Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 7: H20 (1998)

Halloween 7: H20

Written by Robert Zappia & Matt Greenberg
Directed by Steve Miner

Keri Tate...Jamie Lee Curtis
John Tate...Josh Hartnett
Charles...Adam Hann-Byrd
Molly...Michelle Williams
Sarah...Jodi Lyn O'Keefe

In a lazy bit of bullshit storytelling, Halloween H20 picks up 20 years after the events of part 1 and 2, pretending that none of the other sequels ever happened. We find Laurie Strode living under an assumed name (Keri Tate) and working as headmistress/literature teacher at the posh Hillcrest Academy in Summer Glen, California, where her 17 year old son John is also a student.

It's taken a long time for us to catch up to Laurie...and it's taken her estranged brother Michael Myers equally as long. But now that he's found her, he's looking to put an end to the Myers bloodline once and for all, John Tate included.

First Jason took Manhattan.
Now Michael takes Dawson Creek!
A lot has changed in the past 20 years, not just in the lives of the characters but in slasher films. The genre has been done to death and been resurrected more times than Michael Myers himself, and this addition to the franchise was released in the wake of Scream--the original script treatment was even written by Kevin Williamson. So it should come as no surprise that there are a handful of self-aware moments here, although thankfully not so many that it becomes distracting: there are references to other horror flicks, some stunt casting (although the appearance of Jamie Lee Curtis' real life mother is easily forgiven), and pulls from the original Halloween--a couple of scenes, including the closet scene and sending "the kids" to the neighbor's house are recreated with slight twists. Although a direct sequel, this is definitely a Halloween for a modern audience.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, despite the transformation into a modern horror film, H20 successfully captures the suspense and tone of the original on occasion, more so than even Part 2.

It truly does piss me off that such a large chunk of the franchise was erased with this entry, when just a few lines of dialogue could have tied the majority of the other films into this one. You're seriously going to retcon away three whole movies? What is this, DC Comics? It's also slightly damaging to the Michael Myers character as well, as he seems slightly less threatening having only struck once in the past two decades. And to have erased most of Dr. Loomis' adventures is simply heresy.

Regardless, it's still a worthy follow up to the Laurie Strode saga, and would have been (should have been) a worthy finale to the franchise.

But Hollywood can never resist raking in an extra buck or two, even if it means wrecking a perfectly good property...

Rated R
86 Minutes
United States


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