HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS
Director: Dominique Othenin-Girard
Year of release: 1989
Country of origin: USA
Running time: 96 minutes
DVD/Blu ray: Both
Taglines: "Michael lives, and this time they're ready" and "The citizens of Haddonfield are about to endure the revenge of Michael Myers".
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: After being shot multiple times and subsequently tumbling down an old mineshaft Michael is here revealed to still be alive after making an escape through a tunnel into a fast flowing river. Falling into a catatonic state Michael is luckily taken in by a kindly hermit like vagrant who begins to nurse him back to health.
Jumping forward a year to Halloween time once again we find that Jamie is now living at a clinic for troubled children after attacking her foster mother in the last film. Jamie, mute since the business of the previous Halloween is partly under the care of Loomis who is convinced Michael is not dead as most others believe. If correct he feels that Jamie could be the key to finding him.
Loomis turns out to be absolutely right with Michael reanimating from a seemingly year-long slumber to go after Jamie once again.
As Loomis and the local sheriff attempt to outwit and trap Michael with the aid of Jamie a mysterious man in black appears in town who seems to have his own twisted agenda.
Good points: *The kills are better this time than they were in part 4 as they are more graphic and violent with a bit more in the way of bloodshed.
On top of this some parts are darker and of a more disturbing nature than what’s gone before such as Rachel being stalked early on and the part in her bedroom later which I thought was really good.
I also liked the chase scenes involving Jamie firstly at the clinic and then later through the fields at the farmhouse property.
Other suspenseful parts that stood out include Tina’s car ride with Myers, Jamie’s dust chute sequence and the ending as a whole with Loomis setting a trap in the old Myers place. All of these sequences stood out for me as being dark and exciting and more on the scary side than what’s been seen in many of the other films in the series.
*Big spoiler: It’s not something which is very popular among many Halloween fans but I’m of the more minority opinion of thinking it was great when Rachel was murdered fairly early on. When I first saw the film I didn’t see that coming at all so it really surprised me. As mentioned I thought the scene where she is being stalked prior to her death with the dog barking and Myers in the closet was great and one of the more scary segments in the whole franchise. I understand fans were disappointed at her early demise with her being such a firm favourite from number 4. Her replacement Tina not being very popular in her own right probably didn’t help and thus this sequence was a double disappointment to some. For me though it was just the opposite as I liked the surprise of Rachel being more fallible than we thought and I have a soft spot for her replacement Tina as well. To me Tina wasn’t annoying but rather I found her endearing and enjoyed her upbeat sunny disposition and excitable personality.
*Mild spoiler: In addition to Tina I also very much enjoyed the Loomis character once again this time around. This time he seemed more deranged than ever often taking his frustrations out on Jamie. My personal favourite part of the film is where he grabs Jamie and starts shouting “Little girl, little girl, come and get your little girl”. I found this bit to be really entertaining and strangely bothy funny and disconcerting/scary at the same time.
*Minor spoiler: I like how Myers is very briefly unmasked once or twice in this and though we still don’t get to properly see his face it’s nice to have a tease of what lies underneath. The scene with the mask in the attic is a contentious point among fans with some not liking it for adding a sympathetic more human side to Myers as well as hinting at the Thorn stuff to come in the next entry. I’m in the camp who enjoyed the attic scene however as I thought it was pretty well done, atmospheric and creepy.
The only small issue I had with it is that the cops would probably have already been up there to check the attic and thus would have already discovered the bodies and coffin. They were all over the house prior to being lured off to the clinic after all. Still liked the attic scene though.
Bad Points: *Spoiler: The man in black didn’t get enough screen time for me. Presumably it’s supposed to be him who is responsible for the attack on the police station but I thought it was a shame this wasn’t shown in more detail. When bodies were being carried out of the station it was hard to place who they were. I would have preferred this to have been shown in more detail as well as finding out definitively what happened to Billy at the clinic.
*Something which was a disappointment was that the twist ending to number 4 was largely glossed over and not capitalised on as it could have been. It’s not completely ignored as obviously Jamie’s in the clinic as a result of it plus there is the part with the brick going through the window. I wanted this to be explored in more detail though such as how the foster mother reacted to being attacked as well as Rachel’s initial reaction to it etc.
*As with the last film Michael’s mask isn’t up to par and though it is slightly better than last time it still doesn’t look right. The neck part sticks out way too much in an unsightly way instead of being smoothed down inside the collar of the boiler suit as it should be. Not a big deal but why they felt the need to change the mask at all from the first two films I don’t know.
*This entry is plagued with several unrealistic parts none more so that the ridiculous beginning with Michael being taken care of for a full year by the vagrant. This didn’t make sense in so many ways and was an example of just awful writing.
Almost as bad is how the Myers house has now morphed into a huge gothic looking mansion which doesn’t in any way even remotely resemble the Myers house of old. It’s hard to fathom how this crazy decision to alter the house so much ever received the green light.
*I couldn’t wrap up the negatives without mentioning those awful comedy cops of course who are a constant annoyance throughout small though there roles are. This seems another stupid decision on the part of the movie makers with the series always playing it completely straight before and never trying to be comedic. It just seems really cringey and out of place in what’s otherwise a rather scary entry in the series.
Verdict: Halloween 5 is a guilty pleasure for me as I do enjoy it rather a lot despite some of the glaring problems. The sketchy underdeveloped issue of the man in black, the neck of the mask, silly comedy cops etc all go against it but despite the problems I still seem to have a good time with it. What sold it for me among other things are some suspenseful stalking and chase sequences, Loomis being in fine fettle once again and the surprise with Rachel which for me went down a storm.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1)Vagrant: Wasn’t too sure how he died, possibly stabbed in the back.
2)Rachel: Stabbed in the neck with scissors.
3)Mike: Stabbed in the face with garden claw type tool.
4)Spitz: Impaled on a pitchfork.
5)Samantha: Sliced with a large sythe.
6)Comedy cop #1: Found dead in car, killed off camera.
7)Comedy cop #2: Same as 6.
8)Tina: Stabbed with knife.
9)Policeman in car: Face smashed into steering wheel.
10)Charlie: Hung from a noose out of upstairs window.
11)Doctor: Wheeled out of the clinic on a stretcher, killed off camera presumably by the man in black.
Note: From this point on I was unsure as to how many died as it was kind of hard to work out exact numbers. Possibly a further nurse and doctor at the clinic as well as 8 or 9 police officers and the sheriff at the station. The dog Max is also killed at some point if you want to count him.