Blu Ray Review: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later


The seventh Halloween film returns to the story of Laurie Strode, the heroine babysitter of the first two entries in the series.  Halloweens 4 through 6 focused on Laurie’s daughter Jamie, who was left orphaned after Laurie (supposedly) died.  As it turns out, she just faked her death and left her little girl to die screaming at the hands of Michael Myers.


To be fair, this film disregards the events of the last three; except for the story about Laurie dying in a car crash; so presumably, she never had a daughter.  She does have a son, though, one whom she’s kept in a protective bubble for fear that her brother, who hasn’t been seen since the fire in the hospital which ended Halloween 2, will return for her.  He and his friends, you may guess, are destined to become the traditional teenage cannon fodder when Michael does make his inevitable return.

Jamie Lee Curtis, who reprises her role as Laurie, finally looks her age, and not like a forty-year-old high school student.  Its refreshing to see a genuinely good actor in a cheap horror sequel; Curtis brings a quality of performance, and plain old legitimacy, that lifts everything up around her, even making some of lesser-skilled young actors seem better than they should.

The ‘Jamie Trilogy,’ which encompassed the past three films was, at the best of times, a competent reproduction of the original Halloween.  At it’s worst, it was a dreadful bore that neutered Michael by turning him into a fantasy villain controlled Druid cults and magic runes.  By ignoring these past events; Halloween H20 did what few horror franchises could never hope to do, it fixed its villain.

Michael is so much more threatening and scary when he is just a man.  Yes, he’s still preternaturally resistant to injury; but he’s not the brain dead zombie that can walk through walls that we had to endure in the last movie.  He gets tricked and mislead, he runs from the police, and he gets hurt.  The camera lingers several times throughout the film on Michael’s eyes behind the mask, just to hammer home the fact that he’s human.  The actor, Chris Durand, does an amazing job of showing no emotion in them at all; he’s the Michael that Dr. Loomis described in the first Halloween, completely dead inside.  It has an incredibly creepy effect.

Halloween H20 is easily the best Halloween since the second, and possibly the first.  The second had the benefit of John Carpenter; but was, when you get right down to it, a needless, tacked on epilogue.  H20 tells a complete story, which deals with the emotional effects of the original film’s events in a way that the second one didn’t.

The Blu Ray from Alliance (there’s an Echo Bridge one as well) contains three movies on one disc.  Video quality is okay, but not much better than a really good DVD would be.  There are no extras.

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