Halloween H20The seventh installment of the John Carpenter slasher series, "Halloween," splattered onto the silver screen this summer in what is said to be (hopefully) the final episode of this horror franchise. Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her roots as Laurie Strode - the role that brought her fame 20 years ago, when horror films were more creative and coherent, unlike today's laughable "stabs" at the genre (no pun intended)."Halloween H20: 20 Years Later" (almost as ridiculous a title as "Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Meyers") takes place 20 years, and 2,000 miles after the original 1978 cult classic. Curtis' character, the lone survivor in the first film, has relocated from eerie Illinois to sunny California, gone into hiding, and is the headmistress of a posh private school where her son, John, attends and her beau (Adam Arkin of TV's "Chicago Hope") works as a guidance counselor. Michael Meyers (the film's killer, not the actor) has ransacked his late psychiatrist's office and tracked her down. As October 31st approaches, Mom gets worried that something is rotten in the state of California and that the man in the rubber mask is out for her once again. Meanwhile, John decides to throw a Halloween party for a few select friends. John's girlfriend, Michelle Williams (of "Dawson's Creek") makes almost as bad a screen debut as "Creek" co-star Katie Holmes made in the other teen scream of the summer, "Disturbing Behavior." Of course, Michael shows up, crashes the party, kills a few people, gets shot at and so on. You can practically imagine the rest.Obviously thrown together quickly, the film has several problems (namely, the script). Originally contracted to pen it was Kevin Williamson (of "Scream" fame), but he backed out when he became involved creating "Dawson's Creek" and his soon-to-be released film, "Killing Mrs. Tingle." The main problem with this film - and all horror films since "Scream" - is that it is very unrealistic. Of course, a certain amount of leniency is expected with this genre: entering a dark kitchen, going to check on a sound alone, and running up the stairs when one should run down. Freddie, in "A Nightmare on Elm Street," could have very easily lived through that series' eight films because he only existed in dreams and was already dead. However, Michael Meyers must be on drugs to continue surviving in each film, after the torture he received. It is a wonder he is still living, let alone killing!Despite the film's setbacks, it has several fun moments, including cameo appearances by Janet Leigh (Curtis' real-life mother, of "Pyscho" fame) and LL Cool J, in the best role of his career (a short list). John Carpenter's "Halloween" theme song is still as spooky as the first movie; the directing and photography are terse; and the film's short duration, clocking in at just over an hour-and-a-half, makes up for the lousy script and mediocre acting. While the abrupt yet sentimental ending might leave you scratching your head, from now on, Halloween will be more treat than trick
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.