Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later is the greatest movie of all time

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. Saw it in the theater with my old man and my bro back in 1998. Sophomore year of high school. Thought it was weird shit back then. Didn't know it was retconned and what have you. Confused the shit out of all of us at the time. They shitcan the whole Man in Black/Mark of Thorn bullshit from Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers which was obviously not working. Also, everything that happened in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. So all of the Jamie Lloyd stuff gets ignored. In Halloween 4 it is glossed over that Jamie Lee Curtis's character, Laurie Strode, died in a car accident. The movies that H20 follows are the original John Carpenter's Halloween and Halloween II. It is in that universe. I sort of picked up on this back then but during the opening credits we see a newspaper clipping with a headline that explains that she was indeed killed in a car accident. What the fuck? Later, when we see that she is alive, she explains that she faked her death. This shit pissed me off back then. Is it in this universe or isn't it? It obviously isn't if it ignores the Cult of Thorn shit and doesn't mention Jamie, but why make it more complicated? None of this was very clear back in the day. Now, however, knowing that whats what, I took the film as it is and other than taking a while to get going and some truly awful and grossly unnecessary CGI which is fucking mind blowing, they CGI the mask for god's sake, this one is pretty solid. Unbelievable. But solid. In fact, greatest movie of all time.

Michelle Williams... Attractive lady.
Also, I should mention that the upcoming Danny McBride written, David Gordon Green directed, Blumhouse produced Halloween movie, watch the trailers here and here, which looks okay but also sort of dumb, retcons the franchise as well. This one, however, ignores everything past the original. So basically another attempt at this movie only ignoring everything from the point when Myers disappears after getting shot six times in the original up to this new one. We'll see if it's a shit show or not in a couple of weeks. Early reports have it being pretty solid so I've got hope.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Halloween: H2O is the best of the many sequels, yet still pales in comparison to the original Halloween.

WTF is this shit?
Pros: Opening is pretty dope. The ending is sort of amazing. Michelle Williams. Found her so attractive when I originally watched this. She holds up. Once it finally gets going, for that last 20 minutes or so, the movie is pretty great. This is basically when JLC goes back into the school with an ax to the very, very end.

Cons: LL Cool J's character is extremely irritating with his romance novelist ambitions for no reason. Takes too long to get going. After the opening scene kills, nothing really happens until the end. Unlike the original where it builds and Myers is lurking, it's more he just isn't there a lot. CGI mask.

Quick note on my Halloween watching/commentary. I have, since the last piece of shit Halloween movie I watched, discovered this dope podcast doing the same thing as yours truly. It's called Halloweenies and is part of the Consequence of Sound Podcast Network. Discovered it after being a semiregular listener of The Losers Club which is a Stephen King podcast. They are both great. Trying not to rip off any of their stuff from their humorous observations but I'm thinking there is a little bit of overlap. Like with our takes on the ending. But check out that shit if you are into any of those shits.

I owned that shit back in the day
Anyway... The gist of the thing goes thus... 20 years after Laurie Strode, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, was attacked by her homicidal brother, Michael Myers, she comes face to face with "The Shape" again who has tracked her down from Haddonfield, Illinois to a California boarding school where she is the head mistress after having faked her death to protect herself and her son, played by Josh Hartnett.

Also in flick are Adam Arkin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (JGL), Adam Hann-Byrd, LL Cool J, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe, JLC's mother Janet Leigh from Pyscho has a couple nice little cameos, and Michelle Williams. Directed by Steve Miner, who started his career off hot with Friday the 13th Part 2 which is probably my favorite of the franchise and Friday the 13th Part III which is also super solid before doing the underrated film House about a writer whose child goes missing at his aunt's haunted home that he then inherits and moves into (I'm going to have to rewatch this soon), before what should have (and sort of did) killed his career with 1985's Soul Man about a Brett Kavanaugh type who dresses in blackface to pose as a black dude to achieve his dream of attending Harvard with a full scholarship. It didn't exactly age well. Anyway, Miner thought the previous three Halloween movies were trash, saying as much, and didn't watch them. So with his background he more or less decided to make a Jason Goes to Boarding School movie.

