Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

halloween h20 20 years later poster 1998 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun relaunch of Halloween, feels like the original

Sometimes feels a bit too Scream-like

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Halloween H20:  20 Years Later

Studio:  Dimension Films

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  August 5, 1998

MPAA Rating:  R


Hey Mikey…He likes it!

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has left her old life behind…she’s changed her name to Keri Tate and is living at a California private school with her son John Tate (Josh Hartnett) who wishes to live outside the shadow of his mother’s past.  Halloween arrives with the normal fears and John skips out a trip to spend the weekend with his girlfriend Molly Cartwell (Michelle Williams) and other friends.  Unfortunately Michael Myers has returned and now it is a battle to the death between Laurie and her brother.

Directed by Steve Miner, Halloween H20:  20 Years Later was relatively well received when it was released.  It went on to become one of the highest grossing sequels of the series and helped restart the franchise.


Scream if one of our careers will take off and one will fizzle!

Halloween H20:  20 Years Later (possibly one of the worst titles of all time…Halloween Water…yeah) ended up jumpstarting the dead series.  With movies like Scream being popular (Scream 2 is playing on the TV of the girls’ room), some new blood was needed, but it was good to see it mixed with the return of Jamie Lee Curtis.  It is definitely the smartest Halloween since Halloween’s original outing and I think it is better than Halloween II (1981).

The movie was kind of debated by fans of the franchise.  With the movie, Halloween 4:  The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5:  The Revenge of Michael Myers, and Halloween:  The Curse of Michael Myers all were negated and never existed.  There had originally been some plans to incorporate the three films but it was decided to just have Halloween and Halloween II be the basis for the story (Halloween III:  Season of the Witch (1982) was of course a stand-alone).  I think this was probably smart since it would have been pretty uncharacteristic for Laurie to have Jamie and then abandon her by faking her death.


I’m not screwin’ around this time Michael!

The movie has a good cast.  As mentioned Jamie Lee Curtis is back at her screaming best as Laurie again.  The film introduced Josh Hartnett who became a hit in the late ’90s and early 2000s, but Hartnett’s costar, Dawson’s Creek veteran Michelle Williams ended up making more waves in award winning movies.  LL Cool J feels a little out of place and unnecessary (you aren’t going kill him), but Adam Arkin is obvious meat for Michael.  The nurse from the original Halloween (Nancy Stevens) also gets her death near the beginning of the film along with now leading man Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  One of the better things in the film is a small role by Jamie Lee Curtis’s mother (and scream queen herself Janet Leigh in one of her last appearances where she even gets into the same model of car she drove in Psycho.

Halloween H20 is a fun movie despite the stupid name.  It still holds up decently with other movies coming out after it and remains one of the better Halloween films.  The movie was followed by the disastrous Halloween:  Resurrection in 2002 that many Halloween fans disavowed as not even a true Halloween film.

Related Links:

Halloween (1978)

Halloween II (1981)

Halloween III:  Season of the Witch (1982)

Halloween 4:  The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Halloween 5:  The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

Halloween:  The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

Halloween:  Resurrection (2002)

Halloween (2007)

Halloween II (2009)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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