Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

11/11/2021 06:06

Film: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

Year: 1989

Director: Dominique Othenin-Girard

Writer: Michael Jacobs, Dominique Othenin-Girard and Shem Bitterman

Starring: Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris and Ellie Cornell



This is another of the movies in this franchise that I saw a lot growing up. It always seemed to be playing on the movie channels or part of Fear Fest on AMC. This is the first time that I’m watching with a critical eye though. The synopsis here is one year after the events of the previous movie, the Shape (Don Shanks) returns to Haddonfield once again in an attempt to kill his now-mute niece.

We start this movie off seeing the events that end Michael Myers in the previous movie. He falls down the shaft and it turns out to be a mine. Michael crawls to a river where he is found by mountain man, Harper Roisman. He takes care of Michael. One year later on Halloween Eve, Michael wakes up and kills this guy before heading back to Haddonfield.

During this time, Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris) has been living in a children’s clinic. She attacked her foster mother, but she survived the ordeal. The events have caused her to go mute. When Michael wakes up, she goes into a trance that looks like a seizure. She experiences Michael killing the mountain man. Her nightmares cause her to freak out as well. Watching over her is Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence). He knows Michael is out there and just waiting for him to return.

Visiting Jamie in the hospital is her foster sister of Rachel (Ellie Cornell), her friend Tina Williams (Wendy Foxworth) and Rachel’s dog Max. They are scolded for bringing the dog in by Loomis. Neither of the young women are fans of how he treats Jamie. This young girl isn’t alone though. She has befriended a boy of Billy Hill (Jeffrey Landman) who also is staying at the clinic.

Michael has returned to the Haddonfield. Jamie gets a psychic connection and she knows he is stalking Rachel. She has to decide for Halloween to go visit her parents at a cabin or to say back to party with Tina and some of her friends. Jamie knows that Michael is nearby and Loomis believes her. The police are called, but they don’t find anyone and Max somehow got out, but returns. Once they leave, Michael kills Rachel. This sets events in motion as Michael comes for Jamie, leaving bodies in his wake.

That will be where I’ll leave my recap as that gets you up to speed. Now I gave this a rewatch for a couple of reasons. This is the last film in the Halloween franchise that I haven’t reviewed. Since my Halloween holiday episode was coming up, it made sense to knock this out. It also fulfilled criteria for an October movie challenge as I watched it with Joe Bob Briggs as part of his The Last Drive-In from a couple years ago. He had some interesting insight that I’ll incorporate here.

Where I want to start with my thoughts is that I don’t mind the set up here. Michael Myers survived what happened the previous Halloween, so he comes back the following. I can’t hold my issues from Halloween 4 here. This movie has Michael upping the body count even more and we get to see quite a bit of those deaths on screen. When I saw that KNB did the effects that makes sense. I also don’t mind the fact that Jamie is mute from the events of the previous Halloween. That seems like something that could happen from a traumatic night. I’ll even go on to say, Harris performance in this movie was good for a child as well. I don’t even hate the psychic connection here, as that is setting the stage for what they reveal in the next movie. We get to see the Mark of Thorn as well, this being tattooed on Michael’s wrist and The Man in Black’s (Shanks) as well. This stuff all works for me. I don’t even mind Loomis finally snapping, putting Jamie’s life in danger to kill Michael once and for all, I just don’t buy some of things that he does. I could see him finally at his wit’s end to defeat Michael and he’s gone as crazy as his obsession.

Joe Bob Briggs brought up some interesting information here. Prior to taking the meeting with Moustapha Akkad, director/co-writer Dominique Othenin-Girard, had not see any of the movies in the series. He binged all of the Halloween movies at that time along with A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th in prep. It appears at during the meeting, there was already a script that incorporated elements from the previous movie to put into this. That was thrown away and it was rewritten. I think that is a misstep. Where they end with Jamie becoming like her uncle would have added an element here to me. You can still bring back Michael, but abandoning the idea completely doesn’t work in my opinion.

Moving from there, I also don’t like that Michael goes back into a coma for another year. It just feels lazy. They should have shown him needing to nurse himself back to health or something along these lines. I can believe that. Having him being ready a year later is believable for me. These are simple things that I feel could be incorporated to work.

That should be enough for the story, as in general it isn’t horrible. It just has issues. The acting I thought was good. Pleasence plays it well that Loomis has finally snapped. His madness matches Michael’s. I’d already said that I liked Harris here. Cornell was solid in her limited role as Rachel. I liked bringing back Beau Starr as Sheriff Ben Meeker. Landman was fine along with Foxworth, Tamara Glynn, Jonathan Chapin and Matthew Walker. If I have an issue with Chapin’s character of Mikey, I’m not sure why they made him a greaser. The rest of the cast was fine, but no one stands out to me.

I’ll take this then to the effects, cinematography and the soundtrack. I’ve already said that KNB did great with the effects. I’m glad they ramped that up. The cinematography was also good. I think this movie is shot well. If I have an issue it comes with trying to rely on the jump scare too much. It feels like Othenin-Girard didn’t believe it was scary enough and that would enhance it. The soundtrack though is solid since Alan Howarth was there to put together a solid score. It isn’t the best, but I don’t have issues.

So then in conclusion here, this movie is continuing that path of the Halloween series not living up to what it could be. There were elements introduced from the previous movie that were abandoned. There are things incorporated here that don’t make sense to set the stage for the next movie. If you aren’t going to explain it here or give us something with it, you can’t use it. What I will say though is that the acting was good. The effects were solid along with the cinematography and the soundtrack. I don’t hate this movie as I have nostalgia, but there are a missed opportunities. I’d say this is over average for me.


My Rating: 6 out of 10