Film / Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later

Laurie Strode: You've heard the story?
Will Brennan: Who hasn't? Michael Myers. It's like 20 years ago?
Laurie: 1978.
Will: And the girl that...what happened to the sister, she died, right?
Laurie: No, she faked her death... and now, she's the headmistress of a very posh, secluded private school in Northern California — hoping and praying every year...that her brother won't find her.

Ignoring the continuity of the last three films of the Halloween franchise, Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later picks up the story of Final Girl Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). After faking her death to live in peace following the horrific events during the Halloween night of 1978, Laurie had changed her name to Keri Tate, had a son, and became a headmistress for a high school far away from Haddonfield, Illinois.

Michael Myers, however, has finally tracked Laurie down, and after two decades of waiting, he comes back into her life — and enters the lives of a number of students, including Laurie's son — in order to kill her once and for all...

While it offered a solid conclusion to the story of Laurie Strode, that didn't stop the suits from making a sequel.

Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Laurie has had enough of Michael's bullshit.
  • Advertised Extra: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whose character died in the opening scene.
  • And Starring: There is "introducing Josh Hartnett". He has done quite well for himself ever since.
  • Arc Number: This film reveals the number seventeen to be this to the series. Michael murdered Judith and tried to kill Laurie when they were both seventeen, and John is now seventeen.
  • Artistic License Geography: Michael drives from Haddonfield, Illinois to Northern California within 1-2 days. Even if he'd driven nonstop—which he didn't, he had to stop because his car broke down and steal another—that's impossible.
  • Back for the Dead: Poor Nurse Whittington.
  • Balls of Steel: Michael takes a knee to the groin, but barely reacts.
  • Big Eater: Sarah. While preparing a massive amount of junk food for a Halloween party, she mentions she's got such an intense love of food that it's actually a goal of hers to get fat. Charlie agrees with her philosophy.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Inverted. Ronnie the security guard is mistakenly shot by Will, but appears at the end having survived.
  • Bloody Handprint: Laurie leaves a bloody handprint on the door of a closet, tricking Michael Myers into thinking she was hiding inside.
  • Call-Back: Michael lifting Will up with his knife after stabbing him is reminiscent of the infamous scalpel scene from Halloween II (1981).
    • Molly spotting Michael lurking across the street from her classroom, precisely as Laurie did in the first film—and both during an English class, no less.
    • The numerous Stealth Hi/Bye Michael pulls are also straight out of the first film.
    • The song "Mister Sandman" is played over the film's opening, like it was over the beginning and end of the second film.
  • Camping a Crapper: Averted. A woman and her daughter go to a public bathroom and Michael Myers follows them in. After a tense scene in which the audience assumes he is going to kill them, he ends up stealing the woman's car keys instead.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Everything that came out between Halloween II and this.
    • Though the film does very, very subtley hint at events from movies IV-VI, indicating that they may, to some degree, have happened.
  • Car Fu: Laurie hijacks an ambulance van with Michael in it, and runs it off a cliff in order to kill Michael once and for all.
  • Caught in a Snare: Laurie has a snare trap set for Michael.
  • Celebrity Paradox: One of the college students watches Scream 2. Even though the first Scream showed Halloween being played.
  • Character Development: Laurie Strode, who goes from a Damsel in Distress to a badass Action Girl in this movie! She even provides the page image!
  • Cut Phonelines: At Laurie's school when Michael finds her.
  • Dangerous Key Fumble: Molly does this as Michael closes in.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The subtitle, considering on how H20 already means that it has been twenty years from the first film's events.
  • Disappeared Dad: John's estranged dad is an "abusive chain smoking methadone addict."
  • Evil Overlooker: The poster had Michael Myers' Black Eyes of Evil looming over the frightened-looking protagonists.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Laurie is teaching an English literature class on Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. Molly, one of the students, responds to a question about the book and fate with this:
    "I think that Victor should have confronted the monster sooner. He's completely responsible for Elizabeth's death. He was so paralyzed by fear that he never did anything. It took death for the guy to get a clue." She goes on to say that Victor finally confronts the monster because he "had reached a point in his life where he had nothing left to lose. I mean, the monster saw to that by killing off everybody that he loved. It was about redemption. It was his fate."
    • This foreshadows the final scenes in the movie where Laurie finally decides to stop running from Michael Myers and confront her monster. After twenty years of living in fear and seeing her loved ones murdered, she had nothing more to lose. It was time to face her fears and end the nightmare.
  • Groin Attack: Laurie knees Michael in the groin. It doesn't do anything except cause him to give her a nasty glare.
  • Headscratchers : Why nobody checked any vital signs on Michael Myers after his fall? The police and some ambulances were there and no one thought about even checking his pulse ! No wonder he could so easily play dead..
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: At the end Laurie turns the tables on Michael Myers and starts hunting him down with an axe.
  • Infant Immortality: We're given a Bait-and-Switch thinking Michael will murder a mother and her young daughter, but he just steals their car keys. No victims are younger than a teenager.
  • Irony: Laurie initially refuses to let John go on the Yosemite camping trip but relents and gives him a permission slip at the last minute. He decides to stay at the school for a party - and gets attacked by Michael Myers.
  • Mama Bear: In the original movie, Laurie had no qualms attacking Michael in self defense. In H20, she really lets him have it when he attacks her son.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Michael's response to Laurie's knife throwing act.
  • Off with His Head!: Laurie beheads Michael in the end. The next film changed this greatly.
  • Oddball in the Series: Alternate continuity or not, this is the first—and only—film in the series to not take place in Haddonfield (the prologue notwithstanding). It also takes place over several days, whereas the other films took place over one.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: No, the movie is not named after the chemical formula for water (H20 = Halloween 20 Years Later). Although, water has a PH of 7.0. And this is the seventh movie in the Halloween franchise.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The prologue goes for almost 20 minutes before the opening credits begin.
  • Recut: There's a TV Cut that trims the violence and cuss words, but also has some alternate scenes. One added scene gives the counselor played by Adam Arkin some development by revealing that his mother cheated on his traveling salesman father, and he got blamed for knowing, but doing nothing.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Ronnie's wife.
  • Say My Name: Laurie after she starts hunting Michael:
  • Series Continuity Error: Michael has no burn scars, which he would have incurred from the second film (which is on this movie's continuity).
  • Shout-Out:
    • One character is named Norma Watson after PJ Sole's role in the first film adaptation of Carrie. Soles also played Lynda in the original Halloween.
    • There is also a cameo by Janet Leigh, mother of Jamie Lee Curtis and star of Psycho, which is the Spiritual Ancestor to the original Halloween. Janet Leigh drives the car she drove in Psycho, and her scene is scored with the music from that film.
    • One of the teens who Nurse Loomis encounters is wearing a hockey mask.
  • Slashers Prefer Blondes: Inverted. The lone blonde in the group is one of the few survivors.
  • Stalker Shrine: It is revealed that Dr. Loomis' office is a shrine to Michael Myers, with three decades worth of newspaper clippings about Myers taped all over the office walls. To add to the creepiness, he also has high school photos of Laurie (Michael's sister) stuck to the wall too.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Marion Whittington and Doctor Loomis. Actor Donald Pleasence passed away in 1995. At least his death was off-screen unlike Marion unfortunately.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Averted. During the final confrontation with Michael Myers, Laurie throws several large kitchen knives at him. They all miss.