Saturday, October 11, 2014

Why I like Halloween H20

Why I like Halloween H20

1) We rarely see what happens to people who survive horror movies. I assumed most of them go insane, like Sally Hardesty at the end of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. We never see them twenty years later, when they're barely holding it together.

2) I like that there are times when it's very difficult to like Laurie Strode. We don't blame her, as we can see the terror she lives with, but we also feel sympathy for her son. He's had to live with a mother who's tightened her grip on him over the years out of (justifiable) paranoia. 

3) There are people who dislike Michael Myers and Laurie Strode being siblings. They say it takes the fear of random violence from the first movie and makes it into a family drama with more knives. Twenty years later, the decision paid off. H20 is about how destructive the ties of family can be, and how we never really know the people closest to us. 

4) Jamie Lee Curtis is a fantastic actress. Halloween H20's version of Laurie Strode is not an easy role to pull off and Curtis pulls it off with aplomb. I got chills during the scene towards the end of the movie when she closes the gate, calls to her brother, and the familiar theme fills the air. 

5) It's one of those rare slasher movies where the teenage knife-bait feels extraneous to the story. Laurie Strode's arc is so compelling that the teenagers they set up to be victims feel more like a drag on the narrative than anything else. 

6) The ending is one of my favorites in horror cinema. She knew her brother was just going to sit up in the ambulance, and the end result of her escape is her brother pinned to a tree. He reaches for her with such pathos in his eyes, and I don't know if could have stopped myself from taking his hand. We never know why Michael does what he does, but we get a sense in that moment that he's under tremendous pain. The scene plays out as it does, and Myers' hold on his sister's life is ended. 

Conclusion: As far as I'm concerned, that's the last film of the original Halloween series. It was the correct send-off for both characters, not the abomination that followed. Halloween H20 is a genuinely good film, as well as being one of the best of the post-Scream slashers.     

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