Halloween 5 Review

The Film
Well I covered my opinion on Horror sequels quite well in my Halloween 4 review so I’m not sure how to start this one. Halloween 5 came about because the return to the formula in part 4 was such a big box office success. I have to admit when I popped this DVD in I was most surprised that I hadn’t seen the film before as I was sure I’d seen all of the sequels.

Part 5 follows on directly from part 4. It opens with the end of Part 4 and shows Myers escaping into a freezing river. Fast forward 1 year and poor old Jamie (Harris) is now mute due to her experiences last year (I felt pretty mute having watched them). Dr. Loomis (Pleasance) is trying to make contact with the girl, as she seems to have a connection with Myers. Meanwhile Myers is back in town and wants Jamie’s blood, which makes part 5 a bit of a rerun of part 4. As you can see the producers weren’t bold enough to take the series in a radical new direction after the ending of Part 4 and instead settled for the middle ground.

Fortunately this time there aren’t any dodgy vigilantes and the execution of the plot is fairly engaging. The main problems are the comic relief cop duo and the mysterious man in black. He is never explained and adds very little to the plot. Due to these elements the middle act of the film tends to drag. This time however the film has just the one climax and it is executed very well. As rehash horror sequels go this one has reasonable ingredients in terms of plot and script.

Technically speaking the direction seems much better this time round. There is a definite tension and the film has a slightly different “feel” to the previous films. This all helps the film and its central theme to seem a little fresher than it actually is. Don’t get me wrong, this is still derivative tosh for the most part, but it is handled well and is enjoyable to watch.

The acting is of similar quality to part 4. Danielle Harris and Pleasance are excellent as they were in 4. If anything Harris has improved and her performance as Jamie is one of the better child actor performances I have seen. The rest of the cast are predictable no talent knife-fodder.

Overall I disagree with the common held belief that 4 is better than 5. I prefer 5 because it seems different, it has a better third act and it is more watchable than 4. Halloween fans will of course lap this up; average horror fans may want to try before they buy.

The Disc
Again, as with part 4, this is released on Anchor Bay’s cheaper range of £9.99 discs. The packaging is very similar to the Halloween 4 disc and this time there are 26 chapters for the 97-minute running time. Again the menus are simple but in keeping with the film franchise.

The picture presentation is also very similar to part 4. The film is presented anamorphically in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The print used is clean with few blemishes. The picture seems slightly sharper than part 4. The black level and colours generally are just as good as part 4. The transfer itself is great with no extra artifacts introduced. Overall this is a great transfer given the age and source of the film.

I am beginning to sound like a broken record already but the sound options here are the same as part 4. Fortunately this time the results are more impressive. The original mono track is here and this time it doesn’t sound as if it was recorded in a concrete bunker. The dialogue is clear and the effects sound fairly crisp. The 5.1 mix here is also much better than the effort on 4. Rears are used well for atmospherics and music. The dialogue again is clear and crisp. Which track you go for is dependant on whether you prefer to hear the original soundtrack or a DD5.1 remix.

The extras are a similar story to part 4 despite the packaging seemingly promising more. Firstly there is a 15-minute documentary that is a retrospective documentary. It was shot at the same time as the documentary for part 4 and shares most of its strengths and weaknesses. There are good interviews with the cast and crew and again the standout is the interview footage with Harris. The only other extra is a bog standard trailer.

The film is certainly better than its immediate predecessor but it isn’t in the same class as Halloween. It suffers from the same clichés as 4 but handles them better. Fortunately this time round the disc is an improvement on its predecessor. The picture is slightly better and the extras are similar. However the sound this time is much improved. Whether you buy this or not depends on how much you love Halloween films or slasher films in general.

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Last updated: 19/04/2018 18:01:55

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