Just returned from seeing H2 and was pleasantly surprised. I'll just be posting some quick notes tonight - if I attempt to do a proper review it just won't get done. I don't want to say too much for those on the fence about seeing this one- I'll put anything TOO spoilerish in white text and you can select it with your mouse to reveal the words if you want to read those parts. Perhaps you'd rather wait until after you see the movie.
The trailers discouraged rather than encouraged me to see this first-run, but I gave it a chance anyway, and I'm so glad I did!
Things I Like About H2
1) Rob Zombie added an original element by depicting Michael's psychotic headspace and motivation. I appreciated that he brought a new perspective while still leaving mystery by not explaining it away too much. (I haven't looked at any reviews yet, but I can just imagine that those that hated the backstory in H1 will be hating this as well, and dismissing it as just a conceit enabling him to (spoiler: put his wife in the film again.) I agree with those that feel that in the original Halloween (1978) knowing very little about Michael contributed greatly to its success, but ten movies in, I say the new angle is welcome. It's creepy and weird, and makes it fresh.
2) The whole Dr. Loomis storyline was an excellent way to modernize the story and make it timely. It made for a great reveal (spoiler: Laurie finds out she is Michael's sister by reading it in Loomis' exploitative tell-all book for which he abandoned Michael's treatment to write) and taking the character's pomposity to new heights (spoiler: turned the audience against him, setting up his demise beautifully).
3) It had humor! Most of the audience laughed out loud at many parts where I was merely amused, and I laughed out loud at parts no one else laughed out loud at, but we all laughed. The hook-up between (spoiler: Dr. Frank-N-Furter & The Wolf Man) was, for me, almost worth the price of admission in itself.
4) Most have heard that Daeg Faerch did not return to reprise his role as young Michael. The resemblance between the new actor, Sheri Moon Zombie, and Scout Taylor-Compton was remarkable. And this made (spoiler: the wicked Psycho-like ending amazing.)
5) Lots of nods to previous Halloween films. I love that (spoiler: Danielle Harris, little Jamie of IV & V, reprises her role as Annie; the "it was just a dream" sequences from II, the contemporary Halloween party echoing the local party from V, because I always wanted there to be more costumes! the Rabbit in Red is a strip club, etc.)
6) Seeing Margot Kidder, and Dauber from Coach!
I'll leave it there for now, as it's time that all good little girls are in bed, but there was plenty to like. I think I may go see it again tomorrow.
There's a much more artful (but spoilerish) overview by Maitland McDonagh that I really admire at AMC.