Here we go again. A week ago I rambled about Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, and I thought it was pretty mediocre. It was poor enough that most people would let the franchise go and say “well, that was pretty shit, so I’m not going to see the next one unless I happen to hear good things about it”. I feel like if I was around in the ’80s I would feel the same way. However, here I am, less than an hour until midnight, having just watched the fifth installment into this franchise that refuses to die.
Halloween 5 is the worst of the Halloween movies that I’ve seen so far. The problem with it is that I can’t immediately dismiss it as being a piece of trash, because it isn’t. It isn’t wholly irredeemable, and that pisses me off. There are facets of this movie that are good despite a vast majority of it being a confusing, irritating mess.
Halloween 5 was directed by Franco-Swiss director Dominique Othenin-Girard and stars Danielle Harris and Donald Pleasence returning as Jamie Lloyd and Dr. Loomis. A year after the events of Halloween 4, Michael Myers returns to Haddonfield again to try and finish off Jamie once and for all.
Oh, also, Jamie has a psychic link to Michael Myers.
Look, I’m not going to beat around the bush here. This review is going to be shorter than normal. There isn’t a whole lot to talk about with Halloween 5. When I wrote about Halloween 4, I said that there were three parts I enjoyed: Danielle Harris was a surprisingly good actress, Donald Pleasence was fun to watch as always, and in the last 15 minutes or so the movie dished out the old school slasher goodness. Halloween 5 has only two of those things going for it. Harris and Pleasence. The movie succumbs to the typical ’80s slasher pitfall of being a skeleton of a plot hung up to support the last act of the movie. Now, I like slashers, and I can stomach a boring movie if the last third picks up and becomes an over the top bloodbath. Unfortunately for Mr. Othenin-Girard, he failed almost completely at making a good third act (and first and second acts). None of the characters are likable, and the order they are killed in does nothing to raise the stakes of the movie. The kills are rehashed and regurgitated from every slasher that came in the decade prior. And don’t get me started on the stupid ending where Michael Myers’ anonymous lawyer comes and bails him out of jail. Okay, so that didn’t happen exactly, but what happened was similar enough that it might as well have.
I do need to give credit where credit is due. This is the part that keeps me from totally writing off this movie. I thought Michael Myers was handled well. Better than in Halloween 4. The actor playing him gave off a Kane Hodder vibe, translating a real physicality and rage to Myers that we have never seen before. Before a majority of the kills, the cinematography is handled competently enough that Myers eerily hangs out in the backgrounds of shots, slowly fading in and out of view, almost always obscured. That is what Halloween is. A Halloween movie needs to be creepy. You need to feel like Michael Myers is really stalking these kids and in Halloween 5, it does. The problem is that all the time in between Myers’ screen time is just wasted space.
I wouldn’t recommend Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. If you’re a fan of slashers, just watch Halloween 4, or better yet, watch the original Halloween. If you’re a franchise completionist like I am or a die hard fan of Michael Myers, check out Halloween 5, but if either of those were the case you probably would have seen it already. I was going to put Dr. Loomis’ “I knew that Hell would not have him” quote to round out this review, but part of me feels like I’m going to need to save it for the inevitable watching of Halloween: Ressurection.