Secret Post #2!

Well, once again we have a new cut of a Rob Zombie Halloween film, so in turn I shall put my inexplicable tendency to watch these movies multiple times to some use and provide a list of key changes between the theatrical version and the director's cut. This is of course not 100% complete and as before, if you notice something I missed or got wrong, please let me know!

NOTE - Several scenes have an extra line or two, or maybe an added shot of someone walking. Unless they are significant to the story in some way, I won’t be mentioning these as there are so many and also without the theatrical cut at my disposal I might be mistaken anyway.

Director’s cut changes for Halloween II (2009):

1. The opening scene is much longer: Laurie clearly walks quite a ways away from the crime scene, and there is more with the coroners and additional shots of Loomis being put into the ambulance. Nothing really significant, but helps clarify that Loomis has indeed survived.

2. The hospital chase scene has an extra sequence where Laurie tries to cross over a pile of bodies on the floor, and fails. This sort of helps clarify that the scene IS indeed a dream. It also adds to the “remake” feel, as the red lit basement that the scene takes place in looks a lot like the one where Jamie Lee was chased in the original Halloween II.

3. The biggest difference is actually a simple change of an onscreen title: it is now two years later instead of one as it was in the theatrical. This helps solve some problems (such as why her shrink says “Halloween is a big trigger for you”) but adds others, namely that it means Michael skipped a Halloween despite being awake/alive. Perhaps the Thorn constellation didn’t appear the previous year and forced Michael to sit it out?

4. The breakfast scene is expanded; Laurie and Annie begin to bicker about going to the shrink. This is foreshadowing a plot thread that was absent from the theatrical release, which is that the two girls are no longer as close as they were.

5. The shrink scene is greatly expanded. Most interesting is when Laurie looks at an inkblot that is made up of two white horses, and the pattern between them resembles a ghostly figure of some sort. It’s a ludicrous execution (the blot is a giant framed picture on her wall) but an interesting idea, and helps tie in the “connection” Laurie and Michael have throughout the film.

6. Loomis’ press conference is much longer, as he discusses Michael’s Oedipal complex as well as the idea that Michael perhaps saw Loomis as a father figure. Sort of helps clarify how important Michael used to be to Loomis, though I’m not sure if further painting the character as a jerk was the best idea.

7. There is a scene where Laurie runs a bath and begins to freak out.

8. There are only two scenes from the theatrical that are missing in this cut (again, as far as I can recall), and this is the first, sort of. Instead of Laurie stopping to play with a pig on her way to work, she goes to the shrink and tells her about playing with the pig (and we see maybe 3-4 seconds of it, in flashback), and how it triggered a nervous breakdown of sorts. She then demands more pills and then, when the shrink denies her that, she freaks out and swears at her some more. In fact, the most noticeable change about this cut is that it gives Scout Taylor Compton several more opportunities to say the word “fuck” and all of its variations.

9. Another fight between Annie and Laurie (including the line from the trailer where Annie says “You act like you’re the only one who got messed up!”), which kicks off when Annie finds Laurie drinking a beer in her room.

10. In the scene that is most likely to piss off the “purists”, a non-masked Michael walks through yet another field, albeit in broad daylight this time. He comes across a billboard for Loomis’ book, and he looks at it angrily along with the ghosts of his young self and Sheri Moon.

11. When Laurie and Maya (Brea Grant) come home from the party, there is a short added scene of them making tea in the kitchen prior to going upstairs. We also get a shot of Michael seemingly walking out of the house.

12. The best addition to the film is a longer version of Brackett finding Annie’s body. After a few “No!!!”s, we see quick video flashback footage of a young Annie (obviously personal footage of Danielle Harris from when she was 7 or 8) as he weeps near the bathroom door.

13. The 2nd scene that is changed and thus removing theatrical version footage is the climax. Once Loomis enters the cabin the film is completely different. Michael doesn’t kill Loomis inside, instead he throws him through the wall of the cabin and yells "DIE!" (for real) before thrashing him in plain view of the cops. The cops then open fire and kill Michael (similar to the original ending of H1). Laurie then comes out, takes Michael’s knife, and approaches Loomis with it, apparently planning to stab him. The cops then open fire on her and seemingly kill her. We then fade to the same hospital footage from the end of the theatrical cut, only now it appears (to me anyway) that we are seeing Laurie’s version of the afterlife.

The only other significant change is that the "Halloween" and "Laurie" themes are no longer in the actual film, only in the end credits. The cover of “Love Hurts” now plays over the film’s final (pre-credits) moments.

Overall I think this is a better cut, though Zombie’s claim that it was “completely different” was, as usual for him, an exaggeration/lie. The focus is a bit more on Laurie’s damaged psyche in this cut, which is good, but the main problems with the film (Michael’s whereabouts for (now) two years, Loomis’ complete 180 and lack of any real connection to the rest of the film, and the boring/repetitive kill scenes) are just as evident. I will provide a full review of the cut along with the disc’s extras when I am able to go through them all. I can say this though - I do know for sure now that this is a better film than his original, if not by much.

What say you?

HorrorBlips: vote it up!


  1. ... So, I never got to see the theatrical release, and without knowing I ended up watching the Director´s cut? , wow, if this it´s better, I say I dodged a huge bullet by skipping the theatrical... hey B.C., are you gonna make your own commentary on this one too? the previous one you did was GREAT!

