As I have made clear elsewhere, Halloween is, I believe, one of the finest – if not the best – horror films ever made. Its string of sequels started out as complimentary to the original, but soon found themselves muddled with plotless plot threads which did nothing but distance themselves from the original masterpiece. Twenty years after the release of the franchise’s first installment, Halloween: H2O did much to bring the series back to what made it so fundamentally good.
To call Halloween H2O a film which is on par with the original is a wild overstatement, but the movie should be lauded for the obvious care and attention which went into both paying homage to and building upon the original Halloween. Jamie Lee Curtis is back in the central role of Laurie Strode and her performance is excellent. In fact, a large percentage of the film is devoted to her alone as she copes with the trauma which she has been living with for so many years.
The callbacks to the first Halloween also help enliven the film too. To my mind, however, the film’s best self-aware bit is the cameo by Janet Leigh as Norma, Laurie’s secretary, in a scene which pays homage to Psycho as much as it does John Carpenter’s slasher. But, beyond simply putting a new spin on elements of the first movie, Halloween H2O feels more like the original; the suspense and tension are palpable and some of the set-pieces are able to conjure up the same terror which the first movie generated effortlessly.
Halloween H2O is no masterpiece of horror cinema; it is still a flawed film, to be sure, but the obvious attention to detail and love for the source material which went into making the movie should most certainly be applauded. In the legacy of Halloween films, Halloween H2O is the definitive final chapter.