on August 27, 2007
This film is one of my absolute favorites from any genre. Like most sequels, it is simply a variation on the themes of the original. The Bogeyman stalks his victims, and Dr. Loomis stalks him, resulting in a 'triangular' hunt, of sorts. Of course, all of this is set against the backdrop of Halloween. What I find particularly appealing about this movie is that it fits comfortably within the confines of the series, yet still manages to be distinctive, as well. It is possessed of an aura that sets it apart from the other Halloween movies. However, it is still powerfully anchored to the essential elements of the original.
Perhaps my favorite dimension is the triangular hunt to which I have already alluded. For me, what sets Michael Myers and Dr. Loomis apart from typical villains and heroes is that neither of them derive their motivation from conventional human agendas.Myers, for example, is not driven to evil by any petty human frailty. He lives out what he is, and each action is its own reward. The same is true of Loomis. He knows, all too well, that, come what may, he has nothing to gain by stalking his patient. He has seen enough of Haddonfield to know that, no matter how much he may sacrifice, the best he can expect is to be misunderstood. He perseveres, knowing that he is risking his life for people who will never appreciate him, because this is who he is.Myers and Loomis share a bond that has been forged within the confines of the shadows.After all, the local police would suffice if all you wanted to do was to catch a shoplifter or routine hoodlum. But to combat the Bogeyman, a creature of the shadows, you need a hero who is equally at home in those solitary, dark places.
Halloween 5 makes use of the same devices that you find in the other films. The extensive cat-and-mouse scenarios, for example, with Michael Myers always just on the perimeter of the primary action. The part, early on, when he patiently stalks
Rachel in her house, is effective. The following sequence, featuring Tina in the exact same house a few minutes later, is even better. That moment, when she lifts the needle off of the record, and gazes around as if listening, as if she's not QUITE sure if everything's alright........and upstairs, when she decides to wait in one of the bedrooms, and notices the shattered picture.....The film captures the feel of an empty, silent house in the middle of the day.......This stillness, this deathly silence........taken in concert with the audience's knowledge of what had transpired in the house just moments before.......this contrast evokes a powerful sense of mystery, of dread, of menace. She's not truly afraid yet, but comes across as vaguely UNSETTLED. This whole segment, at Rachel's house, works to PERFECTION. But my favorite sequence of this type happens later in the film, when the kids are in the old barn. This is perfectly lit, and perfectly paced, with Myers displaying all the patience of a master hunter as he silently watches his prospective victims. All the individual elements are present......the dark, enclosed environment(the barn is a veritable labyrinth).......The happily oblivious victims.......... Halloween night.........The Bogeyman.....who spends most of this scene silently watching. Once he DOES decide to act, the culmination is immediate and brutal. These are some of the most effective slayings in the history of slasher films. As usual with onscreen violence, the sound is as important, if not more so, than the sight. When Michael Myers murders this young couple(as with Tina later on), you can almost FEEL the physical impact of the brutality.
The barn sequence is one of my favorite scenes in any slasher movie. There have been other great 'stalking' sequences in the annals of slasherdom. But none as substantial, or as elaborate-or, ultimately, as effective-as this one. 'Elaborate?' This particular sequence can be broken down into FOUR individual segments. It's like a slasher 'short film' unto itself. First, Tina finds herself isolated in the back of the barn.......then Sami finds herself cut off from the rest of the group in similar fashion.....then we have the erotic encounter between Sami and her boyfriend......(I don't go to horror movies for eroticism, but this scene is about as effective as it gets.....although I think Sami would be erotic doing pretty much ANYTHING).....and then, finally, the moment where the Bogeyman ends their romantic encounter....in decisive fashion. Each of these individual segments is magnificent, in its' own right. Taken in their entirety, they are unforgettable.
Simply put, if you appreciate the 'cat and mouse' element to the slasher genre, this is the film for you. Halloween 5 takes the concept and elevates it to the level of an art form. All things considered, I don't think I've ever seen it done more effectively. Not even in the original Halloween, which set the standard. Whether it's the ambience of the silent stalker, always on the periphery.........or the brutish power in the moment of slaughter........there IS no greater embodiment of the slasher mythos than Halloween 5.
The last half of Halloween 5 contains several of the greatest moments in the series.The car chase through the field, and the tragic death of Tina. Tina had her idiosynchrasies, but she did, ultimately, give her life for the little girl. This lends her death an emotional resonance that one does not ordinarily find in a slasher film. Michael Myers has never seemed any more inexorable and cruel than in this moment, where he buries that kitchen knife deep in the chest of the young heroine. The scene is brutal, and tragic, and beautiful, all at once. The slaying of Tina may very well be the finest such moment you'll encounter in ANY slasher movie. The final major segment, at the Myers' house, is incredible. The part where Jamie gets trapped in the laundry chute, with Michael Myers standing right beside it, is as suspenseful as anything dating back to the first film. The little girl frantically tries to scratch and claw her way back up the chute to safety-struggling with all her might to get a foothold, or some sort of traction-and, all the while, the hulking figure of the Bogeyman is only inches away, hacking furiously through the thin metal with his huge butcher knife. It is an inspired moment.
