FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 29, 2005

Halloween H2O...or, Laurie Goes Nuts

OK, we get the franchise back into the hands of a director who knows how to make a horror movie (Steve Miner, who helmed Friday the 13th Part 2 and Part 3), and things get a little better. In fact, this movie just flat-out pretends that Halloween 4, 5, and 6 never existed- which is what I intend to do from now on.

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) faked her own death years ago in order to go into hiding from her psychotic brother, Michael Myers. She's changed her name to "Keri Tate" and is the headmistress at a posh private school, where she lives with her 17-year-old son John (Josh Hartnett)who's a student at the school. Laurie...err, Keri...spends her days in a prescription drug-addled, boozed up state to cope with her demons, and folks, it ain't pretty. Michael, meanwhile, has tracked her down by searching through files kept at home by Nurse Meanie Smoker from Parts 1 and 2- the nurse who was driving the station wagon the night Michael escaped the asylum the first time. Nurse M. S. ends up dead, and Michael drives from Illinois to California to find his sister. He sure does like to drive.

Once he arrives at the school, he ends up killing only 2 students and a guidance counselor before he and Laurie have a showdown. Laurie really, really puts and end to things by beheading her brother- this makes me wonder why I still have a movie left to watch.

This entry isn't too bad, really, and it would be a good way to end the series (I'm talkin' to YOU, Hollywood!). I like the fact that Laurie is still coping with the events of Halloween night 20 years earlier- her reliance on meds and alcohol are very real. There's a few nice sequences that harken back to moments from the first two movies- the moments where Laurie sees Michael walking towards her and thinks it's a vision, so she keeps closing her eyes to make him go away...but he keeps coming...

The moment where the Myers siblings are face to face again after 20 years, looking at each other through the round window in the door is intense. And yet, the movie still can't recapture the magic of the original. Why is that? It's a really loud movie, very much of its era, the late 90s. The characters scream, they swear alot...and the music is driving and tends to dominate whenever it's playing. I missed the eerie, spare notes of John Carpenter's score. The biggest single factor, however, is that while ignoring all that psychic "Thorn" bullshit of 4, 5, and 6, a fatal mistake was made in Part 2 when it was revealed that Michael Myers was Laurie Strode's brother. Gone completely from the story was the idea of The Shape, of The Boogeyman, of the killer as pure, nameless evil. He's just someone's psychotic brother now, which makes him much more real and much less terrifying. He's not the thing of childhood legend who could be hiding in anyone's closet- he's Jeffrey Dahmer, another hour-long special on 20/20. Give me myth, not reality.

It's too bad Donald Pleasence wasn't still alive to bring back Dr. Loomis for some real closure- he just disappeared somehow at the end of Part 6. His character deserved a far better finish than that (and so did the audience). It was great to have Laurie Strode back, though, even if she was hepped up on goofballs the whole time.

One more to, this marathon ain't nuthin' compared to the last one I did (back in the middle of this can hunt around in the archives, if you want. I'm far too lazy right now to post links). Only 8 movies? Pfft. Oh, and despite wht it says below, it's really 12:52am.


Anonymous said...

So she faked her death and left her daughter to be stalked by her brother? That's messed up.

Stacie Ponder said...

That's what I thought, too, but it seems that they've written Jamie out of the timeline COMPLETELY. After Part 6, they never acknowledge the events or characters from 4, 5, or 6! Convenient!

Anonymous said...

I adore H20. Maybe not as good of a movie as the first, but a nice ending. I think a good beheading is the only way to know for sure you've done the job right.

Stacie Ponder said...

I know it's a horror convention, but REALLY putting an end to a killer is always one of those things I wanted someone onscreen to do. Don't just let him lay there! You know he's not dead! Off with his head!

All part of the fun.

Anonymous said...

My teacher at UCLA, Robert Zappa, co-wrote this ditty (don't believe any of that Kevin Williamson shit, Robert sued Dimension and won). He came up with some good stuff and I really liked this film. It's well thought out as far as Laurie goes, much to the strength and integrity of Jamie Lee Curtis' performance.

Is it just me, or do you think Josh Hartnett got the part cuz he looks like blank mask?

Great review, now stop it--you're putting me shame!

Amanda By Night

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RJ said...