Hello, readers! First, you should know that you’re getting this review just because I want to complete my Halloween reviews. The original and this one are the only two I own or am interested in owning. Second, I apologize that it’s randomly stuck in here now. I actually wanted to do a Special Halloween Double Feature post where the original was to be posted on Devil’s Night and this one would be posted on Halloween. However, God is apparently in this mood right now where none of my plans run smoothly… not a single, frickkin’ one… *sigh*. So, instead I had another power outage. Thankfully, this time I noted the windstorm we were getting and shut down the computer. Even after the power came back up, the internet wasn’t though so the timing just wasn’t going to work out. My life is like being pecked to death by hens… slow, more irritating and stressful than actually painful… and constant and unrelenting.
Anyway, enjoy the review. Spoilers ahead - especially Laurie and Michael’s fates since Halloween: Resurrection was only a bad fever dream and doesn’t actually exist. Only one of our screen caps has gore.
Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Adam Arkin, Michelle Williams, Josh Hartnett
DIR: Steve Miner
Blurb: Now the headmistress of a private school, Laurie Strode is still struggling with the horrifying, 20-year-old memories of the maniacal killer Michael Myers… when he suddenly reappears with a vengeance! And this Halloween, his terror will strike a whole new generation! Laurie’s rebellious son, his girlfriend, and the school security guard will become Michael’s newest victims unless Laurie can conquer her greatest fears and put evil in its place once and for all!
My Blurb: The exclamations! The blurb referring to “a hot cast of hip, young stars!” The effusive critic quotes on front AND back of the DVD case! The slightest hint of desperation?[!!] Ugh. I didn’t have a good feeling going into this, fearing that Jamie Lee would get a five minute cameo and then disappear from the rest of the movie - but thankfully our filmmakers weren’t that completely stupid.[!] But, is Laurie Strode returning to finish her story worth the effort… [and oh yes, her tale DOES finish here]?[!] Let’s find out.[!]
Scene 01: We open on “Mr. Sandman”, the sugary song about a girl begging to dream about her one true boy. Under this, a knife flashes as a woman with a group of unruly brats jabs the top of a pumpkin.
Would it shock you to learn it’s Halloween? We pan a few houses down the block. We’re in Langdon, IL and focus our attention on a car pulling up to a curb. It’s October 29th, and the person we’re so interested in is Nurse Marion Chambers Whittington, the same nurse who was menaced by Michael briefly 20 years before on a stormy night.
We follow her into her home. She stops short as she finds the porch light smashed out, but goes ahead and enters her home. Her very dark home. But she does so with slow, cautious steps.
Scene 02: Just inside, she hears a noise and being no dummy leaves immediately. She heads next door instead. There she finds some assistance from irritating Jimmy and Tony….
She finds refuge in their house as Jimmy calls the police for her. Tony complains about her smoking, asking if no one had ever told her that second hand smoke kills. She replies that she had, but they’re all dead as she blows a lungful of smoke.
Jimmy decides 15 minutes is too long to wait and as the sun is setting heads in to scope out Nurse Marion’s house, leaving her and Tony on the sidewalk.
Scene 03: Inside, irritating Jimmy calls out that he’s been suspended already several times this year for getting crazy with his hockey stick, which he bangs on the floor to scare any burglars. He proceeds deeper into the heavily shadowed house.
Irritating Jimmy finds Marion’s study has been tossed. In the kitchen, he steals a few beers from Marion’s fridge. A not quite closed closet squeaks open, releasing an ironing board causing him to swing wildly with his hockey stick, and knocking around a bunch of hanging pots and pans, making a mess where there wasn’t any.
Scene 04: Irritating Jimmy comes out after the sun has finished setting to tell Marion that he’s checked all the rooms and closets - finding nothing but the damage to her office… and uh, the kitchen.
Marion comments on the cops taking so long to get there, but goes in and locks the door behind her to start surveying the damage. Her lights naturally aren’t working.
Scene 05: Outside, Irritating Jimmy flashes the couple of bottles of Marion’s beer he scored to Tony.
Scene 06: In her house, Marion is irritated to find the fuse box isn’t the problem with her lights. She doesn’t immediately leave again until proper help arrives -- alas.
In her study, she finds files all over the floor. On a stack of folders, a photograph of her old friend, Sam Loomis sits. She disturbingly finds an empty folder marked Laurie Strode lying out. Before she can do anything about this development, she hears what sounds like someone moving in another room.
