Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later
The Halloween series is somewhat of a long and convoluted mess of sequels that involves a couple different timelines and various interpretations so, when it comes to the seventh film, one may simply ask “why bother?” Believe it or not, Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later isn’t all that bad considering. Yup, I said it, the seventh installment in a film series inspired by the success of an original film really isn’t as treacherous as one would anticipate. For starters, Halloween H20 essentially continues where the second Halloween film ended (albeit twenty years later) as it ignores the events that happened in the fourth through sixth films. The third Halloween – the underrated Season Of The Witch – has nothing to do with the Halloween storyline so that one doesn’t count … confused yet? It’s okay, I was at first too. In a nutshell, if you’ve only seen the first two Halloween flicks then you’re okay to skip right over to this one since this is the so-called “spiritual successor” of those two.
Halloween H20 has Steve Miner (the guy who directed House and Warlock) and Jamie Lee Curtis going for it which probably helped in saving it from complete mediocrity from the beginning. For those unfamiliar, Curtis played the now legendary Laurie Strode character featured in the first two Halloween pictures and returned to reprise her role in Halloween H20. She, as one could anticipate, is an overly protective and somewhat paranoid mother that, even after twenty years, is haunted by the “shape” (hopefully someone gets this reference) of Michael Myers. Janet Leigh (the lady who got killed in the shower in the original Psycho) plays a small role in the film which is a bit interesting since she is Jamie Lee Curtis’ mother and hadn’t starred in a feature film since John Carpenter’s The Fog (from 1980) which also featured both Leigh and Curtis. Anyway, despite having a couple of solid actors (and a few not-so-solid ones – LL Cool J, anyone?) and a solid atmosphere, Halloween H20 does suffer considerably when it comes to the pacing. The movie is kind of over before you know it (despite it being nearly 90 minutes) and this I attribute to the film’s lack of tension-building. Sure, there’s the inevitable “almost-had-you” chase scene and all of that but Myers never manages to invoke that genuine sense of terror and dread that we all know and love from the original Halloween; heck, even when taking the original out of the equation, you still get a more dreadful Myers in any of the other sequels. As I briefly mentioned earlier, however, the film’s atmosphere is pretty spot-on and there’s more than a few references to various other horror films (including the original Halloween) that will undoubtedly be a treat for the genre lovers out there.
Halloween H20 is far from being a masterpiece but it’s not too shabby for what it is either. Although I fully admit to having a soft spot for the Halloween series moreso than any of its competitors (Friday The 13th, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Hellraiser and so on), I still think any casual fan of the series will find some, at the very least, aesthetic enjoyment in watching Halloween H20. If you find it new for four dollars on blu-ray it’s worth picking up since that’s exactly what I did … just don’t spend more than ten, okay? Recommended for fans of the series and those with an inkling towards moderately bad taste.