Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
Directed by Steve Miner
Produced by Moustapha Akkad Malek AkkadBob WeinsteinHarvey Weinstein Paul FreemanKevin Williamson
Written by Robert ZapiaMatt Greenberg
Story by Robert ZapiaUncredited: Kevin Williamson
Based on Characters by:John CarpenterDebra Hill
Starring Jamie Lee CurtisAdam ArkinMichelle WilliamsAdam Hann-ByrdJodi Lyn O'KeefeJosh HartnettLL Cool JJoseph Gordon-Levitt
Music by John Ottman
Cinematography Daryn Okada
Editing by Patrick Lussier
Distributed by Dimension Films
Release date(s) August 5, 1998 (1998-08-05)
Running time 86 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $17 million[1]
Gross revenue $55,041,738[1]

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Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

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Theatrical release poster

Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later is a 1998 slasher film and is the seventh installment in the Halloween film series. It is directed by Steve Miner and starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, and Michelle Williams. The screenplay, based on a story by Kevin Williamson further developed by Robert Zapia, was written by Zapia and Matt Greenberg. It is the seventh installment of the Halloween series and a direct sequel to Halloween II, ignoring Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (Halloween III: Season of the Witch has no connection to the other films and is not considered to be a part of the "Michael Myers" storyline).The film is set twenty years after the events of the original film and centers on a post-traumatic Laurie Strode living in fear of her murderous brother, Michael Myers, who attempted to kill her all those years ago.

Plot

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The film begins on Thursday, October 29, 1998. Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), Dr. Sam Loomis's colleague, returns to her house to find it has been broken into. Before entering, she runs next door and lets her two teenage neighbors know that someone has ransacked her house. When arriving, Marion gets shaken up when she gets scared by one of the teens, Jimmy Howell (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) for he pops out infront of her wearing a Jason Voorhees mask, Jimmy searches Marion's house, but finds nothing and Marion decides to wait for the police in her house alone. While in her house, Marion discovers her file on Laurie Strode (Michael Myers' sister who escaped the attacks 20 years earlier) missing and finds someone is still in her house and immediately rushes over to her neighbors house. When she arrives, she finds both teenagers murdered. The killer, Michael Myers, (Chris Durand), attacks her. After a brief confrontation with Marion, he manages to kill her. The police arrive as Michael leaves the house with the file on Laurie Strode.

The film then moves to Northern California, on October 31, 1998 - Halloween. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has faked her death and is living under the assumed name "Keri Tate". As Tate, Laurie has a seemingly perfect life with an intelligent son, John (Josh Hartnett), a boyfriend, Will (Adam Arkin), and a great career as headmistress at Hillcrest Academy High School, a private boarding school. However, Laurie/Keri is far from happy. The tragic events from 20 years previous still haunt her and adversely affect her parental capabilities. To everyone, this is "just another Halloween", however, Laurie still lives in constant fear from the attacks from 20 years ago, and partially believes that her brother is still alive and will one day return.

Michael manages to find her using the file, and starts stalking the school grounds. John and his friends are watching Scream 2 in the basement when John's best friend, Charlie (Adam Hann-Byrd), goes to get snacks and is attacked and later killed by Michael. When Charlie's girlfriend, Sarah (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe), goes looking for him, she finds his body and is attacked. She climbs into the elevator to save her life but as she climbs out, Michael tries to bring the elevator down by cutting the rope, and it falls on her and breaks her leg. Michael then climbs up to the floor she is on and kills her as well. When John and Molly find the bodies, they are chased by Michael through the woods and John is stabbed in the leg. While inches away from death they are saved by Laurie and Will, who open the door for them just in time. Moments later, Laurie and Michael meet for the first time since their last encounter. Laurie and Will send the children away to safety and decide to try to kill Michael.

When Will sees a shape approaching from the far end of the hall, he takes Laurie's pistol (which she had secretly kept under her pillow at home during all this time) and shoots the shape five times, only to discover that it was the school's security guard, Ronny (LL Cool J). The real Michael then appears and kills Will. Laurie and the others escape but Laurie chooses to go back to the school with a fire hatchet from nearby to challenge Michael in a fight to the death. She finds him and attempts to kill him several times. She finally stabs two knives (similar to the type of kitchen knife Michael himself commonly uses) into him and pushes him off a balcony, causing him to apparently fall to his death in the cafeteria, similar to the first film. She approaches his body and pulls one of the knives out of his chest. She slowly raises the knife high above her head, preparing to bring it down on Michael and kill him. But before she can deliver the final blow, Ronny suddenly appears, apparently having survived the accidental shooting, and grabs her. He manages to restrain her from attacking the seemingly-dead Michael and drags her out of the cafeteria.

The police come and put Michael's corpse in a body bag, loading it into an ambulance. Laurie, knowing that Michael is incredibly hard to kill and not believing that he is really dead, grabs the axe from earlier and an officer's pistol and steals the ambulance with Michael's body in the back. While driving away, Michael sits up and escapes the body bag, trying to kill her again. She slams on the brakes, throwing him through the windshield. She then tries unsuccessfully to run him over. The vehicle tumbles down a cliff but she escapes, while Michael gets trapped between it and a tree. Laurie recovers the axe and walks to where he is pinned. He reaches out to her, apparently seeking forgiveness and compassion. At first it seems she will accept this, and begins reaching out to him, but then she slowly pulls her hand back and with one swing decapitates Michael, finally killing him. Michael's head, still concealed by the mask, rolls down the hill. Laurie exhales, as sirens are heard approaching from the distance.

