It’s possible to see the movie Rob Zombie wanted to make in Halloween II, but much harder to see the point. It’s Zombie’s prerogative to not want this sequel to amount to “fun” horror. But repeatedly, we’re seeing through Michael Myers’ perspective, observing victims’ prolonged suffering. That’s how Halloween II ends up fetishizing cruelty. The connection between first remake survivor Laurie (Scout Taylor Compton) and Myers (Tyler Mane) doesn’t blossom in an interesting way. By not reaching for empowerment, Halloween II diminishes the horror genre. Nearly every victim is a terrible person. Zombie’s cross-cutting sessions---once between a sheriff (Brad Dourif in the film’s one good performance) eating pizza and Myers eating a dog---are par for a film assembled with shocking incompentence. It keeps repeating itself. How many times is Myers going to kill someone in their car? And how many dream sequences that amount to exactly the same thing are necessary? In Halloween II, there’s no overall vision in Zombie’s infatuation with America’s hillbilly underside, which seemed headed somewhere in The Devil’s Rejects and Halloween. The 16mm photography, though more suitable for a Texas Chainsaw remake, is evocative in a rainstorm nighttime opening. But it’s resoundingly garish in daytime close-ups. Myers is more vicious than ever---less a bogeyman now than an unstoppable killing machine. His lack of mercy gives an old character teeth, just barely saving Halloween II from being quite as worthless as The Final Destination.