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Trying to revive the franchise (and forget about anything post HALLOWEEN II) HALLOWEEN H20: 20 YEARS LATER is a middling effort and not as satisfying as they would like you to believe it is. 

As the title suggests H20 takes place twenty years after that fateful night when “He” came home. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has gone into hiding and changed her name. She’s now Carrie Tate and dean of a private school in Northern California. She has a teenage son John (Josh Hartnett in his screen debut) who goes to the school and must deal with her over protective nature and night terrors. 

John has a girlfriend in Molly (Michelle Williams) and Laurie/Carrie has a beau in Will (Adam Arkin) one of the teachers. All seem somewhat right in the world until Michael Myers tracks them down for a final confrontation with his sister (how dare she be still alive!). 

Produced by Dimension Films, the movie is once-again a post-modern take on the material thanks again to the enormous success of the SCREAM franchise and the many other copycat films that inevitably followed. H20 gets lost in the shuffle as it must serve two masters and doesn’t quite do either very well. 

Sure, it’s great seeing the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as well as a supporting role by her mom Janet Leigh, but the film just doesn’t feel as epic as it deserves to be for this 20th anniversary. I want to like it, but it just never really gels for me and feels made for the then current crop of mainstream horror movie audiences than for hardcore fans of the series. 

The film, directed by horror stalwart Steve Miner feels cluttered and more akin to a FRIDAY THE 13th film than one of the HALLOWEEN series (which makes sense considering that’s where Miner cut his teeth). 

And I must say that it did bother me that they completely jettison the HALLOWEEN 4-6 canon which I felt was at least worth mentioning than ignoring. Once again, poor Jamie Lloyd getting the short end of the stick. 

I’m sure those who find the original HALLOWEEN too slow for them (I hate even typing those words), might enjoy the faster paced and far more violent H20, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the original and it only goes, once again downhill from there).

SEPTEMBER 27, 2014