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Horror Showdown: Halloween II vs. The Final Destination

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Halloween II vs. The Final Destination

Horror sequels Halloween II and The Final Destination both open this week, but neither was screened in time for review. So instead, we’ve devised this scientific system (note: system not scientific at all) to determine which one might be worth horror fans’ time and money.

Franchise history:

Halloween II: Despite the number in the title, this is actually the 10th film in the Halloween franchise, a direct sequel to Rob Zombie’s 2007 reboot. The first movie, directed by horror legend John Carpenter, was released in 1978, and spin-offs have included novels, comic books, toys and video games.

The Final Destination: Despite the lack of number in the title, this is the fourth film in the franchise that began with 2000’s Final Destination. Although the definite article would seem to indicate finality, there is no sign that the series is set to end, and it too has had spin-offs that include novels and comic books.

Winner? Halloween II

Villain:

Halloween II: As in every Halloween movie (except 1982’s anomalous Halloween III: Season of the Witch), the villain here is deranged masked killer Michael Myers, who is implacable, inarticulate and pretty much unkillable. As in the 2007 film, Michael will be played by hulking ex-pro wrestler Tyler Mane.

The Final Destination: Once again, the “villain” is the vague notion of death, deliberately coming for a group of people who avoided disaster (in this case a multi-car crash at a race track) and now must be put in their proper place (i.e., their graves).

Winner? Halloween II

Director:

Halloween II: Although Zombie’s first Halloween outing was a disjointed disappointment, he remains one of the most distinctive horror filmmakers around (check out his bold The Devil’s Rejects), and freed of the obligation to follow a pre-established storyline, he now has the license to make exactly the kind of movie he wants

The Final Destination: David R. Ellis returns from Final Destination 2, which many consider the series’ high point. The journeyman director has been responsible for such mildly amusing schlock as Cellular and Snakes on a Plane, but he mostly just buckles down and gets the job done.

Winner? Halloween II

Added bonus:

Halloween II: Other than Zombie’s typical carefully chosen soundtrack (which includes The Moody Blues, Rod Stewart, Motörhead and Foghat), just a whole lotta killin’.

The Final Destination: After missing a planned opportunity to make the third installment (which involved a roller-coaster disaster) in 3D, producers have rectified that by employing the eye-popping (perhaps literally) technology this time around.

Winner? The Final Destination

Winner: Halloween II

Sure, the absurd Rube Goldberg-ian death devices of the Final Destination series can be fun, but if you’re looking for some genuine scares and even a bit of social commentary in your horror film, Halloween II is a much more promising prospect.

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Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

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