Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers


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"I prayed that he would burn in hell "

Oct 16th, 2009

After the great time I had with Halloween 4 I was looking forward to the next instalment. All the main players from the last were returning (Jamie, Rachel, Loomis) and I couldn't wait to see what happened following the stonking cliff-hanger ending. This was the first (but sadly not the last) film in the Halloween franchise that let me down.

Let's get the storyline out of the way first, Myers returns for Jamie Lloyd and…. we're done. What was I expecting from a slasher piece? Well after changing things up a little with the last film I expected something a little more substantial. What we end up with is the most basic setup lacking the soul of those that preceded it (including the third film which has nothing to do with Myers). While the realm of reality within the universe has been stretched somewhat (to accept that Myers and Loomis survived part 2's ending) Halloween wasn't too far removed from the real world, yet here we are with silly supernatural elements thrown in for no good reason .

SPOILER WARNING for part 4 – The last Halloween movie is up there with my all-time favourite movie endings (I know the film isnt everyone's cup of tea) but apparently the producers weren't so impressed.By Mirroring the opening to the original Episode four revealed that the seeds of evil are within Michael's niece Jamie. Only once filming on the fifth commenced they decided to skip over the whole Jamie Lloyd is evil angle.

Who in their right mind wouldn't explore this? There were so many possibilities that could of lead the Halloween franchise in a fresh new direction. Imagine if Halloween had added a child serial killer to the mix, would Michael still want to hunt her down? Or even the potential of a team up with Uncle Myers, how cool would that be? Michael with a sidekick. A character piece with Jamie in a mental institute – perhaps Myers would come to spring her out. I could go on all day about what they could have done. How did this flick resolve the last ending? They pass off the murder she committed as a dream, a vision or some such crap, it's never really explained that clearly.

To top this bitch slap off it was decided to make Jamie mute (for the majority of the run time),apparently trauma does this to some. It's hard to find child actors that are any good (just check out the Harry Potter films), Danielle Harris was great, why limit her performance? I will say even with this restriction she manages to pull off some emotional scenes and truly is the best thing in this film.

Ellie Cornell returns as Rachel only to become Michael's first victim. I have to wonder what was the purpose of this one. Was it a test to see how to destroy a successful film franchise? Rachel is one of the most loved characters in Halloween history, not only does she get killed off quickly but she gets a death unfitting of her character. She was set up as a hero in the last, going through so much only to be taken down like every other victim, no hero's death here. It's not that I have an issue with killing off beloved characters, this is horror and no one should be safe. The problem I had was the complete change in her character and utter dismissal that there may be danger about (it's only been one year for the characters). That and they replace her with some mug called Tina. Switch the roles people she should have been the first to go.

Donald Pleasence, although great to see him again, clearly has become tired of delivering the same old routine. While I still love Loomis and the place he has in the series this is where he outstayed his welcome and became a crazy old coot. With no attempt to explain why he was still in Haddonfield one year later he felt more like an item in the Halloween checklist (theme tune, Shatner mask, old git). Given the same foolish "he's evil, you don't understand" dialogue that really no longer has a place after all that's happened to the town over the years. I'm sure they get it now especially after last year's massacre.

While the above all grate on me due to my love of the 4th entry above everything that has passed in all the sequels and remakes one thing irritates me above all else (yes even more so than Busta Rhymes). The two inept cops that show up throughout the whole movie. I understand that in the last movie Myers decimated the entire police force but I'm pretty sure new recruits would have been far more capable of police work than these two dolts. Each time they appear on screen we are treated to clown sound-effects, is this meant to be a cartoon? While this may not top my list for best Halloween movie it has the same dark and ominous tone that the entire franchise is known for, that is until those idiots arrive. Poor move.

With all my ranting it seems there was nothing worthwhile in this film but the climax was well done and unlike all the other dull killings (the rest of the cast are around only to fill the role of next victim) this sequence delivered on the tension. Loomis uses Jamie's psychic link to Myers (don't ask, she touched his hand in the last so now she can sense him?) to track him down. Ending up in the old Myers house (which changes style and shape every bloody film) Michael hunts Jamie down. The scene with her in the vents is amazing. In the last film Jamie had everyone trying to protect her but here she was on her own, it really raised the fear levels as Myers rampaged after her. If anything this moment justified all the crap that came before and even gave a little edge back to Loomis (using a child like that, tut tut). This remains one of my favourite scenes despite the film it appears in.

Ending on a cliff-hanger again I no longer cared where the next was heading (not that I had given up on the franchise). Any storyline could be changed at the drop of a hat (see last film). The man in black did intrigue me but it wasn't enough, too little too late.

This film was a shambles and it came as no surprise to find out that filming began before an actual script was finished. Makes you appreciate how they manage to put the Saw films together in under a year. If this film wasn't so closely tied to the last I probably never would have watched it again (thats a lie I have a weak spot for all 80's horror no matter how bad) but it truly does feel like a continuation no matter how bad it turned out. 3/10

Best Kill The two cops- happy time was had by me when they bite it

Trivia
The Man in Black shots were re-shot in the UK for unknown reasons with an unknown British extra.
Moustapha Akkad has said that one of his biggest regrets about the film was killing off the character of Rachel Carruthers – Damn right it should be.
Donald Pleasence stated in Fangoria magazine that the film would contain the death of his character Dr. Sam Loomis – when did that happen?


Other reviews in the series

Halloween (1978)
Halloween II (1981)
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
Halloween (2007)
Halloween II (2009)


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Movie Details

Movie Poster Here
Director: Dominique Othenin-Girard
Screenplay: Michael Jacobs
Dominique Othenin-Girard
Released:1989
Rating:18
Starring: Donald Pleasence
Danielle Harris
Ellie Cornell