Halloween 4 ended with a rather promising twist that, had it been carried through, could have breathed new life into the franchise. Unfortunately, both the studio and producer Akkad nixed it.
The previous movie ended with the 8-year-old Jaimie reenacting Michael Myers’ first act of murder, which he committed when he himself was 8. In reading up on the production of this film, the original intention was to have Jamie turn evil just as he had, and being the central villain in this film. But the studio and producer wanted more Michael. I suppose that after having such success with Halloween 4, which revived the character who had been absent in the third film, they wanted to stick to the same formula.
And it is, indeed, a formula. Michael, we discover, escaped death in the previous film in something reminiscent of a 1930s Frankenstein movie. He fell down a well, then crawled through a cave to a river, where he was found by a kindly hermit who cared for him during his coma which lasted until Halloween of the following year. Once awake, he kills the hermit and mounts his escape from the shack, so that he can carry on his all-important stalking duties
Jamie, we learn, did indeed attack her stepmother, though it seems to have been non-fatal. The trauma left her mute, and for the past year she has been committed to a mental hospital for children. Rachel, her step-sister from the last movie, and Rachel’s friend Tina continue to visit her. They, along with their boyfriends, are the main target of Myers’ wrath, and we’re treated to the traditional scenes of Myers sneaking up on people when they are having sex and running them through with whatever pointy object is at hand. There has been little variation in his actions or methods over the course of the series.
Jamie, for some reason, has developed a psychic connection of Michael. She is able to see what he is about to do, though she is unable to communicate the information. Dr. Loomis, still on the trail of Michael, begs and pleads Jamie to help him find his former patient; though she is reticent for reasons that are never explained. Michael’s powers and resiliency have been growing with each passing film. That, along with the telepathy subplot, seems to settle, once and for all, the question of whether Myers is a genuine monster, or just a really determined man.
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers is a respectable entry into the franchise, though I miss what might have been had the producer had the courage to finish what was started at the end of the fourth one. Danielle Harris does a better job this time around; not being able to speak works to her strengths.
The Blu Ray from Anchor Bay is about equal in quality to Halloween 4, that is to say, as good as can be reasonably expected. This is an older, low-budget film. It’s reasonably sharp, even in dark scenes, but the colors are on the dull side. Extras include two commentaries and a making-of feature.