The fifth instalment in the series of Halloween films was directed by Dominique Othenin-Girard (co-director of the 1985 film After Dark) and was released in 1989 (only one year after the release of Halloween 4). The film takes place one year after the events of the previous film and its shocking climax. In Halloween 4 we saw Jamie Lloyd, the young long lost niece of Michael Myers evade the masked murder’s attempts to snuff out his entire bloodline and witnessed as Myers was gunned down by a small platoon of shotgun armed police. The shocking ending to the film, however, came with Jamie’s sudden decision to put on a clown mask and attack her step mother in a scene reminiscent of the first Halloween film.
This leads us on to the next sequel. After some infamous theme tune backed title credits and quick cut images of pumpkin cutting to set the mood we recap on Michael’s previous “defeat” and then watch as he crawls away and floats downstream to collapse in the home of an old man. Jamie we find is in a children’s hospital and through her nightmare we see in more detail the event ending the previous film. And so it goes, within the first 15 minutes of the film we see Myers rise to his feet and learn that Halloween 5 is perhaps going to offer nothing more than the continuation of the last film and the expansion of a franchise already growing stale.
The film wanders down the already familiar path of the previous films in the series as well as many other films of the same type. Myers slowly stalks his victims while heavily breathing and as an audience we almost know exactly what is going to happen and are rarely surprised. As expected the cast fall victim one by one to sharp objects they couldn’t seem to get far enough away from in ways that feel overly familiar as if done before so many times (perhaps in Friday the 13th). Halloween 5 tries to introduce as a new element to the franchise however in the form of a sort of psychic link between Jamie and her murderous uncle Myers. This still does very little to make this a memorable chapter within the Halloween films and the film remains somewhat forgettable.
The cast of the film don’t do a particularly bad job and play their roles in whatever way that the stale script would allow. Donald Pleasance does continue to do his theatrical best as the mad Doctor Loomis desperately trying to stop Michael’s rampage much like Doctor Frankenstein trying to stop his own monster but the film just remains unremarkable in every respect including camera work and special effects. Despite its formulaic and dull duration Halloween 5 does manage to create a sense of mystery in the form of a shadowy figure stalking Myers himself and sporting a thorn symbol much like Michael’s on his own wrist. This is left a mystery however even at the end. This would probably intend to make the audience eager for the next chapter however after the past 100 minutes of this film just watched, what happens next is not that much of an interesting concept.
Collectors and fans of the Halloween and similar horror film franchises may pick this film up for the collection however anyone looking for an inventive, interesting and tension filled addition to the genre would probably be better off looking elsewhere.