Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Halloween: H20: Twenty Years Later

Once again, it’s worth taking a minute or five to address questions that were not answered at the end of Part 6 that may or may not get answered here.

What happened to Jamie’s child? I assume Tommy didn’t just run off with it.

What happened to Dr. Loomis? Is he dead? Alive?

What’s going on with the… uh… Thorn people? Michael killed quite a few of them – are there any left?

Now that Tommy faced down the monster who scared him so badly as a kid, is he going to pursue a normal life now?

What about Danny? Danny was hearing “The Voice” since he was a child. Now that the Thorn is gone, has the voice gone away? Or is he still a little murderer-in-waiting? And are Danny and Kara the last of the Strodes? And does Michael have to kill them now, or were they really just collateral damage?

And away we go.

“Halloween: H20,” starts up with Mr. Sandman, the song that started and ended Part II…

Uh-oh.

Didja see all those questions up there? Forget about them. The answers aren’t coming, methinks. Iiit’s retroactive continuity time!

But let’s forget about that for the second. As the credits fade up, we get a knife, which jams into a pumpkin. A mom and a bunch of kids are gathered around a table outside, making a Jack O’Lantern.

But pretend you didn’t see them either, because camera pans right down the street, while a burn-in informs us that we’re in Langdon, Illinois.

A nurse steps out of her car, smoking a cigarette, and another burn-in tells us that it’s October 29, 1998.

The nurse walks up to her front door, and sees broken glass on the ground. She looks up and sees that her outside light has been smashed. She opens her door, which creaks ominously.

But this nurse is no dummy. She goes next door, rings the doorbell, and pounds on the front door. She hears a noise nearby, and goes to investigate, and, STING NOISE! It’s a kid in a hockey mask.

Just, like, a standard kid, though. The nurse tells the kid her house was broken into.

They all head into another house (I guess it belongs to the kid) and the kid calls the cops to tell them something is up. They say they’ll be there in 15 minutes.

It turns out that the kid, whose name is Jimmy, is an idiot. He wants to go check out the house. So the nurse, and another kid, and Jimmy head to the house. The other kid sticks with the nurse, while Jimmy heads into the house, hockey stick in hand.

I should note that Jimmy mocks the other kid for not going in. You may have a name, buddy, who you weren’t over the credits. Jimmy might be your first name, but your middle name is expendable.

Jimmy goes into the house, yelling to alert anyone who might be there that he’s around.

He checks out the nurse’s office, which has been ransacked. Then he heads to the kitchen, takes a bite out of a cookie, and steals a few beers.

You know, come to think of it, so far the nurse has been smoking a whole bunch, and she also just went ahead and let this kid go into her broken-into-house on his own. Isn’t a nurse supposed to value human life?

Whatever. One of those little closets with an ironing board behind it falls open, and the kid freaks and smashes a bunch o’ kitchen stuff.

He heads outside, where it is suddenly REALLY dark and tells the nurse everything is fine, though her office is a mess. And so is her kitchen.

The kids take off, and the nurse goes into the house with a, “So much for the cops.” And she seemed so bright, you know?

The nurse goes to turn on the lights, which don’t work. She goes to check the main fuse box, but she can’t get the power back on. So she grabs a flashlight and goes to look at her office.

She finds a picture of Dr. Loomis, which is in black and white, and a file folder labeled Laurie Strode, which is empty.

She hears a noise, and goes to check the front door, which is open. So she sees that the back door is open. So she runs out of the house. Finally wising up.

She goes next door to find Jimmy and his buddy – only Jimmy is dead. He has a hockey skate through his head. His friend is dead as well.

And then Michael walks into the house, as the nurse runs away. She grabs a fireplace poker and starts whacking Michael, while trying to get out the door.

The cops show up, but of course they go to her house, not Jimmy’s. So she’s yelling at the window, trying to get the cops to look over at Jimmy’s house, when Michael cuts her throat, while she yells out, “Andy, he’s not dead.”

