Ah, Michael Myers. The original maniac killer. He's stabbed and gutted his way through seven films and we still don't know what he looks like. But the question that is always on my lips when I see a Halloween film is this - what the hell is Michael Myers supposed to be?

I mean, originally he was just a psycho. A little kid who discovered that if he hit his sister enough times with a sharp object, said sister will stop moving, a revelation which apparently appealed to his childlike mind. Society doesn't look too kindly upon that sort of home entertainment and the establishment was pissed off because they couldn't blame it on computer games, so they locked this poor kid up for fifteen years.

Now, I don't know about you, but if I was only slightly mad when I went into the nut house, I'd almost certainly be considerably more mad if I was then kept there until I was old enough to break out and steal a car.

Hi, how're we all doing today?

To my knowledge, over the course of the Halloween series, Mikey has been shot six times, had a knitting needle inserted into his bonce, had both his eyes poked out, burnt alive, been drilled full of buckshot, tossed down a mine shaft and blown up with dynamite - and he's still alive by Halloween H20. To reiterate, what the hell is he? if he's a zombie, fair enough, but we're led to believe that he's just another man who's so keen on indulging his favourite hobby that nothing can stop him, not even terminal injury.

In Halloween H20 you can add being hit with a poker (twice), whacked with a fire extinguisher, clubbed with a big rock, stabbed repeatedly in the chest, kicked in the groin, thrown off a balcony onto a table (a fall which almost certainly broke his neck), stabbed a bit more, thrown through a windscreen, hurled down a ravine and crushed by a van.

And even then he has to be decapitated before he stops twitching.

Halloween H20 opens with our hero looking for information about his missing sister (Jamie Lee Curtis, from the first film), who faked her death and went into hiding. Mikey isn't fooled easily, however, and after searching the home of the nurse of the late Dr. Loomis (Mikey's psychiatrist from all the previous films) he gets hold of her new address. Pausing only to slit her throat and put an ice skate blade through the face of the kid from Third Rock From The Sun, he sets off in the nurse's car for a family reunion.

Mike was never taught to drive, but he picked up the basics in Halloween 1 when he drove away from the loony bin. Either he picked up the controls through trial and error or the voices in his head shouted directions.

"Push the clutch, Michael. No, that's the stereo. Good boy. Check your mirror before you pull out. I said check, not eat. Now just press on the accelerator - that's the pedal on the right - there! See, you're mind hasn't TOTALLY deteriorated. Now signal left. That's the little lever there. Oh, you've broken it off. Never mind, we can do without. You know, you might steer better if you put that knife down."

Meanwhile Jamie Lee is away being reclusive as a headmistress at a public school, still suffering from hallucinations of her brother but learning to ignore them. She has a teenage son who has a girlfriend and some loser mates who might as well paint targets on their chests and hold up big signs saying 'Cannon Fodder'. They do a lot of talking and no-one kills anyone else. It's all very dull so let's see what Mike's up to.

A woman and her little daughter have pulled up at a rest stop next to an extremely poorly maintained car and, faced with a locked girl's room, decide to use the men's room instead. Mother sits in a cubicle and spots Michael stalking around the place, while her daughter hums loudly. Mike's facial expression can't change since he's wearing an expressionless mask, but I was sure he was considering putting an end to that infernal noise. But he's got better things to do. And y'know, after all his killing and immortality, it's refreshing to know that he has to piss like everyone else. The previous car he stole is now an insurance write-off so he pinches the mother's truck instead. The fate of the mother is unrecorded, but I like to think she tried hitching to her destination and was picked up by the family from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Jamie's son leaves the school without her permission and she gets mightily pissed off, because the day is Halloween, and for obvious reasons she always insists that he hides under a rock on this day in case his uncle decides to pay his respects. Her son loudly (but somewhat prematurely) reassures her that the psychotic branch of the family tree is long dead, and she realises what a fool she's been, and decides to accept the facts. How unfortunate that Mike turns up at the gates that very evening, ignoring LL Cool J's cameo role with only a disdainful glance before setting off to do what he does so well.

Loser mate #1 drops a bottle opener down a waste disposal and tries to fish it out as Michael walks in behind him. I forget who directed this film but whoever you are: if you're going to include in your horror film a household appliance capable of dealing out gorey death or at least horrific mutilation, someone had better get mutilated by it. But no-one is. Maybe Mike's supernatural intellect doesn't extend to the operation of a waste disposal but he seems to prefer jamming the corkscrew into loser mate #1's throat instead. You disappoint me, Myers.

