Halloween 5

Though most of the Halloween sequels have been rather underwhelming, Halloween 5 is a particularly egregious example of everything not to do within this ongoing franchise. Director Dominique Othenin-Girard – who cowrote the screenplay with Michael Jacobs and Shem Bitterman – infuses the proceedings with a run-of-the-mill slasher vibe, complete with oversexed teenagers and moronic authority figures. The story picks up a year after the events of Halloween 4, as Michael Myers (this time played by Don Shanks) returns to Haddonfield with the intention of murdering his last surviving heir. Said heir, Myers’ niece, Jamie (Danielle Harris), seems to have some kind of a telepathic bond with the psychopath, a development that the increasingly frantic Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) decides to use to his advantage – no matter what the consequences may be for little Jamie. Although there are a few decent kills and Michael Myers remains an appropriately creepy figure, there’s little within Halloween 5 to set it apart from its mediocre horror brethren. The almost complete lack of a concrete plot certainly doesn’t help matters, as the movie lurches from one scarcely-intriguing sequence to the next. The filmmakers, obviously aware of the non-existent storyline, emphasize the Halloween night shenanigans of several teenagers and Myers’ inexplicable efforts to kill them. The inclusion of two seriously incompetent cops smacks of desperation, and only highlights the distinct feeling of needlessness that’s permeating virtually every aspect of the film. Pleasence’s broad yet compelling portrayal of Dr. Loomis, a figure that has clearly gone insane after years of hunting down Myers, goes a long way towards keeping things sporadically interesting, although one can’t help but lament the lack of a reference to Myers as “pure evil” (he does, however, spout the following bit of classic dialogue midway through: “I prayed that he would burn in hell. But in my heart, I knew that hell would not have him.”)

* out of ****

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