Horror Movie Month! "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later" Review

Photo Credit: Dimension Films

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Horror Movie Month! "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later" Review

Rating: R (terror, violence/gore, and language)
Length: 86 minutes
Release Date: August 5, 1998
Directed By: Steve Miner
Genre: Horror, Thriller

It has been more than two decades since Michael Myers unleashed bloody terror on his family, cold-bloodedly killing his sister Judith. More than a decade after the gruesome event in 1963, Myers returned to stalk his remaining sister, Laurie Strode. As her friends and loved ones disappeared one by one, Laurie fled in terror, fearing that she would be next. At the end of "Halloween II," Laurie determined that her best course of action was to pretend that she had died. Years later, at the opening of "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later," Laurie has created a new life for herself under a new name. She has a handsome man in her life and a young son whom she adores more than life itself. Michael has already destroyed her life once, and Laurie has more to lose now than ever. When her unrelenting, murderous brother finally tracks her down, Laurie finds herself forced to make a decision that could end his reign of terror once and for all.

"Halloween H20: 20 Years Later" features a complete role reversal. While Laurie was the one running from Michael in the first two films, she finds herself in a very different position this time around. The prey becomes the hunter as Laurie finally decides that enough is enough. To protect her son and the other people in her life, Laurie sets out on a quest to hunt down the infamous Mike Myers before he can find her first. With sister and brother engaged in a battle of wits and daring, "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later" promises to be a bloody and riveting addition to the franchise.

Jamie Lee Curtis delivers an astounding performance as Laurie Strode in her new life as Keri Tate. Although Laurie is still haunted by her gruesome family history, she is determined to move on and start fresh as Keri. This move proves her resilience as a character and makes her one of the most endearing horror movie leads in recent film history. Laurie refuses to step down and let Michael rule her life as he once did. She is determined not only to protect those she loves now but also to gain vengeance for all those she has lost. Michael slowly murdered all of her friends in her previous life, and Laurie proves that she has what it takes to put a stop to it this time around. Movie franchises give audiences the ability to witness characters grow and progress with time, and Laurie is arguably one of the most progressive horror characters, changing drastically from the time of the first film.

As viewers have come to love and expect from the "Halloween" franchise, "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later" is just as bloody and suspenseful as the original film. While "Halloween" set the bar for special effects during the time of its release, "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later" shows just how much technological progress can add to a film. While the film has plenty of camp for viewers to enjoy, it also feels far more realistic and tense than the original. The effects are more shocking, and Michael's bloody rampages are more stomach churning than ever. Even though the movie was filmed a couple of decades ago, it is still just as spine tingling as any recent horror film.

The "Halloween" franchise captured the imaginations of American audiences by using a blend of superb writing and over-the-top scenes of horror. Fans of horror thrillers such as "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and the "Scream" franchise will undoubtedly enjoy this great addition to '90s horror classics. "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later" never has a dull moment thanks to a fast-paced story line that progresses easily from one scene to the next. The constant life-and-death struggle between Laurie and her psychotic brother is the driving force of the film. The dynamic between brother and sister adds another layer of drama to this gory thriller. Director Steve Miner delves deeper into the history of the Myers children, exploring their complicated relationship with their mother and the madness that led Michael to become the monster he is.

For die-hard fans of the original "Halloween" films or those simply looking forward to a more modern entry point into the tale of Michael Myers, "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later" is a film that will not disappoint. Michael Myers is one of the most iconic horror movie characters, so there is no better way to welcome the Halloween season than to pop this classic into the DVD player and enjoy the gruesome ride.

Rating: 3 out of 5