Halloween: H20

The seventh Halloween film is being described as the last, and that may actually turn out to be the case because there’s an earnest and successful attempt to give the series a satisfying closure. Jamie Lee Curtis–who made her reputation on the first Halloween but hasn’t been part of the series since the second–is now, 20 years later, teaching at an exclusive private school in northern California, raising a son as a single mother, and once again trying to fend off her murderously insane brother, who won’t stay dead. If you can accept the flouting of logic and credibility that usually goes with this kind of horror picture, this scary and suspenseful genre exercise, chock-full of false alarms and brutal shocks, really delivers, and Curtis approaches the assignment without a trace of condescension. Directed by Steve Miner from a script by Robert Zappia and others; with Michelle Williams, Josh Hartnett, LL Cool J, and Adam Arkin, and an amusing cameo by Curtis’s mother, Janet Leigh. Bel-Air Drive-In, Bricktown Square, Chatham 14, Ford City, Golf Glen, Lawndale, North Riverside, Plaza, 62nd & Western, Village North, Webster Place. –Jonathan Rosenbaum

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.