As we close in on October 31, AiPT! will be reviewing and recommending various pieces of underappreciated scary media-books, comics, movies, and television-to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.
You don’t even have to be a horror fan to know who and what Michael Myers is. He’s up there on the list of the most infamous film villains and the feud between Laurie Strode and him is up there amongst the most famous. The hatred began way back in 1978, when the original Halloween hit theaters and became a surprise hit with both audiences and critics. Then, due to the success of that film a slew of hit and miss sequels (mostly misses) were released. After a grand total of six films, Halloween H20 rose from the ashes and refreshed the series by bringing Jamie Lee Curtis back to face off against her psycho brother once again.
The story focuses on a 40 year old Laurie Strode, who now has a 17 year old son and is the head of a private California school. She has struggled with addiction for years and has sever anxiety from the traumatic events she suffered through as a teenager. And because of her severe anxiety she is very controlling of her son (Josh Hartnett) who is quickly getting tired of her overbearing nature. All the high school students are going away going away on a school trip, and she eventually lets go of some of her anxiety long enough to allow him to go. He ends up staying home instead, on the exact night Michael Myers descends on Laurie and everyone around her. It’s been twenty years since the first time they faced off, and they’re about to do it again…..I’ve always been a fan of this film as it was the very first slasher films I ever saw. I quickly found out that it’s one of the few good ones in that genre. I still really enjoy it today, especially when it’s compared to the previous installments (4, 5, and 6). The Halloween films had become dry and unbelievably predictable, and were filled with cardboard cutout characters. So when this one came along with Curtis, who plays the hell out of her character, Laurie it was like a breathe of fresh air.
While we’re on the subject of the fabulous Ms Curtis, I have to rave about her. She just embraces this role and you can really tell she takes it seriously, putting a lot of emotion in every part of her performance. And it’s not just the scenes where she takes on Michael; she has great depth in the earlier scenes where she’s having heart to hearts with Adam Arkin’s character. I really loved that this film took the time to give Laurie scenes that make her human; it gives us a serious glimpse into her feelings. Her chemistry with Arkin is really good and he was a nice addition to the cast. Josh Hartnett, who plays her son, gives a good performance here, one of his very first. This was also one of Michelle Williams’s first, and she handles herself just fine. She and Hartnett have some nice chemistry.
The writing is way above average for a slasher flick. Not to say that the writing is fantastic – there’s plenty of films with far better writing out there – but in the horror genre, this is one of the best scripts I’ve seen. Seeing that in a film of this type is very refreshing.
Now for the scary stuff: is it effective and will slasher fans be pleased? I think so. I mean this type of horror is really more fun, as apposed to scary. I will say the kills are intense and will most likely please slasher fanatics. Speaking of which, the ending is very intense and feels so good. Of course, I won’t spoil it but suffice to say that it’s a very fitting end.Halloween H20 is a very worthy installment in the Michael Myers film series, with a well written script, a great lead performance by Curtis, and a fitting ending. The only negative I can come up with is some of the “comedic relief” by LL Cool J, that didn’t really work. The other downside isn’t even related directly to this film, but the film that comes right after this one, Halloween Resurrection. The great ending to this film that does both the series and Laurie Strode so much justice is ruined in that film in a stupid trashy way. Halloween Resurrection is a dumb film in general and it was made purely for monetary purposes, so they basically messed with the good ending to this film so they could make a quick buck on a piece of crap sequel. It’s the dark side of Hollywood, unfortunately.