  2. i agree...i watched the alternate ending, and i liked it much more.

  3. I probably will, but I want to do another movie first.

  4. When people see "unrated" the first thing they think is more blood! But the best thing about this "unrated" version is that the added scenes helped tell the story that RZ was trying to tell in the first place. Much better than the theatrical version!

  5. Just listened to the audio commentary last night. The end is, in fact, Laurie in the afterlife. Watched the flick for the first time on Tuesday night (Hadn't seen the theatrical cut, but I like the H2 Dir. Cut to search it out as a curiousity.)and liked it very much. I didn't really think much about the first one. I liked some o' it, but it's hard to get passed the constant "redneck-isms" (Not that I don't enjoy it occasionally, but EVERY Rob Zombie film to date?)I, for one, thought the kills were on point. If Zombie is changing the whole mythology of Mikey, which he clearly did, than making the kills as brutal as they are and much more visceral and (for lack of a better word)realistic, serves his purpose much better than simply coming with "cool" kills. Plus there were some that were effin' intense (The first decapitation, the multiple stabbings of "angry black lady #1, and the 'extreme makeover' he gives to the stripper!!!). I also really like how Annie's demise was handled, where it is mostly off screen was really effective for a character you really come to like. In fact, the weakest link here is Taylor-Compton. She simply doesn't have the chops to handle such an emotional role. It doesn't help that, I feel anyway, that this Laurie Strode is not given much to do. Sure she has all the emotional baggage, but she comes off (Perhaps in the delivery) as too whiny and (kinda)a real bitch. And she says "fuck" waaaay too much (Even more than me.). I thought most of the other performances in the film were top-notch (Especially Douriff and Danielle Harris - she of the long history with Mr. Meyers.)Overall, I thought that this was much stronger than the first film (Especially since Zombie, as stated several times in his commentary, had numerous budget and time cuts thrust upon him.). It would have been interesting to see this saga as he originally intended it - with the first film being the origin, the second being "the reimagining", and this (H2)would have been the capper. Especially with the dir. cut ending (Perhaps one more cut returning us to see Laurie actually dead before the credits would clarify the whole "afterlife" confusion? At first, I thought she was just locked up.)

  6. (Firstly - just a quick thanks for listing the differences between the two cuts... very handy!). I recently saw both versions and was quite impressed... especially after so many negative reviews: both cuts are very dark and brutal and it's good to see Zombie attempting something new/different, rather than a typical bog-standard sequel. As for the endings, I much preferred the Theatrical Cut to the Unrated version... there are a few things that niggle me about the Unrated one:

    - I wasn't keen on Myers removing his mask (so you could clearly see his face) and then clearly saying "DIE!". Adult Michael should never speak.
    - The shooting of Myers (and the way it was done) was pretty much exactly what happened in the first (RZ) movie
    - Why did (or would) the police open fire on Laurie, when she was clearly just standing with the knife... surely they would have waited until she lifted it or moved at Loomis suddenly?
    - It is a bit unclear as to whether Laurie is indeed dead, or locked-up/insane.

    In the Theatrical ending I like the way Laurie "inherits" the evil/curse and then comes out wearing the mask. Also, the bit in the asylum where she sees her mother and the horse - with the Halloween music playing in the backround - is pretty creepy and more effective I feel than the Unrated "afterlife" version.

  7. I loved the origional version but I would have to say that this is better, if anything because it does so much more to establish Laurie's mental problems and similarities to Michael's "issues". I'll have to watch the actual ending from the original again. I wasn't sure about the use of Love Hurts (esp. compared to the variation on Carpenter's score played over an amazing shot of the moonlight from the original cut), but it does seem to carry the viewer through the concluding events of the movie well. Laurie putting on the mask in the original version got a big laugh from the crowd and what happens in this cut does the same thing in a more subtle fashion - which is good.

  8. I loved the theatrical cut and couldnt believe it didn't get more praise at the time. That said, this version is better. The main reason is that it does more to firmly establish Laurie's mental "issues" and similarities to Michael, so the ending is more organic. Also, the way the ending was handled was probably better overall. I wasn't sure about Love Hurts (esp compared to the surreal variation on Carpenter's original used over an amazing shot of moonlight in the theatrical cut), but it does seem to carry the viewer through the concluding events of the film. Laurie putting on the mask got a big laugh when I saw the original, so what happens in this version is basically the same thing in a more subtle fashion.

  9. is the directors cut availible in the UK? I can't find it anywhere :(

  10. Dude its posted in 1978...

    Ahh, you are rocking with dates dude....

  11. I as many others didn't know there was a different ending so thanx for letting us knowing. I love both endings to be honest but i prefer Love Hurts playing in the end (+ the scene there is a bit longer)
    Also can you please explain a bit the part where you say:
    "The hospital chase scene has an extra sequence where Laurie tries to cross over a pile of bodies on the floor, and fails. This sort of helps clarify that the scene IS indeed a dream."
    How does that clarifies that it is a dream?
    It might be something obvious though and i might haven't noticed it or don't remember it and need to rewatch the movie hoho

  12. Just that there's a giant pit of fresh corpses in a hospital - it's very surreal and couldn't possibly be a real thing.

  13. The thing that turned this movie from 'shit' to 'complete shit' was having Michael yell "DIE!". I don't understand how anyone could write that into a script and think it's OK.


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