The front door swings open, despite her having locked it. As she goes to it, we see Michael at the other end of the hallway. Marion closes the front door, but when she turns around she finds the backdoor also now open to the breeze outside.
She wanders half way down the hallway, but when she sees a shadow outside she’s like “Ohhh, nooo…” and dashes for the front door to get the hell outta there.
Commentary: I really enjoy this sequence. Both for its affectionate nods at the original by inviting Nancy back to play Nurse Chambers again, but also for the photograph of Sam Loomis, since Donald Pleasence has a case of actor existence failure to contend with at this time.
The only thing that is a little lame is the retroactive closeness of Marion and Sam that would have him sharing critical details about Laurie’s life after Haddonfield with her. In addition, it seems very clumsy to have unsecured files about her at all lying around. But, I’m willing to just suspend disbelief a tiny bit for this ride.
I also like this sequence for Marion’s continued sarcasm but also for her “Oh, Hell No!” face in the hallway in this scene. It’s awesome.
Scene 07: Marion runs back over to Irritating Jimmy and Tony’s house, barging in on them without knocking. She hears the television and runs into the living room, calling for Jimmy only to find the Irritating boy with an ice skate in his face.
She runs to the back door, only to find Tony falling inward with a knife through his back, toppling her over. She rolls the body off of her, only to see Michael in the door coming for her.
She screams, cries and more importantly runs. Michael grabs another butcher knife from a wooden block as he walks by and continues to calmly stalk Marion’s retreat.
Outside, the police show up at Marion’s house next door.
Scene 08: Unfortunately, Marion didn’t run out of the front door when she had the chance. She instead waited in the living room for Michael. She springs out now to hit him in the back with a fire poker, but not nearly hard enough.
She rushes toward the side window to draw the police’s attention to where she is really in trouble. Michael trips her, barely missing impaling her ankle with his large knife.
Scene 09: Outside, the police continue up to Marion’s dark house. She sees them through the window and yells for help, as the police are wondering if it’s all just a prank played on the homeowner because of the broken porch light.
Meanwhile, Michael grabs Marion from behind. She fights back, knocking him away as the police officers find her front door unlocked. They proceed inside as Marion continues fighting for her life in the window next door, sooo close but not able to draw their attention.
She smashes Michael again with the fire poker, and then smashes out the window. She screams that she’s next door out the window “god dammit”, just before Michael slices her throat… damn it.
Scene 10: The police officers leave Marion’s house, but discover the broken window next door. As they’re just discovering that they have a second B&E… not yet knowing they’re in for a long night… Michael quietly slips away in Irritating Jimmy’s or Tony’s car.
Commentary: I absolutely loved this opening scene. It was nicely lit so it wasn’t too bright for night time, Michael was suitably scary, Nancy Stephens was wonderful and watching her being killed so close to help because she didn’t run out of the house when she had the chance was tense. And Irritating Jimmy and Tony who were set to grow up into an Odious Komedy Relief Duo were cut down before anyone else had to suffer. Yay!
It did bother me a bit that Marion doesn’t live, again. But, considering the genre I guess it was just her fate to go… damn it.
Scene 11: After day break, the police and detectives are crawling all over both crime scenes. VoiceOver Detectives discuss Marion, her taking care of Sam Loomis at the end [that’s a very sweet touch -- and now does explain how she was so close to him, so I can now rest relieved that I need not suspend disbelief after all--- yay, again!], and Sam’s obsession with the Myers’ case.
In their checking out Marion’s office, they find a pin-up board dedicated to Loomis’ Myers fixation. Lead Detective calls Haddonfield to inform them, just in case since Michael’s body was never found 20 years ago, as a precaution. Junior Detective is sure that Michael is definitely not involved and the serial nutso is good and dead.
Commentary: So, as the opening credits role we need to clear up a few things before proceeding. This movie’s continuity is Halloween, Halloween II and now this one. Jamie Lloyd and her story is not a part of this timeline and therefore all of those murders aren’t a part of this story. They did use Laurie’s supposed history from the Jamie Lloyd timeline though: In that continuity, Laurie was killed in an auto accident, leaving Jamie orphaned. In this continuity, we’ll hear that Laurie faked her death in an auto accident, but we won’t have the Jamie Lloyd being left behind by her mother, nor has Haddonfield suffered the multiple killing sprees that they had to endure [because they don’t just finally abandon the place] in the Lloyd continuity.
