Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook Review

Mark Pacis

Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later

The quality of Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later can be summed up by the title alone. If you think about it, the title can translate to Halloween 20: Twenty Years Later. The film is as redundant and nonessential as the title itself. Long before David Gordon Green retconned the franchise and made three direct sequels to John Carpenter’s Halloween, there were the Miramax/Dimension sequels. Halloween H20 does what the sequels have been trying to do since Halloween II: recapture the magic of the 1978 original.

The film doesn’t offer much of a story. All it wants is to build up to the confrontation with Laurie and Michael. Like Green’s recent reboot, Laurie is a paranoid psychotic who can barely move an inch without thinking about Michael. Unfortunately, H20 expends nearly two-thirds of its runtime before Michael arrives at the school and starts causing trouble. Then, it revolves around Michael developing ways to get to the campus and murdering any poor sap that inadvertently gets in his way. Yet, the result doesn’t create many thrills. 

Director Steve Miner seems more interested in framing low-grade jump-scares and setups without payoff. Again and again, a loud jolt on the score accompanies a fakeout scare. It would work if the suspense matched the fakeouts, but the cheap scares get old after a while. It doesn’t hold the same impact as the horror movie renaissance of today.

Overall, Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later feels like a cash grab for all involved—trying to capitalize on the success of Scream. In the wake of everything after Carpenter’s version, H20 feels like another in the franchise’s many attempts to bank on the iconic original instead of using it as a launchpad for something more. Nevertheless, it’s more watchable than the Halloween sequels before it. Then again, the bar is also extremely low. 

Movie Review: 1.5/5 atoms

Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later - Jamie Lee Curtis and Chris Durand

Halloween H20 hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a native 4K, HEVC / H.265, Dolby Vision / HDR10 presentation with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The picture looks significantly cleaner from a brand new 4K scan than past disc releases. The whites are clean and crisp, and the black levels are pretty good. There is no major crush, bloom, or other artifacts as well. So, in the film’s final act, shadows offer more light gradience. As a result, when Michael hunts in the shadows, it’s much more effective. Color saturation also benefits from Dolby Vision/HDR, especially primaries like red. The red in the Paramount release doesn’t push the reds to an unnatural-looking state. So, elements like blood and skin tones look natural and retain their boldness. It’s clear from the film’s opening scenes that the improvement in depth and delineation isn’t that obvious. Still, the picture definition has a noticeable boost in many respects. Grain is generally stable if not shown with a mildly sharp look.

Video Review: 4.5/5 atoms

Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later - Josh Hartnett and Jamie Lee Curtis

Halloween H20 hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio presentation. Since this is an older film, the audio mix isn’t immersive. However, the score and sound effects are rich and fill up the soundstage. Also, the overall clarity is strong, and the track creates a decent atmosphere in the quieter moments and the more intense sequences. The dialogue is clean and clear throughout, and there are zero issues.

Audio Review: 4/5 atoms

Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later Steelbook
Special Features

Halloween H20 doesn’t have any bonus features in this Ultra HD release. However, this release comes with a glossy steelbook, which ships with a clear plastic slipover with some foreground artwork.

Special Features Review: n/a

Overall, Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later is a film that falls in a long line of bad Halloween sequels. Fortunately, if you’re a fan of the film, the video presentation is the best out there. Unfortunately, this release is lacking in the audio presentation and bonus features department—something that is a positive in the Shout! Factory Ultra HD release of the movie. At least the steelbook is excellent, though.

Overall Review: 3.5/5 atoms

Halloween H20 is now available in stores on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

This Blu-ray was provided by Paramount Home Entertainment for review purposes.