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Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

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Laurie Strode, now the dean of a Northern California private school with an assumed name, must battle the Shape one last time and now the life of her own son hangs in the balance.

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Cast

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Emmalee Thompson ...
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Storyline

On Halloween in 1963, Michael Myers murdered his sister, Judith. In 1978, he broke out to kill his other sister, Laurie Strode. He killed all of her friends, but she escaped. A few years later, she faked her death so he couldn't find her. But now, in 1998, Michael has returned and found all the papers he needs to find her. He tracks her down to a private school where she has gone under a new name with her son, John. And now, Laurie must do what she should have done a long time ago and finally decided to hunt down the evil one last time. Written by Will

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This summer, terror won't be taking a vacation. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for terror violence/gore and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

5 August 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Halloween 7  »

Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$16,187,724 (USA) (7 August 1998)

Gross:

$55,004,135 (USA) (27 November 1998)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Contrary to popular belief, Kevin Williamson was in fact not the original writer of the film. Originally, Robert Zappia was hired to pen 'Halloween 7,' which was planned to go direct-to-video after the modest box office performance of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995). Zappia's original script was set in a fenced-in boarding school as does the finished film. However, when Jamie Lee Curtis expressed interest in returning to the series, Kevin Williamson--who was coming off of his blockbuster success with Scream (1996)--was asked by Dimension Films to pen a treatment that added Laurie Strode. When the WGA deemed that Williamson did not deserve writing credit on the screenplay, Dimension Films--hoping to market the film as 'From the creator of Scream'--offered Zappia more money to share the writing credit. Zappia declined, and Williamson only possesses Executive Producer credit on the finished film. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 25 mins) Donald Pleasence's name is misspelled at the end of the credits when it says "In Memory of Donald Pleasance". See more »

Quotes

Laurie Strode: I'm not who you think I am.
Will Brennan: Okay. Who are you?
Laurie Strode: My name's not Kerri Tate.
Will Brennan: Oooh. What is it?
Laurie Strode: Laurie Strode.
Will Brennan: Strode?
Laurie Strode: Strode. I changed my name when I went into hiding.
Will Brennan: Oh, I like that. That's like... like... like the Witness Protection Program. What did you, like, rat out the mob, or something?
Laurie Strode: My brother killed my sister... when she was 17.
Will Brennan: Well, that's... suck-y. How'd he do that?
[...]
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Connections

Follows Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

MR. SANDMAN
Written by Pat Ballard
Performed by The Chordettes
Courtesy of Barnaby Records, Inc.
By Arrangement with Celebrity Licensing, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Forget "Resurrection"--the series ends here.
9 September 2006 | by (Hellfudge, Pennsylvania) – See all my reviews

Back before Lions Gate (now Lionsgate) held the monopoly on mainstream genre pics, Dimension Films was the go-to place for horror and suspense of the 'indie' sort. In 1998, with Wes Craven's 2 "Scream" films maintaining the public interest to great financial success, Dimension decided to put their acquisition of the "Halloween" franchise to good use (especially after the atrocious "Curse of Michael Myers") by making a sequel to end all sequels (at least until the atrocious "Halloween: Resurrection" turded up multiplexes).

In addition to being one of the most instantly-recognizable titles in all of horror, "Halloween: H20" came to screens with an added incentive: it marked the series return of original protagonist/victim Laurie Strode (played with cat-like veracity by Jamie Lee Curtis). Curtis' presence, in addition to the reliable skill of director Steve Miner (who cut his teeth on two "Friday the 13th" sequels), plus a story that wisely disregarded the incidents of all the sequels past "II," set "H20" up as the series payoff I was so eagerly awaiting. After leaving the theater, I was more than satisfied with the end result.

Years go by. Dimension becomes a notorious den of re-cuts, re-shoots, and re-castings (just ask Wes "Cursed" Craven) still trying to mine the 'Fresh-Faced-Teen' demographic that doesn't seem to exist anymore. Upon re-examination of "H20"'s box/poster art, I noticed a recurrent motif (from "Scream" to "Phantoms" to "Nightwatch" to "Rounders") in design: the proliferation of airbrushed faces looking Deeply Concerned about something, in addition to an over-reliance on bold, exclamatory blurbs from dubious sources (WWOR-TV, anyone?).

But I'm not reviewing the marketing tactics of a company whose former glories (namely Tarantino and Rodriguez) are now its only source of revenue.

"Sin City" notwithstanding, "H20" might have been the last good movie to come out of Dimension. At its core, it is a surprisingly compact (86 minutes, including credits) horror-thriller that moves so briskly we are never able to get too cozy with the characters. Miner goes for the subtle compositions that marked John Carpenter's original, and is fairly successful: the film refrains from the obligatory sex and self-referential attitude that would have been profitable at the time. From frame one, "H20" feels like a continuous, flowing set-piece...but the way it sidelines its characters leaves a hollow echo when it's all finished. Also unfortunate is that the suspense is so heavy-handed it seldom creates tension; this might be attributable to Chris Durand's overly self-conscious portrayal of the menacing Michael Myers. The relationship between Curtis, her son John (Josh Hartnett), and Myers is the film's intriguing familial triangle, but is disappointingly underdeveloped (though for the sake of the series, it wraps things up well enough).

In the end, "H20" is Curtis' show. She imbues her character with as much straight-faced commitment as she did in '78, in addition to a toughened exterior bent on preserving family values at any cost. The denouement, which contains a moment as touching as it is creepy, gives new meaning to the phrase, "tough love."


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