I’m glad that they did this. One, because everyone can agree that the Halloween franchise went goofy and turned into a mess. But more, because it didn’t sit right before I knew that they were retconning the continuity that Laurie would abandon her daughter when running from Michael. I like it much better with Jamie Lloyd simply never existing. Now, having said that -- I also would’ve been completely fine with Danielle Harris returning to the Jamie role in place of Laurie’s son, and still dropping the rest of the continuity. The main point is that I’m glad we don’t have to reconcile Laurie abandoning her daughter to circumstances that match her own, after she knows how that didn’t keep Michael from finding her [as of Halloween II’s revelations about the Myers family].
Oh, and also? Resurrection doesn’t belong to any continuity. It was a post H20 PTSD nightmare of Laurie’s or John’s and nothing more… I Have Spoken.
Scene 12: After titles which seem to show victims not accounted for in the two previous films of this continuity, we join a POV shot going through a creaky door and up a flight of stairs.
POV view drifts through leaf-strewn hallways and through a set of doors, where we see an office that has several blackboards in it. POV sits at the desk and reads a grimy placard reading “Keri Tate” beside a photograph of a dark haired, young man with extremely squinty eyes.
A drifty-dreamy POV closes in on a clock about to turn over midnight, changing the date from October 30 to October 31. After it does so with a loud click, POV again looks at Keri Tate’s desk. POV hears a loud bang and gets up, rushing to a set of closet doors. Opening these finds the closet that Laurie Strode hid in from Michael Myers. There is a flashback of Laurie watching Michael break through the closet door after her, before the POV runs away, shutting the closet door behind it. When POV returns to the desk, which is in a classroom - we see squinty-eyes’ photo lying flat on the desk with a butcher’s knife driven through it. POV turns suddenly and finds “Laurie Strode” scrawled across the blackboard [which is what we call them, despite this one being green].
There is the sound of a scream.
Commentary: I loved this, too. The opening credits had Sam Loomis’ description of Michael to Sheriff Brackett over it, and this dream sequence has Laurie in the closet as Michael comes after her. It very nicely flashes back to Laurie as she was, before we meet her as she is and the whole thing feels respectful and affectionate toward the earlier movie before we continue the story.
Scene 13: Laurie Strode screams in her bed.
Dark-haired, squinty-eyes comes in and wrestles with Laurie’s flailing in order to get her to wake up from her nightmare-terror. Squinty-Eyes [Let’s just call him John Tate] asks if she needs anything and goes off to get her something to calm her nerves, as she continues trying to shake off the horrible aftermath of her nightmares.
Scene 14: John searches through the medicine cabinet which are filled with two shelves of nothing but prescriptions. He shakes out two tablets before taking a moment to look at himself in the mirror and sigh over his mother’s condition, which is implied to be an ongoing and continual thing.
Scene 15: We find out that we’re at Hillcrest Academy, a private high school in the hills of Summer Glen, CA. It’s October 31... And in case we don’t get the significance, also Halloween.
In their apartment, John asks about toast and Laurie declines. She’s looking much more put together than she did in bed that morning. Their morning routine is interrupted by mail for John from his father… a birthday card that is two months late.
It isn’t long before they start to argue, however. John is planning to take a trip to Yosemite [it’s part of a class trip over the coming break], while Keri Tate/Laurie Strode tells him that he is not going. John argues that he is, and she’s going to give her blessing because this is finally the day when she realizes that her over sheltering paranoia is getting in the way of his growth process. She offers to take him camping herself with a tight smile. He tries the “dad would let me go” route, but she points out that his father is a chain-smoking methadone addict who is also abusive. John throws back the passive-aggressive “now who would attract a guy like that” at her, receiving an un-amused glare.
Laurie lets him know that was harsh, but he adds “and just think, he left you” which was one step too far. Laurie tells him so angrily, but he has her stubbornness. He continues to insist he’s going on that trip, even as she keeps saying that he isn’t. He tells her that he knows it’s ‘the day’, which she pretends very unconvincingly to not have noticed but he just tells her that they’re through with all of that stuff from the past.
Very obviously, Laurie isn’t through with anything.
