Halloween H20: 20 Years Later isn’t only a redundant title, it’s a notch in the timeline of a another slasher series taken way too far. What is it that has propelled the sequels for Freddy, Jason, Michael, and friends for so long? Mainly the low budget needed to make these types of films as well as the blind support ladled out by die-hard fans and people in search of a cheap scare alike. I for one am sick of the Halloween series up to this point. The previous three installments left me bitter at the ones responsible for pumping out those idiotic cash-ins.
At some point you just GOT to look in the mirror and say, “Fuck! Enough already!”.
H20 is lucky it wasn’t a complete stinker or I would have abandoned all hope for subsequent chapters. It still was not a very worthy sequel but it had some quirks and qualities. I’m not sure if it was just the time period bleeding through the screen, but the movie felt heavily influenced by Scream in many aspects. H20 came out in 1998, Scream in ’96. You do the math.
Aside from oft-grimacing young (is there an old?) Josh Hartnett’s (30 Days of Night) debut as Laurie’s son John, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception) also makes a short but enjoyable appearance. Of course everyone was really rushing to the theater to see the return of the legendary scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her breakout role. This is the first time Michael comes face-to-face with Laurie in two decades so it was a pretty big deal. Laurie has been trying to escape the memory of that first horrible holiday night, even going as far as faking her own death and changing her name, just in case Michael ever came back. Well, he does and it doesn’t take him very long to track his obsession down.
H20 spills a competent amount of blood but still feels like more could have been added, whether it be to the creativity of the kills or even simply adding more deaths scenes. I enjoyed the idea of Laurie trying fleeing from her past but this plot fell flat when stretched thin across the entire film. H20 feels considerably hollow and one-dimensional but it is certainly not the worst the franchise has to offer. I would have went even further with Laurie (subconsciously or intentionally) forgetting who she is at all, with everyone around her also letting those facts go in hopes to avoid triggering a mental break. She is set in her new identity for years, living happily as headmistress Keri Tate. Over the course of the movie she would slowly start to remember her sinister encounter as a mysterious stalker is on her trail, leaving clues and hints behind. Meanwhile, I would beef up the other characters’ stories to take some of the limelight away from Laurie. For example, I would change up her son’s story. When Michael resurfaces, John would start being teased at school with rumors other kids heard from their parents. He would have no idea about his mother’s confrontation many years ago; she had never mentioned anything like that to him. He would get in fights that would get more and more violent. Maybe the cliffhanger ending would be (regardless of what happens with Laurie and Michael) John, becoming so agitated about everything, snapping and becoming the new “Shape”. The craziness runs in the family. That’s even a perfect set up for a sequel, not that it would need it per se!
The fact that I took the time to put all of that fan fiction together and write it down is a testament to the loving fanbase of the genre. I know earlier I may have sounded like I thought they were all numskulls but I don’t. I just want them to want a better final product and to not beg for more helpings with disregard to the quality. We all think we can do a better job with these stories but unfortunately we aren’t in control. All I can do is hope that the bad sequels stop and that they either start making excellent additions to the Halloween catalog or that they go out with a bang. I will probably be watching the seventh entry next MASSACRE MARATHON and YOU BET YOUR ASS I will be in that theater for the 2018 release. I can only pray that my ticket money will not be supporting more trash.
3 H20 water bottles out of 5
P.S. The Myers mask looks like shit in this movie.