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Nov 18

Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later

halloweenh20Genre: Horror
Year: 1998
Country: USA

Director: Steve Miner
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Adam Arkin, Michelle Williams, Adam Hann-Byrd, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe

 

This summer, terror won’t be taking a vacation

 

Twenty years have gone by since Laurie Strode was assaulted by Michael Myers after he had killed several of her friends. Laurie has faked her death and changed her name to Keri Tate since that horrible night and is now living a quiet life together with her teenage son John.

She is now working at a private school that John attends and she is secretly dating a guy named Will. She has never told anyone about her past and her inner turmoil is getting to her on every Halloween. She is especially nervous this year since it is exactly twenty years since she was attacked and John is now at the same age that she was at when she was attacked. It turns out that she is right in being cautious, since Michael Myers has found her and is once again coming after her.

After the abysmal results of The Curse of Michael Myers in 1995 and the big decline in slasher movies in the 90’s, few would expect Michael Myers to return to the big screen again. However, after the big success of Scream in ’96, horror movies had a little boost in popularity again so when the twenty year anniversary of Halloween was about to come up the producers know what they needed to do. The original idea they had was to reunite John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis from the original, but Carpenter walked away from the project due to not getting the paycheck he wanted.

The first problem that occurred with the return of Laurie Strode was that she was supposed to have died in a car crash. They fixed this by simply ignoring everything after the second Halloween picture, even disregarding anything about her daughter Jamie Lloyd altogether. I am not sure why, since it would just add to the traumatic experience for Laurie if they acknowledged that she did have Jamie and it would also not ignore the sequels which is sort of a slap in the face of the fans that love those films (yeah, I know there might not be a lot of us out there, but still…).

Having Jamie Lee Curtis back also made this into a much bigger project and it received a lot of attention due to her return as Laurie Strode. It was nice to see her character back again and Curtis is a good actress, but the movie did turn more into a movie about Laurie Strode than of Michael Myers and I think that ultimately hurt the film. Her character is not interesting enough to carry an entire movie.

Director Steve Miner (Friday the 13TH 2, House) is a director that has given us some fun horror films in the past, but here it seems like he is just trying to mimic Scream. There is a bunch of quick false scared (quick jumps if you will) in the first hour to make up for the lack of horror activity. And while the original Halloween also started out slow, that one felt more realistic and interesting. My main problem with the new characters, including Laurie’s kid John, played by Josh Hartnett, is that they got the Dawson’s Creek treatment by Kevin Williamson who wrote a lot of their dialogue. The “smart and intelligent” dialogue delivered by what is supposed to be teenagers just didn’t work for me. They do get a lot of screentime but don’t really add much to the film.

I also had problems with Michael Myers in this film. For some reason they had four different masks while shooting and in post-production they where not happy with all of the results so they actually used a CGI mask in a scene and it looks horrible, just horrible. It looks like the mask has a life of its own and even though it is not in the movie for more than a few seconds, it still manage to take away your attention from what’s going on. I’m also still not a fan of seeing Myers driving a car, it feels silly to me even though he has also done it in previous movies.

Halloween H20 gave us an acceptable ending to the Michael Myers saga and the Laurie Strode character. It’s a Halloween movie set in the Scream universe and for me the film falls a little flat and does not give us any scares or tension. It falls flat for me and while it is a coherent and decent film, it is nothing special.

 

 ★★½☆☆ 

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