1998; Rated R; 85 Minutes
Jamie Lee Curtis: Laurie Strode/Keri Tate
Adam Arkin: Will
Josh Hartnett: John
Michelle Williams: Molly
Adam Hann-Byrd: Charlie
Jodi Lyn O'Keefe: Sarah
Janet Leigh: Norma
LL Cool J: Ronny
Produced by Malek
Akkad, Moustapha Akkad, Paul Freeman, Cary Granat, Bob Weinstein,
Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Williamson; Directed by
Steve Miner; Screenwritten by Robert Zappia, Matt
Greenberg and Kevin Williamson
by DAVID KEYES
Miner's "Halloween: H20" comes off as a big surprise, especially
considering that only two of the previous six "Halloween"
films were worth recommending. But it shockingly works,
even after the genre's rebirth from the "Scream" pictures.
Here is a film that ultimately proves perhaps, for right
now, there is still some life left in the typical slasher
movie borrows the simple craftsmanship that worked so well
with the previous great "Halloween" films and manages to
freshen it up to where we are not just viewing a formulaic
and uninspired film. Sure, it has those pesky tidbits that
most slashers are faced with, but the movie is so watchable
and fun that there is no fuss in the fact that the script
is very predictable. You can view it and walk away still
saying 'how clever.'
movie not only returns us to the never-ending series of
Michael Meyers, but also returns us to the life of Laurie
Strode, who, as we found out years ago, is the blood sister
of the sadistic killer. Meyers was suspected to be dead
in the last entry of the series, "The Curse Of Michael Meyers,"
but the last frames of the picture suggested otherwise.
Now, Laurie has taken on a new life, with a new name, new
town, and new friends. She is known where she lives as Keri
Tate, a teacher at a highly professional private school.
It is Halloween night once again, and after twenty years,
Keri is still haunted with the visions of her killer brother,
who went on a rampage years earlier right in front of her
what Keri thinks soon becomes a question that sticks in
our minds for the first few minutes of the picture. Is Michael
Meyers really dead? Did he finally get the 'ax' from Dr.
our suspicions of his death are proved false when Meyers
shows back up, in town, ready to finish off the sister that
barely escaped twenty years ago.
has changed everything about her life, as usual, after learning
years earlier that Meyers did not die that Halloween night.
In the final panels of "Halloween II," we witnessed an explosion
which should have torched Meyers and the other beings within
it alive, but in part four of the series, we were confronted
with the realization that Meyers survived, and Laurie had
died in a car crash just shortly before the film began,
leaving behind a young daughter who appeared to be psychically
bonded to her killer uncle.
is impossible to understand this movie unless you at first
realize the whole concept of the story. Laurie was presumed
dead from that accident, but seeing her here, with a new
name, new life and new friends, ultimately decides that
she did not die. Instead, she faked her own death in fear
that Meyers would have come looking for her again.
is the setup that seems to keep in tact with the whole film
here. We must pay attention to what goes on between Keri
and the people around her; she still fears Michael, after
all of that time. There is no evidence that he's alive,
but still, she fears.
it is those fears that prove to be true on Halloween night
when her brother shows up in town, in one piece and ready
for more mayhem.
know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Dave? How can
you like 'Halloween: H20' when you didn't even like 'I Know
What You Did Last Summer' when they are basically similar
formula-wise?" Good point, but there is a certain difference
from both movies. "I Know What You Did Last Summer" tried
too hard to keep the slasher formula alive, displaying overwrought
ambition and neglecting attention to detail and convincement,
all while maintaining confusing elements within the script.
What's different here is that this is a series that has
usually managed to keep the precise implications of storyline
and direction without overdoing the script to the point
where it is confusing. "Halloween: H20" does not overload
itself like "I Know What You Did Last Summer" did, and therefore,
displays a very enjoyable spawn from the old and fading
movie works; that's all there is to it. Partially because
the story is familiar, partially because the series (to
a certain extent) has been somewhat enjoyable over the years,
but mainly because of Jamie Lee Curtis. Here is a woman
who refused to return to the series unless a decent script
came along. She has been missing since part two, and if
she has the guts to return now, doesn't that say something?
1998, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
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