Film Review: Halloween II (2009)

Also known as: H2 (working title)
Release Date: August 28th, 2009
Directed by: Rob Zombie
Written by: Rob Zombie
Based on: Halloween by John Carpenter, Debra Hill
Music by: Tyler Bates
Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Scout Taylor-Compton, Tyler Mane, Sheri Moon Zombie, Brad Dourif, Danielle Harris, Chase Wright Vanek, Brea Grant, Howard Hesseman, Angela Trimbur, Bill Fagerbakke, Richard Brake, Dayton Callie, Margot Kidder, Richard Riehle, Mark Boone Junior, Caroline Williams, Octavia Spencer, Chris Hardwick, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Sean Whalen 

Spectacle Entertainment Group, Trancas International Films, Dimension Films, 105 Minutes

Review:

“[yelling outside her house, drunk] Hey, world! Guess what. I’m Michael Myers’ sister! I’m so fucked!” – Laurie Strode

Yay! More white trash!

Rob Zombie really outdid the awfulness of his first Halloween movie with this fucktardedly executed turd biscuit!

So Michael Myers obviously isn’t dead but this time around, he just wears a large hooded trenchcoat and looks nothing like the character that has been burned into the public’s psyche for three decades, upon this movie’s release. In fact, he looks more like Tyler Mane’s other most famous role, Sabretooth from 2000’s X-Men. Granted, he does wear the famous Myers mask but it barely matters as the rest of his look is so drastically different.

Anyway, I remember when this came out and people were like, “Oh, yes! Now that the ‘remake’ is done, Rob Zombie can give us his vision of what Halloween should be!” Seriously, you people wanted to see Zombie’s full take on these characters after his diarrhea-brained alterations to the original film?

So here we are, dipshits, as Rob Zombie fumbles the ball harder than a drunk Browns player with the flu in a Superbowl-clinching game.

What’s the problem? Well, this is basically more of the same with a heavy emphasis on all the bad shit that wrecked the previous film. Also, Loomis is stripped down and made into a terribly shitty character.

The absolutely worst thing, though, was Rob Zombie bringing his wife back as a fucking ghost lady with a white horse and the ghost of little Michael even though big Michael is still alive. I can only imagine that this was done because god forbid Zombie doesn’t give his wife a job. In this movie, though, she solidified what I’ve always known and that’s the fact that she’s an atrocious actress. She legitimately makes Zombie’s movies worse just by being in them.

Additionally, I was kind of indifferent to Scout Taylor-Compton’s vanilla interpretation of Laurie Strode but by the end of this movie, I hated her too.

At the end of the day, fuck this movie and fuck Rob Zombie.

Rating: 2.5/10

Film Review: Beyond The Gates (2016)

Release Date: June 2nd, 2016 (Los Angeles Film Festival)
Directed by: Jackson Stewart
Written by: Stephen Scarlata, Jackson Stewart
Music by: Wojciech Golczewski
Cast: Barbara Crampton, Brea Grant, Chase Williamson, Graham Skipper

IFC Midnight, Scream Factory, 84 Minutes

Review:

Beyond the Gates came out fairly recently but flew under the radar a bit. I noticed that it dropped on Netflix, so I decided to check it out.

It featured an interesting premise but not necessarily an original one.

Two brothers discover a VCR board game in their missing father’s video store. They discover that it is more than a game and what we have here is essentially a horror version of Jumanji or Zathura. But the VHS twist is a nice addition to the idea, especially for those of us who grew up in the 80s where unique games like this were pretty common but didn’t quite survive the decade.

The film was partially produced by Barbara Crampton who also stars as the mysterious woman who hosts the video tape. Horror fans will probably most remember her from the great 1985 H.P. Lovecraft inspired Re-Animator.

We also have Brea Grant who may be remembered for stints on Heroes and Dexter. Chase Williamson, who I only remember from Don Coscarelli’s John Dies at the End, is also in the picture along with Graham Skipper, who plays his older brother.

This film has some problems though. It is amateurishly acted, for the most part, and the story drags out too much in the first half. Once it gets going, it is pretty good but the interesting stuff feels rushed after the slow start. The film definitely has serious pacing issues.

However, it is still remarkably executed from a visual standpoint and the second half makes up for the slow build. While this film obviously has very limited resources, the most is made out of what was available and most importantly, the film was enjoyable.

It isn’t a great movie and it’s barely a good movie but Beyond the Gates is still worth a watch, especially with its short running time. I just feel that the plot needed more refinement and that the actors could have had better direction. There was a lot of interesting stuff put on the table but it all feels vastly under-explored.

Rating: 5/10