In the midst of crappy ‘90s horror movies, it was a breathe of fresh air to have Dimension Films bring Michael Myers back face-to-face with Lauria Strode in HALLOWEEN: H20, and considering the time it hit theaters, the movie is pretty fun in it’s own right.
Written by newcomer screenwriter Kevin Williamson (SCREAM, I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER) and directed by Steve Miner (FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 & 3), the film was supposed to be a trip back to the ‘80s forgetting everything between HALLOWEEN II and H20. Laurie Strode, now the dean of a Northern California private school with an assumed name, must battle the Shape (her brother) one last time and now the life of her own son hangs in the balance.
Taking into account this came out in 1998, it’s not surprising that the film is loaded with teen idol-like stars (Josh Hartnett, LL Cool J) and a gazillion fake scares. Placing myself back in 98 I can still remember the night I saw this film, and how I felt about it.
I remember sitting with a bunch of morons, non-horror fans “claiming” to have watched the other films. The theater was packed and I could hear people asking “is that her brother? Is that his sister? Are they related?” It was hard to ignore them as I tried to relish the moment when Laurie Strode and Michael Myers would once again come face-to-face. The first half of the film was pretty tame, filled with fake scares (yay a stupid bathroom scene), Michael driving around in a car and a bunch of character building between Laurie and her son John Tate (Josh Hartnett). But once shit hits the fan it’s a HALLOWEEN fans wet dream (especially after The Thorne story in 6).
What I loved about H20 was that Laurie flips the hunt to Michael as she’s sick of running and snaps. It’s time for her to hunt down her brother and end what started that night 20 years ago. It was supposed to be the perfect finale, and it was, only everyone in theater was chatting it up in the lobby saying “Michael Myers is finally dead, yay!” It just bugged me that people actually believed it was the end, when obviously there can always be more films. If I ignore the fact that in RESURRECTION we find out that Laurie didn’t actually kill Michael (which is just ludicrous) I would say this is one of the best ending in horror franchise history. The entire third act was intense and epic, the finale we’ve all been waiting for.
Watching the film now it might be hard to remember how fun it was almost ten years ago, but it truly was an entertaining thrill-ride. And how can you not love the little winks like the cameo by Janet Leigh (Curtis’ mom) as Norma Watson with the PSYCHO music playing in the background? Although the film now plays like a ‘90s DAWSON’S CREEK horror film, it’s still a nice addition to the franchise that I’ll always cherish in some way or another.