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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, as the life of her own son hangs in the balance.

Director:

Steve Miner

Writers:

Debra Hill (characters), John Carpenter (characters) | 3 more credits »
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3,785 ( 1,373)
1 win & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jamie Lee Curtis ... Laurie Strode / Keri Tate
Adam Arkin ... Will Brennan
Michelle Williams ... Molly
Adam Hann-Byrd ... Charlie
Jodi Lyn O'Keefe ... Sarah
Janet Leigh ... Norma
Josh Hartnett ... John
LL Cool J ... Ronny
Joseph Gordon-Levitt ... Jimmy
Branden Williams ... Tony
Nancy Stephens ... Marion
Beau Billingslea ... Fitz
Matt Winston ... Matt
Larisa Miller ... Claudia
Emmalee Thompson Emmalee Thompson ... Casey
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Storyline

20 Year's After Michael Myer's Massacre in Haddonfield. Laurie Strode faked her own death and traveled to California and took on the Identity Keri Tate. Michael finds out of Laurie's new Identity and travels to California to kill his Sister, Laurie must now take on her Brother with her Son's Life at Risk. Written by ahmetkozan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

20 years ago, HE changed the face of Halloween. Tonight, he's back! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 August 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Halloween 7 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,187,724, 9 August 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$55,041,738
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As well as all previous movies (but Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) where he doesn't appears), Michael Myers never talks. See more »

Goofs

(at around 39 mins) In the classroom on the blackboard, the spelling of W.B. Yeats' name changes from the (wrong) spelling "Yates" to the correct "Yeats." See more »

Quotes

Sarah: Paging Inconsiderate: Party of One. Okay Charlie, no sex games till I've eaten.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the final credits have ended, the words "In Memory of Donald Pleasance" appear before the Dimension Films logo and the movie is finished. See more »

Alternate Versions

On October 26, 2003 an alternate version was shown on FX with these additions:
  • Marion looking around her house is extended.
  • Jimmy taking a look around Marion's house is extended.
  • Michael stalking Marion is extended.
  • Cops are shown bumbling around outside while Marion is chased by Michael.
  • Intro to Laurie is differently Paced.
  • a quick view of the town and school is shown before Laurine and John have breakfast.
  • a reference joke to Psycho made by Charlie is shown as he walks with John to school.
  • Michael is shown watching the Mother and little girl during the restroom scene.
  • Charlie and John are shown talking while they walk the California town outside the school and Michael follows them in his car.
  • Molly is shown walking through the school halls after getting the roses off the dish lift.
  • Laurie is shown watching the buses leave while on the telephone before the Psycho homage with Norma.
  • Laurie walking the school halls at night and walking the school grounds.
  • Adam Arkin chasing the Shape is slightly different.
  • John, Charlie and Molly are shown sneaking in through the kitchen window and get stuck while John sees Michael coming into the school.
  • Adam Arkin carves a pumpkin while he opens up to Laurie about his past; lead in for Laurie to open up to him about Michael.
  • Michael and Laurie stalking each other at the finale is extended.
  • Extended ending shows Michael's car following far behind Laurie but ends where Laurie chops off the guy's head.
See more »

Connections

References Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy
Written by Sabelle Breer and Rhett Lawrence
Performed by Sabelle
Courtesy of Work Records
A Division of Sony Music Corp.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Arguably the best of the "Halloween" sequels, "H20: Twenty Years Later" serves as the wonderful book-end to the story, offering a satisfying and entertaining conclusion.
1 October 2016 | by MaximumMadnessSee all my reviews

Ah, the mid-to-late 1990's... sort-of a rebirth of horror in a way. After all, the period from 1990 to about 1995 was wholly and decidedly a relatively murky period for the genre, with quality releases being very few and far between. Audiences were tiring of the holdover 80's slasher flicks and ho-hum ghost stories, with really only a handful of stand-out creep-shows to keep horror fans satiated. With so few quality-choices (notably the mini-series "It" from the book by Stephen King and the wonderful thriller "Candyman" from the stories of Clive Barker), it was no wonder that the early 90's were considered a "dead" period.

