Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) Review

Director: Steve Miner

Genre(s): Horror, Thriller

Runtime: 86 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

IMDb Page

This one just might have the silliest name of the entire Halloween series. I mean, “H20?” You mean like the chemical formula for water? Who thought this out? The flick’s tagline is “Blood is thicker than Water,” so I guess they tried to tie in the whole water thing to the marketing. Okay, enough with that. The seventh installment in the franchise sees the return of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), who’s now the dean of a private school in California. Unfortunately for her, and fortunately for the audience, Michael Myers (Chris Durand) is also alive and well, and is making his way to the West Coast to kill her. Could this be the final showdown between Laurie and Michael? Don’t count on it!

Despite the water-logged title, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later is actually one of the better regarded sequels in Halloween universe. I think a lot of its appeal comes from the return of Laurie Strode, who goes by the alias “Keri Tate” in this picture. The last time she was seen in the Myers saga was Halloween II (1981), so many an audience member reacted positively to seeing her character come back and kick some ass. The final fights between her and Michael are, of course, the reason to watch.

On the down side, it seems like the filmmakers can only be so original with the seventh entry in the series. Halloween H20 sometimes feels like a “greatest hits” reel for the franchise so far. After the pre-opening credits sequence, this movie takes a while to get going. I’m not sure I’d describe it as a slow start exactly, but it comes close. The runtime’s short, though, so, all things considered, it doesn’t take that long for Michael Myers’ rampage to begin. The grungy Creed song (“What’s This Life For”) that plays over the end credits is, er, an interesting touch.

H20 is certainly competently made and avoids mistakes (unless you count misspelling Donald Pleasence’s last name “Pleasance” when dedicating it to him at the end), but is that enough? Well, it’s not the most original Halloween film, but I like it. If you’ve kept with the series this far, I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of it, too.

My rating is 7 outta 10.

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