Thursday, October 27, 2016

Halloween Movie Review #27: "Halloween H20" (1998)

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Movie"Halloween H20: 20 Years Later"
Director: Steve Miner
Year: 1998
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

Michael Myers locates his sister Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) in California and tries to finish the job he failed to do 20 years ago. 

"Halloween H20" is directed by Steve Miner, who has directed many horror films including "Friday the 13th Part 2," "House," and "Warlock." He takes over the "Halloween" franchise 20 years after the release of the 1978 original. This installment seems to ignore the events of "Halloween 3" (which doesn't include Michael Myers anyway) through "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers." After a quick murder stop in Haddonfield, Myers is able to locate the new home of his sister Laurie, once again played by Jamie Lee Curtis. She is now the dean of a Northern California private school and has a 17 year old son of her own named John, played by late 90's heart throb Josh Hartnett. Due to her past, she is understandably a very protective mother. She is just now starting to gain the courage to give her son some slack and freedom. Of course, Myers heads her way to murder her and her son, and as expected, it all happens on Halloween.

This is yet another standard and expected Michael Myers slasher affair. He kills anyone who gets in his way, some in more fun, creative ways, and others in a more basic stabby-rip-stab-stab ways. The main focus of the film is Laurie's trouble getting past the incidents from 20 years ago and how it has affected her life and relationships with her son, her ex-husband, and even her current boyfriend. The best part of the movie comes towards the end when Laurie is forced to battle it out with her bro Michael mano-a-mano. Michael Myers has always been an imposing figure, and this long-oft sequel is really just more of the same. It is, however, a stark improvement over where the franchise was headed by the time "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers" came along. Those last few installments were really weak, so virtually *anything* would be better than those.

What makes "Halloween H20" work better than its few predecessors is not the fact that it's 20 years later, not the throbbing pectorals of Josh Hartnett, not the brief stint by Michelle Williams as Hartnett's girlfriend, or the relationships Laurie has with her new boyfriend, but Jamie Lee Curtis herself and her portrayal of this iconic character. She is fantastic actress returning to her roots in a by-the-book slasher and elevates it beyond what it otherwise would be because of her convincing portrayal and her clear passion for the part. The killing is fun, too, but it's not so amazing or new that we can honestly say we loved this film.

My Rating: 5.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 51%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.
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One year ago, we were being scared by: "Ju-On: The Grudge"

Two years ago, we were being scared by: "The Cabin in the Woods"

Three years ago, we were being scared by: "Twixt"

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