Now the headmistress of a private school, Laurie Strode is still struggling with the horrifying, 20-year-old memories of the maniacal killer Michael Myers...when he suddenly reappears with a vengeance!  And this Halloween, his terror will strike a whole new generation!  Laurie's rebellious son, his girlfriend, and the school security guard will become Michael's newest victims unless Laurie can conquer her greatest fears and put the evil in its place once and for all!

"My brother killed my sister.
With a really big, sharp kitchen knife.
                      - Keri Tate

          As I'm sure you're all well aware, the first Halloween was a horror masterpiece. Really, it should have remained a one-off, but executive hassles meant that Carpenter had to make a sequel and three years later Rick Rosenthall's effort somewhat lowered the tone. Ironically enough, in 1981 it was easily outshined by movies that were mainly just imitators of the original. Among them was Friday the 13th: Part 2, which was stylishly directed by Steve Miner. The Carpenter influences were patent throughout, but he gained kudos for adding his own talents for building suspense and tension. After four further continuations that seemed only to stoop further down the lane of mediocrity and turn Michael Myers into more of an occult mascot than a scary bogeyman. Miner got the chance to put his inspirations to perfect use and direct what was supposed to be the final chapter in the franchise. He erased the existence of parts 3-6 (something that I'm sure most fans had already done) in the series and instead just followed the story on from that fateful Halloween night of 1978, when Michael first stalked his younger sister - Laurie Strode. Perhaps due to the fact that there were bigger names attached, Jamie Lee Curtis made a long-anticipated return to her scream queen roots and to the series where she earned her first big break.
          Although H20 is essentially a sequel to the Halloween franchise, it's also a tribute from Steve Miner to the genre that launched his career. He managed to get Janet Leigh (Jamie's real-life mom) to make a cameo as a tribute too perhaps the one that started it all, Psycho. (Janet Lee was the infamous shower victim.) In the scene that she says she feels maternal over Laurie - an obvious in-house joke between the cast and crew -, listen closely and you'll hear John Ottman's score effortlessly become the theme from Hitchcok's classic! Ottman is another link, as two years later he would go on to helm his own genre addition, Urban Legend Final Cut. There are references planted to the scream franchise, when Molly and her pal can be seen watching part two on the television at their house. There's also a passing nod to Miner's origins with the hockey mask false scare at the beginning. The film that gained the most acknowledgements from Robert Zappia, Matt Greenburg and believe it or not Kevin Williamson's script, was Carpenter's original, with dialogue brilliantly transferred so that it remains subtle enough to be obvious only to fans of the series. There were plenty of times when I noted famous lines from Halloween, but they were never overpowering and they only played a small part in the story so as to prevent it from falling into the parody category.

          It's a shame that Donald Pleasance was no longer around (R.I.P) to resume his signature role; his reunion with Laurie was sorely missed. Part 5 was his last battle with ‘evil', but this would've been a much better note for him to end his run on. Jamie Lee proves that she's still the Queen screamer and she manages to bring some of the same magic that was such a key element to the unprecedented success of the first outing. Although her part doesn't exactly require a lot of deep dramatics, which in the past she's proved she can handle, I think that she can only be rivalled by Linda Hamilton when it comes to tough heroines! Like a lot of slasher movies from the past, here we have an appearance from an up and comer that would soon become a Hollywood star. Yes, this was the first screen outing for Josh Hartnett who has been busy ever since in all sorts of movies, ranging from the smaltzy Michael Bay Titanic impersonation, Pearl Harbour to the much-underrated buddy-comedy from the always-reliable Ron Shelton, Hollywood Homicide.
          The thing that really lifts this above the five disappointments that preceded it is Miner's excellent direction. His horror movies have nearly always been commendable and this is no different. He even makes good use of the conventional excuses for suspense. A car that won't start builds some tension and you'll find it impossible to deny the edge of your seat thrills brought about by the scene where Molly (Michelle Williams) drops the keys to the gate that she just locked Michael behind. He manages to include a fair slice of gore - Sarah's leg crushing was decidedly gruesome – and perhaps due to his experience of the genre, he's done well to make Myers almost as creepy as he was first time around. I think it's a safe bet to say that if John Carpenter had decided to make a return to the franchise that he spawned twenty years ago, this is more or less how his output may have looked. Although it's nowhere near as memorable as Halloween, it is without a doubt one of the best continuations.

