This seventh movie in the Halloween series is actually meant to be a direct sequel to Halloween II, virtually ignoring parts 4, 5, and 6. I think, honestly, they could’ve left that stuff in, because it would’ve made sense anyway, because Laurie did indeed fake her death according to this sequel (which would correspond with her “being dead” in part 4), though I couldn’t see her leaving her daughter (Jamie). So I guess, leaving out those other sequels is okay, considering this movie is awesome and Jamie Lee Curtis is back! Let’s begin, shall we?
We begin in Langdon, Illinois, over the background music of The Chordettes (fits perfectly), seeing Marion Chambers (Whittington) getting out of her car after work. If you don’t remember, she’s the nurse from the first two films who works with Dr. Loomis. It’s nearly nighttime, and someone has broken into her house. She runs into neighbors Jimmy and Tony, who stay with her, and Jimmy calls the police. Jimmy (the adorable Joseph Gordon-Levitt) decides not to wait for the cops, and goes in to investigate. He brings his hockey stick, and gets startled in the kitchen, and smashes a bunch of stuff. He also steals some beer from her fridge. He notices her office has been ransacked hardcore, and tells her about it. The boys leave, and Marion, sick of waiting as well, goes in. She finds Laurie Strode’s case file empty, and knows something’s up. Her back door swings open, and she runs over to Jimmy’s house. She finds him dead, with his hockey skate rammed into his face, and Tony stabbed in the back. Michael emerges, and she freaks. She almost gets away too, but Michael’s going to finish the job he started 20 years ago. He slits her throat, as she is screaming for the police who just now conveniently show up at her house next door. Michael steals a car and takes off, headed for California, where Laurie is living under an assumed name, Keri Tate, and is the headmistress of a private school. Her son, John (Josh Hartnett…hold me back) is a bit of a smartass, and reminds his mom that it’s Halloween. He knows the story of Michael, and does his best to calm her down and keep her from going into a tailspin, but it’s clear he wants to live his own life. His three friends, Charlie, Sarah, and girlfriend Molly (Michelle Williams), suggest they blow off the camping trip to Yosemite, since Laurie/Keri doesn’t want him to go anyway and Molly can’t afford it, and have a Halloween party of their own at the campus. Laurie/Keri has been dating the school’s counselor, Will (Adam Arkin), and he knows there’s something in her past that she’s keeping quiet. She’s become quite the drinker, and sees mirages of Michael everywhere. John and Charlie sneak off campus with a little help from sweet security guard Ronnie (LL Cool J), and go into town. Charlie steals some wine for their “party” but Laurie/Keri bumps into them and freaks out. She yells at John to not pull shit like this on Halloween, of all days, and he tells her she needs to get over herself. As they head back into campus, Mr. Sandman by The Chordettes comes on the radio, and smirking, Laurie/Keri quickly turns it off. Michael is not far behind, having stolen a woman’s vehicle at a rest stop on the way there. Following the crew back, he now knows where to go. As the buses leave for Yosemite, Laurie/Keri worries that John is not going to be okay. She had finally given in and let him go, but since his friends are sticking around, so is he.
Laurie/Keri bumps into secretary Norma, played by real-life mom Janet Leigh, who tells her she knows she is worried about something and to focus on the day at hand. In an homage to the original, Norma states, “I guess everyone is entitled to one good scare”, to which Laurie/Keri replies, “I’ve had my share”. Norma goes to leave, in a car eerily similar to the car in Psycho…mmmhmm. The kids go off and do their thing, while Laurie/Keri and Will have a quiet night at her house. She agrees to tell him the story of Michael, and who she truly is. He’s amazed, and now realized why she’s so disturbed all the time. Ronnie notices a strange car parked outside, and the phone lines are cut. Laurie/Keri realizes that John didn’t go on the camping trip and sets out to find him. She runs into Ronnie, who tells her of the car. She’s on a mission now! She and Will try to find the kids, while Ronnie goes off to investigate. Meanwhile, Sarah and Charlie have been murdered in the kitchen while getting food and a corkscrew, and John and Molly discover the bodies and run. Michael stabs John in the leg, but he makes it back to the main part of campus, where he runs into his mom and Will. Laurie/Keri and Michael share a long, terrifying glance at one another through the window of a door, creating one of the neatest scenes in Halloween history. They lock the kids in a closet, and she and Will “try to live”. Will shoots Ronnie, thinking it’s Michael, and we all think Ronnie’s dead. Will is killed by Michael in another homage to the scalpel death from Halloween II, and Laurie/Keri runs. She bashes Michael in the head with a fire extinguisher, gets the kids and runs. They all get into her car, but at the gate, she tells them to go on without her. She wants to fight Michael one final time. She goes after him with an axe, and a battle ensues. Eventually, she’s stabbed him and made him fall over a balcony, where she assumes he’s dead. Ronnie is still alive, just being grazed by the bullet, and the cops arrive. Michael is loaded into a body bag in a coroner’s truck, when Laurie/Keri decides it’s just not enough. She steals the van and takes off down the road, crashing the car over a cliff. Michael is pinned between the van and a huge tree limb. She touches Michael’s hand one final time, and looks noticeably upset, when she raises the axe, and cuts his head off. This scene is just magnificent, and serves as a great ending! Laurie just stands there, looking badass, as the screen goes black and the credits roll.
I consider this to be the final entry in the series, because Halloween 8 is so fucking stupid and worthless, I will never watch it again. I saw it in theaters, and was so pissed, as a lot of the audience was. Laurie is killed in a mental home? Uhh….I don’t think so! To me, this is the ultimate ending, and always will be. She finished what Michael started, and that’s that. I don’t acknowledge the dumb premise that Laurie/Keri simply cut off a paramedic’s head, who Michael had placed in the body bag. Bullshit! Anything for more money! Can we not just have a good, simple, classic ending?! I swear…to me, this is the iconic ending, and I don’t even recognize the next film as a movie at all. This one was perfect, keeping the feel of the original two films, while updating the music a little. The other segments of music score are clearly taken from Scream (while the kids and Laurie/Keri are running down the stairs to get in the Jeep, the music is the same as when Tatum is fighting off Ghostface in the garage in Scream), but that’s okay, since Kevin Williamson obviously worked on both of these films. The acting is great, and of course, we rejoice in Laurie’s return. Josh Hartnett as John is fabulous (duh!), and Michelle Williams was just getting her feet wet on Dawson’s Creek when this was released (Kevin Williamson also created Dawson’s, what a coincidence!) The film, surprisingly, is okay without Dr. Loomis (well, he’s deceased, so there’s nothing we could do, anyway), but I never understood why they didn’t use Donald Pleasence’s voice on the credits at the beginning. Overall, it’s a great film, definitely in keeping with the original idea, and portraying the characters very well. It ranks up there as one of my favorites of the series.