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HALLOWEEN II – Tyler Bates

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Cult director Rob Zombie’s ultra-violent re-imagining of the classic Halloween legend continues with Halloween II. Picking up immediately from where the last film left off, the film stars Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie Strode, who has been taken to hospital to recover from the wounds inflicted on her by her psychotic, murderous brother Michael Myers (Tyler Mane). However, Laurie’s recuperation is short lived when the supposedly dead Michael returns, very much alive, intent on reuniting with his sister, even if it means murdering everyone in the hospital who stands in his way.

Despite an idiosyncratic cast that includes Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif and the director’s wife Sheri Moon-Zombie, Halloween II was called a “brutal, bloody, badly executed mess“, and was a comparative box office failure. The same adjectives could apply to Tyler Bates’ score. I mustered up the intestinal fortitude to listen to Bates’ first Halloween score in 2007, and to prove how much I love you all and what I’m willing to subject myself to for my art, I did so again here, several times. My masochism clearly knows no bounds.

The modern reworking of John Carpenter’s classic Halloween theme is fine, despite being accompanied by all manner of industrial sound effects. Unfortunately, the rest of it is simply abysmal; a collision of industrial white noise and synthesized sound effects masquerading as music. It grinds and groans and moans and pounds and rumbles and mutters unnerving in your ear. Occasionally it leaps into action with a screeching stinger, and as such cues such as “Rabbit in Red” or “Van Kill” could make the unwary leap from their comfortable chair. However, other than the Carpenter theme and a brief moment at the beginning of “Brackett Finds Annie”, there’s no melody, no harmony, and nothing that is actually discernible as being music.

In short, it’s an absolute wasteland, a complete abomination devoid of anything remotely resembling musical composition. It’s like listening to the internal workings of a broken storage heater for an hour. I you value your sanity, I suggest giving this one a wide berth. I’m not kidding. The half star rating is simply to recognize that Bates didn’t butcher Carpenter’s theme beyond recognition.

Rating: ½

Track Listing

  • Halloween Theme 2009 (3:04)
  • I Killed a Man (1:29)
  • White Horse (2:18)
  • Stairs (4:04)
  • Love Shack (3:09)
  • I Won’t Let You Down (1:37)
  • Killing Field (2:35)
  • I Found Boo (2:31)
  • Rabbit in Red (7:30)
  • Can I See the Pig? (1:21)
  • Van Kill (1:17)
  • Surveillance (2:28)
  • I’m Angel Myers (1:39)
  • Brackett Finds Annie (5:21)
  • We Are Family (2:21)
  • H1 Killing Spree (7:56)

Running Time: 50 minutes 40 seconds

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