Andy is one of the cops, I think. Or she’s calling out to Andy Griffith. Which is about as effective as anything else she’s tried that this point.

The cops step out of the nurse’s house, and one of them glances over and sees the window the nurse shattered. He figures it’s another break-in, and alerts his cop buddy.

As they walk over to the house, the camera gliiides over, as a car pulls out of the driveway. Looks like Michael is making a clean getaway. Or the pizza guy didn’t want to get involved.

Later – like, apparently the next morning later, since it’s light out again – a couple of people you can’t see are yacking, and we learn that the dead nurse is Marion Wittington. She was Loomis’s nurse.

Okay, you know what? I get that the audience needs to be reminded who people are, but a person who worked for someone twenty years ago is not remembered for that. This nurse was not William Shatner playing Captain Kirk on Star Trek. Seeing as how Loomis has been dead for quite some time, I’m guessing she worked for some other people in the meantime.

Unless she just likes wearing a nurse’s uniform.

Okay, wait, maybe she didn’t. The voice, which eventually turns into a detective, goes on:

“He was the shrink who died a few years ago. He lived here. She took care of him.”

Oh yeah. It’s retcon land.

In this version of reality, the sky is still blue, but it tends to get dark suddenly and quickly. And also, Loomis survived the huge explosion in the hospital, but Michael hasn’t been seen in 20 years – they never found his body.

The detective, who the movie has decided is not an idiot, calls up to Haddonfield to warn them, despite the fact that his partner thinks that idea is silly.

The detectives exit the room, additional credits start to fade up, and the camera slooowly pans (this is getting to be a habit, I can tell) around the room, showing us all the newspaper clippings that the nurse left up in Loomis’s office after he died. And I guess that was Loomis’s picture of himself sitting on the table earlier.

On the bright side, in this version of reality, Loomis died thinking he killed Michael 20 years ago. So that’s nice for him.

As the credits continue, we get Loomis’s voiceover, talking about how evil Michael is. This despite the fact that both Loomis the character and the actor who played him are deceased.

I guess the producers just really like those speeches.

As we continue to paaan along, we pause on a newspaper clipping that says, “Survivor of Halloween Murders Killed in Auto Accident” – and there’s a picture of Laurie next to it. So I guess she’s still dead, along with her husband.

Only the article says her name is still Strode. Maybe she kept her last name?

Oh, who am I kidding? I think we all see where this is headed.

Anyway, now we’re in a gothic-looking hallway, but we’re sort of gliding around, so I’m guessing dream sequence. We go into a door, which leads to a classroom, with a picture of teenage boy on the desk.

Then we pan over to a closet, which folds, which if you think back, is sort of like the closet Laurie was trapped in when she was fighting Michael.

Oh, but in case you forgot that, the movie cuts to footage from the original Halloween, with Laurie in the closet, under attack from Michael.

Then we’re back in the classroom, and the movie pans back to the desk, and the teenage boy’s picture has a knife in it, and the blackboard now has the name Laurie Strode written on it.

And then Laurie Strode wakes up, screaming.

The boy in the picture runs in, comforts his mom, and she asks him to get her some medication. He goes to medicine cabinet, which is stuffed full of medication bottles. He pulls one out, shakes out a few pills and heads off to dope mom up for the day.

And then the movie moves outside, and tells us we’re in Summer Glen, California. Oh, and it’s October 31st. So we’re moving right along. Oh, wait. There’s another burn-in, which says, Halloween. Thanks for insulting my intelligence, movie.

The movie paaans past a gate, and a sign, which reads Something Something High School. I mean, it doesn’t really read that, but the font is really small, and all curvy, and I really can’t decipher it. I guess the movie wants us to know it’s a private school, but not WHICH private school.

And now we’re back with Laurie and Son. Son says he’s making toast, which is odd, because he’s eating cereal. I can only assume he’s really hungry. Laurie hands him the mail, which comes amazingly early where they live.

It’s a birthday card from Laurie’s son’s dad (um, hey movie, wanna give us a name, here?), and it’s “only two months late.” But there’s cash in it, which Son wants to use to go to Yosemite.

