When a director's cut is released on DVD or blu-ray I am always cautious. I have been burnt by more than one director's, promising a whole new experience, but giving us no more than a few new scenes. The recent release of Friday the 13th (2009) is a prime example. The makers of that movie promise a totally different, but the "killer cut" offered nothing more than a padded runtime.
The director's cut of Halloween II is a different beast. We are given more, but it adds to what director Rob Zombie was trying to say. It makes the movie more tolerable and a better viewing experience.
The plot of the movie is the same. It is two years after the events from the first movie. Laurie Strode is having a hard time dealing with what happened on that fateful halloween night. She is now living with her friend Annie and Annie's father. Laurie feels guilty about has happened.
After starting the movie with the standard kill scenes, the movie moves into these characters with ease. In the director's cut you get more of a feel fo these characters, something that was missing in the theatrical cut. Here you get more of Laurie's eventually descent into madness.
The visions that Michael Myers has in the movie didn't make much sense in the theatrical version, but here we understand that this is how Myers sees the world. This comes to light when Michael sees the billboard for Loomis's book. This scene was removed from the theatrical version because audiences could not grasp the concept of having Myers not wearing his mask in the daytime.
We also get a totally different ending. Here Michael is killed then Laurie, but in the theatrical version there is some added stuff about Laurie loving her brother. It just didn't work and I am happy that it was taken out.
In my review for Halloween II, I said that it was an interesting failure. I stick by that for the thearical version, but here I would say that the movie still fails on some levels, but overall we get to see a descent into madness that slasher movies don't have. This is not your typical slasher movie.