Cast

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  • Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode/Keri Tate
  • Josh Hartnett as John Tate
  • Adam Arkin as Will Brennan
  • Michelle Williams as Molly Cartwell
  • Adam Hann-Byrd as Charlie Deveraux
  • Jodi Lyn O'Keefe as Sarah Wainthrope
  • Janet Leigh as Norma Watson
  • Nancy Stephens as Marion Chambers
  • LL Cool J as Ronald "Ronny" Jones
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jimmy Howell
  • Lisa Gay Hamilton as Shirley "Shirl" Jones
  • Chris Durand as Michael Myers


Production

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John Carpenter was originally in the running to be the director for this particular follow-up since Curtis wanted to reunite the cast and crew of the original to have active involvement in it. While it was believed that Carpenter, himself, opted out because he wanted no active part in the sequel this is not the case. Carpenter agreed to direct the movie, but his starting fee as director was 10 million dollars. Carpenter rationalized this by believing the hefty fee was compensation for revenue he never received from the original Halloween, a matter that was still a bit of contention between Carpenter and Akkad even after twenty years had passed. When Akkad balked at Carpenter's fee Carpenter walked away from the project.

Scream writer/producer Kevin Williamson was involved in various areas of production on this particular sequel including coming up with the treatment that the film was based on. Although not directly credited, he provided rewrites in character dialogue, which is seen heavily throughout the teen moments. Miramax/Dimension Films felt his involvement as a co-executive producer merited being credited. The original working title for the film was Halloween 7: The Revenge of Laurie Strode.

Music
The original music score was composed by John Ottman, but some music from Scream was added to the chase scenes later on during post-production. John Ottman expressed some displeasure about this action in an interview featured on the Halloween: 25 Years of Terror DVD released in 2006. Ottman's score was supplemented with Marco Beltrami's scores from Scream, Scream 2, and Mimic by a team of music editors as well as new cues written by Beltrami during the final days of sound mixing on the film. Dimension Films chief Bob Weinstein demanded the musical changes after being dissatisfied with Ottman's score.

The song "What's This Life For" by hard rock band Creed was featured in the film during a party sequence and is also heard during the credits of the film.

Masks
As said on Halloween: 25 Years of Terror, Halloween H20 had scenes re-shot due to complaints of the Myers mask used in the film. Scenes that could not be re-shot had a CGI mask replace them frame by frame. Four masks were made for the film.

Reception

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The critical reception for H20 was mixed, with a rating of 52% on Rotten Tomatoes; the site's general consensus is that it is the finest of the sequels since Halloween II. In terms of total gross, Halloween: H20 is the highest grossing film in the original Halloween series, and second in the overall franchise, behind Rob Zombie's 2007 remake of the original. It was released on August 5, 1998 in the US and later in many other countries. H20 cost $17 million to produce and returned over $55 million in domestic box office sales, with an opening weekend of $16,187,724. As for video/DVD rentals, the film grossed over $21 million.

Continuity

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As originally conceived, the plot device in which Laurie had faked her death was written explicitly to account for her reported "death" in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, and the original story treatment for H20 acknowledged the events depicted in the fourth through sixth films in the series, including the existence and death of Laurie's daughter, Jamie Lloyd. However, the filmmakers ultimately chose to ignore the continuity of the previous three sequels. Although Laurie's faked death remained in the script, the scenes mentioning Jamie were removed from the story, and the film's dialogue was adjusted to indicate that Michael Myers had not been heard from in the twenty years since the night depicted in the first two films.

Michael's 20 missing years are explained in the comic book series Halloween: Sam, which also explains what happened to Dr. Loomis in the new continuity and further goes on to explain that Loomis and Laurie both knew he would return and she was placed in a witness protection program. The new continuity explains that Michael's body was never recovered from the hospital.

Halloween H20 also features the return of Nurse Marion Chambers-Wittington, who appeared in the first two films as an associate of Dr. Loomis. In Halloween, she was the nurse who drove with Loomis to the asylum when Myers made his escape, and she reprised her role in Halloween II.

The Halloween comic book series, published by Chaos Comics in 2001, successfully bridged the continuity between Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and Halloween H20, but in doing so made the plot of Halloween: Resurrection (unreleased at the time) impossible.

Some scenes that were dropped from the other three movies were placed in H20. For example, the scene where Laurie is hiding beneath a table in the dining hall, Michael starts flipping the tables over. This was originally going to be placed in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, where Michael chases Jamie Lloyd through the elementary school. It was written that she would hide under a desk and Michael was going to flip the desks over. This was dropped due to time constraints. However, Moustapha Akkad remembered and filmed it as part of H20.

Some of the content on this page has been provided by the following page on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween_H20:_20_Years_Later


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