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The 100




Halloween: H20
(1998)
Reviewed by Scott Murdock
Rating: 7 Beans

efore I get into how incredibly boring this movie is, I'm going to be up front about a little fact you might ant to take into consideration while reading this review: I had never seen a "Halloween" movie before. You read that right, I had managed to completely avoice this entire series until now.

With that out of the way, I now must warn you that my review contains several spoilers. If you have not seen "Halloween:H20" yet and plan to, do not read this review now. Go see the movie and then come back and read what I have to say about it later. This review is intended ONLY for people who have already seen this movie or have no intention whatsoever of seeing it. You're still reading, so I assume now that you want to read the spoliers. Okay, my review begins below.

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This is the lamest attempt at a horror/slasher movie that I have seen! So boring, so unsuspensful, so uneventful. Jeez.

The movie opens with a classic display of Darwinism as three people become victims of natural selection (mostly off-camera). This includes two useless and idiotic teenagers whose deaths fortunately occurred before either had a chance to produce any offspring, thus signifigantly improving the quality of the human gene pool.

Once the opening sequence is over, the movie drags on for quite some time. During the lull we learn that Laurie Strode actually survived the first movie, changed her name to Keri Tate, and is now the head of a private high school in California. Keri (who will be refered to hereafter as "Jamie Lee Curtiss" or "Jamie Lee" to avoid confusion) has a son whose 17th's birthday is today... on Halloween. That makes him the exact same age Jamie Lee was when she was attacked exactly 20 years earlier. (She couldn't have timed that pregnancy better with test tubes and a c-section!) Her surpression of the events of Halloween 1978 have made Jamie Lee a little crazy, and this has seriously strained her relationship with her son (John, played by newcomer Josh Hartnett). This is made all the worse because not only does John live with her, he's also one of her students. John has never seen a comb in his life, but that's another story.

Meanwhile Jamie Lee is having a fling with another member of the school's faculty, Will (Adam Arkin of "Northern Exposure" fame). He wants to make out and have sex a lot, but doesn't seem to be too interested when Jamie Lee tries to tell him why she gets so jittery on Halloween.

One of the main problems with "Halloween:H20" is that there simply isn't a very big pool of potential victims available for Mike Myers to select from. Here we have a high school with potentially a few hundred victims-to-be available, but nearly all of them are sent away to a retreat before Michael gets a chance to do anything with them. All that remain are Jamie Lee, Will, John, John's girlfriend Molly (Michelle Williams of "Dawson's Creek"), John's best friend Charlie (Adam "Little Man Tate" Hann-Byrd), and Charlie's not-too-bright girlfriend Sarah (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe). (It should be noted that not only has Charlie also never seen a comb in his life, his nose is a far more dangerous weapon than any knife Mike Myers could ever dream of holding.) That makes 6 white people to kill. Tack on Ronny the world's least effective security guard (L.L. Cool J) and you now have a pool of 7 potential victims.

Or do you???

Not to borrow from "Scream", but there are some basic cliches of slasher movies that hold true here...

Jamie Lee - She's the heroine, so we know she'll live.

Will - Interested in sex more than in Jamie Lee, so he'll die.

John - Son of Jamie Lee, so he should likely come close to being killed but somehow survive.

Molly - The main guy usually gets to keep the girl, so she'll be just fine.

Charlie - Being a male friend of the main guy isn't a close enough relationship for survival to be an option. Especially if that friend is as horny as Charlie is. He's toast.

Sarah - Girlfriends of victims are also victims unless they are the lead. She's history.

Ronny - In the 1970s or 1980s he'd be the first person to die, but in the 1990s it just isn't politically correct to kill the black guy. So, no matter what may seem to happen to him, he'll end up just fine. (In fact, he gets shot in the upper torso several times at close range and is shown unconscious and bleeding, but by the end of the movie is walking around just fine because the bullets "just grazed" him.)

So, as you can see, our potential victim pool now consists of only three people. And, when the movie is over halfway over, Mike Myers finally starts his handiwork. But, it only takes him 5 minutes to do the job!

What a boring killer he is, too. Walk walk walk, stab stab slice. That's it. Nothing creative at all, just stabs and slices. Ho hum. Where's the ingenuity and love that most movie slashers of today put into the art of killing their victims? The only creative things Myers does with his victims is either off-camera or after the victim is already dead. Where is the fun in that???

The remainder of the movie is Jamie Lee running around the school to hunt down her brother, all the while passing up NUMEROUS opportunies to EASILY KILL HIM, as if she is hoping an opportunity for a more dramatic killing will later arise. (Why bother? He never got dramatic in his killings!) She totally fails to use her gun several times when she had a clean and easy shot, she passes up a great opportunity to beat him to death with a fire extinguisher, and even verbally refuses to run him over until he stands up on his feet! Stupid girl.

The only semi-clever element of this movie was a cameo by Jamie Lee's real-life mother, Janet Leigh. A couple of inside jokes are thrown in, such as Norma (Janet Leigh's character) says that she is acting "maternal" to Jamie Lee. Janet Leigh then drives away in a car just like the one she drove in "Psycho". And Norma... Norman Bates... hmmmmm?

The music bugged me in this movie. Sure, the classic "Halloween" music was used, which is good. I have heard several other people complaining that a lot of "Scream" music was ripped off, but I didn't notice that. What I did notice was the rip-off of the opening theme of "Psycho"... altered and manipulated sure, but still very noticeably there.

I have to give this movie 7 beans because by today's standards it just isn't very interesting. If there had been no slasher movies since "Halloween" then this movie might be really interesting and scare a lot of people, but after all the slasher movies we have been exposed to over the last 20 years, "H20" is about as tame as a serial killer flick can get.






Other reviews for this movie:

Chris Bjuland
Scott Marshall
DA' Reptyle
John Weber




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