Halloween: H20 Twenty Years Later.
Running Time 82 Minutes.
1) During the credits in the prologue, Dr. Samuel J. Loomis' dialog from the first film about Michael's incarceration is heard. The studio, instead of recovering the original audio decided to use a sound-alike actor named Tom Kane to provide the voice-over.
2) Janet Leigh's first role in a feature film for 18 years. Her previous theatrical film was The Fog (1980), which also starred her daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis.
3) During the scene where Norma is leaving, she stands in front the car the music playing in the background at this part is from Psycho. Janet Leigh played Marion in Psycho. The license plate on the car is also the same as the second car Marion buys in Psycho, NFB 418, which are Norman Bates' initials
4) Director Steve Miner also directed two films in another popular horror series:Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) & Friday the 13th Part III (1982).
5) Michael can be seen wearing two different masks in certain scenes. The director decided well into production, to go with a different mask, so various scenes were re-shot. Some scenes with the original mask can still be seen & in one shot it had to be altered with awful CGI to replace Michael's old mask with the new one.
6) Both Nancy Stephens & Joseph Gorden Levitt are dead before their names appear in the opening credits.
7) Body Count: 7 (three off-screen).
8) John Carpenter was originally in the running to be the director for this particular follow-up, it was believed that Carpenter opted out because he wanted no active part in the sequel; however, this is not the case. Carpenter agreed to direct the movie, but his fee was $10 million. Carpenter rationalised this by believing the hefty fee was compensation for revenue he never received from the original. When Moustapha Akkad balked at Carpenter's fee, Carpenter walked away from the project.
9) Kevin Williamson's original treatment for "H20" included a scene in which "Halloween 4" through "6" are acknowledged as being "in continuity" & involved a bitchy student at Keri/Laurie's school giving a class report on the "Haddonfield Murders", the student talks about Jamie Lloyd losing her parents in an auto accident & eventually being hunted & eventually killed by her uncle, Michael Myers. Upon hearing this presentation in the classroom, a grief-stricken Keri/Laurie retreats to a restroom & throws up, however this scene was of course omitted from the final shooting script & thus never appears in the film.
Now the headmistress of a private school, Laurie Strode is still struggling with the horrifying, 20-year-old memories of the maniacal killer Michael Myers. After faking her death, she thinks she's in the clear, but Michael Myers suddenly reappears with a vengeance. She, her son John & her students will become Michael's latest victims unless Laurie can conquer her greatest fears & put evil in its place once and for all.
Set twenty years after the events of the first two movies, Halloween: H20 centers on a post-traumatic Laurie Strode who has faked her own death so that she could go into hiding from her maniac mass murderer brother Michael Myers who she is convinced is still alive.
After the shambolic nonsense that was Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers, the producers decided to ignore the events of Halloween 4-6 & celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original movie by continuing the story arc of original scream queen & final girl Laurie Strode with Jamie Lee Curtis returning to her most iconic role she gives a excellent performance of a traumatised over-protective borderline alcoholic pill popping Laurie who has never truly dealt with what happened to her on that fateful night in 1978, Curtis effortlessly slips back into the role & delivers a wonderful multi layered performance of a victim of PTSD (a illness i also suffer from) but in her final confrontation against Michael can she finds that inner courage to finally face her fears & take the fight back against her psychotic brother?
The good news is Halloween: H20 is a return to form for this tired looking franchise, director Steve Miner opens with a creepy pre-title sequence that reintroduces Michael Myers (a very creepy performance by Chris Durand) & ramps up the suspense with the shock death of Nurse Marion Chambers-Whittington (Nancy Stephens) who featured alongside the late Donald Pleasence character Dr Loomis (who's absence is greatly missed) in Halloween 1 & 2, however these opening chills quickly decline into the routine stalk & slasher approch as it becomes blatantly obvious who will live & who'll die.
My biggest issue with this movie is that it takes to long to get going which for a 82 minute run time is a cause for concern, Michael is barely seen until halfway into the second act & instead we get too many scenes at the adolescent teens at the school who are soon departing on a camping trip (Jason Voorhees awaits you) none of which move the plot forward, another negative I have & it's a big one is the lack of gore, now I know the original film was mostly gore free but you got to see the kills, in H20 three deaths occur off screen, two during the pre-title sequence which is annoying as we see the characters Jimmy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) have a ice skate impaled to his face which would've made a cool on-screen kill & Jimmys mate who gets his throat slit (off-screen) & later Charlie ( Adam Hann-Byrd) encounters Michael (wearing a awful CGI mask) who's gutted & strung up in the pantry while Charlie's girlfriend Sarah is stabbed to death but we don't even get to see one impact shot of Michael stabbing her, it's like Miner was hesitant to show blood & violence & it's disappointing this film tonally barring the use of the F' word feels like a diluted PG-13 slasher instead of a R' rated horror flick, a good slasher should feature inventive kills especially in a Halloween movie, director Steve Miner should understand this as after all he directed Friday The 13th Part 2 & 3 & they featured several awesome kills.
The supporting cast do mostly a good job, Janet Leigh has a small role as secretary Norma & gets to share a poignant scene with her real life daughter - Jamie Lee Curtis, Adam Arkin is perfect casting as smug school councillor Will Brennan who's Keri's on/off lover, LL Cool J is likable as Ronald "Ronny" Jones & one of the few characters I'm glad lived although it would've been cool to have had a scene were Ronny got into a tussle with Michael, Michelle Williams is fine but given little to do as John's girlfriend Molly Cartwell, however it's Josh Hartnett who stands out from the young cast as Laurie/Keri son John Tate & he shows a varied dramatic range of emotions for a future leading man as he's trying to break free of the clutches of his overprotective mother.
Director Steve Miner ups the ante for the last act & delivers a tense nail biting climax, a impressive one on one cat & mouse chase between Laurie & Michael throughout the school with Laurie gaining the upper hand stabbing Michael however as the police & paramedics arrive Laurie is unconvinced her brothers actually dead & steals the van with Michaels corpse (he ain't dead) & as Michael begins to revive the van crashes down a embankment leading to Laurie finally beheading a trapped Michael with a axe finally freeing her of brothers murderous clutches which was a perfect way to conclude this franchise.
Overall, Halloween: H20 is bloodless horror devoid of any impressive kills, the impressive opening sequence quickly drags to a halt with to much padding, however Curtis is superb returning to her most iconic role & she carrys the film which leads to a terrifying last act, while it's not on par with the first two Halloween movies, H20 delivers a fitting final chapter for Haddonfields most notorious boogeyman Michael Myers & at least makes sure that this long running horror franchise goes out on a high.