Halloween H20: 20 Years Later Review

So in 1998 it had been twenty years since the original Halloween, and I guess they figured since they brought Michael Meyers back on the 10 year anniversary, this year it was time to get Jamie Lee Curtis back into the mix. But let’s address something right off the bat; isn’t her character dead? The beginning of the fourth movie established that she died in a car accident sometime after the second one, and we follow her orphaned daughter through most of 4 and 5. We even see her daughter’s daughter in the sixth one. Well, this movie seems to disregard all of that. The characters talk about Michael Meyers having gone on one single killing spree 20 years ago, and having not been seen and presumed dead since, which means that only the first two movies are cannon, 4 through 6 never happened. But then they actually do acknowledge Jamie Lee Curtis dying in a car crash, with the explanation being that she faked her death and changed her name so that no one could find her. That’s consistent with 4-6, but we’ve already established those never happened. And if they did, does that mean that she abandoned her own daughter when she faked her death? And what about the girl’s father, who also died in the accident, was his death fake too? Where is he in this movie? Point being, the timeline is a complete clusterfuck. But the movie is actually not that bad. I mean, it’s definitely not good, but it’s a big step up from the last few. Basically Jamie Lee Curtis’s character is now a single mom who’s spent the last 20 years paranoid about Michael Meyers coming back for her. She’s also the principal at the boarding school that her 17 year old son attends, which is where the whole movie takes place. Most of the first hour is just bullshit around the school with the teenage couples who do nothing but talk about sex, the setups of dumb excuses for the place to be empty for the final act chase, and more annoying patronizing false scares than you can shake a stick at. It’s all really just buildup to the final act, where it’s a one on one showdown between Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Meyers. She’s been through this all before, so she knows his tricks this time and is ready for them. It’s sort of Scream-esque. In fact, they actually are watching the first Scream movie on tv at one point. But doesn’t Scream make specific mention of the original Halloween several times? They even show clips from it at one point, and the characters talk about it’s flaws and the tropes it established. How can the movie Scream exist within the universe of the Halloween movies? That blows my mind. Anyway, so yeah, they kind of play with the tropes a little. For example, in the first movie, she hides in the closet. This time, Michael looks for her in the closet and she jumps out from behind him and hits him over the head. Then at the very end when they think he’s dead, she GTAs the ambulance he’s in and takes him out to the woods and decapitates him, just to be sure. It gets a little silly, but I appreciate what they’re trying to do, and getting to see the original scream queen come back one more time to get her payback is some nice fan service. Speaking of fan service, they’re also a nice cameo from Janet Lee, Jamie Lee’s mother and star of Psycho, which many consider to be the original slasher movie. What lets this movie down, yet again, are the bland kills. They’re almost all just generic stabbings, and the body count is surprisingly low. There’s even one seen where a kid has to reach into a garbage disposal, and they’re building all this tension, and then turns around and just gets his throat slit by Michael Meyers. How do you set that up and then not show us some fingers getting mashed to bits? Fucking ridiculous. Another thing worth mentioning is that a teenaged Joseph Gordon Levitt gets an ice skate to the face in he first twenty minutes, so that’s pretty cool. At the end of the day, it’s not a great movie, but it’s better than it’s incredibly terrible title would lead you to believe.

Overall Rating: 2 hydrogen 1 oxygen/10

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