Commentary: I’m not crazy about Josh Hartnett and probably never will be but I do like his interaction with Jamie Lee Curtis in this scene. I also like how the dialog was written to indicate that “Keri” has shared all of Laurie’s history with her son to explain why she is the way she is. At the same time, we can understand why after 17 years of putting up with his mother’s always thinking Michael is behind her, he’d be sick of it. Especially since they are living under her assumed name and there hasn’t been hide nor hair of Michael Myers in 20 years. I like a lot how I can sympathize with both of them, and how their mother/son tension is playing out through this battle of wills.
The only thing I’ll add right now, is that these scenes between John and Keri are far away the best scenes in the movie until she and Michael have their next showdown. Unfortunately, we’re about to spend a considerable amount of time with John’s friends… John’s unconvincing for high schoolers-friends. And then we spend time with the security guard … and … ugh, whatever.
Scene 16: Outside their apartment, John is walking toward class with his friends who we’ll shorthand right now and call Charlie [nerdy sounding board for John’s problem with his mother] and Sarah [girlfriend to Charlie and a mouthy, slightly sarcastic wit about campus]. Sarah is excited that John isn’t being forced to go to Yosemite and wants pointers on how to get out of going.
Charlie meanwhile warns John that in twenty years he’s still going to be living with his mother and enabling her iron grip on him.
Scene 17: From her office, Laurie stares out the window and sees Michael’s reflection haunting her in the pane. She screws her eyes shut tight and takes a few breaths to chase his image away.
She continues to stare worriedly out at the campus for several more seconds before finally turning away.
Scene 18: In the quad, John comes up behind his girlfriend Molly and throws his arms around her. She has just been told that her father has failed to pay her tuition, putting her continued schooling in jeopardy.
It also means that she can’t go to Yosemite. Learning that Molly is getting out of the class trip, Sarah decides she is finding a way out, too. Charlie has the usual movie-kid-light bulb-moment of them all skipping the class trip and partying on the near empty campus instead.
Scene 19: Elsewhere, a car pulls into a rest stop where a mother and daughter run into the restroom. A camera pan reveals Michael’s stolen car with a flat.
Scene 20: They find the ladies’ door handle broken and slip into the men’s room to use the potty.
The light is broken of course, in keeping with Michael’s extreme hatred of light fixtures. Mom props the door open, helps little girl into a stall and uses the one next to her. They find no toilet paper, and mom has to dig tissues out of her purse. In the meantime, the door slams close, startling them but mom blows it off to focus on the urgent issue. She drops her purse at her feet.
A hand grabs her purse from under the door, leaving her terrified and speechless as she watches the shadows of whoever has joined them in the bathroom. She sees Michael in his mask through the crack in the stall door staring at himself as he walks by the mirror.
Mother, as quietly as possible, opens the lock on the stall door as daughter blithely goes on humming to herself. Suddenly her little girl starts screaming and mother rushes out into the bathroom to defend her from the invader, but little girl is just upset because of spiders.
She smiles in relief and hears car tires squealing away outside.
Commentary: At first, I liked this scene because it offered a scare we’ve all had -- being vulnerable in a public restroom, sitting on the pot and hearing somebody else come in when we were alone and I liked that Michael didn’t mindlessly hack and slash.
But then we discover just how low our body count is and the obviousness of who is going to wind up the victim and *shrug* … a nice head into a mirror scene or stabbing could’ve gone here easily enough. Meh, whatever.
Scene 21: Back at the academy, Keri Tate is addressing the students about their Yosemite camping trip. As she is going on with the rules for the kids to follow while they’re away, our foursome plan their various methods of not going on the trip, and where they’ll meet up to party later.
Scene 22: In the hallway after the assembly, School Councilor Brennan asks Ms. Tate why she isn’t going on the trip, to which she replies it sounds like fun and apparently Keri Tate doesn’t do fun. In return he offers that he won’t be going because Councilors aren’t generally a big hit at these sorts of shenanigans.
Keri is intercepted by her secretary, Norma who babbles on about stuff that needs to be attended to. Brennan pulls Tate away to her office and as soon as Keri shuts the door, he’s deep kissing her.
She puts him off of some quickie office groping and he calls her challenging. She sarcasms that she’d like to have the day off of his trying to analyze her. They agree on a lunch date for 1pm that day.
When Brennan opens Tate’s office door, Norma is standing there with disapproval on her face.
Laurie takes a moment to look at the photo of Squinty-Eyes.
Scene 23: At the guard shack the school maintains, Security Guard LL… or uh, Ronny is on the phone with his wife. He imagines himself a writer and is reading a passage to his girl, who thinks he’s being too florid with his descriptions.
