‘Halloween H20: 20 Years Later’ – Retro Review

“Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream…” Oh, the feels of hearing that song, of knowing that Michael Myers will slice and dice his way into our hearts once again. It actually was like a dream when I found out that they were making a direct sequel to the original Halloween and Halloween II. Thus bringing us the best Halloween movie since… Halloween H20: 20 Years Later!

On August 5th, 1998, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later hit theaters to mark the double decade celebration of the original Halloween. Friday the 13th Part II’s Steve Miner directed. This film is the second highest grossing movie in the entire franchise, coming in second behind Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake. So if we want to get really technical, this means Halloween H20: 20 Years Later is actually the highest grossing movie of the original series. With a budget of $17 million, it ended up grossing $55 million at the box office and another $21 million in DVD sales and rentals. That’s pretty freaking remarkable if you ask me.

Although it has mixed reviews among critics at a 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.7 ranking on IMDb.com, it is considered by many to be the best sequel next to Halloween II. We waited 20 years for this film – it should be that awesome! Yes, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later may be a little short on time and it pretty much ignores sequels 4 through 6, but do we really care? No! Because we get the ultimate scream queen back… Miss Jamie Lee Curtis!! Not to mention the hottest cast in the entire series.

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Yes, that is Joseph Gordon Levitt playing Jimmy, the guy who tries to come to the rescue of nurse Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), who is playing her original character from the first two films. She was Dr. Loomis’ right-hand man and cared for him until he passed away. Even though Donald Pleasence had already passed, I think it’s brilliant that they put him in as a voice over.

This movie starts off with a bang right away. Jimmy gets an ice skate to the face as Marion gets her throat slashed… and so it begins once again. Our beloved Michael has returned in search of Laurie. He has been on the hunt for her for over twenty years. Little does he know that she faked her own death, went into the witness protection program and now lives as the head mistress of a boarding school where her son, John (Josh Harnett), attends. She has been living in constant fear for the past two decades, hoping and praying that her brother Michael didn’t find her.

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As Halloween approaches, there is a class camping trip and Laurie will not let her son attend, so he makes alternate plans to spend some special time with his girlfriend, Molly (Michelle Williams), and two of their friends. Laurie changes her mind and decides it’s best if John goes. Plus she can get some much needed alone time with her own boyfriend, Will (Adam Arkin), and divulge all of the secrets in her life to him. Sorry, but I just have to say, he is no Ben Tramer.

John and his friends don’t go on the trip and stick around the school with the head of security, played by none other the LL COOL J himself. Who wouldn’t feel safe? Unfortunately for John and his crew, Michael easily makes it past him, beginning a night of terror and killing. This film also has the best stare down in the entire franchise between Laurie and Michael, leading up to the ultimate showdown among the two!

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So let’s get into some fun facts about this one:

1. There are many references to Psycho and Scream in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. Janet Leigh, who played Marion Crane in Psycho and also happens to be Jamie Lee’s real life mother, makes a cameo. Music from the movie Scream is actually used in this film. At one point, Laurie tells her son and his girlfriend to drive down to the Becker’s for help. In Scream, Becker was Drew Barrymore’s last name. You can also see Scream 2 playing in the background.

2. The scene where Michael is flipping up tables was originally intended for Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers for a scene taking place in a classroom where his niece, Jamie, is hiding under desks. Due to time constraints, they had to cut it from Return. Since that scene had always been remembered, they included it in this Halloween H20: 20 Years Later.

3. Although not directly credited, my personal favorite screenwriter, Kevin Williamson, rewrote several scenes and helped on production. Maybe this is part of why I love this movie so much. He totally has his aesthetic.

4. There was a total of four Michael Myers masks used in this film.

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Final Thoughts:

Let the above image speak for itself and consider Halloween H20: 20 Years Later an epic end to Lori and Michael’s journey since the next film in the franchise totally sucked and killed this amazing climax. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later did right by the fans. They just couldn’t leave well enough alone when they should have said, “Cut, Casper! That’s a wrap.”

About Lacylou1122

Lacy Lou has had a love for horror movies pretty much since birth! If you ever need a horror trivia question answered she's your girl!!! She is obsessed with the movie Scream and even has a Ghostface tattoo to prove it! She loves to write and make new friends that share the same interest.

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