Loser mate #2 discovers the corpse of loser mate #1 and attempts to escape from Myers via a dumbwaiter. But, interestingly enough, Mike's supernatural intellect DOES extend to the operation of dumbwaiters! Just as she crawls out of it on the floor above, MM cuts the rope and sends it crashing down just in time to crush loser mate #2's leg. Ouch. She crawls away from the dumbwaiter, but then Mike (who also has the amazing power to walk up a flight of stairs incredibly rapidly) comes in and finishes her off. Well, boo hoo.

Jamie Lee's loser son and loser girlfriend confront the main man next and the former gets stabbed in the leg for his trouble. They manage to evade him and meet up with Jamie Lee and her loser boyfriend. Hi, sis. Loser boyfriend of Jamie Lee gets stabbed to death and the remaining three escape from Myers in a car which, predictably, refuses to start until Mike is right on top of them.

When my brother saw this film he asked why they did not then turn around and run over Mikey a few times before legging it. Well, I suppose they could have done that, if they weren't all scared out of their minds and if one of the party didn't require urgent medical attention. Come on, bro, surely anyone who knows Halloween knows that Mike can survive much worse than that.

I liked her in Fierce Creatures.

Jamie Lee is, however, sick of running. She directs her comrades to leave the school and call the police while she goes and confronts her nutcase family. She gets hold of a fire axe and calls for him. Perhaps she could borrow the target from loser mates 1 and 2 to put on her chest, just to add a bit more of a challenge. Mike jumps down behind her and gets an axe in the shoulder. Oh, nice one, Jamie Lee, maybe next you could get hold of a shotgun and shoot him in the foot. You stupid cow. Then she runs away with the axe still in his shoulder. Way to give him a new weapon, you stupid loser bitch.

A-nyway, Mike gets stabbed in the chest over and over again and falls off a balcony, then the police arrive. They pack him in a body bag and put him in a van. Remember that, body bag. You only put dead people in body bags. Surely they checked for a pulse before assuming he's dead? If they did, and Mike didn't have one, that puts a whole new light on what the man is supposed to be, as he springs back to life a few minutes later when Jamie Lee, who isn't as easily fooled, nicks the van in which he was loaded, drives him to a secluded spot, runs him over, crushes him against a wall and decapitates him.

Might seem a bit final to you, but I've heard rumours that they considered doing another sequel. I know, I know. It's a bit hard to swallow even for me. Let the poor bugger die, fellas.

Three issues remain concerning this film. Firstly, it's too damn short. Barely eighty minutes. But I suppose most horror flicks spend most of the first hour faffing about, whereas H20 has less of that and more killin'. So I forgive them. Secondly, everyone I know pronounces the name of this film as "Halloween Aitch-two-oh", as in the formula for water, and this is WRONG! The film is called "Halloween Aitch-Twenty", damn your eyes! Because it's set twenty years after the first film! Gah. Thirdly, does Michael Myers remind anyone else of Ronald McDonald?

Let's get some ratings before my blood pressure explodes.

Fingers in ears rating - 8/10
H20 delights in those annoying moments where there's a sudden action and a jarring chord, but it's really something mundane. I wish horror films would stop doing that to me.

Similarity to last film rating - 3/10
In a dramatic break with tradition, H20 is really a sequel to the first two Halloweens, and completely ignores (even contradicts) the later instalments. Blast.

Get nekkid and DIE! rating - 6/10
Well, no-one really gets nekkid, but the principle also applies to people who vocally intend to have sex in the near future when they get slaughtered. Loser mates #1 and #2 did this, so it sort of counts. I could write a paper about the horror film 'Get nekkid and DIE!' principle. Then I could rename it 'Yahtzee's First Law'.

Blood and guts rating - 8/10
Lovely and gooey. The bit where loser mate #2's leg gets crushed had even me wincing.

Hateful heroes rating - 10/10
This is the rating in which H20 scores highest. There are middle east dictators who torture people for telling jokes about him and kill pandas for amusement who aren't as hateful as some of these guys.

Overall horror movie sequel rating - 7/10
A nice little romp, if a bit short, and a bit hard to believe. But hey, that's horror for ya.

Quality Rating: 75%

One-Word Summary: "Zeal"

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