[Apparently, this is amusing. Please paste smile on your face so we can get through this.]
She argues that his trying to be a writer is unrealistic. He argues he needs to express himself artistically and also argues that his security gig is paying the bills. He’s jump startled by a tap on the shoulder which turns out to be John and Charlie.
The two kids are there to get Ronny to let them out to go into town so they can get party supplies on the sly. He refuses because apparently he’s let John out of the gates before and gotten in trouble with Mrs. Tate - but he’s a soft touch and “accidentally” hits the automated button. Then goes back to reading his florid “novel” to his wife.
Commentary: The weird thing is… I actually like LL Cool J, despite the stupid moniker and the fact that LL is always just LL. He’s cute, he’s got a nice smile and he has personality. So despite the fact that his character is scraping Odious, I’m not exactly begging for his death… yet.
But we need this character to remain as minor a presence as possible… PLEASE.
Scene 24: In town, Keri shows up for her lunch date with Will Brennan. As she’s noting the kids in their costumes running by, she looks around in a slight panic. When she window shops some jewelry, he sees Michael’s image again in the window pane.
A startle-spin reveals it’s just Will showing up to their date. Over lunch, her with a glass of untouched wine and he with coffee, she tells Will that she thinks she’s losing John and that he’s probably getting tired of her shit.
She asks Will if he’s getting tired of her bullshit, but he jokes that he’s a councilor so he’s attracted to it. Laurie goes on to tell Will that there is a back story that she’s been unsuccessful at putting behind her. This isn’t news to Will, though he doesn’t know the details the way her son does. She’s teary as she goes through a list of things she’s already tried trying to put the past in the past. Will offers to listen to the whole tale and she tells him maybe, some night by a warm fire, but not right now.
Will excuses himself to the bathroom. The second his back is out of view, she’s waving over the waiter. That barely touched glass of wine? She downs it, even as she’s ordering another one and the waiter is giving her side eye looks.
Commentary: I love this scene for the acting. I like Adam and Jamie Lee’s chemistry and I didn’t think that I would because I just didn’t see him in a horror movie role. But he does well as the understanding, if slightly frustrated paramour and I really like how this scene shows us once again just how fucked up Laurie Strode became after Michael supposedly died in that hospital fire.
It’s obvious that she’s become used to hiding just how damaged she is, except with John and I like how Jamie carries Laurie’s continuing pain and fear in this moment.
Scene 25: Back with annoying-Charlie and John, they steal a bottle of booze for their Halloween partying. John’s not thrilled with shoplifting but when Charlie mentions that he could’ve saved them the trouble by scoring from his mom’s stash, John starts to mention Keri Tate’s functional alcoholism… i.e. she’s aware of every bottle’s place and how much she has left.
The explanation gets interrupted though by Laurie herself who has spotted John and Charlie off campus and is pissed. She offers them a ride back, before suddenly stopping and handing the keys to Charlie. She sends him to get in the car, while she spins on her son and asks him what the fuck he thought he was doing.
John tells her he’s uncomfortable with her using those kind of words around him, but she snots that he shouldn’t put her in the position of having to by pulling stunts like this. She asks him what he thinks he can do, just wander around town freely? Then she tells him that she doesn’t ask for much and only this one day a year.
But John has had it, just as she earlier observed, with her bullshit. He shouts at her on the street that he’s not responsible for her and has already given her 17 years and he can’t take anymore of it. He insists at her that Michael Myers is dead and they need to move onto living their lives.
He tells her that all of the shit in her head is leaking out onto him. He snots at her about Michael having not come for her in the past 20 years and wonders what he’s been waiting for if he’s still alive after that raging fire. He finally tells her that it’s her choice if she wants to stay handcuffed to her dead brother, but he’s done with it this time and then angrily marches off to the waiting Charlie in her car.
Commentary: I really liked this scene, too. I loved Laurie’s vulnerability, but also that I’m actually on John’s side. Despite knowing that obvs, Michael isn’t dead and is going to find them with Marion’s ill-advised kept file, “Keri” has put a lot of shit on John that he isn’t responsible for. Their interaction as actors is great and Josh is actually better opposite Jamie Lee than he is when he’s just paling around with his friends. His extra-squinty eyes are great at portraying his turmoil and he really grabs hold of John’s frustration at the constant pressure his mother has dumped on him throughout his entire life. But Laurie isn’t being a heartless bitch… she knows what she’s doing, she’s just too shattered by fear to stop herself, so she doesn’t lose my sympathy either.
