It's been two decades since Jamie Lee Curtis was stalked and sliced as legendary scream teen Laurie Strode. She's back in "Halloween: H20"--and she's brought her mother and original scream queen Janet Leigh along for the fright.

Every 20 years or so, moviegoers itch for a new reign of terror. In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock turned a harmless shower into a grisly bloodbath with Psycho. Then in 1978, John Carpenter transformed suburbia into a masked maniac’s killing fields in Halloween. Now, 20 years later, those two generations’ scream queens—real-life mother and daughter Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis—are out to prove that a good set of lungs is genetic with Dimension’s Halloween: H20 (due in theaters Aug. 5). “We had no clue what would happen with the original,” says Curtis. “So this is my way of saying thank you, because I wouldn’t have had a career without Halloween.”

With a story hatched by Screamwriter Kevin Williamson and directed by Steven Miner (Forever Young), H20 conveniently sweeps Halloweens 3-6 (the franchise’s four lame-o Jamie-less sequels) under the rug and picks up two decades after Curtis’ Laurie Strode cowered from slasher Michael Myers. Still shattered by her night of mayhem, Strode’s become the headmistress of a swank private school, where she’s gradually getting her life back together, with the help of her maternally prying secretary (Leigh in an inside-jokish cameo). That is, until Myers returns to pay them a visit. “This is the first time Mama and me have really worked together since we did an episode of The Love Boat,” laughs Curtis. “But that doesn’t count, because I was still in pigtails.”