Ian Austin Presents…
HALLOWEEN: H20 – THE ULTIMATE RECAP
Let’s start this recap off by noting that Halloween: H20 is one of the stupidest titles of all time given H2O is the code for WATER. Calling it Halloween: H20 is as ridiculous as DC Comics still using the DC given that the DC stands for Detective Comics. I guess Kevin Williamson didn’t realise that the cutesy stuff worked in Scream because it was a metatextual deconstruction of slasher films, whereas Halloween is played so straight it’s ridiculous – actually using the tropes to its advantage, mostly.
(NB: Kevin Williamson came up with the story, and an outline, for this movie. Why he’s not credited it beyond me.)
Let me also say that this recap is not intended as a crticism of Jamie Lee Curtis. This isn’t a great movie, or even a good one, and Laurie is a horrible character, but Lee Curtis does an absolutely brilliant job at all times. It isn’t her fault that she’s playing a character who suffers from being thoroughly unlikeable.
Okay, with that said, here we go…
This movie is set 20 years after Halloween (hence that poor pun of a title), and as such ignores all the continuity from the other films. I can’t say I blame them there, the Nazi death cult and the clone baby from Halloween 6 is hard to top. This movie is a soft reboot of the franchise in that regard – pulling a Superman Returns in only Halloween 1 and 2 being even remotely in canon.
The movie starts with confirmation that Sam ‘worst mentor ever’ Loomis is dead. Do or do not, there is no try, you God-damn quack. The Loomis curse continues as one of his colleagues finds her home trashed two days before Halloween. She calls in Joseph Gordon-Levitt and ‘schmuck bait #1’ to help her out. JGL goes into the house, talking about how he’s all about suspensions. He doesn’t find anything except beer. So he and SB1 sneak off. Loomis’s colleague goes back to her house and hears a noise. So naturally she runs to JGL’s house, and finds a skate embedded in his head. SB1 is dead too. She runs back to her house, and Michael Myers pursues her. Loomis’s colleague hits him with various stuff, and smashes a window, calling for the cops who’ve just shown up. The cops are too stupid to look to the side and react to a broken window, so Myers kills her. He then teleports away (I guess), with the file on Laurie Strode, I guess, because he’s not there when the cops find her.
And cue the theme music.
The credits tell us Laurie ‘died in a car accident.’ Yeah…
It’s now Halloween. Laurie awakens from a nightmare, and immediately I sigh because I know this is going to be one of those ‘I still have PTSD woe is me’ kinda horror movies. In a real world setting, sure. I’d just rather watch a movie where Laurie had taken kickboxing lessons, become a skilled shot with a gun etc; that movie would have the sense Laurie wasn’t a victim. The victim idea is so boring to watch in the horror genre it should be illegal. In short, I wanted Halloween: H20 to be done like Terminator 2.
Laurie awakens from a nightmare. Josh Harnet calms her down, telling her that at least she chose to retire from acting. I feel bad about typing that given Josh H is actually a pretty good actor, and should’ve broken out bigger than he did. It’s not entirely his fault he was in so many poorly concieved films. He goes to get her pills, the only problem is there’s SO MANY of them. He has to do the quiet ‘damn’ moment of Shakespearean acting to sell the moment. Because there’s SO MANY PILLS.
She now goes by the name ‘Keri Tate.’ That, incidentally, is the first ‘she’s so unlikeable’ moment. I’m guessing most people know about Sharon Tate and her backstory, so Laurie using the last name Tate… it’s a poorly chosen allusion to real life events that are far more tragic than a silly horror movie. Course we late find out Laurie’s an alcoholic, pill-popping idiot, so maybe she was drunk when she came up with it. But if so, how’d she fake her own death?
I don’t even…
There’s some exposition scenes as we find out Laurie’s banging the Guidence Counselor, her son Josh H is wooing Jennie off Dawson’s Creek, and two other teenagers are talking about orgies and bed, bath and beyond. Also, LL Cool J is the security guard. In his spare time he writes bad romance fiction. Is that a knock on Kevin Williamson? If so, does the knock work when you cast Jennie from Dawson’s Creek in a major role?
Brief detour time: the score by John Ottman is great. It’s as good a score for a Halloween movie as you can get without infringing on John Carpenter’s time playing computer games.
So while the teen drama and ‘I WANT MAH LIFE BACK’ drama is going on, Michael Myers is stealing someone’s car. His teleportation ability must be on the fritz. So he drives back to wherever this movie is set, and waits outside the gate of the school where Josh H goes and Laurie runs, because – I guess – she’s the Head Mistress? Kinky.
For context, LL Cool J lets Josh H and schmuck bait 2 ditch school to buy alcohol. Michael watches this, I guess tapping into invisibility (and turning the car invisible) as neither LL Cool J or Josh H notices him. That Myers…
So Laurie finds out Josh H is skipping school, and she flips. Curses him out on the street. He tells her he can’t take this, and starts saying she’s an alcoholic who pops pills. SO MANY PILLS. When Laurie points out that ‘pill popping alcoholic’ flows better, Josh H yells SO MANY PILLS in her face, and storms off to her car muttering GAWD. Worth noting that Laurie keeps seeing Michael anywhere, leading to lots of BOO scares as random people accost her. Which makes me think Laurie’s astral projecting, because don’t people usually say ‘hi’ before TOUCHING YOU FROM BEHIND.
Michael Myers mutations – invisibility, teleportation.
Laurie Strode mutations – astral projection.
Back to the story… so it turns out I missed a lot about Josh H wanting to go to camp but not being allowed, then realising he didn’t want to go to camp because he could have an orgy (they don’t have orgies at camp?), and then being told he could go to camp but not wanting to because hello, orgy.
