The Halloween movie series is one of my favorites in the horror genre. I always found Michael Meyers’ murderous rampages in Haddonfield to be pretty scary. The first two movies are the best. The third takes a weird, yet interesting turn. Part four brings back Michael while giving the series some new blood. But then you get to Halloween 5 and things start to go off the rails. Granted it’s not as bad as 6 or 8. And don’t even get me started on the horrific (not in a good way) Rob Zombie remakes. But 5 is still plain bad. For its 30th anniversary let’s get into why it sucks.
The series could have stopped at part 4. Michael was presumed dead and his young niece, Jamie (Danielle Harris), had seemingly taken his place at the end when she stabs her mother. It was a full circle moment, calling back to the opening of the original Halloween. But this addition was very successful and another sequel sprang up. We discover that after being shot multiple times and falling down a mine shaft, Michael survives and crawls into the river undetected. Then he stumbles upon an old hermit in a shack and passes out. For a year. He was sleepy. So, we’re to believe the hermit, with limited means, somehow nursed Michael back to health and he woke up stronger than ever? Alright.
Jamie is suddenly psychic
Somehow Jamie develops a psychic link with Michael. When he awakens after his long nap, she feels it. When he kills somebody, she knows it and freaks out. But she’s also a mute now so she can’t really tell anyone what’s going on with her not-so-dead uncle. This leads to a lot of grunting and spazzing out throughout the film. It’s eye rolling. Jamie and Michael don’t need to be psychic friends.
Rachel gets killed early
Technically Jamie is the final girl of part 4. But Rachel (Ellie Cornell), her adopted sister, is kinda one too. She was a bit more active than Jamie because she was older. Rachel protected her little sister, fell off a roof, and ran Michael down with a truck. Very badass. So, when he stabs her in the chest at the beginning of 5, it’s disappointing. Especially because that leaves us with Tina (Wendy Kaplan). Ugh.
Tina is the worst
With Rachel gone, her friend Tina is left as Jamie’s caretaker. The character is annoying as hell. Loud, boisterous, and zany in a way that’s supposed to be endearing but because of the actress’ limitations comes off as nails on a chalkboard. Plus, she’s an idiot. Jamie warns her that she’s in danger, but Tina ignores her and runs off to a party. Girl, stay at home and lock the doors. You almost want her to die. And she does, while trying to save Jamie. At least she served one purpose.
The Keystone Cops
The screenwriters decided to inject some humor into the film by adding a pair of bumbling police officers. They even have their own clown-like theme music. Oh wow, these cops are so dumb. Isn’t that funny? No, no it is not. I’m ok with a little levity, but nobody needs a Laurel & Hardy routine in the middle of their horror movie. Also, I want my cops to be smart and capable. And willing to take a knife to the gut so I have some time to escape from the crazed killer.
Loomis is so extra
Donald Pleasence’s Dr. Loomis was never a subtle character. He runs around in five different Halloween movies crying about the evil that is coming. Like a macabre Chicken Little. But in this film, he takes it up a notch, throwing a fit in every scene because nobody believes his claims that Michael is alive. Pleasence chews on the scenery for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s as if director Dominique Othenin-Girard told him to go even bigger after every take. And then his character has the brilliant idea to lure Michel to the old Meyers house, using Jamie as bait. He’s lucky they weren’t both killed. Calm it down, doc.
Throughout the film we see the mysterious man in black (not Will Smith), with the same tattoo on his wrist that Michael has on his, creeping through Haddonfield. After Michael gets carted off to jail, the mystery man shows up at the police station, kills everyone inside, and busts Michael out. What? Who the hell is this guy? And who thought this would be a good ending?
The best moment of the movie is when Jamie is trying to escape Michael while crawling up a laundry chute. It’s a tense claustrophobic terrifying scene. If only the rest of the movie could have been as good.