And, as always, Loomis rises to the occasion yet again. He overcomes the effects of a terrible knife wound to do battle with Myers once more.Considering his age, and the circumstances, and the fact that he takes the Bogeyman down with brute force this time-it may well be Dr. Loomis' finest hour.
There are other strong elements to be found here. The cinematography is beautiful and imaginative. There are lots of great shots where the murky darkness of the backdrops are offset perfectly by the bright crimson tones of the girls' costumes.Little Jamie's costume is used to even more vivid effect. It is possessed of a luster that makes her seem like a little sparkling amethyst cloaked in the darkness of night. The music is effective. There is a particularly nice touch at the point, about halfway through the film, where Loomis enters the Myers house. If you listen closely, you can hear gentle strains of the same music that was played when Loomis entered the Myers house in the original 'Halloween.' It adds a little nostalgic touch to the proceedings. The musical score is magnificent, and goes a long ways towards crafting a vivid aura of late October. There is more of the feel of the harvest season in the Heartland in this film than in any of the others in the series. On a more superficial note, I don't know when I've seen three such gorgeous women assembled in one movie. Rachel and Tina make a nice contrast, with Rachel being the ideal girl-next-door type, and Tina being somewhat more exotic looking.Which brings us to Sami. If I had to list the five best looking women I've ever seen, Sami would be on the list. She is a goddess.
There has been a lot of criticism directed at the more controversial aspects of this movie. The man in black,for example, or the two dumb cops. While I could certainly do without these characters(especially the cops) their presense is kept to a minimum. Out of an hour and forty minute movie, they are only onscreen for a couple of minutes. Some have been critical of the way that the Myers house has been transformed, or the way that Michael's mask looks. I simply look upon these things as this particular director's interpretation. At the end of the day, such inconsistencies have popped up throughout the series. They are no more severe in this edition than in any of the other Halloween films.
People often speak of having seen a movie 'hundreds' of times. Of course, I don't know how often they are exxagerating. For myself, there are only four movies that I have seen into the triple digits, and they all have 'Halloween' in the title(1,2,4,and 5.)These movies monopolize my imagination like nothing ever has. In this case, the special features are reasonably good, as well. I loved this movie from the first time I saw it, and I appreciate it more with the passage of time.
on July 14, 2004
this is clearly the best of the sequels, simply for the fact that it has the most memorable ending of the halloweens, and has its most endearing character, jamie. Yeah it has its flaws, but so do all movies, and these movies should only be judged by those who at least like horror movies. now what sets 5 apart is the atmosphere, it seems so much more like actual halloween then all the others, and has a much darker coloration than the others. 4 has many of the same elements as 5, but 5 just brings you more into the action with jamie all alone without rachel.
now, also u have to consider the other sequels before immediately saying this movie is bad. look at part 2, totally flawed and michael just magically gains superhuman abilities ex. pushing the nurse's head in boiling water, that burns her flesh away and leaves him perfect! now part 3, thats just a sad joke, enough said. 4 reasonably good but with lots of flaws about how michael and loomis are even alive, but overall good, and from what i've heard, the highest grossing of the sequels. part 6, psh, just trash! all new characters, except loomis, and that sad excuse for an actress trying to be danielle harris as jamie. (killing off jamie just made me hate the movie from the start) but it just introduces too much supernatural elements that make little sense and just overall blows. no wonder they made H20 leave that realm and make up a new, even gayer universe, where 4,5,and 6 do not exist. let H20 rot in hell for all time, the hands down worst sequel, not counting the sad excuse of part 3. the least deaths, the least action, the least sense-making plot, and just stupid to bring in a son now instead of jamie, as her daughter. uhg! i hope others realize how wrong H20 is! and last but not least, resurrection aka part 8; the movie that gave me hope in sequels for this series. entertaining is basically all it is, with some actual scare factor. the storyline is decent for getting others (non family related people) for michael to go after. though the writers are kind of dead-ended with this one, no one to really pursue now, but still, if this is the last, let it go out like this, than with H20!
now with all this taken into consideration, any halloween fan should agree, 5 is the best sequel to this series and the combo of jamie, loomis, and michael, will always be the best mix for halloween. if u do not agree, i am sorry, but that's how it is.