After John Carpenter’s original Halloween movie earned positive reviews and made a lot of money at the box office, countless sequels failed to recapture lightning in a bottle as the first entry ranging from Halloween II (not Rob Zombie’s follow up to his remake) to Rob Zombie’s remake and its follow up as each one was classified as a miscalculation or a cluster fudge resulting in the slasher genre to slowly die. It wasn’t until Wes Craven’s Scream revitalized the slasher film encouraging Jamie Lee Curtis to reprise her role as Michael Myers’ archenemy, Laurie Strode in a sequel set twenty years after the original discarding every single entry from Halloween II to Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers. The sequel set twenty years later is none other than “Halloween H20: 20 Years Later.”
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later was released in 1998. (same year Bride Of Chucky came out) It received mixed reviews from critics and managed to make enough cash at the box office.
With the highly anticipated follow up to the original Halloween slated to come out in October 19, I would like to share my thoughts on what’s good or bad about Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. Keep in mind that Halloween 2018 isn’t a continuation of every single sequel and Rob Zombie’s remake.
The following review contains big SPOILERS. If you’ve never seen this movie, read at your own risk.
Positive & Negative Elements
Positive: Jamie Lee Curtis did a terrific job for her performance as Laurie Strode.
Other Cast Members such as LL Cool J, Michelle Williams, Josh Harnett & Joseph Gordon-Levitt all did a good job for their performances.
Death Scenes are legit from start to finish.
Due to the events of the original, Laurie changed her identity and she suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD for short) & Survivor’s Guilt. She becomes protective towards her son because she doesn’t want him to suffer the same fate like her friends.
Laurie’s son is named John, who’s named after series creator John Carpenter. It’s as if the movie gave the fans a wink.
John Carpenter’s iconic theme is used.
Cinematography looks normal without suffering from any technical problems.
Opening Scene starts strong with Michael stalking & eventually killing his prey.
Mr. Sandman, the song used in Halloween II, is played twice.
In honor of Donald Pleasence’s memory, Sam Loomis’ voice is heard during the opening credits. It’s the closest thing for Donald to reprise his role.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character, Jimmy wears a hockey mask. A reference to Jason Voorhees from Friday The 13th.
Janet Leigh (Jamie’s real life mother and star of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho) makes an appearance. To put the icing on the cake, Bernard Hermann’s musical score is heard in the background. Gus Van Sant’s god awful shot-for-shot remake of Hitchcock’s magnum opus came out the same year as Halloween H20.
At the 48:00 mark, footage of Scream 2 is shown with Sarah Michelle Gellar on a television screen. The first Scream movie featured Halloween on TV during The Climax.
Laurie’s confrontation with Michael, served as the main course since the beginning of the franchise.
Negative: H20 (from The Periodic Table) is labeled as the title of the movie instead of “Halloween: 20 Years Later.” Whenever I hear “H20,” I think of Adam Sandler in The Waterboy using his imagination with superimposed heads of Henry Winkler singing about Gatorade.
A text pops up with “October 31st,” “Halloween.” We get it screenwriters, we don’t need a reminder that each film takes place on the same day.
An unnecessary “Jump Scare” is used when John taps L.L. Cool J’s shoulder. I’m gonna be brutally honest, I didn’t flinch nor succumb to “The Heebie Jeebies.” As the film progresses, The Scare Factor immediately wears off like a temporary tattoo.
Another Jump Scare pops up when kids in costumes run towards Laurie. I didn’t freak out, I cringed and rolled my eyes.
A third Jump Scare randomly pops up, when a kid dressed up as The Grim Reaper messed around with a girl. It ain’t scary, it’s annoying like a couple pranksters ringing an old man’s doorbell and running away.
A fourth Jump Scare pops up when a shadowy figure surprises Michelle Williams’ character, Molly who turns out to be a John. How many times do I need to take a shot of whiskey or Coca-Cola whenever a Jump Scare annoys me?
A fifth Jump Scare annoyingly happens when Janet Leigh bumps into Laurie. Jump Scares are really becoming a pain in modern horror films.
A sixth Jump Scare is used yet again when LL Cool J approaches Laurie on her doorstep. Who the heck’s responsible for every Jump Scare, Ashton Kutcher? If so, STOP IT! Go back to punking people!
LL Cool J somehow managed to survive after Laurie’s husband accidentally went Rodney King on him.
Harvey “Ted Bundy” Weinstein served as a co-producer.
The Final Verdict: C, FOR CRAPTASTIC VOYAGE!
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later is a miscalculation alongside the franchise’s sequels & Rob Zombie’s remake and its sequel. I hope Halloween 2018 is as good as the original. All I can do is cross my fingers and prey it won’t be a total cluster fudge.