Wait, How Does LL Cool J Survive “Halloween: H20?”

A seasonal inquiry.

Jude Ellison S. Doyle
5 min readOct 19, 2023

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A pumpkin carved with the face of Michael Myers.
There are no stock photo pumpkins of LL Cool J. Photo by norbert velescu on Unsplash

Sometimes, as a journalist, you get a chance to cover a story that really matters. Whether by luck or chance or sheer hard work, you get your hands on a truth the public needs to know, and you follow it until you can bring back treasure. You serve the public, you educate people, you advocate for the underprivileged — sometimes. Other times, you take half a weed gummy so you can go to sleep and wake up to find this in your inbox.

SUBJ LINE: Medium Post: how does LL Cool J surviveHalloween H20? From: Me, to: Me, time stamp: 11:10 PM

More important stories exist, but I’m not the right person to cover them, so I’m going to go ahead and answer Sleep Me’s question.

For those unfamiliar: LL Cool J is in Halloween: H20, the supposedly final (it was not final) installment of the Halloween franchise, which came out in 1998. In Halloween: H20, LL Cool J plays security guard Ronald “Ronny” Jones, a campus security guard and aspiring romance novelist. He spends much of his screen time on the phone, reading erotic passages of his own work aloud to his never-seen and disapproving wife. It’s uncomfortable.

Halloween: H20 is not the strongest installment of the Halloween franchise. Let’s continue.

So: In Halloween: H20, LL Cool J dies. There is no other way to put this. He’s clearly, emphatically dead for several minutes of screen time. Lots of people die in a Halloween movie, and LL Cool J is no exception. Except that he is, because he’s the only Black actor with a major speaking part, and also because — even though LL Cool J really clearly dies in this Halloween movie — he is alive in its final scene.

Let’s teleport straight to that death scene. LL Cool J dies as he lives: Uncomfortably, and with weird racist implications. Specifically, LL Cool J dies in a jump scare. He pops out around the corner, and one of the white leads (Adam Arkin) shoots him to death because he thinks LL Cool J is serial killer Michael Myers. Michael Myers is an eight-foot-tall man. There aren’t that many people who look like him. Also, Michael Myers — like basically every other character in Halloween: H20 — is white. LL Cool J isn’t.

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Jude Ellison S. Doyle

Author of “Trainwreck” (Melville House, ‘16) and “Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers” (Melville House, ‘19). Columns published far and wide across the Internet.