37. ^ a b "Halloween film series comparison". Box Office Mojo. http://boxofficemojo.com/franchises/chart/?id=halloween.htm. Retrieved August 31, 2009. 
  38. ^ "Weekend Grosses". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=halloween209.htm. Retrieved September 15, 2009. 
  39. ^ "Halloween II Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/h2_halloween_2/. Retrieved January 17, 2010. 
  40. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes FAQ: What is Cream of the Crop". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/pages/faq#creamofthecrop. Retrieved August 28, 2009. 
  41. ^ "Halloween II: Rotten Tomatoes' Cream of the Crop". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/h2_halloween_2/?critic=creamcrop. Retrieved September 2, 2009. 
  42. ^ II "Halloween II (2009): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks. http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/halloweenii2009?q=Halloween II. Retrieved September 3, 2009. 

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