Scene 26: In the car, Keri/Laurie turns over the key, only for ‘Mr. Sandman’ to play. She rolls her eyes and jabs a finger onto the dial, silencing it. As she pulls the Jeep out, we see the old truck stolen by Michael parked across the street from where she and John were having their blow-out about him.
Scene 27: Back at the Academy, Keri has some glares and words for her gate security, who give sheepish glances at her while simultaneously glaring at John for getting him into trouble again.
Behind them unnoticed is the old truck… not at all hidden but nobody notices.
Scene 28: Later, the kids are all getting out of class. In the kitchen, John’s girlfriend is working on the dishes. The dumbwaiter rings. She knocks through its door and tells somebody not to send down any more dishes, as she has to run to class. The dumbwaiter starts down in the chute, anyway.
Inside is not more dishes [and nor is it a body, which is what the music and camerawork were trying to imply]. It’s a note from John and roses. It’s a treasure map for her to follow.
Scene 29: Instead of going to class, Molly chooses to follow the map down into the creepy, dank basement of the school. As she wanders down a dark corridor, somebody leaps out of the darkness and grabs her… but it’s just John.
He flips on a light, and Molly sees where they’re going to hole up for their partying. He’s already arranged a vase of water for her flowers. As she’s checking out the site, he mentions that he’s never celebrated Halloween before and goes on to explain about the psychotic murderer they have in the family tree. They have their romantic moment with overwritten dialog.
Commentary: I’m generally a slow build kind of guy, but even I’m wondering why Michael wasn’t pulled over by a random traffic cop in that old beater so we get a kill scene by now. It doesn’t help that I don’t care about John and his girlfriend and even less about his friends, Charlie and Sarah. Are there really any questions about which two are fodder?
Let’s either get on with Michael or focus more on Laurie.
Scene 30: Later in a class led by Keri [despite being the principle and having a campus to look after], John’s mind drifts. He makes comical faces over at Molly as she tries not to laugh out loud. She turns away to see Michael peering in through a gate at the school, startling her.
Molly is distracted by Keri asking for her thoughts about Frankenstein that they’re reading. She makes comments regarding Victor confronting the monster or failing to due to his fear-induced paralysis that got his loved one killed, paralleling Laurie not hunting down Michael I suppose.
Molly goes on to talk about Victor’s fate being confronting the monster, leaving Laurie with something to reflect on as the bell rings.
This is apparently the last class period, because Keri wishes her students a good time. Meanwhile, Molly glances back at the gate, but finds no masked man looking in.
Commentary: Apparently this analogy was supposed to clever-ish, and one has to wonder what was in Laurie’s head when she chose this particular book and topic at Halloween, but it doesn’t really match up the way the writers were thinking.
The simple fact is that Laurie did confront Michael and tried to kill him twice in the Doyle home. She didn’t fail to act until her friends were all dead -- he’d already killed them. In addition, in Halloween II, she again wasn’t at fault for failing to act to stop the monster because she was tranq’d up through most of the movie while Michael was out killing extraneous characters in ridiculous ways that were too Jason-esque. Plus, of course, she didn’t create this monster so she isn’t at fault for her demented brother’s actions.
I’m assuming that this little tidbit is to set up Laurie fighting Michael for the last time at the end, but the analogy still isn’t as clever as our writers want us to think. It may’ve uncomfortably worked if they’d kept the Lloyd connections, reflecting that Laurie left her daughter and everyone she knew to be killed by not staying and fighting the monster as was always to be her fate, but they didn’t so the comparison isn’t really there at all.
Scene 31: After class, Keri has John stay behind to talk. He’s ready for another argument. But this time, Keri has taken her son’s outburst to heart. She hands him a permission slip allowing him to go with his classmates on their trip, despite her own fears and demons. She just asks him to continually call her to put her mind at ease.
Obvs, he’s not really into going now that alternate plans have been hatched. He tries to tell her that he doesn’t need to go, but she’s become aware that it’d be good for both of them for her to have to let him out of her sight.
He thanks her, but as he turns away from her he looks like somebody who thinks “well, that figures”.
Scene 32: In her office later, Keri watches the busses pulling out while on the phone with a student’s father. She has a sudden panic attack at the thought that John is on one of those busses and excuses herself from the call.
