Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989
Sticking with the franchise tradition and starting with yet another iconic opening. This time we see the erratic slashing of a kitchen knife of what is slowly revealed to be the carving of a pumpkin as John Carpenter score starts to build in the background. I really like this opening credit sequence, I like the way everything slowly builds before reaching a dramatic crescendo and then flowing nicely into a recap of events from the previous film. In my Halloween 4 review I did what I believed to be a fairly just job of providing an explanation to the change in mask from H2 to H4, unfortunately for this film I can't do that. After being shot multiple times and falling into a mine shaft in the closing moments of part 4, he exits through the other end in a completely different mask. Given they were unable to maintain the same mask from the previous film then the least they could have done was re-film the closing moments of Halloween 4 that featured Myers in his new Halloween 5 mask. It comes across lazy and insulting to think we as an audience wouldn't notice. Not only is this my worst variation of the Myers mask but quite easily my least favourite portrayal of the character. Here, played by Don Shanks he feels way too large in stature on comparison to previous portrayals and as emotionless as Myers is intended to be, Shanks' performances comes across robotic. Things don't get much better from there, killing of one of the best final girls in the series instantly is criminal. Having Rachel go out in such a meaningless and unfulfilling manner felt a true disservice to her character and the fans. What is worst is that she is then replaced with one of the most hated characters in the franchise. Tina is an awfully annoying character to watch, every time she comes on screen I can feel my eyes roll in the back of my head. This is no judgement on Wendy Kaplan as an actress, she does a great job of playing the annoying personality written for her, this is purely a fault within the writing department. Her sacrifice for Jamie towards the last act of the film holds little to no impact due to how much I have wanted to see her silenced throughout the films runtime. This time around Jamie is in a children's institute after killing her step mother at the end of the previous film, she is now mute and having psychic connections with Micheal. This is a plot point that I genuinely liked and made for an interesting story to watch unfold. With Danielle Harris once again returns as Jamie Lloyd and once again giving an outstanding performance, if not better than her previous efforts due to the much more demanding nature of her role this time around. She and Donald Pleasance are the saving grace of this film, I felt every scene featuring the two of them constantly pulled me back in from the messy sub-plots surrounding them. Seeing Pleasance covered in blood and beating Myers with a piece of 4x2 whilst screaming die is not only a film highlight for me but an overall franchise highlight. The closing act at the old Myers place was the strongest section of the film. Featuring some genuinely suspenseful and entertaining moments and the most in keeping tonally with the now established Halloween aesthetic. This is something that can't be said for the 1 hour 10 minutes that came before it. That is until the completely uncharacteristic moment when Myers removes his mask and starts crying. I honestly believe that Dominique Othenin-Girard the screen writer and director of this installment had no prior knowledge of what had come before this film. I can only assume at this point that it is Girard who is also responsible for including stupid noise effects every time the two most incompetent police offices enter the screen. Why it was felt that this had any place in a Halloween film is beyond me. This isn't just an effect used for the policemen, there is a strange use of score throughout this film feeling very out of place and something you would more come to expect from a lethal weapon movie. Whist the traditional iconic score is used it feels very underutilised in this installment, considering how progressively creative it was used in the opening credit sequence this felt wasted. It is here we are teased at the inclusion of the 'Cult of Thorn' plot line, something that will play out heavily in the 6th film 'Curse of Micheal Myers'. We see that Micheal has gained a new tattoo on his wrist since the last film and a strange man dressed in all black is now popping up in locations. All culminating in having an explosive prison break, something that felt so out of place in a Halloween slasher film. Having all of this left unexplained is something that infuriated me upon my first watch. This 'Thorn' plot line is a direction that I truly detest and believe only damages the characters of Myers - but more on that in my 'Curse of Micheal Myers' review. As much as I hate some of the terrible writing and directional decisions made for the franchise in this installment, I can't help but watch this film regularly. I find it nigh on impossible to watch Halloween 4 without immediately pressing play on Halloween 5 afterwards. These two films feel like a very well crafted story arc for young Jamie Lloyd that just stubble massively at the final hurdle. Take away the Thorn plot line, the entirety of the Tina character, the Clown like interpretation of the police, the mask inconsistency and the criminal killing of Rachel early on and I think this would make for great sequel. Unfortunately this film is over shadowed by the poor decisions made by the director and the writing department.