Laurie says he can’t go. Son says that he thinks today is the day that Laurie will realize that he’s 17 years old. I guess today is NOT the day he’ll find out that he has a sister. Or used to, anyway, back in some other lifetime.

He also notes that his dad would let him go, and Laurie refers to dad as “an abusive, chain-smoking, methadone addict.” Son points out that dad left her.

Then she calls him John, so, yay, a name! She points out that John is going too far with his smart mouth, which she notes comes from “her side of the family.”

To which I say, “And which family would that be?” Laurie’s birth parents are dead, and they’ve been dead since she was, what? Four? So even if her particular brand of sarcasm came from one of them, how would she know?

We could presume that her smart mouth comes from her adoptive parents, but that would be nurture instead of nature, right? Plus she faked her death almost twenty years ago, so her memory of them is probably pretty flaky as well.

I’m thinking what she really should have said is, “It’s pretty much my fault that you can’t speak to your own mother with respect.”

John, in turn, says he deserves some space, and that all the Halloween stuff is really, truly, over. Only on this alternate timeline, John.

Later, John tells his friends that he’s not going to Yosemite, and his girlfriend now feels that she must get out of Yosemite, because it’s lame.

In a nearby building, Laurie looks out a window, and we see Michael’s reflection in the window, only it’s not really there. So I guess what we’re seeing is Laurie’s hallucination. Which will probably open up some fascinating interpretations of just what happens in this movie.

After all, if we can see what Laurie sees, even when it isn’t really there, who is to say this entire movie isn’t just Laurie’s fever dream?

I mean, her part of the movie did start with a nightmare, right? Sure. So maybe Laurie is just dreaming this whole other world where she doesn’t have a daughter… Sure. Doesn’t make any less sense that the cult of the Thorn.

Back with John and pals, John walks up behind some blonde girl and gives her a hug from behind, so maybe she’s his girlfriend. I have no idea.

Blonde complains that her dad flaked on her financial aid again, so now she can’t go to Yosemite. How much does that trip cost, exactly?

John’s male friend, who I’m guessing is NOT his girlfriend, but I couldn’t say for sure, says that the four of them should ditch Yosemite and throw a Halloween party at the school – just the four of them.

That sounds amazingly lame.

Guy Friend suggests a roving orgy. With four people. His girlfriend (ah, first girl is NOT John’s girlfriend – so why was she so mad that John wasn’t going to Yosemite, exactly?) says that she, “loves this man.” I guess she’s a big fan of orgies. Roving ones.

And we now move over to a highway, which a helpful burn-in informs us is Highway 139 Northern California. Some fellow is driving an old truck down the highway.

No, wait, it’s actually a woman, who is driving with her kid, who has to go potty. Which is why they’ve stopped at a rest stop.

They get out of the vehicle, and head up to the bathrooms, walking by another car with a blown-out front tire. Is it the car Michael was driving a couple of days ago? Oh, probably.

The ladies head to the ladies’ room, but it’s locked. So mom takes her little girl to the men’s room. She yells inside, but there’s no one there. She tries the lights, but they don’t work. So she props the door open with a rock.

Mom has her daughter go into one stall, and mom takes another. There’s no toilet paper, so she passes some tissues to her kid and leaves her purse on the ground.

The door to the outside slams shut.

Mom’s purse is taken by a manly hand. With no scars on it. So it’s not Michael.

No, wait. The woman looks through the crack in the door, and it is Michael, who apparently healed completely, despite being on fire. I guess he spent all those missing years undergoing massive plastic surgery. Michael walks away, and the woman sits looks nervous until she hears her little girl scream. She gets up from the toilet and runs to the next stall, and her little one yells out, “Spiders.”

Then Michael drives away with their truck, leaving them lost in the middle of nowhere with no purse, and therefore no cell phone or change to call anyone with. Death is imminent for them.

Question: How did Michael drive all the way from Illinois to California in less than two days? I realize he’s an inhuman monster, but the guy is 40. He’s gonna feel pretty tired after driving almost two straight days.

Back at the school, Laurie tells the assembled students that the bus for Yosemite is leaving at 4:15 sharp, and that the kids should try to uphold the standards of Hillcrest. Which I’m guessing is the name of the school.

John and his three friends are sitting in the assembly, and they all list their reasons they won’t be able to go to Yosemite. Because we care.

Then Laurie heads to her office, and it turns out her new last name is Tate. Not that it matters. She’s walking with the guidance counselor, and they head to her office, stopping briefly to chat with Laurie’s receptionist/assistant.

In the office, Laurie and the guidance counselor make out a bit, and make plans for a lunch at 1.

The movie decides to move on to the security guard, who is reading a dirty story to someone over the phone. It turns out the someone is his wife, who says that his writing career is never going to take off, and that they’re married now and they have to get serious.

John shows up and asks the security guard, whose name is Ronny, to let him and Guy Friend out for a bit. Ronny says no, because Laurie will fire him. John begs, saying he wants to get something for Molly. Which I guess is his girlfriend. (I realize that I’m saying, “I guess,” a lot, but this movie asks you to fill in a lot of blanks.)

Ronny agrees to “accidentally” hit the gate button, so the boys can sneak out, but he doesn’t want to know about it.

He hits the button, and they exit.

Out in town, Laurie pulls her vehicle to a stop, gets out, and looks around. She window-shops at a jewelry store, when, THERE IN THE WINDOW, BEHIND HER! She turns around. It’s not Michael after all. It’s Will, the guidance counselor.

I wonder if Will is going to die the same way Laurie’s high school crush did. Drunk, wearing a Michael mask, crushed between two cars, which then explode, setting him on fire.

I guess we can always hope.

Will and Laurie finish up lunch, and Laurie confesses that she thinks she’s losing John, and also that she has a backstory, which she doesn’t want to share with Will just yet.

Will heads to the bathroom, and Laurie asks the waiter for another glass of Chardonnay, even though she hasn’t finished her first one. The waiter brings her a second glass, Laurie slams down her first, and then takes the second glass, so that Will won’t be any the wiser.

While she’s slamming her drink down, a girl with “bloody” clothes is attacked by a “Grim Reaper” outside the “window,” because we haven’t had a “scare” for the last few minutes.

The movie then kicks us over to John and his friend Charlie, who finally gets a name, and who have just shoplifted a bottle of something alcoholic. Charlie asks John why John doesn’t just take some of his mom’s booze, and John refers to his mom as a functioning alcoholic who keeps close tabs on her hooch.

At that moment, the functioning alcoholic catches them in the act of not being on school grounds. Harsh words are exchanged, but it’s pretty much just a rehash/reminder that Laurie is afraid of Michael Myers coming back, even though she saw him burn to death and it’s been 20 years and no one has heard anything (except in an alternate universe where Laurie’s grandchild is being cared for my the boy Laurie used to babysit).

Laurie takes John and Charlie back to the school in her vehicle. And of course, as they pull away, there’s the truck that Michael Myers stole, just sitting in the right place at the right time.

Michael follows them to the school.

At the school, Laurie asks Ronny how the boys got out, and gets mad when Ronny averts his eyes. Ronny knows he’s in trouble.

And then we’re off with Molly, who is in a tiny, tiny kitchen, I guess cleaning dishes to help pay for her tuition. Or something. I’m just making this up. For all I know, it’s her meth lab. Let’s go ahead and pretend it is.

Molly hears a knocking sound, and she tells “Dennis,” whoever that is, not to send any more down, because she’s got to go to class.

Yep, it’s a meth lab.

Molly is about to leave, but “Dennis” send a dumbwaiter down. Molly opens it up, and there are roses and a map to somewhere-or-other.

Dennis is something of a romantic, I guess. Or the meth is hidden in the roses.

Here’s a pertinent question: Assuming Dennis is not the flower-giver, and John is, where did he get the flowers? We just saw him at the store, and he did not have flowers. Did he steal them from someone at the school?

It appears that John gave her the flowers, because she follows the map and finds John. There’s some romantic babble, but it’s not worth talking about.

(I feel like I’m being unfair to the movie at this point. It’s easy to complain about how movies never set up relationships, or anything else to make you care about the characters. This movie is clearly trying to do that. But it’s failing. What does John care about? Molly. Do we know anything else about John? Deadbeat dad, and he’s the nephew of a serial killer. This is not really enough to hang a hat on.)

A short while later, Laurie is teaching an English class, which has John and Molly in it. She’s asking questions about the book, which in this case is “Frankenstein.”

Molly is not really paying attention. She’s looking out the window, and there, just beyond a door with a hole in it just large enough to see a head through, she sees Michael Myers’s head.

Laurie addresses Molly directly, and Molly spouts off a bunch of stuff meant to demonstrate that, no, really, this Halloween movie has themes and stuff, just like Frankenstein did! The general gist being: It wasn’t until Dr. Frankenstein’s Elizabeth was killed that Victor was able to confront his monster, because Victor had nothing left to lose.

The bell rings, and everyone leaps up and prepares to leave for Yosemite.

The sound you hear in the background is all the producers slapping five, because they don’t have to pay the extras to show up any more to pretend to be students.

John goes to talk to Molly, and Laurie calls him over. She hands him a folded piece of paper – it’s a permission slip. He can go to Yosemite.

John catches up to Molly in the hallway. She asks if he’s going to Yosemite. He says, “I wouldn’t say that.”

A little later, Laurie watches as the buses, loaded with students, pull away. Her helper-elf person says that everyone has tragedy in their life, and that the important thing is to concentrate on today.

(Okay-dokey lads and lassies, I’m going to do something nice for everyone who ever hopes to win some money on Jeopardy. Everyone ready? The two actresses on the screen are Jamie Lee Curtis and Janet Leigh. Janet is Jamie’s mother. Janet also starred in the movie “Psycho,” which has been referenced a few times in this film already – Ronny calls Laurie a psycho, Charlie tells John that if his mom isn’t going to let him off the chain, he’s going to end up running a hotel, and yeah, the whole, “bad things happen” is an in-joke as well. Okay filmmakers, we’re wise to your hipster ways. Can we move along now?)

The buses leave the school, and as they ease on down the road, the truck Michael stole flips on its lights – it’s headed towards the school. Where it probably already was, a while ago, since Molly saw Michael through that door earlier.

Back at the gate, Ronny continues to read his new “book” to his wife over the phone. Michael’s truck pulls up at the gate. Ronny goes out to the gate and calls to the truck. When the dude in the truck doesn’t answer, Ronny opens up the gate, and walks out to meet the truck.

Short of stabbing himself with a pointy stick, I’m not sure if Ronny could be a worse security guard. The man needs remedial guarding lessons at the very least.

Though I expect he’s about to get one.

Ronny walks out to the van. No one is in it. As he shuts the car off, Michael walks by, directly behind him.

Ronny walks back through the gate and closes it, then tells his wife he’ll need to call back. Just outside the window, Michael is visible.

I guess we’re supposed to feel some sort of suspense here, but mostly I just get the felling that Ronny is really, really stupid. Feeling pity for the guy would take too much energy.

There’s a tap on the window, and Ronny turns around. But Michael has just walked out of sight.

The phone goes dead in Ronny’s hand.

Ronny does not think to arm himself, or pull out a cell phone, or call for help via a radio of some kind. Instead he wanders into the darkness.

Elsewhere, Laurie locks up her office and heads out for the night. She hears a noise, and sees Michael walking towards her. She closes her eyes and tries to shake the image away, but he’s still there. She does it again. No effect. She does it again. No effect.

Concerned that the movie is about to start picking up the pace, the director throws us another false scare, in the guise of Will the Counselor. Will is making his rounds and checking on the kids.

Laurie and Will agree to meet up in twenty minutes.

Laurie heads home. Wills sees someone walking away in the distance, it looks like he’s going to check it out, but instead he heads to Molly’s room, where the other girl also is. Her name is Sarah. They have some banter.

Moving on.

Later, John and his friends sneak into some window somewhere. John hears a noise and looks around, but there’s nothing there, so he heads into the window.

Back at her home, Laurie has some gin. Then she has some mouthwash to hide the gin. There’s a knock on the door. It’s Will. He’s brought a pumpkin. He says, “I thought we’d do this right.”

So many possible jokes.

Over in the room that John made Molly locate with that map earlier, the foursome get a bunch of food and prepare to eat. Sarah wants to open the booze, so Charlie goes to get a corkscrew.

Over at Laurie’s place, Will and Laurie fool around. Laurie tells Will that her name is not Keri Tate. Whoa, what? She changed her first name, too? Why am I just now finding this out?

Laurie lays out the whole story for Will. At first, he thinks she’s playing some kind of romantic game, because I guess the guy is into some seriously strange stuff. But eventually he figures out she’s serious.

Laurie mentions that Michael killed her sister when she was 17. Then came after Laurie when she was 17. Then Laurie looks up at the birthday card on the mantle, which reminds her that John is also 17.

She tries to call John, only her phone is dead. So she tries another one. Dead. So she goes to his room, and finds all his camping stuff still there. So she grabs a gun and prepares to go on a Michael hunt.

Will thinks it’s nuts.

Laurie goes to the front door, and THERE’S A GUY THERE. Oh wait. It’s just Ronny, who fills Laurie in on stuff we already know.

Laurie goes to look for John, while Ronny goes to fix the phones. Here’s a question: Why doesn’t Ronny have a gun? What’s he going to fight Michael off with? His writing-dulled pencil?

Back at the kitchen, Sarah goes searching for Charlie, who found some glasses but no corkscrew. So Charlie gets into the dumbwaiter to pull himself upstairs in search of said corkscrew.

Charlie exits in yet another room that looks like a kitchen. He finds a corkscrew, but accidentally knocks it into the garbage disposal. He turns on the garbage disposal, so that everyone can see that there are, like, blades and stuff and it’s a bad idea to stick your hand in there.

Then he shuts off the garbage disposal, but doesn’t bother to, say, unplug it.

Off in the corner, Michael appears.

Charlie reaches in to grab the corkscrew, glancing over to the switch on the wall to verify that it isn’t going to flip by itself.

Finally, he pulls the corkscrew out, and turns around, and there’s Michael. Charlie says, “Hi.”

Back in the other room, Sarah waits for Charlie. She turns on some lights, and they die. Then all the lights go out.

She goes to the dumbwaiter, because she hears a rattle. And hey, there’s Charlie. With a big slash through his throat.

Sarah turns to run, and Michael is in the doorway. Not sure how he got there, really.

Sarah jumps into the dumbwaiter, and presses a button to go up. Michael stabs Sarah as the dumbwaiter heads up and away.

Question: If all the lights aren’t working, because Michael did something to the power, how does the dumbwaiter continue to function?

Michael waits for the dumbwaiter to reach the top of its climb, then he cuts the rope to the dumbwaiter and Sarah tries to jump out. The dumbwaiter falls, catching Sarah’s foot – the one on her mangled leg.

Sarah pulls her foot out, and the dumbwaiter crashes in front of Michael.

Down on the lower level, John and Molly hear all the noise and head up to investigate.

Upstairs, Sarah drags herself along the floor until Michael catches her and stabs her to death.

John and Molly arrive in the dark kitchen and find a long, bloody trail on the floor. John says, “This is a sick joke.” Despite the fact that John knows his family history, John seems to have no sense of self-preservation.

John flips on the lights in the pantry, and discovers that the light is… you know what? I can’t tell what I’m seeing here. It kind of looks like Michael jammed one of those hanging lights you find in closets through Sarah’s chest, so that the bulb is sticking out of her and she’s kind of hanging in the air.

