Aw, gee whiz, Mikey! You keep killin' folks. I should mention a weird MPAA thing about this movie. Halloween 5 seems to be the cheapest looking movie in the franchise so far. There is a lot of death and a lot of slaughter, but a weird amount of it happens off camera. I don't think that this movie was ever shooting for a PG-13, but it is way cheaper to kill someone off camera. It is still a very R-Rated movie. There's sex and pretty intense sex, but technically no nudity (or brief nudity at the worst).
DIRECTOR: Dominique Othenin-Girard
NO! No movie, you can't do this! You made a pretty bad Halloween 4 an absolutely terrible movie. Okay, this tends to happen to me. When I binge horror franchises, I get into the dregs and they make me mad at the whole franchise. That's not air to Dominique Othenin-Girard, who doesn't have a picture on IMDB. He was making part five in a series that really shouldn't have any sequels. He wanted to do something new (or maybe just the same) as the previous movies. Like many franchises that run way too long, Halloween has the problem when it tries too hard to meet expectations or tries too hard to subvert expectations. It's so odd that this has caused my opinion of Halloween II to rocket up the charts for movies I now kind of like. It did something different and that's what needed to happen. All this being said, The Curse of Michael Myers is stupid and I can't wait to talk about that.
I don't want to use the term "cinema sins" because those YouTube clips are absurd and they whine a lot. But Halloween 5 has let me down in a few ways. I'd like to talk about establishing a new precedent and then backpedaling as fast as you can to maintain the status quo. Part 4 offers one new thing. Jamie was going to be a new version of Michael. She murders her foster parent and is almost killed by Dr. Loomis because he knows that she will be the new Michael. Then the next movie says that Jamie failed at killing her stepmother. Also, she is now mute, but otherwise the same personality. It actually introduces a supernatural element to explain away the end of Part 4. We were all hoping to have murdering Jamie all over the place, but instead we get a character who doesn't really grow at all. She is still innocent, but now she can't communicate what she is seeing. She gets these powers that allow her to see through Michael's eyes. The second sight doesn't really contribute to the story in the way it should. Rather, it is kind of secondary. Introducing that fantasy element should come into play when fighting Michael Myers or change the way that the story is approached. But really, Halloween 5 is extremely by-the-books if you ignore the psychic element. Michael is still tormenting the folks (I was going to say "fine folks", but a lot of them are fairly terrible human beings) of Haddonfield. He is stalking a family member. Lots of people die in the intervals. Like, what else is there. There's nothing new because the filmmakers had to completely 180 an established premise. Were the producers really so afraid of the new dynamic that the fourth movie tried establishing? I think the Friday the 13th movies tried doing the same thing with Corey Feldman's character. This constant dipping-toes-in-the-water is only more frustrating to the grand scheme of things. Sometimes we just need something new. I think that the Terminator movies deal with the same thing. People want more of Michael ripping apart Haddonfield, but there has to be something that differentiates it from the other films. How I remembered this one? It's the one where Jamie can't talk for most of the movie and she can see through Michael's eyes. But is that something that I can tout as being a good movie? Nope, I more remember it for being kind of cheap looking.
I think the next thing is even worse. Horror / slasher movies love the old fakeout. Oh, you rascal. You keep playing jokes on the other characters. It's a pretty standard trope and I don't fault a movie for having these characters. I normally actually tend to like these characters. Sure, they die in the worst of ways, but they add a sense of silliness to a movie that could be considered way too serious considering the lack of depth in the movie. But this one really overdoes it. There is fakeout after fakeout in this movie. I think the same character pulls the same fakeout scare four times in a row. That's not fair. We get a little bit of the boy-who-cried-wolf so that, when the death actually happens, we don't care. Our goodwill is completely exhausted. On top of that, the jokes are insanely over the top. The jester character in this one dresses up like Michael Myers, has his girlfriends run out screaming during a manhunt for Michael Myers, and proceeds to try to stab them. The cops don't shoot because it would be a dark movie if they did. But then he continues to joke around like Michael Myers for a while. Gross, first of all. Then this also illustrates where the weaker elements of a movie are. The cops are meant to be slapstick jokey characters. I'm not going to mince words. There isn't anything funny about these characters. You want to make my hitlist for a movie? Do what Halloween 5 did. Put jokey music over unfunny scenes or scenes where someone fails to be funny. It makes the movie so much worse. The movie tries really hard to convince us that these moments are funny. They aren't. Having the fakeouts in conjunction with comedic characters that don't work just spell death for this movie. Pun intended.
Dr. Loomis is just all over the place with this movie. He comes up with really weird theories on how to defeat Michael Myers. I don't know if Donald Pleasence wanted out of the series (only to return in The Curse of Michael Myers), but it is really ambiguous if he survived this movie or not. Apparently he did, but it looks like he died. Man, Dr. Loomis and Michael Myers might be equally unkillable. But his plan at the end is such a half plan that I'm kind of surprised the movie ended that way. SPOILERS: Loomis abandons Michael in the woods with the entire police force to lure him to the Myers house. I kind of like the idea of making the final set piece where it all started. It's a trope that works. But that's the extent of the plan. There's no magic or sorcery that happens. Instead, he lightly Home Alone booby traps one room. That's it. He puts a metal net in one room. Not even Michael's room. Then it becomes this big trip through the house. And on top of that, Michael has apparently been decorating the house with corpses that no one seemed to notice. Going back to it all, it reminded me of Friday the 13th again. There's the shrine to Jason's mother and that's what's happening again. Why is all of this happening? Jamie crawls into a coffin to die? I don't get it. I mean, it works. But the house doesn't even contribute to the overall success of the plan. It just is there. Like, it's a great set piece. I get the creative why. But the narrative why doesn't make a lick of sense. Then there is the resolution. It is super cool. Michael has torn his way out of a police station. But he is like the Juggernaut in that scene. Why doesn't Michael act like that all of the time? It feels like a haunted house or a ride at Universal Studios. "Wander your way through the Haddonfield Police Station". Yeah, it's cool, but it doesn't exactly match the damage that Michael unleashes through the movie.
I'm almost done with with the really rough ones in the franchise. I hear that Resurrection is plain awful. But it is awful different, probably. I'm almost excited to review The Curse of Michael Myers because that movie stinks so hard, but is so '90s that I want to gag on a spoon.
Film is great. It can challenge us. It can entertain us. It can puzzle us. It can awaken us.
Mr. H has watched an upsetting amount of movies. They bring him a level of joy that few things have achieved.