After Michael Myers’ return in Halloween 4 didn’t go as he expected, one year later the masked maniac returned again for revenge in Halloween 5. A film that takes Carpenter’s iconic slasher and attempts to add a few new elements while dispatching the same level of terror and chaos as the original.
After trying to kill her own mother in the same outfit and in the same way that young Michael did when he was a child, Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris), Myer’s niece, is in a children’s psychiatric ward, still haunted by nightmares of last year’s Halloween massacre.
Rendered mute by her psychological trauma she has also developed a strange, almost supernatural link to evil Michael, seeing through his eyes on occasion. During this she witnesses the horrific murders that he continues to commit, having survived near death and yet again escaping capture.
Luckily for Jamie, she has her family and friends around her. But also present is Dr Loomis (Donald Pleasence) who is still dedicated to destroying Myers by whatever means necessary, his obsession only driven further towards madness after last year’s events.
As the teenagers of Haddonfield prepare for another Halloween, Myers too gets ready to reap his revenge on anyone in his way. And as the link between him and Jamie grows stronger she realises she must do something to stop him before its too late.
Working on the story and success of Halloween 4, director Dominique Othenin-Girard succeeds in crafting Halloween 5 into another above average sequel with some truly stand out scenes and scares along the way.
The story’s continuation from part 4 is a welcome development, with the interesting addition of the psychic link between Jamie and Myers which is explored but never overly explained. Donald Pleasence and Danielle Harris are on top form, both pushing their characters to a deeper level of madness and unhinged obsession. All of this combined means that Halloween 5 holds the audience’s attention straight from the start.
The Revenge of Michael Myers is also a much bloodier and nastier affair than his previous return, and the film ups the ante from the off, adding in lots of scares and some sex along the way, raising the body count for both deaths and nudity.
From the creepy barn scene to the many Myer’s bluffs to the taught tense climax to the post coital impalement there are plenty of stand out moments making it a more memorable affair than 4 was with some great violence and gore.
Apart from some very strange comedy music (which plays whenever the idiotic cops appear) the main downside of Halloween 5 is that it would simply make no sense at all as a stand-alone film.
Without seeing 4, not only would the characters and their current predicament be meaningless, but their development and evolution – which is one of the most interesting elements – would also be lost.
This leads to the complex conundrum that Halloween 5 – though technically better on all fronts than 4 – is almost pointless without seeing 4 first.
That said, as the two excellent sequels have been recently re-released on Blu-ray with glorious colour and sound, it’s the perfect excuse to buy them both and have a Halloween double bill of blood and guts.