A bunch of bullets and a mine shaft can’t stop our masked killer! Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers does what most sequels do and fails to cover new ground when the perfect setup homerun pitch was lobbed from the previous entry. Rushed into production, you can feel this one struggle with where to go next. Some solid gore effects from KNB with great turns from Donald Pleasence and Danielle Harris are the saving graces. Scream Factory gives Halloween 5 an impressive two-disc 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray offering a strong Dolby Vision transfer, excellent audio options, and some new and legacy bonus features to pick through. If you’re a fan of this one, it’s an easy upgrade - Recommended
We previously reviewed Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers on Blu-ray back in 2012. Read my colleague M. Enois Duarte’s Review.
After narrowly escaping an explosive final demise, the infamous Haddonfield mass murderer Michael Myers spends a year in a hermit’s shack recuperating. Meanwhile, Michael’s niece Jamie has been institutionalized after attempting to murder her stepmother while under Michael’s psychic influence. Now, on Halloween night, Michael awakens to unleash his reign of terror once again and Loomis has a daring plot to use Jamie’s connection with her uncle to his advantage.
Of the sequels, Halloween 5 is the one I waffle on the most. Some days I really dig this one and its gonzo approach to the franchise and how it starts to really work in the Druid plotline. Other times I feel it’s just a terrible movie that clearly didn’t know what it was doing or where it was going so it just spews out some clever kills to distract you. There are things I really liked and thought were interesting, others really not so much. It’s a jumbled mess of a movie indicative of a production that rushed to get in front of the cameras to meet a release date barely a year away.
Danielle Harris does a solid job for a child actor. This time around Jamie is basically left to carry the film as everyone else becomes stock cardboard stand-ins, killed off early, or reduced a sideshow attraction. Donald Pleasance has always been the franchise stalwart delivering his lines with gusto as he works overtime to stop Michael’s evil. Unfortunately for two-thirds of the film, he’s treated more as a crackpot goofball who can’t wait to pontificate. Thankfully he comes alive towards the end with a zany idea to stop his former patient but even then it’s a comically Scooby-Doo setup. After that, the end is once again one of the best parts of the movie; talk about a hell of a note to end on and leave fans hanging for seven years!
Making his U.S. debut as director and cowriting the script alongside Shem Bitterman and Michael Jacobs - Dominique Othenin-Girard just wasn’t the right choice for this movie. There’s little about this film’s style and presentation that feels connective to the past entries. It’s the Alien Resurrection of this series. It feels like someone guessing what a Halloween movie is without actually watching one and fully appreciating what made them tick. Othenin-Girard had the right pieces of the puzzle but crafted the wrong picture. People would have to be blind not to see a hulking Michael Myers slinking around their small house or practically standing right out in front of them in the park in full daylight. Then you get the whole mystery “Man in black” thing that just added another random thread that had to be tied up in the following film.
This, along with a couple of the other bad sequels, is one I pull out but once a year. While I sometimes really enjoy Halloween 5, this time out, I’m just not feeling the love. There are some good kills and some decent atmosphere, and again Harris and Pleasence are great, but every time those stupid clown cops showed up it made me want to gouge out my eyes and jab needles in my ears. Tina is a fun character but why does she have such a strong connection to a kid she’s not in any way related to? About the only good that came of this movie is that it links into Curse of Michael Myers which I hold to be a pretty damn good creepy sequel even if the last act is a goofy mess.
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Scream Factory gives Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers a new two-disc 4K UHD + Blu-ray Collector’s Edition. Housed in an eco-friendly two-disc case with reversible insert art reflecting the classic poster artwork, the whole set is packaged in a hard cardboard stock slipcase. Both discs load to animated main menus with traditional navigation options.
Making its 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray debut, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers offers up an improved but still troublesome Dolby Vision transfer. Part of the problem is an issue with the original photography and lighting of this overly bright film that every home video release has struggled with. Do you go dark and cool with the color timing or do you go warmer and embrace the brightness? The folks at Scream Factory went the latter route. While the overall results are far better than the old 2012 Blu-ray, the image can almost appear too warm and bright in a few places - more on that in a bit.
