halloween h20

‘Halloween: H20’ Turns 20 Years Old This Month!

Twenty years ago, I was 8 years old and going to see my very first Halloween film in theaters. I had spent the month prior racing into the living room any time I heard the Halloween: H20 trailer come on our TV screen. I can still remember holding my breath every time we watched Michael Myers lower himself down from the ceiling behind Laurie Strode, and wondering how that turned out. It honestly seems like yesterday. However, it has been two decades since the hype surrounding the 20th anniversary film first began to spark. Now, in 2018, we are currently awaiting the 40th anniversary film and the excitement is very palpable around the horror community. While we wait, let’s look back on one of the best entries in the series, Halloween: H20.

confrontation halloween

Directed by Steve Miner, Halloween: H20 released on August 5, 1998 and terrified audiences all over the world. Marking the return of Jamie Lee Curtis to the franchise, she was joined by a hip young cast that included Josh Hartnett (The Faculty, 30 Days of Night), Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain, Shutter Island), Adam Arkin (Lake Placid), LL Cool J (Deep Blue Sea), and even a special appearance by Jamie Leigh Curtis’ mom, Janet Leigh (Psycho). The synopsis of the film was simple. Laurie Strode faked her own death, became a dean of a private school, and 20 years after the events of the first two films, Michael Myers returns to finish what he started all those years ago.

The film was amazing, not only to my 8 year old eyes, but to most fans, and it honestly seemed like the perfect final chapter in the saga of Michael Myers.

halloween cast

The first thing I love about H20 is the effort they put into character building. While the most recent entries weren’t lacking in that department, they weren’t using it to its full potential, either. The suspense we felt in the first two films was back, the original Scream Queen was back, and we were introduced to another generation of characters that were relatable, but most of all, likeable. Once we had a chance to get to know them well enough, we are treated to some of the finest chase scenes in horror movie history. Due to the film giving us time to invest in its characters, Halloween: H20 really allowed its viewers to become immersed, on the edge of their seat, praying that each character’s demise isn’t inevitable. I hope to see this same kind of work in the next installment.

Michael Myers

Next, I loved that we were able to see a realistic approach to what Laurie Strode could possibly be like 20 years after such a horrible thing happened to her and her friends. You can see that as a character, she is trying to hold it together, but inside, she is completely unraveling. Drowning her problems in booze, soon she finds out that alcohol will not solve the imminent danger she is in, and we see her overcome her fear and take back control. In this film alone, the evolution of Laurie Strode is an amazing journey to go on. When she finally yelled, “Michael!” at the very end, inviting her psychotic brother to battle, there is a moment of pride that fills my horror heart every single time I hear it. It happens at a moment in which we, as the viewer, have had enough, right along with Laurie, and we know that the time has come to stop running and fight.

Jamie Lee Curtis

Lastly, I really enjoyed that we got to watch The Shape in this film instead of Michael Myers. Before you grab your pitchforks let me explain. In Halloween 4-6, we were given a version of Michael that was about action, almost gimmicky, not really toying with his prey like he did in the first two films. In H20, The Shape has returned to get his revenge, and there is a lot of time where we see Michael just observing the area, waiting for the right moment to attack, and sometimes just fucking around with his potential victims (Example: the scene at the guard station with LL Cool J). I loved that they brought this back. It was very reminiscent of the laundry room scene from the original, and I am a sucker for nostalgia.

ll cool j halloween

Halloween: H20 is still overflowing with greatness 20 years after its release due to its great character building, realistic approach, and marking the return of The Shape. While I love each film in this franchise for many reasons, this one will always remain special because it was the first Halloween film I had seen on the big screen. I really hope that 2018’s approach to the franchise has me feeling the same way 20 years from now. What do you guys think about H20? Will you be watching it to celebrate its birthday? Let us know in the comments, along with what you are looking forward to from the upcoming sequel!

About Preston Holt

At 5 years old i was catapulted in to the horror genre and have had no desire to ever leave it. I'm 26 years old with a great sense of humor and a thirst for the horror industry that just will never be quenched. I have a horror review site of my own called cabinintheweb reviews and when I'm not writing about, or watching, horror films, I am spending time with my spouse and my animals.

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