The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Dimension Films - 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Feature running time: 119 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1, English Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, English
Starring: Scout Taylor-Compton, Tyler Mane, Malcolm McDowell, Sheri Moon Zombie, Brad Dourif
Directed by: Rob Zombie
Music by: Tyler Bates
Written by: Rob Zombie
Region Code: Free
Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 12, 2010
"Family Is Forever"
It’s that time of year again, and Michael Myers has returned home to sleepy Haddonfield, Illinois to take care of some unfinished family business. Unleashing a trail of terror that only horror master Rob Zombie can, Myers will stop at nothing to bring closure to the secrets of his twisted past. But the town’s got an unlikely new hero, if they can only stay alive long enough to stop the unstoppable.
When it comes to the remake, we all know how this story ends -- it never lives up to original (well, except Battlestar Galactica). I was disappointed in Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake, so once my head was filled with reviews from other critics, I skipped seeing Halloween 2 theatrically.
So I pressed play, knowing full well it was supposed to be worse than the first.
20 minutes into this and we have an altered remake of 1981’s Halloween 2 with Laurie in the hospital and Michael chasing her. There was some good built up tension and I thought we might be on to something halfway decent--then Rob Zombie proved he was a magician! He had tricked me into thinking I was going to enjoy Halloween 2 and he learned a lesson from the first film… He didn’t. Well in case he is reading, what he should have learned is: The Boogyman is actually scary because of what you don’t know. Why would you create a terrible back-story and fill him with typical mommy/daddy issues as the reason to kill? What’s next…? I know! Do a Jaws remake! You can show baby jaws getting hit by a surfboard then maybe a fisherman throws in some rotten chum…that will do it! -we don’t need the “…lifeless eyes. Black eyes,” we need to give a reason! Also the audience will connect and sympathize better with your characters when they are not moronic white-trash. I know it’s your shtick to make off-the-wall hillbilly characters (like all your movies to date) but it doesn’t help build any bond with the audience. That bond is usually important when we need to fear for them. Oh, one last thing: Sheri Moon really can’t act (she doesn't really need to)and you are forbidden to use a white horse as a plot device ever again! OK rant over, back on point.
If Zombie stuck more with the tried and true game plan that was given to him from the great John Carpenter, he could have done a decent job as technically he has skills and this was a very good production. The blood and makeup effects were top notch and it was well filmed and edited. I did like the atmosphere and how brutal the killings were, but without any tension this story was snow-balling into silliness scene by scene. An easy way to sum up how off course this movie veers is when we see Michael Myers face with his mask off: He looks like Grizzly Adams, big beard and all. I know, he doesn’t know how to shave, it’s the last thing on his mind and he isn’t trying to pick up any woman, but still, c’mon!...it just wasn't scary. And poor Dr. Loomis, what did you do to Dr. Loomis!?!? Donald Pleasence’s Loomis was so great because he was a bit spooky and quirky, not to mention he was the man! The new Loomis just cared about selling a book on the subject and being a jerk. The casting of Malcolm McDowell as Loomis was perfect in theory but the direction the character went was abysmal. I guess the easiest way to sum this up is with the old (tried and true) -“You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink".
Unrated with strong brutal bloody violence throughout, terror, disturbing graphic images, language, and some crude sexual content and nudity.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Halloween 2 comes to Bluray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 mbps and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 mbps
Combine a very darkly filmed movie with a slight lack of shadow detail, add a whole lot of film grain while not being the sharpest knife...I mean, transfer I have seen from Sony, and you have an idea of what we are dealing with here. On a positive note, the colors and flesh-tones are all spot on. When we get to a daytime scene such as the Loomis book signing, Halloween 2 looks much sharper and detailed. Too bad it is mostly swallowed up in the unresolved darkness. Where this release stood out was in the audio department. Awesome Surround effects with sirens coming in and out of the sound-stage while always keeping an eerie atmosphere. The low end had great punch; the 'thud' of Micheal Myers knife into a chest made me feel it! Dialogue was crisp and nicely placed into the mix but it was the dynamics that made this track! From quiet to aggressive and chaotic in the blink of an eye, Halloween has a standout DTS-HD Master Audio track that is not for the weak.
- Audio Commentary with Director/Writer Rob Zombie
- (HD) Deleted and Alternate Scenes
- (HD) Audition Footage
- (HD) Blooper Reel
- (HD) Make-up Test Footage
- (HD) Uncle Seymour Coffins' Stand-Up Routines
- (HD) Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures Music Videos
- BD Live
- Movie IQ
If you liked Rob Zombie's first Halloween remake you might like this. If you like the unfortunate trend of all these horror remakes, you will probably accept this. I didn't. I am a big horror buff, have been since the mid-eighties and am longing for an original idea, not a butchered remake. If you are going to remake or reinvent(whatever), then do it as good or better. If you need to add to or rewrite a classic then just use that creativity to create a new story/character. If you were fan of this theatrically, it does have close to 30 minutes of deleted footage and a really good commentary track with Director/Writer Rob Zombie. The movie was more interesting with him talking about it; too bad that didn't translate on the screen! A top notch audio track aside, I can easy recommend a skip on this one- UNLESS you are really really curious-- then a rental at best.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
Anthem LTX 500 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Prismasonic HE1500R Anamorphic Lens
Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen
Pioneer SC07 Receiver
Pioneer BDP-320 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)
SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer