Bad Movie Studios’ Halloween-A-Thon Part 2: Halloween H20 (1998) Film Review

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Halloween: H20

A Bad Movie Studios Halloween-A-Thon Review

The next entry in Halloween-A-Thon is Halloween: H20. I chose this film for a reason. The original Halloween gave birth to a new Horror Icon and became synonymous with the genre. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers brought a miserable death to the franchise. SO, that leads us towards Halloween H20. This film breathed new life into the series. It was the 20th Anniversary of Halloween and this film did the best thing possible in rebooting the storyline to be a follow up to the second film. It picks up again with Louri Strode whose role was reprized by Jamie Lee Curtis, which was surprising because she was a major film star by this point. So lets take a look.

We open the movie with the appearance of a character from the original film. The nurse from the beginning of Halloween that rides in the car with Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence, who had unfortunately passed away after Halloween 6) when Michael Myers escapes is shown. She’s even played by the same actress Nancy Stephens. It’s an interesting cameo. She pulls up to her house and we hear “Mr. Sandman” playing in the background, a nice way to date the character. She realizes that her house may have been broken into and she goes to the next house down to get some neighborhood kids so she’s not alone while they call the police. One of the teens is played by now famous actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Kyle: I really hope he doesn’t die in the first 5 minutes…

Joesph enters the nurses house trying to spook out whoever is there. He discovers that her home office has been destroyed and that there are papers everywhere. He sneaks a couple of beers and we get a poor jump scare. When he comes out suddenly it’s night time. He leaves with this friend and the nurse goes inside her home. She peruses through the house, and when we get to the office she notices that the files that are gone, are the ones belonging to Louri Strode. Also there’s a picture of Dr. Loomis, a nice homage. There is no suspense as to if Michael is in the house either, he blatantly shows up in the background. The Nurse gets freaked out by an open door and so she runs to the neighbors house again. When she gets inside, we see that Joseph has been killed, stabbed in the face with an ice skate. She then finds the other boy dead, and then Michael comes after her directly. Just as the cops show up at her house I might add. She puts up a fight but Myers eventually kills her and escapes just as the cops make it next door.

As opening sequences go, it’s okay. It’s not scary per say but it’s not boring either. It’s about the same as the opening to part 6 actually. In fact, I would say that opening was a little bit better. But then again, as a whole that movie was a crap filled urinal. Then we get two detectives that spew exposition. For all those people that haven’t seen Halloween 2 in 20 years. It’s a basic rundown of what happened in the first 2 movies, and I’ve talked about it before so I wont do it again here. The credits hit, and he music kicks in and that stuffs actually cool. But then there’s a voice over of Dr. Loomis’ lines from the first movie, but it’s not Donald Pleasence and that’s just unacceptable for me.

We then get a nightmare sequence and are (re)introduced to Lauri Strode. The sequence has a few cuts from the original film ans that’s kinda cool. We are also introduced to Lauri Strode’s son as well, John, played Josh Hartnett. He becomes a fairly important character, but this movie is really about Louri Strode. And honestly Jamie Lee Curtis does a good job, she fits into her old shoes well.

Kyle: He has some geeky friends that I’m sure are gonna get killed having sex.

We cut to a scene with a mother and daughter who are stopping at a bathroom rest stop. Michael is there and it’s actually a pretty chilling scene, where you debate if he’s gonna kill them or not.

When we get back together with Jamie Lee Curtis, we get to see her at her job as a private high school principal. She’s changed her name to Kerry Tate and sort of lives with fear of Michael Myers returning. We get a little more insight into her personal life and there’s a really cool cameo from her mother Janet Lee from Psycho. Then we get introduced to LL Cool J, he plays a security guard on campus. From the get go we see that he’s gonna be comedy relief. He’s not funny, but he’s not unfunny. He’s sort of…bleck.

Lauri spends some time with her boyfriend (played by Adam Arkin) who is also a counselor at the school. They have a scene that explains that Lauri hasn’t told her boyfriend Will about her past. When they part, she runs into her son who snuck out of the school with a friend to get stuff for a Halloween party. Jamie runs into him and gets angry, mostly because she’s very over protective and forbids him to do things where she won;t be able to reach him. They have an argument that honestly feels like more exposition. We do find out that she’s talked to her son about Michael and that he knows the story. But like I said its all back story and relationship information that we could have assumed otherwise.

For some reason, the Mr. Sandman theme song plays again, almost like it’s going to be a motif.

We see John’s girlfriend (minor character) and she gets some flowers and a note leading her somewhere from a miniature elevator shaft in the bakery of the school. We get another poor jump scare, and a pointless scene.

Then there’s a scene where Jaime Lee is teaching a class, presumably English, in which they are talking about Frankenstein (the novel of course), there’s a brief shot of Michael watching the class, and then some interesting dialogue. They talk about Dr. Frankenstein coming to terms and confronting the monster, much like how Jamie Lee’s character must do with Michael. It’s actually some neat stuff.

Kyle: I feel it’s interesting foreshadowing to what will happen later, maybe involving the son.

Jamie Lee then gives her son a permission slip to go on this trip that she’s been telling him he cant go on because of the holiday (It’s Halloween, hence her overly nervous attitude). He decides not to go though, instead focusing on his per-existing plans.

There’s another short bit with Janet Lee where she scares her real life daughter, and drops another line from the original film, “It’s Halloween. Everybody’s entitled to one good scare.” It’s a nice touch in being something that Halloween fans will recognize, but others might not. They actually share a decent scene, and the music in the background is very reminiscent of that of an old Alfred Hitchcock movie.

The buses leave for the school and Michael makes his way towards his goal.

Kyle: That’s it for LL Cool J. Everybody knows that the black guy has to die (racist as hell)

Michael sneaks by him and the scene plays like a horror version of Tom and Jerry. It’s not scary or suspenseful but it does serve for a laugh. Jamie Lee gets ready to leave and heads out running into another jump scare. This one actually works however because we know Michael’s near. John gets to his friends house and they get ready to have a party. Interestingly enough the movie on TV is Scream 2 (1997).

Lauri relaxes with her boyfriend Will while the kids relax and have a good time down by the bakery. Lauri starts to explain who she really is to Will, who takes it as all a big joke. It’s actually kinda funny because she means everything she says but he just takes it as some sort of kinky game. Of course he finally gets the story.

Kyle: What…(on Jamie Lee Curtis romantic scenes)

The scene’s alright, but again it’s exposition. Although we get a possible motive as to why Michael has come back. I won’t spoil it, but it’s cool because Jaime Lee seems to over react, but in reality she’s prepared. She’s been waiting for this for 20 years.

One of John’s friends went off a few scenes ago, and reappears in the worst jump scare in the movie. He goes up the miniature elevator shaft and looks for a corkscrew.

Kyle: He’s gonna come down bloody as hell…

As expected, Michael shows up, and for once, there’s a little seriousness to his appearance. We cut to the girlfriend of John’s friend, and what do you know, he’s in the elevator shaft dead. Michael gets a stab on her as she escapes up the shaft, but Michael cuts the rope and breaks her leg, and to be honest the effect is pretty cool. Then we cut back to John and his girlfriend, who hear the noise and get up to investigate.

Kyle: There’s an obligatory CREED song playing in the background, you know because it’s 1998.

As you can guess she gets killed, but Michael does something a little extra with her body for John and his girlfriend to discover. Michael starts after them and there’s a brief struggle where John gets stabbed but is okay.

Kyle: Because you just HAD to stop to breath…

Lauri saves them and haves a momentary face to face with her brother, in a shot that brings to mind Jurassic Park’s velociraptor trying to get the kids. Jaime, Will, John and Molly (John’s girlfriend) all get to “safety” and she hides John and Molly. Someone comes around the corner and Will shoots him, but it turns out to be LL Cool J. Adam Arkins over acting is priceless, and then Michael comes in and kills Will. And there is no weight to his death what so ever.

Now we get to what the movie has been trying to build, the final chase between Lauri and Michael. Right off the bat we see that she has definitely learned from her first experience because she fakes him out and nails him in the back of the head with a fire extinguisher. It looks to be right out of a Flinstones cartoon. It’s great.

Kyle: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! ….Ah…ah shit. That was funny.

Lauri gets John and Molly and they get out of dodge as Michael chases them. She gets them in a truck and drives away, making sure they get away from the school and tells them to call the police. She decides that she’s gonna go back and face her monster. She gets a fire ax and calls out Myers as the Halloween theme kicks up in the background. It really sets itself up like a big money fight.

Kyle: “Lets see which is better, kitchen knife, or ax, bitch!”

So, the best part of the movie is the ending chase/battle between Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Myers. I don’t want to talk about it too much because it’s actually really entertaining and pays homage to the original’s ending in a lot of ways. Also it shows that Jamie isn’t the only one that learned from her last outing as Michael has some new tricks. I wont say that it holds the whole movie, but it’s a good sequence none the less.

I won’t talk about the actual ending of the movie too, but it’s a total “fuck you, this is the END and that’s the way it’s gonna be” type of finish. It’s great, it really is. If you can only watch 15 minutes of this movie, make it the last 15. It’s far better than the rest of the film. Overall, Halloween H20 isn’t a bad film. It’s not nearly as good as the original in my opinion though. The issue is that it tries to build up the mention and set a working atmosphere like its predecessor and it just fall short in comparison. You don’t really care about the other characters, its really just about Michael and Lauri, but then again that’s how it should be I suppose. It’s easily an upgrade from Halloween 6 though no matter what, and really that’s all you can ask for. So albeit its far from perfect, it’s also far from being a wet dog turd turned DVD like Halloween 6. So if you’re a fan, I say give it a watch. There’s ample service and you might not be scared but you should very well be entertained.

Overall Score: 71

Final Thoughts – This movie feels like a definitive end to the series, and although it isn’t a real high note, it isn’t a low one. It feels fair for lack of better words. So that’s Halloween H20. Check in for the next my next entry, Halloween-A-Thon Part 3, Halloween: Resurrection. Halloween 6 may have killed the series, but Halloween: Resurrection shat on its final glory.

Kyle: By the way, there’s another damn CREED song over the credits…

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2 thoughts on “Bad Movie Studios’ Halloween-A-Thon Part 2: Halloween H20 (1998) Film Review

  1. […] Bad Movie Studios’ Halloween-A-Thon Part 2: Halloween H20 (1998) Film Review (thatfighterguy.wordpress.com) […]

  2. […] Bad Movie Studios’ Halloween-A-Thon Part 2: Halloween H20 (1998) Film Review (thatfighterguy.wordpress.com) […]

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