Plot: It has been two decades since Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) was stalked and almost murdered by her own brother, the infamous maniac Michael Myers, but the events remain prominent in her psyche. She has put her life back together in the years since and become a successful educator, serving as the headmistress at a high end, private school. Most of the students have just left to visit Yosemite on a school trip, but Laurie’s son John (Josh Hartnett) remains on campus along with his girlfriend Molly (Michelle Williams) and a couple of their friends. Little does Laurie know that her worst fears are about to be realized, as Michael has been able to track her down and is headed to finish what he started. With little help available and Michael about to arrive, can Laurie control her fear to protect herself, her son, and the others, or will her past finally catch up with her once and for all?
Entertainment Value: The Halloween franchise rolled on for several sequels without her, but Halloween: H20 marked the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, so it was more special than a typical sequel in the franchise. The narrative is fine and finds Laurie with a new name and new life, only to be hunted down when Michael pillages Dr. Loomis’ old files. This is Michael Myers doing what he does best, stalking victims and chasing down his sister, not the most original concept perhaps, but the passage of time allows for some interesting threads. Laurie has waited for this showdown, a theme recycled in 2018’s Halloween, but it is more grounded and less Lifetime melodrama in this installment. I appreciated seeing Jamie Lee Curtis back and H20 feels connected to the first two movies in ways the other sequels don’t, but this is in the end a pretty middle of the road horror movie. The film is competent and seeing Laurie vs. Michael again was fun, but it doesn’t bring else much else to the table, as if just seeing them back in action would be enough. The end result is solid, but fails to spark the kind of magic found in the original Halloween, feeling more like a passable 90s horror movie that happens to include familiar elements. Even so, H20 is better than some of the Halloween sequels, so fans of the franchise should be pleased there.
No nakedness. There’s a good amount of horniness from both the students and faculty members, but it is all talk. The movie puts up a decent body count, but sadly most of the violence happens off screen and the blood quotient is rather low here. We’re able to see the aftermath of the violence, sometimes pools of blood or even a weapon lodged into someone, but we miss out on the kinetic kills. This series isn’t known for massive volumes of gore by any means, but this sequel plays it too safe and shows almost no active blood. There is a decapitation, but there’s no blood seen and the visual isn’t graphic in the least. I think in a formulaic slasher movie like H20, some creative kills and splashes of crimson can make a world of difference, but no such luck in this case. The dialogue is better than expected, with some nice callbacks to the previous movies, hokey humor, and just silliness, so that ups the entertainment value. I wish the movie would have embraced the campiness, as that could have helped the film escape this middling presence it settles for, but at least we have some fun lines sprinkled around. The general insanity is minimal as well, with only the occasional fun exchange to mix things up. Otherwise, H20 is content to be a quite basic horror ride.
Overall Insanity: 1/10