Jesus fuck, bro
There is some shit. Like how the movie takes for fucking ever to get going. There are the kills in the beginning and then it turns into a shitty slasher at a boarding school where no one dies and the killer is halfway across the country. He doesn't even get to the area until about the halfway mark. Then it still takes a while for him to get in and what not. Which brings me to some more shit. Every second LL is on screen, reading his old lady garbage from the romance novel he is writing instead of doing his job the top priority of which is protecting the kids from homicidal killers. And finally the movie riding out to the soundtrack of Creed is borderline offensive. Jesus fucking Christ. Wow, Creed sure does suck.

Young JGL
Now for some good shit. There are three really good contenders for best scene. For me, they totally made the movie worth watching. They were the opening, a scene where Michael goes into a restroom at an isolated rest area on the highway and reaches under a stall and steals a woman's purse to get her keys while her small child hums while she takes a shit or whatever, and the final 20 minutes of the movie which bleeds into my pick for MVP. The opening is a pretty solid attention grabber. Starts the way II ended, with "Mr. Sandman" playing over the credits. From there it reintroduces the pertinent characters from that flick that we need for the current film (basically Marion who was Loomis's nurse and Laurie Strode), and kills off one of the biggest stars in the movie in JGL who takes a hockey skate to the face, off screen, as well as Marion who gets her throat slit as Haddonfield's finest search the house next door, long story. It's in this opening scene that we get the best line of the movie. In that scene, one these two hockey punks, the one that is not JGL, asks Marion, "Hasn't anyone ever told you that second-hand smoke kills?" and Marion says, "Yeah, but they're all dead." That was pretty much how I felt when I was a smoker... But now that I'm not and am like many years removed from it... Yeah.

The next great scene, the aforementioned rest area one, is creepy as shit. Definitely the closest the movie gets to real horror. The woman and her daughter are in an isolated area. Women's restroom is locked so they go in the men's room. Light doesn't work. Open it by wedging it with a rock. That works for a minute and then the door slams shut. The little girl is nervous but the mom tells her to chill at which point a hand reaches under the stall and snatches her person. It happens out of nowhere and is a fucked up situation with some potentially sexual stuff that could go down which makes it even more terrifying. Fuck. Anyway. But the best scene is the ending which brings me to the MVP, obviously JLC.

MVP is hands down JLC. It was crazy that she was coming back. I remember being stoked and surprised by that. And she fucking rocks it in that last 20 minutes. Prior to that not so much, I feel she isn't the same character as she was in the first two movies like at all. Don't really think she's the same Laurie Strode at the end either but it's all pretty compelling nonetheless. (Little aside here, hoping this is the thing they really focus on for the new movie: having Laurie feel like the same battered victim that indeed has been through some shit). It's basically when the film turns from complete shit to a solid fucking sequel. It happens suddenly after Laurie has lost her boyfriend, played by Arkin, and has just saved her son and Michelle Williams. She sends them off and shuts the gate so that it is just her and Myers on the grounds. She then gets herself an ax and goes into the darkness, looking to settle this shit with her brother once and for all. It is a powerful scene and then they get it on. Everyone in the theater lost their shit here and at the very end when Myers is finally got, once and for all.

So, yeah, saved the best kill for the the end here as the conclusion of the film also features the best kill as it is Laurie killing Myers himself. How they kill him is fucking ridiculous. He is stabbed many times, thrown off a balcony, thrown through a windshield, rammed by a van, crushed between a tree and said van after it rolls down a cliff, and finally decapitated with an ax. Hell of a way to go. No coming back from that. But wait, he must as there is one more shitty sequel. Have never watched it as I always considered this the true ending of the franchise. Now is the time though which is exciting considering that this is called one of the worst horror sequels of all time. So look forward to that shit show.