Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers 1989
Director: Dominique Othenin-Girard
Writers: Dominique Othenin-Girard, Michael Jacobs and Shem Bitterman
Starring Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasance, Ellie Cornell, Don Shanks, Beau Starr, Wendy Kaplan and Jeffrey Landman

After the success of Halloween 4, the producers started right away on a sequel and for being so quickly rushed this sequel hit all the right notes. Unlike 4 this film has some genuinely scary moments and is staged much more like a horror film than a action film. With a even better performance by Harris, especially since she cannot actually speak for much of the film. Cornell is back a, albeit briefly and Pleasance lets Loomis go completely mad in this film. The kills are all quite good and very bloody. It also seems that the director borrowed some visuals from films like Friday the 13th part 2. Like towards the end when Jamie discovers in the attic all the bodies of Michael's victims. It is a tense and scary film, and the only complaint I would make is the unnecessary addition of the man in black. This series has never needed to be explained as it works better with no explanation and that's what makes it all the more terrifying.
The plot basics are this, It picks up immediately at the ending of 4 and as the police shoot up Michael and he falls in a shaft and as they toss a grenade down there he escapes and flows down the river and is discovered by a mountain man. Michael rests for a year. We flash forward to a year later and Jamie (Harris) is in a children's care center and she now has a psychic link to Michael (Shanks), so whenever he does something she can feel it. Loomis (Pleasance) who has her under his care and he tries to force her to help him hunt down Michael. Michael is now tracking Jamie and killing everyone in his path and eventually Jamie agrees to help Loomis and they have their ultimate showdown with Loomis going berserk. It all leads to Michael finally being caught, but for how long?
This is a very well executed film. The direction by Othenin-Girard is done expertly. He uses the dark very well and establishes the kill scenes great. He also really can pull off scary scenes. The best example of this is the attack on Jamie in the laundry chute, by far my favorite scene in the film. It is very tense and harrowing. The script is good too, though it could have done without the man in black stuff, omitting that would have made this a much stronger film. But, the character evolutions of Jamie and Loomis are spot on and very compelling. The cast is great, Harris delivers an even better performance in this one, especially since she has to act out most of her scenes rather than vocalizing them. Pleasance really amps up the overacting in this one and it pays off in spades. Especially when he opens a can of whoop ass on Michael. Shanks is a great foreboding menace as Michael. The SFX are done by KNB and they do a great job, especially loved the pitchfork death scene. Alan Howarth does another superb job on the score, really fleshes out the horror of the film. This is a great film in the series and would be flawless except for the tacked on ending. If not for that, this series would have ended on a high note instead of leading into the next films idiotic idea of a conspiracy.
This one gets 4 out of 5

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