         There are a few things that are questionable about H20, like where the hell had Michael been for 20 years? I think that people may have noticed a pale William Shattner in a boiler suit frequenting the local bars and clubs! Or ordering egg fried rice to go at the local Chinese takeaway. Quite why the coroners put him in a body bag whilst he's still in his mask also made little sense and it's surprising just how much Michael knows about stealing cars and cutting electricity, I'd love to know where he'd been on the lamb for the last twenty years. Perhaps he enrolled at the Haddonfield College for a course or two? He's also got an amazing flare for stealth that would put James Bond to shame. He can sneak almost anywhere without being seen. Maybe that's the reason that we haven't suffered any Michael Duddikoff films for ages.

          Brush those mostly minor problems aside and basically you've got a decent horror film that put a little life back into the franchise before it was ruined (once again) by Rick Rosenthall. It's by no means a masterpiece like the originator, but there's no doubt that it's one of the best sequels so far. Lets hope for a trip back to Horror from Mr. Miner soon. Even better, lets hope he puts his talents back into the slasher genre, hopefully with a brand-new concept.

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          - Charles S. Dutton originally had a small role in the film as a detective, however his part was removed as script rewrites came in.

          - During the scene where Norma is leaving, she stands in front the car from Psycho. The music playing in the background at this part is also from Psycho. Janet Leigh, who plays Norma, Played Marion in Psycho.

          - On the television in the girls' room a clip from Scream 2 is showing, reciprocating numerous Halloween references and clips in Scream. However, according to producer Moustapha Akkad when the scene was filmed, the girls were actually watching So I Married an Axe Murderer, making an entirely different joke: a movie featuring Michael Myers had its characters watching Mike Meyers. The clip was changed to Scream 2 in post-production.

          - When Molly is in the classroom, she spots Michael outside the school and gets interrupted by the teacher, and when she looks again he is gone, just like Jamie Lee Curtis did in Halloween.

          - The Director and Writers decided to treat this movie as if Halloweens 3-6 never took place. They are never acknowledged or denied, it was just a decision made to keep the plot simple and focus on the Laurie character.

          - When Jamie Lee Curtis' character says, "go down the street to the Beckers..." this was supposed to refer to the line from Halloween, "go down the street to the McKenzie's house..." The name was changed to Becker, which was the last name of Drew Barrymore's character in Scream.

          - In certain scenes, Michael can be seen wearing two different masks. The director decided well into production, to go with a different mask, so certain scenes were re-shot. Some scenes with the original mask can still be seen, and in one shot it had to be altered with CGI to replace Michael's old mask with the new one.

          - The line "everyone is entitled to one good scare" is said by Norma to Laurie. Sheriff Brackett originally said it in the first Halloween.

          - In the original Halloween when Laurie is in class we hear the teacher talking about fate. In Halloween H20 when Laurie is teaching, Michelle Williams gives an answer about fate.

          - The movie was made after a suggestion by Jamie Lee Curtis. She wanted to "20-year Anniversary" movie with John Carpenter, but the director declined.

          - P.J. Soles was originally approached for the role of Keri Tate's/Laurie Strode's secretary. Soles never gave a straight answer as to what she wanted to do, skeptical about returning to the series as someone completely different then her character Lynda, originally killed off in Halloween. She eventually lost the role to Jamie Lee Curtis's mother, Janet Leigh, who was approached after not getting an answer from Soles.

          - Kevin Williamson was originally hired to write the script and was said to have actually finished a draft or two with the input of Jamie Lee Curtis. Williamson's script was eventually not used, but a treatment he wrote for the movie is said to be a heavy basis for the final, filmed version.

          - According to Halloween 6 writer Daniel Farrands, who wrote an early draft of the film, said there was originally a scene scripted and supposedly filmed where a student in Laurie's class does a report on a book called "The Halloween Murders", in an effort to tie all the movies together. This was dropped however, when it was decided by the director and producers to ignore Halloween 3-6 so as to concentrate more on the Laurie Strode aspect of the story.

          - On one of the newspaper clippings seen during the opening credits, a picture of Dr. Sam Loomis can be seen. The character was featured in the previous Halloween films, and was portrayed by Donald Pleasence.

          - The teenagers at the beginning are watching Plan 9 from Outer Space.

          - Moustapha Akkad (the executive producer) said that the killer in H20 was not actually Michael Myers, but in fact a copycat killer, and that this would be explained in the next Halloween movie. The idea was dropped for Halloween: Resurrection, which explained the reappearance of Michael Myers by revealing that he had traded places with a paramedic at the end of H20, who had then been mistaken for Michael, and was subsequently beheaded by Laurie.