Welcome again to our history of Halloween series! In this fourth article, we’ll be discussing what would have been the perfect closing chapter of the franchise, Halloween H20! Since I was young, I’ve been aware of the adage “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” If this film proves anything, it’s that this age-old proverb is entirely accurate.
Directed by Steve Miner, Halloween H20 stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, Michelle Williams, and LL Cool J. The film was released August 5, 1998, to mark the 20th anniversary of John Carpenter’s Halloween. The story for H20 was created and developed by Robert Zappia, who co-wrote the screenplay with Matt Greenberg. Halloween H20 serves as a direct sequel to 1981’s Halloween II, rendering the events of the fourth, fifth, and sixth installments non-canon. Set twenty years after the first two films of the franchise, the plot of H20 is as follows:
A post-traumatic Laurie Strode (Curtis) is now living in California with her son, John (Hartnett), and is the headmistress of Hillcrest Academy, the school in which John attends. As the 20th anniversary of her attack grows near, Laurie becomes fearful that Michael Myers will return. On Halloween night, her intuition is proven right as Myers appears on campus and attacks John and his friends. Laurie ultimately decides that she’s going to end Michael’s reign of terror once and for all, taking the attack to him.
Let’s be completely honest with each other: Michael Myers gets his ass whooped by Laurie Strode in the final showdown. Sure, it’s an intense and frightening sequence, but Laurie had essentially been preparing for this for two decades. She was ready for Michael to return, and she destroyed him entirely. After twenty years of being psychologically tormented, this would have been a perfect final chapter for Laurie Strode, and the greatest possible stopping place for the franchise. Seriously, if I had three wishes, one of them would be that Halloween: Resurrection never existed – more on that next week.
John Carpenter was originally in the running to direct Halloween H20 as Jamie Lee Curtis wanted to reunite the cast and crew of the original Halloween for this anniversary film. It was believed at the time that Carpenter opted out of the film because he had no interest in the sequel, but it’s since been recognized that Carpenter agreed to direct the film for more money than Moustapha Akkad was willing to pay. Kevin Williamson, the screenwriter/producer of Scream, was involved with several areas of the production. Though not directly credited, Williamson provided rewrites of character dialogue, specifically throughout the teen moments.
- Halloween H20 features many nods and homages to the original film, Alfred Hitchcock‘s Psycho, and Scream, as Halloween was inspired by Psycho, and Scream was inspired by Halloween.
- Janet Leigh, Jamie Lee Curtis’s real-life mother who starred as Marion Crane in Psycho, appears as Norma Watson in H20.
- After being dissatisfied by John Ottman‘s score, Bob Weinstein demanded musical changes that consisted of scores from Scream, Scream 2, and Mimic being edited together.
- “What’s This Life For” by Creed is heard in the film and throughout the film’s closing credits.
- The working title for Halloween H20 was Halloween 7: The Revenge of Laurie Strode.
- H20 had scenes re-shot due to complaints about the featured mask. Scenes that couldn’t be re-shot relied on a CGI mask to replace them frame by frame. Four different masks were made for the film.
Halloween H20 is a great seventh entry into the Halloween franchise. Though Resurrection undoes H20‘s fantastic ending, stubborn people like myself can imagine that the Busta Rhymes starring sequel doesn’t exist. Join us next week as we dissect that film, and be sure to check out our articles on the rest of the series if you haven’t already!