Molly and John turn around, and there’s Michael. Sadly, John doesn’t opt to introduce his girlfriend to his long-lost uncle. Kids today have no sense of respect for their elders.

John and Molly run. They escape out the window they snuck into the building with.

They pause for breath on the walkway heading towards the dorm, and John says they’re going to go to the dorms and call the cops.

Then Michael grabs Molly, and prepares to make with the stabbing. Only John punches Michael in the face.

This proves to be not helpful, as Michael knocks him down and stabs John in the leg.

Michael is going to do even more stabbing, but Molly grabs a rock and conks Michael on the head with it. Hard.

But she’s not smart enough to realize she needs to KEEP doing that, so she grabs John by the hand, and tells him to run. Easy for her to say – she doesn’t have a massive gash in her limb.

They run, and Michael gets up and gives chase.

They get to the front gate. There’s some key fumbling. Molly finally gets them in the gate, but drops her keys, which fall outside the gate.

Michael reaches the gate, and Molly and John stand trapped between the gate and the door, while Michael shoves his hand through the gate and tries to do some stabbing.

Finally, Michael realizes it’s time to try the keys, and he starts sorting through them, while Molly and John pound on the door, begging to be let in.

Michael has just about selected the right key, when Laurie and Will get to the door, open it up, and let John and Molly in. Laurie closes the door JUST in time to look through the glass porthole that’s on the door – for dramatic moments just like this one, I guess – and face Michael for the first time in 20 years.

Laurie reaches into her pants to pull out her gun, and when she looks back, Michael is gone.

All of them run up the stairs, where they discover that a bunch of windows are wide open.

Laurie puts John and Molly in a room, and tells them to barricade the door, and Laurie and Will head down the hall.

Laurie says she won’t leave John, and Will says he won’t leave Laurie, who he keeps calling Keri.

Suddenly, Will sees a dark shape at the end of the hall, so he grabs Laurie’s gun and fires at it, over and over. A guy falls to the ground. Kind of early in the movie yet, so I’m guessing Ronny just bought the farm.

Yep. Ronny.

Laurie and Will are saddened at this turn of events. They drop their guard, and Michael walks through the door, stabs Will, and lifts him into the air using his knife.

Laurie runs to a nearby door, and discovers that it’s a closet. She says a bad word.

Michael walks up to the door, and stabs it a bunch of times, and then Laurie comes up behind him and hits him with a fire extinguisher.

Once again, she’s not smart enough to KEEP hitting him. Seriously. I realize it’s not a great weapon, but enough blows to the head couldn’t hurt, right? Come on, guys, let’s keep trying.

Laurie runs away, and tells Molly and John to come out of the room she left them in, and then they keep on running while Michael gets up off the floor and comes after them.

They should cut those head blows together and, like, make a Nuprin commercial, now that I think about it. That would be pretty great.

Laurie and John and Molly get in Laurie’s vehicle, which won’t start until Michael is RIGHT THERE. They drive to the front gate, and Laurie punches in the code.

Laurie gets ready to drive away, only, no, wait. She tells Molly and John to drive down the street to the Becker’s and call the police and an ambulance.

I’m guessing this is supposed to sort of echo when Laurie told Tommy and Laurie to go down the street and get some help. On the down side, it’s a pretty stupid move. On the up side, last time we got a sequel out of it, plus the whole Samhain thing, which no one in this movie seems to recall.

I do have one really basic question, though. Just where, exactly, has Michael been hanging out for the last 20 years? The man doesn’t talk, and he’s not what you’d call a people person, so… what’s he been up to? Really? This is going to plague me.

Molly hops into the driver’s seat, and she drives away with John in the backseat, slowly bleeding out.

Laurie closes the gate, then destroys the little electronic gate-opening panel with a rock. So much for a last-minute rescue for Will or Ronny.

Laurie smashes one of those “In case of emergency, break glass” things and yanks out of fire axe.

She screams Michael’s name out twice and heads for the dorms.

