So, in Halloween 4, the franchise returned to Michael Myers. And it was a somewhat decent return. And apparently did well enough that Halloween 5 was trotted out before the masses a short year later.
The surviving cast from the previous film are back to run an obstacle course of Michael related terrors. Spoilers are on their way…
As with the last movie, the film doesn’t resurrect Michael. Instead it shows us that he never actually died at the end of the previous film. When Myers was shot up and fell down a hole he crawled off right before they dropped explosives down after him. I supposed this is why no one thought it was important to go down and get Myer’s body. Myers is found by an old bum before going comatose. So the old bum keeps Michael alive (never removing his mask, apparently).
The film jumps forward a year to re-introduce us to little Jamie (Danielle Harris), Michael’s niece from the previous film. Remember how she had killed her step mother with a scissors? Apparently that was all just a tragic dream. The events of the previous year were so traumatic that Jamie no longer speaks and is being kept in a children’s hospital.
Her step sister Rachel (Ellie Cornell) visits with a friend Tina (Wendy Kaplan) who was not in the previous film, but apparently was close to Jamie for quite some time. Apparently, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) shows up from time to time, being creepy and intense. He does not believe Myers is dead. Afterall, he’s been in, like, three sequels now. He knows better. And so does Jamie. See, now she has a psychic connection to Michael. Poor kid.
So, of course, as Halloween nears, Michael Myers suddenly wakes up from his hibernation and kills the man who nursed him to health from all those bullet wounds. Gee, Michael has bad manners. But then, Michael has work to do, such as killing off survivors from the previous film. So, I guess you can’t blame him to just saying thanks to the old guy.
And yes, by survivors we primarily mean Rachel. DUH. Loomis and Jamie can’t die yet. Michael cuts through a ton of towns people after killing Rachel and managing to stay one step ahead of the police (The sheriff dealt with Michael in the previous film…so he is not a dummy who ignores the reckless teens and crazy doctors). At some point, we meet a guy in a pair of steel tipped boots and a trench coat (that’s all we really see of him). He doesn’t say anything, he just steps off a bus and we don’t ever see him for the rest of the film.
Loomis decides to use Jamie as bait and brings her to Michael’s old house (which, for having never been owned by new residents since the first movie? Looks like a completely different house). He sets a trap for Michael. Michael, of course is not so easily duped and gets past Loomis. But Loomis manages to lure Michael back out and drop a big metal net on him. Then Loomis appears to have a heart attack and dies.
Michael is taken into custody. As he sits alone in his cell there is the sound of gunfire and…OH YEAAAAAAH…it’s the guy who stepped off the bus, here to break Michael out of Jail. HOLY CRAP! Did not see that coming! WHAT’S NEXT?! The credits? Are you kidding me?
Now, it’s one thing to end on a cliffhanger when your next film comes out the following year-like say, the Lord of the Rings Films. But Halloween 6 didn’t get released until 1995. That’s a long time to make your fans wait for resolution. Okay, they probably did not intend for that long of a wait. But seriously, the ending is totally out of left field, especially for a slasher film.
This was a definite decline. Jamie is a more annoying character as a mute than as a screaming or crying child. Loomis is now obsessed with Michael in a really creepy fashion. Yeah, in the fourth one he was intense, but I never really saw Loomis as the time to put a child at risk. I did feel there was one really strong moment in the film. Myers has Jamie cornered in the attic and she asks him to take off his mask. And he does. It is bizarrely touching as the audience does not get a look at Michael, but his niece sees her uncle’s face for the first time ever. There is also a creepy moment where Michael is wearing a different mask (one that belonged to a guy he’s killed-Tina’s boyfriend) and driving a car with Tina believing it’s her boyfriend (this seems to happen a lot, women thinking Michael is their boyfriend). It’s one of the few really tense moments of the entire film.
On the other hand? It’s still better than Halloween 3.
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