HALLOWEEN H20: TWENTY YEARS LATER
The subsequent sequels, through Halloween 6 (1995) did not feature
Curtis, and are generally thought of as being sub-par continuations of Michael's
story. He would lumber around in his featureless mask, and since he always
attacked on Halloween night, would usually go unnoticed by everyone but
his victims. It should be noted that Michael has been killed over and over
again in numerous ways, but he has an irritating habit of not staying dead.
So now we're up to the present. It's 20 years later, Laurie (Curtis)
has faked her own death, changed her name to Keri Tate, married, had a son,
divorced, and become headmistress of a private school in northern California.
Her son John (Josh Hartnett), who is a student at the school, has recently
celebrated his 17th birthday. The entire student body leaves on its annual
fall trip to Yosemite, but John stays behind, preferring to spend Halloween
making out with his girlfriend Molly (Michelle Williams). So there is almost
no one at the school except John, Molly, Keri, her boyfriend Will (Adam
Arkin), who is the school counselor, and Ronny (LL Cool J), the security
guard. And that's when that pesky Michael shows up.
Slasher movies are definitely not what they used to be. Back when I was
a teenager, they were almost like porno movies gone bad. Teenagers were
usually having sex when they were attacked by the local psycho, and one
almost always saw a perfect pair of 18-year-old breasts being split in twain
by a well-placed butcher knife. But, alas, those days are over. In the politically
correct '90s, the sex and gore are kept to a minimum. Boooooring.
To tell the truth, I never cared much for even the first two Halloween
movies, and though this film certainly has better acting, it is still a
bland story. The plot of this new incarnation, by Robert Zappia and Matt
Greenberg, is just barely more interesting than Carpenter's story of 1978.
Director Steve Miner, who has several TV series and a couple of Friday
The 13th movies to his credit, stuck to the same old premise of a Frankenstein-like
Michael (played wordlessly by stuntman Chris Durand) swaggering around,
killing and not dying. But Curtis's character shows a little more depth,
and certainly more wrinkles, having lived for 20 years with her terrible
memories recurring every time pumpkin season arrives.
The use of "jump" music is way overdone in this film, with a powerful chord every time someone starts to open a door. People are always appearing out of nowhere, and Keri seems to have as much ability to rise from the dead as Michael. Maybe it runs in the family. Nevertheless, if you're a Halloween fan, you're probably over 30, and this film will suit you--you need your sleep. ***
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