Inside the dorm, she yells out to him again, and moves down the hallway. Just behind her, Michael lowers himself from the ceiling, where he was dangling from a pole set up for basketball players to practice their chin-ups.

Again, I’m making that up. I have no clue why that pole was there.

Laurie turns around and swings the axe into Michael’s shoulder. Michael slashes Laurie’s arm.

Laurie runs.

Michael pulls the axe out of his arm and throws it into the floor, opting to keep his knife as his weapon of choice.

Laurie runs into what looks like the dining room, and Michael stalks after her.

Laurie hides under one of the tables. Michael walks past her, so Laurie keeps on crawling, moving under other tables.

And there’s Michael, on top of the table she’s under. She kicks a chair to distract him, then tries to sneak off the other way.

So Michael gets down and starts throwing tables around.

Laurie grabs a flagpole and jabs it in Michael’s belly. Michael falls over.

Laurie runs to the kitchen, and pulls out a drawer full of knives. She throws them at Michael as he walks in, but never hits him, though she does stick one in the door.

At the last second, she lifts up the drawer to keep Michael from stabbing her. It works. Then she knees him in the groin, which seems to have little or no effect.

Laurie runs again, pulling the knife out of the door and taking it with her. She also grabs one off the floor.

Michael comes after her, but doesn’t see her in the hallway. He walks by a window, and she jumps out from behind the curtains and stabs him with alternate knives, over and over, until he falls through an opening in the wall that leads to the dining room, which is one story down.

Laurie peers down at Michael, waiting for him to get back up again. She drops the knife she’s still holding and WALKS AWAY, because she hasn’t learned a thing after surviving being attacked my Michael on multiple occasions.

Seriously, y’all. It’s a pretty stupid moment.

She gets down the dining hall, and much to my surprise, Michael is still lying there. So Laurie pulls the knife out of his chest, and stands up, and prepares to administer a killing blow or eighty.

Only Ronny, who isn’t dead, stops her, telling her that, “He’s dead.”

Ronny. Dude. If Michael is dead, a little more stabbing isn’t going to hurt him. Let the girl do some cutting. She’s earned it.

Later, Ronny calls his wife and tells her that he’s going to write a romantic thriller. Awesome. If Ronny doesn’t die in this movie, can we put in a request for him to eat it in the next one? Please?

Oh, and there’s an ambulance there, and also a bunch of cops, and some other authority figures, plus John and Molly, even though John should really, really, really be in the hospital with that leg wound. Why in the world is he back at the school?

A couple of medic-types load Michael into a body bag, then stick him into a van.

Laurie grabs a cop’s gun and steals the van, and also an axe. Then she drives away, watching the rearview mirror, waiting for Michael to move. He doesn’t. Then he doesn’t. Then he does.

Laurie keeps on driving, watching Michael struggle to get out of the body bag.

She slams on the brakes, throwing him through the windshield.

She waits for him to get up.

He does.

She hits the gas, runs into him, and drives the van, with herself in it, over a cliff.

She’s thrown from the vehicle. Which is dramatic, but really dumb.

Michael is pinned between the van and a tree.

Laurie picks up the axe, and walks over to where Michael is pinned.

She calls out his name, and he looks up, apparently surprised to be alive.

He reaches out his hand, and I have to admit, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to feel at this particular moment. I guess it could be, like, a moment where you’re supposed to feel a sort of sympathy for him, or maybe this is like a magical brother/sister moment.

Laurie almost touches his hand, but then opts to cut off Michael’s head with an axe. The head rolls away, and we get a final shot of Laurie standing there, with her nightmare all over and done and such.

Or maybe she’s wondering what happened to her daughter. Or possibly why they got some sound-alike guy to do Loomis’s lines over the opening credits, instead of finding and using the original voice tracks with some digital cleanup.

Or possibly why they decided to play a Creed song over the closing credits. Or why the title is so long. I mean, really: “Halloween: H20: 20 Years Later.” What do you even do with that?

Or perhaps she’s wondering how there could possibly be another sequel after this – because there is.

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