Halloween H20: 20 years Later

“… the best it has been since Halloween II.”

Seven movies in and we’re finally getting complicated with the timeline. So, much like how Halloween III completes disregarded the previous two movies, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (which is a mouthful of a title) only acknowledges Halloween and Halloween II. With that in mind H20 takes place twenty years after the events of the first two Halloween movies, and follows Laurie Strode as she is trying to live her life and move past the traumatic experience that befell her on that fateful halloween night. But then Michael Myers has to come and fuck everything up.

Right off the bat H20 quenched my thirst for violence with its no-bullshit opener. Seriously, this movie gets right into the shit with brutal deaths and suspense. I was impressed, and I assumed that the rest of the movie would follow suit. I was wrong. H20 does this cute thing where it does something cool at the beginning, and then it does nothing at all until the end. Now I would love to sit here and shit on H20 for this very reason, but I can’t and here’s why: It was never boring.

H20 takes cues from other horror films released at the time (namely Scream) and refuses to take itself too seriously. It introduces a bunch of characters that, apart from Laurie Strode, are nothing; and the movie acknowledges this. Take, for instance, the teenage characters in the movie. They are dumb, needlessly rebellious, and exactly what you don’t want to watch for 90 minutes. So what does H20 do? Not show them. It sets up these characters and then instead of making you stew in their presence let’s them go and do their own thing, only bringing them back when it’s time for them to be brutally murdered.

H20 really knows its place in terms of it being a shitty horror movie, but that’s not to say that all aspects of it are terrible. The Laurie Strode storyline, for example, is awesome. We get to see the impact that the Michael Myers incident had on Laurie Strode even twenty years later. The overprotectiveness of her child, her alcoholism, her myriad of perception medication; all of these things are not-so-subtle hints at the scars she still carries with her. This was long-overdue in my opinion becasue we haven’t seen Laurie for five movies, but I’m glad we got it when we did.

Taking the character of Laurie Strode and painting her to be this nervous wreck who is still greatly damaged by past experiences, and then turning her into this badass “I’m sick of you’re shit” hero at the end of the movie was brilliant. The last twenty minutes of H20 was quite possibly the most intense Micheal Myers has ever been, and a lot of that is thanks to Laurie not giving up. She constantly sought out the fight trying to bring it to an end, but it just meant more entertainment for us.

Overall H20 was a solid entry into the Halloween series, and the best it has been since Halloween II. It knew its weaknesses, played to its strengths, and despite not being being action-packed managed to keep me engaged.

I give H20 a B

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