Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Dimension Films celebrated the 20th anniversary of John Carpenter’s horror classic with the seventh in the series, which is stupidly titled HALLOWEEN H20: 20 YEARS LATER. It takes place two decades after the events of HALLOWEEN and HALLOWEEN II (which occurred the same night) and pretends HALLOWEENs 4, 5, and 6 (HALLOWEEN III was unrelated) never existed.

Influenced more by SCREAM than HALLOWEEN (SCREAM scribe Kevin Williamson was an executive producer), H20 gathers a group of sexy teenage television stars and knocks them off one at a time. It does have a secret weapon, however, which is the only reason to see H20: Jamie Lee Curtis, the star of HALLOWEEN and HALLOWEEN II.

Curtis is quite good as Laurie Strode, who has changed her name, moved to California, married, divorced, reared a son (now 17), and served as headmistress at an exclusive prep school. She also suffers from PTSD twenty years after her serial killer brother, Michael Myers, was presumably burned to death. Ain’t she the surprised one when Michael appears out of nowhere to finish the job he started twenty years earlier: kill Laurie.

Josh Hartnett (PENNY DREADFUL) debuts as Laurie’s dick son and is horrible. Michelle Williams (DAWSON’S CREEK), Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (NASH BRIDGES), LL Cool J (NCIS: LOS ANGELES), and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (SNOWDEN) play victims. It’s fun to see PSYCHO star Janet Leigh — Curtis’ mother — in a horror film again, and Nancy Stephens returning as Loomis’ nurse from HALLOWEEN.

For horror fans, H20 is more miss than hit. Though the body count is decent, most of the murders occur off-screen, and the kills we do see are pretty tame in the gore department. Horror veteran Steve Miner, who began his directing career with two FRIDAY THE 13TH movies and HOUSE, fails to wring necessary suspense out of the contrived story, which unimaginatively plods along to the de rigueur mano-y-mano climax. John Ottman (X-MEN: APOCALYPSE) delivers a score reminiscent of John Carpenter’s memorable theme from the original film, but Dimension brought in SCREAM composer Marco Beltrami (who gets an “Additional Music by” credit) to remind the audience of the Wes Craven movie.

1 comment:

David Hanson said...

I don't remember too much of this movie, but I do remember thinking Josh Hartnett's character was sort of a dick, which I also thought of him in The Faculty. Never could figure if I was supposed to empathize with him or not.