Fright Fest Review #26: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

Fans of water will find themselves sorely disappointed by this movie.
Fans of water will find themselves sorely disappointed by this movie.

Subgenre:  Slasher

Summary:  Twenty years after the events of Halloween, Michael Myers returns to terrorize Laurie Strode, who’s now the head of a secluded private school.

Review:  H20 picks up twenty years after that first fateful Halloween night.  Laurie Strode, now living under a different name, has managed to put her past behind her – for the most part.  Despite her personal and professional successes, she’s still tormented by visions of her homicidal brother.  When most of the students and faculty leave for a weekend of camping, Laurie and a few students are left to fend for themselves when Michael pays them a visit.

Having seen my fair share (though not all) of the Halloween movies, I can definitely say that H20 is one of the better ones.  It’s great to see Jamie-Lee Curtis in the starring role again, and she’s definitely up to the task.  The rest of the cast, including Josh Hartnett and LL Cool J, is decent-if-unremarkable.  H20 takes its time to build suspense before the actual killing starts, and the scenes showing Michael making his way to the school recall the quietly terrifying atmosphere of the first movie.  For the last twenty minutes, H20 smartly sidelines the supporting players for a Laurie vs. Michael face-off – one that doesn’t disappoint.  H20 boasts an ending that’s ballsy, unexpected, and oddly moving.  If you ignore any subsequent Halloween movies (and you really should), it’s a satisfying conclusion to the series.

The Verdict:  It’s not perfect, but H20 feels like a Halloween movie for the fans, and that makes all the difference.  I give it seven sororicidal sickos out of ten.

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