Halloween H20


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Halloween H20
"You know what's going to happen. The only difference is the teenagers don't strip first."

There are cash-in movies and cash-in-quick movies. This is the latter. After the surprise wallet-filler, Scream, and the double dunk second helping, Scream 2, one of the Weinstein brothers at Miramax must have asked, "Who says slasher flicks are toast?" Jason's resting and Freddy's dead, so who's ready to cleave flesh? Michael Myers, that's who.

Michael is a loony, who makes holes in teenage girls, preferably when they're naked, on - you've guessed it - Halloween night. There is something supernatural about him, that has never been explained, even by Donald Pleasance, the decidedly manic psychiatrist, who became obsessed with the case. Michael's trick is doing the resurrection shuffle. Just when you thought he'd croaked for sure, he pops back up, looking as ridiculous as ever, in his stupid mask and a socking great kitchen utensil in his fist. Jamie Lee Curtis was the only survivor from John Carpenter's startling 1978 original. As Michael's sister, she knows that when he escapes from wherever he is, he'll be coming for her. Why? That's another mystery.

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H20 is the seventh in the series and the third for Curtis. She has changed her name and is running a posh private school in leafy Richville, California. She has a 17-year-old son, called John (Josh Hartnett), but no husband in sight. Her romantic other is the dullest member of staff, Will ("Have I flossed?") Brennan (Adam Arkin), the careers master, who represents everything you didn't want to know about being grown up, like "I'm a good listener, try me" and clothes that defy style.

It's the Halloween weekend and the kids are off to Yosemite. John, his girlfriend and a couple of pals stay behind for an illicit cellar party. Jamie Lee starts slugging vodka straight from the bottle and, right on cue, Michael shows up. He hasn't been heard from for 20 years, although looks the same. Naturally, she freaks. Have-I-Flossed puts on his I'm-here-for-you face, which is about as helpful as a bacon butty at a vegan wedding.

You know what's going to happen. The only difference is the teenagers don't strip first. Michael moves incredibly slowly, which makes you wonder why no one walks quickly to safety. Was the reason slasher flicks went out of fashion because they couldn' t come up with anything new? Until Scream, which was about high school kids who thought the genre was kitsch and groovy. There's nothing groovy about H20. It is so inbred, it has Mummy (Janet Leigh) in a non-combative cameo role and dialogue from the cardboard years. "What do we do? What do we do?" "Try to live." Guess they didn't try hard enough.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Halloween H20 packshot
Michael's back in half-baked sequel.
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Director: Steve Miner

Writer: Robert Zappia, Matt Greenberg

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, Adam Arkin, Michelle Williams, LL Cool J, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe, Adam Hann-Byrd, Janet Leigh, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nancy Stephens, Brandon Williams

Year: 1998

Runtime: 85 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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