3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This new Michael's heart just isn't in it,
This review is from: Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later [DVD] (DVD)
Halloween H20 is a nice attempt to return to the core of the Michael Myers saga, but I think it comes up a little short in several ways. First off, you have to forget that films three through six in the series ever happened, which is a pity given that I enjoyed those more than most fans seemed to. Now, I am sure you remember Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), Michael’s sister whom he tried to kill on several occasions in the somewhat distant past, the one who survived only to be killed in a car accident a short while later. Well, not only is she not dead, she has made two big mistakes in her new life as Keri Tate: she has had a son named John (Josh Hartnett) who has never seen a comb or hairbrush in his seventeen years of life, and she has developed some kind of relationship with a character played by Adam Arkin. I do not know why I dislike Adam Arkin so much, but I was begging Michael to kill him from the first moment I saw him. Anyway, Lori/Keri is now the headmistress of a supposedly highfalutin school in California, yet even after twenty years she is fighting her brother’s demon, seeing his face over and over again every day. Her son knows the whole story, but he is tired of being overprotected, telling his mother that Michael is dead and no longer a threat - despite the fact that they never found his body. He is just a boy, but he should know better than to think Michael is out for the count. A little break-in and bloody mayhem at the home of Dr. Loomis’ former nurse gives Michael all the information he needs to find his supposedly dead sister. Since it is Halloween, Michael thinks it is only fitting to celebrate the anniversary of his old murder spree with his newly discovered family. With only seven potential victims at the school (everyone else in the class having gone camping in Yosemite – why the school would organize a camping trip on Halloween is the biggest mystery of the whole movie), there is really not enough carnage to go around, but the movie’s opening walk down memory lane and a later reenactment of sorts by Lori of her trademark closet sanctuary escape plan help make up for some of the disappointment. The most impactful moments of the film are the occasions when Lori and Michael come face to face for the first time in twenty years, although Alan Arkin’s little gun adventure qualifies as my favorite moment of the film by far.
Halloween H20 is a lot of fun in several ways. The manner by which a supposedly-dead Michael keeps appearing, even after twenty years, to a haunted Lori in mirrors and reflections is presented very well. I loved LL Cool J’s character Ronny Jones, the school security guy and frustrated romance writer; he supplied many a laugh to help fill the void of no murders taking place for far too long. Jamie Lee Curtis’ mother and Psycho shower victim Janet Leigh makes a fun cameo as Lori’s motherly secretary, and it was nice to see Dr. Loomis’ chain-smoking former nurse again. I was especially gratified to hear a voiceover of Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) in the opening credits. For me, Dr. Loomis was as much a part of Halloween as Michael himself, and these films made since Pleasance’s death really lack the spark he always brought to the drama. Speaking of no spark, though, I have to say I am not a fan of the new guy behind the mask. Chris Durand does not seem to bring anything to his character. I know that Michael is evil incarnate and pretty much dead inside, but he really just seemed to be going through the motions this time around. Finding out that he had been tricked and that his sister was still alive after all these years should have infuriated him, but Michael looks bored throughout this whole movie. There is one scene I especially hate; we look into Michael’s eyes and see a reflection of a budding young victim; to me, Michael’s eyes are supposed to be so black and empty that they will not reflect anything at all. Sadly, Michael is just not himself this time around, and the fact that he continues to have so much trouble killing one frightened woman is really starting to make him look pretty weak in my eyes.
All in all, though, the film is well worth seeing, if for nothing else than for the special little treats that long-time horror fans will appreciate. A more impressive actor behind the mask and a lot more bloody mayhem might possibly have made this movie something special, though.