Halloween H20 (1998) Review
“Blood is thicker than water.”
Synopsis: Laurie Strode, now the dean of a Northern California private school with an assumed name, must battle the Shape one last time, as the life of her own son hangs in the balance.
Watch now on Amazon
Yet another retcon in the franchise brings us Halloween H20, the first movie since Halloween II to star Jamie Lee Curtis once again. (Yay!) It’s altogether much better put together than most of the other sequels and generally more polished than other entries in the franchise, making it a generally satisfying watch. However, the horror ambiance is often interrupted and some of the supporting actors can’t quite pull off their parts, meaning it’s a decent but not outstanding addition to the series.
In H20’s canon, Halloween and Halloween II actually took place, but none of the other movies. It’s now been 20 years since that fateful Halloween night. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) faked her death and moved to California to escape rumors, memories – and Michael. She believes her brother is still alive and has been just barely holding it together since he last attacked her. Now working under an assumed name as headmistress to a prestigious private school, she watches over her son John (Josh Hartnett) with the annoying fear of someone who’s seen too much.
Michael tracks his family members down (naturally) on a Halloween night when the school is mostly empty (naturally). A game of cat and mouse ensues in which Laurie finally steps up to handle the fear that’s been ruling her life for years, resulting in some deliciously satisfying moments for fans.
Though the deaths are generally interesting in this installment, the tension falters a number of times throughout the movie. None of the students (especially Josh Hartnett) are really up for the task of being appropriately terrified, and the lone guard (LL Cool J) mostly serves as comic relief. What that ends up meaning for the movie is that the best horror moment of the entire flick actually comes from Michael’s early journey to California with two random extras, and not during the big showdown between siblings.
But as frequent readers will know, I appreciate consequences in my horror sequels, and Halloween H20 definitely delivers there. Seeing the scars of Halloween in every action Laurie Strode takes is hard for the audience, but rings true. The end of the movie is also very satisfying for horror fans, even those who aren’t specifically fans of the Halloween series. Add in Janet Leigh and numerous Psycho references, and H20 makes for a decent night.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: B-
Watch now on Amazon