Halloween H20: 20 Years Later Review

Twenty years. Time flies when… well, time flies. It has for Michael Myers and his merry little outbursts in Haddonfield and beyond. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later is just that. Another outburst. Not from Myers, though, but from director Steve Miner and a returning Jamie Lee Curtis. They have taken one look at the state of the series so far, and retconned it completely. Back to the basics. Was there anything basic about these features in the first place? While John Carpenter set out to make such a simple and successful slasher, it is surprising how dense and dangerous the impact was. Dense in the sense that the brains behind its follow-up pieces were absolutely disastrous.

No wonder Curtis and Miner were so adamant about shaking it up. They’re straightening out the flaws of the previous instalments while trying to keep the better parts. Make no mistake, the lifespan of Myers’ on-screen presence is nothing short of a miracle, but each director to take him on had some unique pointer. Whether that was a jump of the shark or an awful mask, each to come before this Miner and Curtis pairing had at least something to work with. They wanted to push on but were unsure of how. It is why Halloween H20: 20 Years Later feels like a smack to the mouth. A return is too far gone, you cannot go back to where the series once was when you’ve had a director try and add emotional brevity to the killer at the centre.

Bad plans are at the core of Halloween H20: 20 Years Later as well. Trying to return to the simplicity of the original is too large a stretch when the shark has been jumped so many times before. As great as it is to see Curtis back and in top form as ever, it feels wasted. There is no stretch of the imagination here, but the few moments that do inspire a link back to the original are just as dumb as the Thorne series before it. Curtis’ performance is the standout, though. Natural abilities in conducting a level of grief and shock to the killings of the first feature still linger, desperately trying to hold onto something relevant. But that slippery slope leads to character growth and a swift, final end for the series. Or, at least, it should. Confronting your fears gives Halloween a sense of closure, and it is Curtis who champions that most of all.

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (just add water for those few that watch Australian terrestrial television from the early 2000s), is awful. Helpful it may be to have Curtis on board, Miner’s veteran takings from the slasher genre are pitiful. Every series, inevitably, hits a creative wall. For Halloween and all the horrid spin-offs that came after its surprise success, the Miner offering is certainly not the worst, but it is the most uninspired. It is presented as the final end of Myers. He is finally dead and buried, but the series died out long before this instalment.

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