After approximately twenty years and almost half a dozen sequels the Halloween franchise finally produced a film that was almost on the same level as the original. While it is still not a tremendous success this is arguably the best of all the sequels and beats that rotten remake that Rob Zombie yanked out of his ass.
Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later is different from the other sequels in that it follows on from the second film, but ignores the other sequels; setting up a new timeline in which Laurie Strode is still alive and is once again stalked by her psycho brother, Michael Myers. It was an interesting decision to change the story like that and thinking about it creating a new continuity was probably a better option than following on from The Curse of Michael Myers which was so lame it is hard to express in words. Even if it is not as scary as the original’s conclusion the one on one battle between Laurie and Michael tops the endings of the previous three films which were damn weak by comparison.
The visual effects are actually more or less the same as they were in the other films. While there are a few moments of gore that the original strived to stay away from it isn’t like the Friday the 13th films which relied solely on the blood and guts to make the audience feel like there was a need to hide behind the sofa. There is little if any CGI throughout the film which gives the sense that they were trying their best to stay as close to the tone of the original as they could without spoiling the experience. This is something that distinguishes the Halloween franchise from other slasher films. Rather than tripling the gore in each film it just sticks to more subtle methods in order to frighten its audience.
The cast is comparable to some degree to that of the original film. Jamie Lee Curtis does another great performance as the series original heroine, Laurie Strode who is just as good a character as she was last time, and proves herself to be better than most of the other cast members. Josh Hartnett is I suppose okay as Laurie’s son John Tate just not exactly the most brilliant actor who has appeared in these films, but he does top some of the undeveloped characters who have unfortunately popped up from time to time. LL Cool J is really good in the role of the mildly humorous Ronald “Ronny” Jones who is quite possibly one of the best characters who emerged from this film and its inevitable sequel. While he does not do much to stand out from the rest of the cast Adam Arkin is respectable as Will Brennan the short lived love interest of Laurie. He isn’t brilliant, but okay like a lot of actors in this franchise.
No matter how hard it tried this franchise never managed to shrug off some of the flaws which tainted the sequels. However, Halloween H20 is the first and only one that ever successfully recaptured the essence of the magnificent original. It is not perfect, but is far better than any of the other sequels and the lame Rob Zombie remake.