Jamie Leigh Curtis as Laurie Strode is haunted once more by a killer who will not give up in HALLOWEEN: H20. Michael Myers returns to where he first stalked Laurie Strode 20 years ago. He kills a few teenagers and steals a car to find Laurie. Laurie is miles away, living with her 17-year old son Josh and trying to forget the terror by serving as a headmaster of a small, private school. When John and his friends abandon the school camping trip, their fun turns to terror when confronted by Michael Myers. More people die, until the final obligatory showdown between Michael and Laurie.
HALLOWEEN: H20 has a very thin plot which mainly serves to show that Laurie Strode is still haunted by Michael Myers. Regrettably, HALLOWEEN: H20 uses all the typical horror conventions. Although this movie has a low body count, the stabbing and bloodletting are severe and gruesome. Also, there are many obscenities. Some enthusiasts may feel cheated at the way in which this movie concludes. Not released in the Halloween season and crowded by a new wave of cookie-cutter bloodfests, HALLOWEEN: H20 is a dull knife in a drawer full of dull horror movies.
(Pa, LLL, VVV, S, AA, D, M) Pagan worldview of psycho-killer & humans unable to deal with it; 26 obscenities & 4 profanities; extreme violence including 8 slashing murders with bloodletting, woman runs over man with car, car crashes down cliff, threats with gun, punching, kicking, images of slit throats, & image of body hanging on a hook; no sex acts but sexual innuendo & requests for sex; no nudity; alcohol use & abuse; smoking; and, lying, minor rebellious attitudes, & stealing.
In 1960, PSYCHO revolutionized horror films. Starring Janet Leigh, it was a masterpiece in low-budget shocks featuring a voyeuristic psychotic killer with a knife, Norman Bates. 18 years later, Leigh’s daughter Jamie Leigh Curtis starred in another low-budget landmark movie as babysitter Laurie Strode, and this movie also featured a psycho-killer with a knife, Michael Myers. Entitled HALLOWEEN, it cost only $300,000, took 22 days to shoot and went on to be one of the most popular movies of all time. Now, 20 years after HALLOWEEN, and countless sequels later (some of which had nothing to do with Michael Myers), Laurie Strode is haunted again by a killer who will just not give up in HALLOWEEN: H20.
As soon as Michael Myers returns to the home where he first stalked Laurie Strode, 20 years ago, the audience realizes he is back on the prowl. He kills a few teenagers and the house’s current owner, and then steals a car to find Laurie. Laurie, however, is miles away, trying to forget the terror and serving as a headmaster of a small, private school. Her 17-year-old son, John (Josh Hartnett) is getting fed up with his mother’s irrational fears. Her only confidante is Will Brennan (Adam Arkin), her lover and the school guidance counselor.
The audience is introduced to other characters including Ronny (LL Cool J), the aspiring romance novelist who works as the school security guard, John’s girlfriend Molly (Michele Williams from DAWSON’S CREEK) and her friends Charlie (Adam Hann-Byrd) and Sarah (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe). When this small group abandons the school camping trip to have their own Halloween fun, they find their fun turn to terror when confronted by Michael Myers who has finally found the school. Then, the audiences gets to guess who lives or dies, until the final obligatory climax: a showdown between Michael and Laurie.
Unlike some horror films, HALLOWEEN: H20 does have a plot, a very thin plot which mainly serves to show that Laurie Strode is still haunted and affected by Michael Myers. Jamie Leigh Curtis gives the role her all and stands out as the sole developed character of the bunch. Some may even laugh at the shallow, sometimes stereotypical turns by LL Cool J and the teenage cast. The script makes an attempt at intelligence by showing a student debate in class about the redemptive elements found in Mary Shelly’s book FRANKENSTEIN, possibly meant to suggest that the valueless HALLOWEEN series has some literary merit.
SCREAM deconstructed horror movies and explained all the rules of horror, mostly culled from HALLOWEEN and its many clones. Hence, it is ironic and unfulfilling to see HALLOWEEN: H20 fall back on all the typical horror conventions. Loud noises, tension and release, people making stupid decisions to go back into the dark house, and sexually active (or in this case, just sexually suggestive) teenagers being primary targets. HALLOWEEN: H20 really has only one emotionally satisfying moment, the inevitable face-to-face confrontation between hero and villain.
Although this movie has a relatively low body count, the stabbing and bloodletting are severe and gruesome. One victim is pulled off the ground as Michael pulls up on the knife. Another victim is hung on a hook, very similar to Drew Barrymore’s character in SCREAM. There are also many images of slit throats.
Some HALLOWEEN enthusiasts may enjoy the resolution this movie brings to the story, but others may feel cheated at the way in which this movie concludes. With DISTURBING BEHVAVIOR in theaters (with Kevin Williamson protégé Katie Holmes) and I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER coming soon, the teenage horror genre seems to be going strong. Yet, not released around the Halloween season and mixed with the new wave of cookie-cutter bloodfests, HALLOWEEN: H20 loses its sharp edge and becomes a dull knife in a drawer full of dull horror movies.
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