THE LAIR EXPERTS
Matt: 'Halloween 5' had the potential to be a very good sequel, but the producers fell short in many ways. The story should have picked up right where the fourth film ended, not a year later. This would have given it the same continuity as the first two films, especially given the fact that they were filmed so closely together. In addition to that, they continued to screw up the look of Michael's mask. Why couldn't they just get another pale-faced Shatner mask and be done with it? Is it that difficult?
The storyline does continue on with Michael after his niece Jamie, who the returning Danielle Harris played very well. She channeled her inner Jamie Lee Curtis and was able to convey so much emotion without speaking much while in a state of catatonia (much like Curtis in 'Halloween II'). Donald Pleasence also returned as Dr. Loomis, but this time seemed to be more of a supporting character than the vital persona he played in the previous entries. Donald Shanks, cast as the new Michael Myers, did a less than admirable job. He lumbered around town at times, and he was not able to exude the grace of Nick Castle or even George Wilbur for that matter, which is probably why they went back to him for the sixth film. The kill scenes are definitely worth mentioning, as they were some of the best and most creative in the series. I like the direction they took in getting Michael away from his classic butcher knife and using more of what was readily available around him, particularly at the Tower Farm. That whole barn backdrop provided some of the most memorable and scary 'Halloween' scenes.
The supporting cast was not nearly as strong this time around, and why they killed off Rachel (Ellie Cornell) so fast is beyond me. She was a key character in the fourth film, and would have been just as important in this one protecting Jamie. Certainly better than Tina (Wendy Kaplan), who became more annoying as the film went on. How could she not tell that was not her boyfriend driving that car with the goofy mask on? Typical 80s airhead that almost deservedly gets hacked up, and whose death was almost cheered for. Sheriff Meeker (Beau Starr) was the lone bright spot, portraying the Sheriff very effectively. The way Meeker was in this film was exactly how they should have had Brackett in 'Halloween II'. He was out for vengeance after his daughter's death, and that brought the best out of Starr and the character.
Alan Howarth again returns as the music man of the film, producing equally bad results. He duplicates what he did in the fourth film, which wasn't much. He again does not make enough use of the 'Halloween' theme until the end, as well as the other key scores that Carpenter perfected in the past. Instead, he recycled a lot of his own score from 'Halloween 4', with some similar-sounding keys tossed in for good (bad) measure. There were also some additional songs thrown in that were absolutely horrible, but I do give them credit for trying to supplement Howarth's score in some way (or maybe to make us forget how bad it was?) Either way, neither the score nor its supporting music do any justice to the film whatsoever.
Overall, it wasn't a bad film, but I was very disappointed with the ending, first with Michael put in jail (what the hell was that about?), then later with the Man In Black ending that set up the Curse of Thorn storyline in the sixth film. 5 out of 10.
A.J.: At first, I really hated this movie, but I learned to love it after a while and accept it as a true Halloween classic. Of course, there's the fact that it continued where Part 4 left off, but the events didn't happen on the same Halloween, so the movie proved it could stand on its own and earn a 7 from me. 7 out of 10.
Joseph: 'Halloween 5' was hurriedly put into production, and it shows. There were some great ideas, but the rushed schedule didn't leave much time for development. On the plus side, this was one of the most atmospheric sequels, and it did set up the sixth film nicely. Sadly, the six-year gap made it hard to recall all the nuances of the previous entry. 6 out of 10.
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