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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Saturday February 1, 2020 


Twenty years ago Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) survived a Halloween night murder spree at the hands of her deranged brother, but continues to be traumatised by visions of the knife wielding, masked murderer. Now living under an alias with her 17 year old son, John (Josh Hartnett), she is a headmistress. While the school's security guard, Ronnie (ll Cool J), keeps watch over the grounds like a prison warden and Will Brennan (Adam Arkin), the guidance counsellor and Laurie's secret sweetheart, tries to ease her worries, she can't manage to let down her guard. She over protectively smothers John and won't let him go on a camping trip with his girlfriend, Molly (Michelle Williams), and their friends. John and his three friends decide to stay at the now empty school and have a romantic Halloween night party. And her brother is coming after Laurie, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake.

"Twenty years ago the slasher movie was in vogue, and it was low-budget pics like the original Halloween that started it all. Yet the film also created the careers of director John Carpenter and screen newcomer Jamie Lee Curtis, whose own mother screamed to good effect close to 20 years earlier in the original slasher movie, Psycho. The nineties have brought with them new degrees of psychos, and this latest Halloween is a reminder of how much we've all changed. Sure, this movie has Jamie Lee screaming her lungs out in the opening scenes, but then, as we go deeper into the movie, one is also aware of how much the actress has developed as a performer, how much more resonance and depth there is in her. Strange as it might seem, this new Halloween is one scary movie with enough genuine jolts to make one take note. Director Steve Miner uses his cameras brilliantly for maximum impact, coupled with a highly effective use of music to create tension and surprise. Razor-sharp editing helps to create shifts of place and mood that genuinely provide some wonderfully chilling moments. Halloween H20 is a solidly crafted, chilling piece, a suspenseful collage of well-mounted set pieces that will have audiences transfixed. It's also one of Curtis' finest moments, giving an arresting, detailed performance that is able to convince us that she has gone from paranoid would-be victim to tough heroine. It's her film, and she goes with it. Though the movie takes itself more seriously than the recent Scream films, horror fans will be enthralled, fascinated and terrified. The final pursuit between is suspense cinema at its best. Halloween H20 is the perfect example of escapist chills from beginning to end."
Paul Fischer

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CAST: Jamie Lee Curtis, Adam Arkin, Josh Hartnett, Michelle Williams, Adam Hann-Byrd, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe, Janet Leigh, LL Cool J, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nancy Stephens, Brandon Williams, Larissa Miller, Emilee Thompson, Matt Winston, Beau Billingslea

PRODUCER: Paul Freeman (II)

DIRECTOR: Steve Miner

SCRIPT: Robert Zappia


EDITOR: Patrick Lussier

MUSIC: John Carpenter (theme), Marco Beltrami (additional), John Ottman


RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 29, 1998

VIDEO RELEASE: Octobe Home Entertainment

RRP: $24.95

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