Movie Reviews 70 – Halloween: H20

While water is not a constituent part of Halloween H20, the movie does provide a watershed event with the return of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis returning to her role in the original) who we haven’t seen since Halloween II.

The movie begins with a break-in at the former home of Dr Loomis allowing the filmmakers to pay one last tribute to Donald Pleasance who died shortly after filming Halloween 6, The Curse of Michael Myers. Not only does Michael Myers steal Laurie Strode’s file from the departed doctors office, but he manages to kill the nurse who took over the household and a few smarty pants neighborhood teens for good measure. With her file in hand, Michael once again sets off to find and kill his sister who’s been hiding out in California with a new life as a private school headmistress and with a teenage son who is a student at her school.

Laurie is still fighting off the memories and nightmares of her past but has kept it a secret from everyone. Her son knows of her past, but even he does not know the full extent of it. Laurie tries to balance out this life of running the school and having a secret affair with one of the teachers there but she keeps having flashbacks and momentary visions of Michael and can’t seem to shake them off despite all assurances and common sense.

Laurie’s fear make her overprotective of her son which has lead to tension in the family. Her son has finally managed to convince her to give him some slack and allow him to join the rest of schoolkids going on a planned field trip when he then learns that his close friends have all managed to find ways to stay behind for some friendly frolic. So, unknown to mom, he stays behind to be with his friends, all of them hiding and partying in an unused section of the school . It isn’t long before Michael shows up at the school of course and terrorizes John, his friends, and Laurie who has learned that the kids have stayed behind. With some of the kids and school guards already dead, Laurie and John make it to the front gates with escape at their fingertips. But Laurie has reached the breaking point and sets aside all that nasty history for a final one on one battle with Michael.

I would rate this as one of the better Halloween sequels featuring a spectacular ending that seems to finally put Michael to rest and an end to Laurie’s misery. The venue change to a school was welcomed despite the fact that that meant we could not have it all play out in the familiar neighborhood of Haddonfield. The acting was all top notch and the level of suspense was fairly intense throughout. The fact that we questioned Laurie’s visions of Michael at the start as much as she did herself was particularly effective. And to assuage the more intense build-up there is a bit of comic relief provided by one of the school guards with aspirations of becoming an author.

Enjoy the brief cameo by Jamie’s real-life mother, Janet Leigh (Psycho).

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