Just one short year after Myers’ return in Halloween 4, the franchise came roaring back with Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. The second in the franchise to feature Jamie, the late Laurie Strode’s daughter, this film puts Jamie in a children’s hospital following her antics in the fourth film. Jamie no longer speaks and is haunted by the memory of Michael; she can also sense his location and actions. Rachel’s family has since left Haddonfield, but Rachel frequently visits Jamie at the hospital with her friend Tina. In a shocking turn of events, Myers survived the fourth film and returns to Haddonfield on Halloween for another round of stalk-the-niece and anyone else along the way.
My love for the fourth Halloween didn’t carry over to this film, unfortunately. For starters, Jamie ditched the clown costume and traded it for a princess costume, which wasn’t as creepy. More importantly, she can’t speak for a significant portion of the film which definitely detracts from the fear factor. Remember how I said children are honest and pure and viewers have no trouble fearing what they fear? Well, that’s tough to do when your child protagonist doesn’t talk and often gasps for air and seizes. I was also not a fan of her ability to sense and see Myers actions; it took the film down a supernatural road that didn’t seem to fit the overall theme.
Not only does this film have a much less riveting protagonist, but it adds the secondary character of Tina, who I could barely tolerate. While the actress did a fine job, the character was annoying and distracting. She didn’t contribute to the horror, she only made the film more painful to watch. Jamie is very close to Tina and the film obviously wants the viewer to feel a connection to her as well, but I struggled to even watch her. Tina also has a couple of other friends who get some bloody screen time, but their connection to the audience is negligible at best.
Halloween 4 reminds me a bit of Halloween 2 in that it repeats a story from its predecessor without enough variety to continue to be interesting. I love Jamie’s character and I enjoy watching her, but this film seemed almost like a rerun of Halloween 4, just with less exciting characters. The plot didn’t do her character justice and I definitely think the writers missed an opportunity to create something new and exciting between Jamie and Michael.
Let’s face it, a four out of ten for a horror film is not a bad review. In the land of horror, mediocre films are lauded. When I discover a movie that’s not truly a waste of space, I celebrate, even if it’s not Oscar worthy. But the point of Save Horror is to hold horror to a higher standard than it currently resides at. We, as viewers, should expect more from horror. I certainly expected more from Halloween than The Revenge of Michael Myers was willing to give. Little did I know this film is a dream compared to what follows...
If you liked Halloween 5, you might also like Halloween 6, Halloween H2O and Halloween Resurrection.