Incidentally, I firmly believe the ones who went to camp had an off-screen Friday the 13th adventure. Josh H lucked out there, I think we can all agree. Least Halloween had one good movie before it went to crap.
Josh H and Laurie/Keri/not Sharon Tate arrive at the school, but it takes ages for LL Cool J to answer because he’s writing about words and s**t. Michael uses invisibility again, hiding as they open the gate. I guess he’s also blocking Laurie’s telepathy, because she doesn’t sense him now – and Lord knows she can’t astral project with Josh H nearby. So they drive in. And arguments ensue.
But it’s all okay, because Josh H is going to camp. Only he doesn’t. Ooh, swerve. I guess Laurie’s telepathy isn’t used on teenage boys; probably too much fapping and dreams about Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine. Wait, that’d be precognitive dreaming. Never mind.
So Josh H and his friends decide to have a party in the schools… basement? Genius. It also means that this movie is going to go the dark and dingy locations route. Shame. I was hoping they’d do scenes of Michael in bright, pasteurized locations. Like a dairy farm, with some saucy milkmaids. Ah well…
The party goes well until LL Cool J, prat that he is, sees Michael’s car with the engine running and opens the gate to investigate. Michael ponders killing him, but lets him live. Like Peter Petrelli, Michael forgets that he has superpowers he can use to get through the gate with ease (teleportation, phasing, super leaps), and instead… walks through, I guess. He also telekinetically controls the engine.
Michael’s mutations – teleportation, phasing, super leaps, telekinesis, invisibility.
So Michael wanders the school and decides to kill SB2. SB2 drops a corkscrew down a garbage disposal like an idiot, and tries to use the force to reach it. Michael stares at him in disbelief, a large ? appearing above his head ala Metal Gear Solid 2. He gives the camera a ‘the f**k’ look, and scratches his head. SB2 removes the corkscrew, and turns. He stares at Michael, who stares at him.
Michael kills him. He kills him to death.
He then kills SB2’s girlfriend off-screen, after a ‘oh, she got away NO SHE DINT’ scene that’s the closest this movie’s come so far to being 25% as good as the original. She gets stabbed in the leg, avoids being dropped down a small elevator shaft (heh), but you can’t escape Michael when he engages teleportation. And…
… she dies off-screen, as found by Josh H and Michelle Williams. Panic ensues. I mean Michael’s put Halloween lights inside her, I think. Creepy. And now Michael is pursuing Josh H and Michelle W. He stabs Josh H in the leg, but Michelle W brains him with a rock. The two of them move off, BUT MICHAEL GETS UP. Like Bane, the fire rises… Michael won’t be finished until Gotham is in ashes. And by Gotham, I mean Laurie. Literal ashes.
Michael’s mutations – teleportation, phasing, super leaps, telekinesis, invisibility, regeneration, pyrokinesis?
So Josh H and Michelle W get through a gate to a security door, and try to open said door. Doesn’t work. Michael tries to get through the gate. Can’t. I don’t think the gate’s locked, Michael. He starts hammering on the gate. Doesn’t work. Then he notices the keys. He tries to pick them up, but realises he’s holding a big knife. So he tries to unlock the gate while holding the knife. I yell ‘YOU GOT TELEKINESIS, BRO’ at the screen, to no avail.
Finally, the door is opened from the other side. IT’S LAURIE. She lets Josh H and MW in. Then she sees Michael. He gives her a look.
MICHAEL: What up, sis?
MICHAEL: Oh, Loomis is dead. I broke his back and threw him into a pit. He tried to climb out, but the rope broke. Hey, have you seen my nazi clone?
LAURIE glaes some more. Pulls out her handgun.
MICHAEL: A gun? Seriously? Do you not know how this works? I… okay, look, I’m going go teleport to the camp and kill those kids. See you in five.
He teleports away.
Laurie realises that they’ve not got long, so starts trying to mobilise the troops. She tells the teens to hide, and runs off with the Guidance Counselor. But she sees a window open, and then a shadow approaching. GC takes the handgun and fires. Shooting LL Cool J. He goes down while muttering ‘Mama Said Knock You Out.’ GC starts panicking. Naturally, Michael is there. He stabs GC in the back.
MICHAEL: Theatricality and deception are powerful agents to the uninitiated.
Michael throws the dead GC away.
MICHAEL: But we not uninitiated, are we Laurie?
She runs. Michael pursues. And given that Michael’s just, I guess, killed the teens at camp but appeared a second after he told Laurie he was going to kill said teens…
Michael’s mutations – teleportation, phasing, super leaps, telekinesis, invisibility, regeneration, time travel?
The movie’s almost over, luckily. Michael and Laurie play hide and seek. Laurie manages to knock Michael off a balcony through a pool table. He gets up. She stabs him with a flag. He gets up. So she stabs him twenty times with a knife.
Michael falls. Laurie runs off. Michael gets up. He remembers what their father taught him.
MICHAELS FATHER: Why do we fall, Michael? Because we go on trips.
Their father was an idiot.
Michael is then killed, somehow. I was dozing at this point. The police show up. Ambulances too. Oh, wait, LL Cool J isn’t dead. No, he appears and helps Laurie kill Michael with a big ass knife. Then Laurie hijacks Michael’s ambulance and drives off.
Naturally, Michael reveals he’s immortal. But Laurie drives the ambulance off a cliff. Michaels slams into a tree. She rams him into the tree with the ambulance. He reaches out for her.
MICHAEL: The fire rises?
Laurie shakes her head. She decapitates him with an axe.
The end. Thank God.
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