Halloween 5 (1989) Review
“He’s Back With A Vengeance”
Synopsis: One year after the events of Halloween 4, the Shape returns to Haddonfield once again in an attempt to kill his now-mute niece.
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Halloween 5 picks up with footage from the end of Halloween 4, and then continues the story a year later. Like most of the Halloween franchise, Halloween 5 has quite a few plot holes and doesn’t always make the most sense… but despite that, it manages to pull off a few good moments and one damn charming relationship, resulting in something that’s mostly watchable.
Young Jamie (Danielle Harris), now mute and institutionalized, is haunted by dreams of her uncle Michael Myers (Don Shanks) and how he made her attack her stepmother. Stepsister Rachel and her friend Tina are somehow not at all perturbed by this, and regularly visit her. When Halloween rolls around, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) suspects that Jamie has a connection to her uncle that will help him find the killer and put an end to this once and for all… which goes about as well as can be expected.
Danielle Harris is a large part of why this movie works so well. Her portrayal of Jamie is heartbreaking, and her relationship with Tina feels so genuine it’s hard not to root for them. Rather than being a comforting presence this time around, Dr. Loomis seems to be unraveling, frequently becoming violent with Jamie in his attempts to reach Michael. (Though it seems a little out of character for him, this pays off in the final act of the movie.)
This movie lacks the ambiance of the first, but retains one of the key characteristics of the franchise that I like: despite law enforcement generally being on the alert, Michael is still a very real threat. It underscores the helplessness of Michael’s victims in the face of such implacable evil – even when every precaution is taken, it’s clear that Michael is still coming, and there will be blood.
Unfortunately, the movie ends with too much focus on a very odd subplot. This was intended to set up the next arc in the Halloween franchise, but… it’s just odd, and does a major disservice to fans.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: B-
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