Two years ago Rob Zombie brought his unique vision to the Halloween franchise. Say what you will about Zombie, his music or his films, but you can't deny that the man invests himself in whatever project he takes on. You can be guaranteed, for better or worse, that the final result will be far more interesting than it would be under the guidance of some hack director whose only goal is to make money. Yes, I know the bottom line from a studio project is always going to be money, but I am much more willing to part with said money when it is for a film by a director who believes in his work and tries to do something with it. Rob Zombie is one of those directors. Endlessly interesting, not always successful, but still worth every minute.
His sequel to his own re-imagining is an interesting next step that adds more to the mythos, but also seems to take the story further away from its origins. As I left the theater, attempting to process what I had seen, I could not help but feel satisfied. I really liked what Zombie brought to the table. It felt like there was a stronger connection between what was on the screen and what was likely inside of his head, whereas the prior film was a compromise between what he wanted to do and what the studio wanted. I heard an interview where Zombie stated he initially conceived the first Halloween as being entirely about Michael as a child with a second film to focus on him after he grew up. Unfortunately, that did not happen; still, the movie was interesting and brought a certain depth to the character that we never really had before.
With Halloween II Rob Zombie has made a film markedly different from the original series while still maintaining a connection to it. After seeing what has been done to the characters, combined with the emotions bubbling over at various websites and even among people I know, I see this film has had much hate directed towards it. My first reaction is to say these people were not watching or are too tied to the original to be open to change. The problem there is that I would be falling into the age old trap of comebacks that really have no bearing on reality. It is much better to recognize that this film is different and that a lot do not want anything different or genuinely do not like what changes have been made. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, as I have been on both sides of the coin. This is a film where I truly feel like I am on the side facing the greatest opposition.