Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

DVD Cover (Echo Bridge Entertainment)
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> Surprsingly Good
Overall Rating 62%
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Ranked #1,830
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Connections: Halloween

Two decades after surviving a massacre on October 31, 1978, former baby sitter Laurie Strode finds herself hunted by persistent knife-wielder Michael Myers. Laurie now lives in Northern California under an assumed name, where she works as the headmistress of a private school. But it's not far enough to escape Myers, who soon discovers her whereabouts. As Halloween descends upon Laurie's peaceful community, a feeling of dread weighs upon her -- with good reason. --TMDb
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: April 13, 2007
Thank God for Steve Miner! He brought us two entries in the "Friday the 13th" franchise, the amazingly great horror/comedy "House" and the guilty pleasure, "Lake Placid". I assume he helped snag Jamie Lee Curtis for this film, the third best entry in the entire franchise. After years and years of schlock after schlock after schlock, we finally have the Michael Myers that we remember from the first two films.

The film finds Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) -- now, Keri Tate -- working as the headmaster for a private school out in California. Her son (Josh Hartnett) is a student there and she has tried very hard to put her past life behind her, the life she lived in Haddonfield. She still has nightmares about her brother Michael and about the torment that he put her through. What she doesn't know, however, is that Michael has escaped...again...and has ransacked Dr. Loomis' home and found her address. And, Michael comes calling very soon. LL Cool J stars as the security guard at the front gate and Alan Arkin as Jamie Lee's love interest. Eventually, Michael arrives and all hell breaks loose on the campus, giving "Halloween" fans what they've wanted for a while -- another showdown.

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was to see Jamie Lee and Michael's showdown at the end of the film. I remember everyone in the audience cheering because it had been a long time coming. Steve Miner directed this film like Quentin Tarantino might have directed it -- a duel between two bloody rivals. He also managed to set up enough story to make us genuinely interested in the characters -- something the previous films were unable to do. We get the rocky relationship between Jamie Lee and her son, we get her inability to forget the past, and we get all the Michael Myers goodness we could ever hope for...and then some.

The worst thing about this film is that its success brought about "Halloween: Resurrection". Though it wasn't absolutely terrible, this is where the franchise should have died. It should have ended with a bang, and not a whimper. "Halloween H-20" is great for several reasons, and I'll name a few: (01) it introduced us all to Josh Hartnett, looking adorable as ever; (02) it gave "Halloween" fans everything they had been craving; (03) it gave us a fond farewell to the character of Dr. Loomis; (04) it brought back the original tone and pacing of the original film but still managed to insert enough modern day horror tricks to keep the newbies amused; and, (05) the entire film after the point when Jamie Lee realizes Michael has arrived on the campus. Brilliant.

Very cool film from a very cool director. Bringing Jamie Lee back was a stroke of genius, and it really worked. This film helped re-spark interest in the franchise. I thank it for that. 8/10.
Tristan #1: Tristan - added April 13, 2007 at 8:06pm
Let's not forget he also gave us the 2nd and 3rd installments in the Friday the 13th series as his directional debuts.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added October 16, 2007 at 4:17pm
It was a good movie, but the transition between the second and third act bothered me. It was 60 minutes of basically nothing, then the ending seemed too rushed. Still better than everything after Halloween II, mind you. 8.5/10
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