By Ron Wells | October 31, 2001

BRILLIANT and WITTY. Those are two words that will not be used to described this film, nor, I suspect, its target audience, not the kids around me at the preview screening, anyway. Since slasher films have been gone awhile, the little bastards don’t know how to act. They’ve only seen these movies on video or on cable. Sure, it’s okay to scream and yell, but it has to come from the heart (or gut). Trying to impress your friends with how cool you are with ironic commentary isn’t welcome, because they’re idiots too. Don’t try for irony, your feet can’t reach the pedals. You also don’t know when some 30 year old, mildly pathological film critic may snap and teach you what pants-s**tting fear is all about.
As for the film itself, it goes like this: After the events of the first two films, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) faked her death. Never really sure her brother, Michæl Myers/the Shape, was dead, she changed her identity, got married, gave birth, got divorced, and is now the headmistress at a private, enclosed high school in California. Twenty years later, she’s a pill-popping alcoholic with a 17 year old son, and Halloween is nearly upon her. Guess who decides to pay a visit? Hijinx ensue.
Clocking in at 85 minutes, with the bare-bones plot, it feels like half that. With the minimal gore and low body count, “Halloween: H20” could play uncut on broadcast television with only minor editing for language. The movie is like the unattainable ice-princess in high school. You don’t care whether she’s good or bad, you want to go there anyway, and she knows this. So when you get to the end, she gives you what you want and you get the climax, but she just laid there and didn’t work for it. By the end, you’re happy you got it, but you just want to get it over with and move on. It’s not really memorable and you wonder to your friends what the fuss was all about it. It’s time to find something with a little more effort and a lot more passion.

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