HALLOWEEN II is full of bloody, bleak violence and demonstrates writer-director Rob Zombie's failure to understand the basic mechanics of filmmaking: editing, lighting, direction, and storytelling. It combines the terrors of brutal murder with the startling ineptitude of someone who doesn't know what they're doing. Zombie tries hard to recreate the grimy, flat look of the '70s horror classics he loves, but the film's weak visual style isn't "real" or "interesting" -- just washed-out and shabby. Zombie also grafts pop-psychological motivations on murderer Myers so that he's attended by visions of his younger self and his mother. This is a clear case of more being less; explaining Myers makes him pedestrian and tedious, as opposed to the existential unknowable, unstoppable masked killing force of the original films.
Worse, Halloween II is either deranged and disturbing or deathly dull; there are huge sections of talk, talk, talk between the grisly executions, so audiences vacillate between being bored and being disgusted. The original Halloween II took up the story mere moments after the first movie ended and kept up a hurtling momentum that helped it over the slower or sillier bits. Zombie's meandering new plotline, taking place over a year, just stretches things out and gives you more time to reflect on how none of it makes sense. Even drenched in blood, anyone can see that Zombie, the new Emperor of Extreme Terror, is naked under the shock, schlock, and gore.