Then, "Scream" happened and changed everything. It proved that not only could horror be widely appealing at the hands of gifted writers and quality filmmakers, but also showed that the old tropes and clichés could be "hip" and "cool" again when handled with care and a degree of nostalgic love.

So, it should come as no shock that after the colossal misfire that was the previous film ("The Curse of Michael Myers"), the "Halloween" series got a new lease on life with a post-"Scream" sensibility in this 1998 release- "Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later." A minor degree of self-awareness, a focus on modern teenage and young adult culture and a fun blast from the past by way of original star Jamie Lee Curtis made the series relevant and modern in a way that both worked to re-invigorate interest and also pay homage to the series origins.

The film was lovingly crafted to serve as a book-end to the original, cleverly taking advantage of being released on the twentieth anniversary of the John Carpenter classic as part of it's schtick. It was built up as the "Halloween" to end all "Halloween's"... A "Halloween" for the modern era. A "Halloween" for the sharp and post-modern 90's crowd. And a "Halloween" that honored the long- beloved roots of the series.

Directed by Steve Miner, the film revolves around Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode, now living as a teacher under a false name. Still haunted by nightmares of her murderous sibling Michael Myers, Laurie is trying her hardest to move on. But when her brother comes calling, the stakes are set for a final and apocalyptic battle from which only one can emerge alive.

The success of the film really falls onto its clear adoration of the original and the desire to "evolve" and "complete" the story that it started in a new and fresh way. You can feel the love for that film oozing in virtually every scene here, with many subtle homages and call-backs. Yet it also builds and evolves the franchise in a way that previous films hadn't. Whereas prior sequels truly did feel like they were simply trying to re-create the magic of the original to increasingly diminishing results, "H20" actually has the guts to say "No, the best way to pay tribute to the origin of the series is to make homage and continue the story, but allow it to change with the times." A huge part of that is the result of that late-90's self-aware mindset popularized by other films, and I think it works wonders. There are numerous levels of subversion that make you second-guess where it's all leading, there's plenty of banter and humor that satisfies the audience, and it also makes the wise move to make all the characters likable... nobody here really has their own agenda as so many other slasher-sequels have done with their characters.

Miner's direction is strong, with a keen sense of scope, atmosphere and composition. He finds just the right balance between old- fashioned cinematography and 90's era aesthetics, giving the film a unique tone and visual palate that both compliments and contrasts with the Carpenter original.

Performances are uniformly strong for the material. Curtis is a joy in her returning role, giving Laurie a grand sense of pathos but also a drive to finally face her fears. Supporting roles by the likes of Josh Hartnett, Adam Arkin and even rapper LL Cool J round out a likable and believable cast. And there's no sore thumbs to be found. Also of note is voice-over artist Tom Kane, who perfectly re- creates the brilliant dialog of the late Donald Pleasance in a wonderful opening sequence. (Also, keep your eyes peeled for future superstar Joseph Gordon- Levitt in a small role in the opening sequence!)

Should I have to address any negatives, I would definitely have to dock some slight points for a frankly shaky first act, which does fall back on the old tropes and clichés a bit too much. It just feels contrary to the much stronger second and third acts of the film, and it doesn't do much to subvert expectations or built on the legacy of the series. I also take some slight issue with the film's at times break-neck pace... it's already a fairly short film, and it rushes a bit too much for everything to really set in.

Still, those flaws being stated, I can't help but feel that for my money, this is the best of the "Halloween" sequels. It built off of what came before, served as a loving tribute and also book-ended the series with what was at the time built up to be the final entry in the series. To me, the "Halloween" franchise is a trilogy- Carpenter's "Halloween", it's first sequel "Halloween II" and this film, "H20." Everything else to me is pure fan-fiction.

I give "Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later" a strong 8 out of 10 as a horror fan and in particular as a fan of the franchise. Definitely worth seeing. (It's follow-up "Resurrection"... not so much.)


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