Halloween H20

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Details At A Glance

Category Horror Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - 1.78:1 16x9 enh, Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono)
Rating Other Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - Dolby Digital Train
Year Released 1998 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 82:38 minutes Other Extras Menu Audio & Animation
Cast & Crew Biographies
Featurette (2:47)
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 4 Director Steve Miner

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis
Adam Arkin
Michelle Williams
Adam Hann-Byrd
Jodi Lyn O'Keefe
Janet Leigh
Josh Hartnett
LL Cool J
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
RRP $34.95 Music John Ottman

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No MPEG 2.0 (silent)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 256Kb/s)
English (MPEG 2.0 silent, 112Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking Yes
Subtitles None Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    It's 20 years on from the original Halloween movie. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has changed her name to Keri Tate to escape her evil brother Michael Myers. Every year on Halloween night, Laurie/Keri lives in fear that Michael will return. Everyone else thinks she is paranoid - Michael is dead, after all. But we know better, don't we children?

    As far as scary movies go, this isn't too bad - there are a few too many false alarms for my liking which got a bit irritating after a while, and the body count wasn't all that high, but I still thought it was at least reasonable. Highly recommended as a date flick.

Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced. It is a passable, but not all that great transfer.

    The transfer is variably clear, with a lot of poorly defined and poorly focussed scenes. What scenes there were in broad daylight were generally very clear, but in low lighting conditions, definition and shadow detail suffer. This is particularly the case early on in the movie, where the transfer as a whole seems very dark and murky. There is no low level noise.

    The colours were variably rendered, from bright and vivid to oversaturated in lower lit scenes.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen. There were no film-to-video artefacts seen. Film artefacts were rare, but the odd blemish here and there was a little distracting.


    There are three audio tracks on this DVD; the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack and a silent MPEG 2.0 audio track. I listened to the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

    Dialogue was variably presented. At its best, it was well-integrated into the overall soundtrack. At its worst, it sounded manufactured and artificial. Most of the dialogue is easily understandable. Some of it is muffled and hard to make out.

    I watched this disc on a Toshiba 2109 DVD player. Dialogue appeared frequently on the verge of being out of sync, but was never definitely out. Whilst I didn't check it, I suspect that this disc will be problematic on Pioneer DVD players.

    The musical score by John Ottman was fairly standard horror movie fare and did not distinguish itself in any way.

    The surround channels were frequently used for subtle surround effects which were effective in creating an atmosphere of tension and foreboding. Music also made its way into the surrounds.

    The subwoofer was used sparingly but effectively to accentuate the shocks throughout the movie.


    There is only a basic selection of extras on this disc. The Dolby Digital Train trailer is on this disc.


Cast & Crew Biographies

Cast & Crew Interviews

Featurette (2:47)

    One of the less stellar "behind-the-scenes" type featurettes.

Theatrical Trailer

R4 vs R1

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 4 version, with its 16x9 Enhancement, is the better version of this disc.


    Halloween H20 is a reasonable horror movie without being great.

    The video quality is fair.

    The audio quality is reasonable.

    The extras are basic.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna
24th November 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Toshiba 2109, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer