RETRO REVIEW – ‘Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers’

The fifth entry in the long-running franchise is a definite low point for the series.

Review by J.T. Johnson

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: October 13, 1989
DIRECTOR: Dominique Othenin-Girard
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Robert Draper
WRITERS: Michael Jacobs, Dominique Othenin-Girard, Shem Bitterman
MUSIC: Alan Howarth

“Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” was a surprise hit for everyone involved and the series producer Moustapha Akkad wanted another sequel right away. He quickly hired a new filmmaking team that included director Dominique Othenin-Girard, a director that was recommended by original “Halloween” producer Debra Hill. Without a full script in hand, the movie went into production.

The new movie had to deal with “Halloween 4’s” bold ending and Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris) returns to battle Michael Myers once again. This time, it turns out that she has a psychic connection to her uncle and she can see when he is about to strike. Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) returns and knows that this connection could help him defeat the undying Michael.

Unfortunately, Michael will claim plenty of victims before Loomis will be able to get to him. What sucks about his movie is that it has more in common with a generic “Friday the 13th” film as it is filled with characters that are nothing more than fodder for Michael to take out. Like the second film, I don’t really care for the characters since we don’t really get to know them before they get axed.

Well, I say that, but we do get to know Wendy Kaplan’s loud and obnoxious Tina Williams. She is a poor replacement for the strong Rachel that we met in the fourth entry. Tina is absolutely annoying as she jumps around and basically acts like an idiot through most of the movie.

Another problem with “Halloween 5” is the weird change in tone and unnecessary changes to other aspects of the series. As an example of one of these deviations is the weird mansion-like house that they try to pass off as the Myers’ house from the other entries. It’s as if they thought we wouldn’t notice such a significant change just so they could have a bigger set piece for the end.

I’m struggling to find something good to say about the movie. I guess I can mention that Pleasence once again gives a commanding performance as Loomis and Harris does another good job as the troubled Jamie. Also, Alan Howarth is dependable as ever as the composer and he always knows how to use the haunting “Halloween” theme effectively.

Unfortunately, these few good elements can’t even come close to saving a film that tries to deviate too much from what came before. Considering the amount of time that Othenin-Girard had to shoot this film, I commend his efforts but the finished movie reeks of something that was rushed into production just to get another entry in before the slasher horror films began to fade out after the ‘80s.

In short, this is probably my least favorite entry of the original series until 2002’s “Halloween: Resurrection” and the two Rob Zombie remakes.

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