Just three years after the B-movie flailings off Michael Myers curse, slasher movies were cool again thanks to box office experiences like Scream and I know what you did last summer. There is a technical polish (and no doubt a budget increase) that raises Halloween H20; it is directed by horror veteran Steve Miner (Friday the 13th part 2 and Part III) and boasts an incredible cast covered in Jamie Lee Curtis’ return as Laurie Strode. For OG horror fans, there’s also Nancy Stephens as Dr. Loomis’ longtime nurse, Marion Chambers, who appears in the first two Halloween movies and a cheerful support of Curtis’ mother, Psycho star Janet Leigh. For fans of pop culture in the late 1990s, you also get LL Cool J, Adam Arkin, Josh Hartnett, Michelle Williams, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
H20‘s story retcon wipes the previous three movies away, though it retains the detail that Laurie “died” in a car accident – a cover story so she can hide her identity as a survivor of the infamous Halloween massacre and hide her location from you-by-who. Laurie’s PTSD is explored here in a completely different way than in 2018 Halloween; she has violent nightmares and holds it tight together using a semi-secret booze problem and a cupboard filled with prescription drugs. But she is also the well-liked principal of a boarding school and is most functional in her relationships, even though her 17-year-old son (Hartnett) thinks she is too strict.
When Michael materializes — the film never states, but apparently he has just been at large for 20 years — his showdown with his long-lost sister is an appropriately epic mano-a-mano that takes more screen time than their fights in 2018. ‘ erne Halloween. And even though there are more Halloween installments after H20, the film ends with a sense of finality that is felt extremely satisfactory at the moment.
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