By Raymond Knowby


Not nearly the comeback that should have been, but you almost have to give them credit for trying. After twenty years, Jamie Lee Curtis goes back to her roots and takes a role in what was supposed to be the last installment and thank-you to dedicated fans. Unfortunately, recapturing past glory is impossible for director Steve Miner (FRIDAY THE 13TH 2 and 3) because there’s an overly polished sheen glazing a pedestrian screenplay underneath.

Since the last legendary night of 1978, Ms. Laurie Strode has changed her name and attempted to move on from the lingering memory of her stalking brother. Now a head mistress at a prestigious boarding school, where she keeps a watchful eye on her seventeen year old son (Josh Hartnett), the demons of her past encounters soon find rebirth and come calling in the form of a newly invigorated Shape (though, we do have to wonder what he’s been doing with himself for the past two decades). Michael wittles down the school kids left on campus during a woodland retreat, while Laurie kicks back into survivor mode to deal with the threat that has found her after all this time in hiding.

The original treatment was by Kevin Williamson, and it plows along just like any of his slick interchangable flicks from the late 90’s slasher reprise. In fact, it looks just like a SCREAM film (a better title would have been HALLOSCREAM). Donald Pleasence is gone and not around for the pursuings, which also hurts things considerably. You can certainly do worse in this franchise if you choose (especially if you include Rob Zombie’s wretched remakes), but H20 still just scrapes barely by as watchable.

Sibling rivalry gets a rematch in H20: HALLOWEEN 20 YEARS LATER.