Saturday, May 5, 2012

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) - Review

After the success of Halloween 4, Halloween 5 was rushed into production and released a year later.  But whereas the previous installment was fun and had strong writing and good characters, this movie does everything it can to be the polar opposite.  It's ridden with obnoxious cardboard cutouts of characters, mediocre writing, and some bizarre decisions.

There are some positives to this one.  For one, Danielle Harris reprises her role as Jamie Lloyd (though they all but dropped the ending to the last movie) and she's still great.  Donald Pleasence is back yet again as Dr. Loomis and he's always awesome; the character does seem a little more psychotic and angry in this one than usual though.  Unfortunately this is where the praises end and the criticism begins.

The biggest problem is the cast.  Rachel Carruthers, played by Ellie Cornell (and incidentally one of the most likable characters from the previous film), returns but is quickly disposed of early on, making way for several incredibly annoying characters.  These people remind me of the teens in the forgettable-to-bad installments of Friday the 13th.  They're annoying, awful people that you can't wait to see butchered.  It really causes a disconnect, because during these long and stupid scenes of just them, there's not a lot to keep the movie going.  It just meanders around as they die.  It's so generic it's not even funny.  Like literally.  If it were horrendously bad, then it might be entertaining, but this is just boring.

That's not the only flaw.  There's some horribly choppy editing in there.  There are also some strange plot choices, making Jamie and her uncle Myers have some kind of ill-defined psychic connection, trying to give Michael Myers some kind of conscience when he's always been a heartless killing machine, and introducing some sort of shadowy guy that seems to be aiding Michael.  I'm all for expanding the mythos; in fact, that's what makes the Halloween series interesting.  But none of these plot threads are properly handled, and without a good secondary cast to back up the middle part of the movie, the whole thing feels pretty disjointed.

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