She runs out after the busses, just as the last in line pulls around a bend. As she turns to make her way back inside, she bumps into the exiting Norma for a jump scare.
Norma asks for forgiveness for speaking out of turn. She goes on to tell Keri that she’s seen her acting this jumpy and paranoid in the past and she doesn’t like to see her do this to herself. She asks her to remember that everyone has had bad things happened to them, but you just have to focus on today.
Keri thanks the old woman, and she leaves in her old car for the weekend.
Commentary: It’s a nice scene between Jamie Lee and her real life mother, but this is here specifically as an affectionate call out. Norma is played, of course, by Janet Leigh who once upon a time was knifed to death in a creepy hotel by a schizophrenic young man in the shower.
Norma’s car is the exact same car that her character in Psycho was driving before her violent death.
Scene 33: We follow our busses as they head out onto the road. As night is falling, they drive by an old beater truck, whose headlights come on as they pass. The truck proceeds up the road toward the Academy our kids just left.
Scene 34: In the guard shack, Ronny is again on the phone sharing his romantic literature with his wife and sharing some laughs. He sees headlights pull up outside the gates.
He finds the old truck sitting idly with the motor running. As he takes a look inside, leaving the gates open while he does so, Michael slips onto the Academy grounds. He shuts off the engine and walks back onto the grounds, closing the gates in puzzlement.
When he reaches the guard shack, he tells his wife about the weirdness at the gate. Michael watches from behind him. When Ronny gets back on the phone, he tells his wife that something is off while she complains incessantly. The phone, mercifully, is killed - shutting her up.
Ronny leaves the shack to walk the perimeter of the school.
Commentary: This scene. How could Michael not have killed Ronny right here? After all of the peripheral victims he killed in Halloween II, he actually has a pretty decent reason to kill of this guy before he can sound a warning, and he doesn’t?
I mean, Halloween [from the original time line anyway] never played the numbers game when it came to slasher-convention, which I always appreciated anyway, but even I’m not understanding why Ronny is being continued to walk around.
Scene 35: In her office, Keri locks up for the night. She’s a bit on edge of course but she’s not on the phone trying to call John, so there is that.
Outside on her way to her apartment on campus, she sees Michael walking up the driveway toward her from out of the dark. She takes this for another Crazy-Laurie hallucination and squeezes her eyes while taking a breath. When she opens her eyes again, he’s still there and getting closer!
Still not believing her own eyes, with cause one must admit, she pulls the eyes shut and breathe technique again. Once again, Michael is still there and walking toward her unhurriedly.
For a third time, she tries shutting her eyes and willing him to not be there. This time when she opens her eyes, Will is standing there wondering what she’s doing and scaring the crap out of her. Michael is no longer stalking toward her down the driveway.
Will makes arrangements to meet her at her apartment after he makes the rounds and checks on the kids who aren’t going on the trip.
Commentary: Who, a little bit unbelievably but conveniently, will only include John and Charlie’s girlfriends.
Scene 36: As Will walks away, he sees a shadow moving off and follows wondering if it’s one of the kids, or Ronny presumably.
Scene 37: In Sarah and Molly’s room [because they happen to be roommates, also], a knock is heard on the door interrupting Sarah’s smoking habit and their half-watching Scream 2 while readying for their sneak out to their party site.
It’s Will, who apparently didn’t find the shadow man. He asks after what their plans will be that evening and Sarah snarks that they’re going to go into town and roofie some guys for a date rape evening. Molly invites him along, but he claims that he can’t as he’s already scheduled a nipple piercing for that evening.
Scene 38: A bit later and the kids are sneaking into the dining hall through a window. John hears something in the bushes nearby and gives worried looks into the darkness. The noise doesn’t repeat, so they get on with it.
Scene 39: Meanwhile, Keri is bracing herself for that evening with a healthy glassful of vodka. She slams it down in the short distance between the kitchen and bathroom, where she swishes with a slug of mouthwash. It is obvious by her behavior that she has repeated this ritual countless times in the past.
Will knocks at the door and she lets him in with a smile. He has a pumpkin for carving.
Scene 40: At this time, the kids are putting together their purloined food from the kitchen for their night of pigging out, drinking, slow dancing and making out.
They notice that the booze was left behind upstairs. Charlie, also known as Doomed-Charles goes to fetch.