Rob Zombie’s Halloween reboot and sequel turned him into one of the most controversial directors in the horror genre, but his take on Halloween II actually shares a lot in common with a sequel from the original franchise.

Ever since John Carpenter’s formative first film, the Halloween series has become one of the most popular and influential horror franchises in the genre. Much like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street, the Halloween series amassed many sequels over the years and helped influence a new generation of slasher movies. Halloween has perhaps gone through more facelifts than other horror franchises over the years, which has sometimes resulted in some very clunky sequels. Not every Halloween film is worthwhile, but they each add an interesting layer to Michael Myers and the series’ complicated lore.

After the series appeared to hit rock bottom with Halloween: Resurrection, Rob Zombie was given control to revive and reboot Halloween. Zombie’s two Halloween movies have become decisive projects, both as horror films and Halloween movies, but they at least try to do something new with the movies. Many fans chastised Zombie’s movies for veering so far off course from Carpenter’s original vision, but perhaps that’s exactly what the films needed. In spite of how Zombie’s takes on the franchise draw their own path, they do owe a suspicious amount to Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.

What Rob Zombie’s Halloween Sequel Took From Halloween 4

Halloween II and Halloween 4, at face value, tell different stories, but there are significant similarities. The biggest connections are that both of these films feature spontaneous psychic links between their protagonists and Michael Myers. This element also speaks to a much heavier idea that’s pushed in these sequels, which is that both Halloween 4’s Jamie Lloyd and Halloween II’s Laurie Strode become the franchise’s new killers. The films explore this idea from different angles, but both indicate that Michael’s evil spirit has passed over into his relative so they can carry on his murderous legacy. The entirety of Halloween II also deals with Laurie’s slipping sanity and how she seems to be moving to the dark side, which thematically aligns with Halloween 4 and likely the direction that would have been followed in Halloween 5 if the franchise didn’t pivot away from making Jamie the killer.

In addition to the larger connections, there is also a wealth of less significant, but still substantial elements from Halloween 4 that Rob Zombie’s film references. Laurie Strode lives with the Bracketts, which isn’t dissimilar to how Jamie Lloyd is in a foster type situation with Rachel and the Carruthers family in Halloween 4. In Halloween II, Michael and Laurie are also drawn to or have visions of a clown costume, which is what Jamie dons in Halloween 4, albeit a different variety of clown costume. Unfortunately for Zombie’s films, his sequel hastily introduces all of these ideas only to not do anything with them. Halloween 4 sets up a future for its franchise, but the Director’s Cut of Halloween II goes so far as to kill Laurie after these heavy revelations.

Of course on top of all of this, Rob Zombie’s movies, particularly Halloween II, also features Danielle Harris, who plays Jamie Lloyd in Halloween 4, almost as if he wants to make the connection explicit. It also seems to squander Harris in the superfluous role. Regardless of where its inspirations came from, Zombie’s Halloween II and Halloween 4 were both met with highly mixed receptions even though they tried to do something different with the Halloween franchise.

Next: Why Jamie Lloyd Didn’t Become Halloween’s New Killer

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