Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

(Reviewed in 2002, with revisions in 2017.)

The onscreen title of this film is “Halloween H20: 20 Years Later.” I assume the “H20” means “Halloween 20,” not “water” — which means the full, unabbreviated title of this movie is: “Halloween Halloween 20: 20 Years Later.” Once again, a movie has made errors before it even starts.

It starts in Langdon, Ill., by the way, where Michael Myers shows up and kills some folks, including the woman who was the stupid nurse who let him out of the mental hospital 20 years earlier. Why would Michael want to kill her, as opposed to thanking her? It just goes to show that he’s not crafting his plans very carefully these days.

Take, for example, his behavior at a rest stop in Summer Glen, Calif. He needs a new car to replace his busted-down one, so he parks at the rest stop and waits for someone to come along whose car he can steal. Now, if you’re an unstoppable killing machine, do you really need to be so stealthy about auto theft? Wouldn’t it be a lot more time-efficient to go to a busy place to steal a car, rather than waiting who knows how long at a remote desert rest stop?

But the road of criticizing Michael Myers’ strategy is a long, winding one, and we ought not embark upon it. Instead, we must discuss the triumphant return of Laurie Strode, who was the main character in the original two films. She is played by Jamie Lee Curtis, who took time out of her busy schedule of doing 1,000 VoiceStream commercials per week to star in this movie.

How can that be, when we were told in no uncertain terms that Laurie Strode was dead? Well, it seems she faked her death and changed her name to get away from Michael, because they never found his body after it burned up in the fire at the end of Part 2.

Now, hold on a minute here, Hector. We met Laurie’s daughter, who was sad beyond belief about the death of her mom. We met her in Part 4; she was a tormented mute in Part 5; and she was a teen-age mother in Part 6. Are we to believe Laurie would fake her death even when she had a child to take care of? And that when that child was being pursued (and ultimately killed) by Michael, Laurie wouldn’t come back and try to rescue her?

Of course not. What we’re to believe is that the daughter never existed, because indeed, parts three through six in the series never happened.

That’s right: Michael was burned up in Part 2, and has not been seen nor heard from since. The incidents in the other movies did not occur.

I have a problem with this logic. If those movies didn’t happen, WHY DID I WATCH THEM? I watched them all. Sat here on the couch, took notes, wrote reviews, everything. Why did I do this, if the movies did not exist after all? I want my time and money back.

Anyway, “Halloween Halloween Halloween 20 20 20” is where Laurie Strode is now Keri Tate, and she’s headmistress at a private school where her mush-mouthed 17-year-old son John (Josh Hartnett) is a student. Since it’s Halloween, Keri is a bit freaked out, and John is very supportive, insofar as he plans to sneak away from a school-sponsored camping trip and have sex with his girlfriend instead.

Then Michael shows up and blah blah blah.

This film had a bigger budget than most of its predecessors (most of its predecessors combined, I mean), and certainly more star power. Curiously, this did not stop it from sucking.

There is a school security guard played by LL Cool J who wants to write porn for a living.

Also, just as in all the “Halloween” films, kids are out trick-or-treating at 1 p.m.

Also, when Keri Tate tells her boyfriend (Adam Arkin) about her horrible past, he responds, “That’s sucky.”

The one bright spot in this movie came when someone went to call for help and discovered Michael had cut the phone line. This always happens in horror movies, and it finally dawned on me while watching it this time that I wouldn’t have the first clue where to look for the phone line on a house. How does Michael always know where it is? Some kind of sixth sense? Is he like a divining rod for phone lines? The thought made me smile, briefly whisking me away from this tedious, unoriginal movie where people get killed only so we can be told later that they never existed.

D+ (1 hr., 25 min.; R.)