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 go...man, this marathon ain't nuthin' compared to the last one I did (back in the middle of this month...you 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.