First, let’s dive into the positives. Details are miles away clearer and more appreciable this time around than past releases. Details in clothing, Loomis’ scar makeup, Michael’s mask - little textures are all greatly improved over the soft murky mess from 2012. This film has always had a more pronounced and noticeable grain presence and that’s retained here without any signs of DNR. Folks that hate the easy appearance of film grain are probably going to have a few words about it, but to my eye, it looks organic to the film. With Dolby Vision and HDR10 in play, primary colors get due attention - blue skies, red blood, and the smattering of yellows that show up offer some nice pop. Flesh tones are a more healthy pallet instead of a dull egg-white shade. Outdoor daylight scenes look terrific with nice healthy greenery.
Where some will probably take issue is the image takes on a warmer tone and a stop or two brighter than the 2012 disc. I don’t have a huge problem with this take, shadows and black levels are still strong and there’s some terrific image depth. A possible sticking point for some is the image loses some of the icy cool tones in a few places but picks them up in others. When Michael is in the barn holding the scythe, for example, Michael’s mask is a warmer almost orange/white in this transfer than the cool dull white of the 2012 disc. On the flip side of that color coin, when Michael is in the basement with Jamie trapped in the ductwork, Michael’s maks is now a much cooler white than the murky tan color of the 2012 disc. When Loomis encounters Michael on the stairs, the new transfer is a bit brighter but has better shadow details even though the tone of the 2012 disc is a bit darker and maybe a little more ominous feeling.
For my money, this is a very good transfer overall. I love all of the extra details this transfer brings out. I felt like black levels for the true key dark scenes like the Myers House basement or when Michael picks up Tina in her dead boyfriend’s car were spot on, nice and inky with great shadow separation. Image depth was terrific throughout. Whites could be a little hot in places but they were just shy of blooming or being overly problematicatic. That’s really my only complaint. There’s some slight speckling here and there, but that’s the worst of any element damage.
Fans of object-based audio mixes should be quite happy with the new Dolby Atmos mix for Halloween 5. Of the 2012 releases, I thought the old TrueHD 5.1 mix was pretty good. Maybe not the most active and a little too front-loaded, but it was much stronger than what Halloween 4 got saddled with. This new Atmos mix takes what worked for that old track and dials it up nicely spacing out elements into the height and sides without losing impact. Right from the getgo, the explosion above Michael as he splashes into the river offers full side, center/front, and height channel engagement. Several sequences throughout offered some great pinpoint effects. Michael bringing down that pitchfork from above and down into the center channel was effective. Again, like the Atmos track for Halloween 4, it may not always be active and engaging beyond adding some mood and atmospheric effects into the sides, but it’s pretty good stuff for the key slice and dice moments.
Next on the list is a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix that sounds virtually identical to the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix of past releases. It’s still pretty good for what it does, but again, it’s much more front-loaded making the mix as a whole feel pretty compressed.
Not as good as the Atmos mix, there’s also a solid DTS-HD MA 2.0 track that’s quite dynamic in its own ways. The soundscape may be a little narrow sounding, but at the same time, I felt like key effects and dialog was stronger overall than the 5.1 track. It’s a bit of a give and take there. You really can’t go wrong with either mix, but I’d put the Atmos at the top of the pack.
Dolby Atmos - 4/5
DTS-HD MA 5.1 - 3.5/5
DTS-HD MA 2.0 - 3.5/5
Scream Factory again has assembled a terrific collection of legacy bonus features. While most of these extras are ported from past releases, the really cool extra worth checking out is the reassembled Dr. Death Alternate Opening. This was the opening that just really didn’t work for the movie, but better establishes the whole occult and druid rune connection and where that silly Thorne symbol came from. It’s an interesting opening, but it’s easy to see why they cut it in favor of the mountain man.
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc
After they hit it out of the park bringing the infamous masked killer back from the dead, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers just doesn’t know what to do with itself. Rushed into production before a screenplay was even finished, there’s a lot of interesting ideas, and a lot of just bizarre decisions going on in this film. As a lower-tier sequel, it’s good for some mood and gory kills but long stretches are quite tedious and new plot points become very silly.
Scream Factory gives Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers a fitting first outing on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. The new Dolby Vision transfer is impressive offering a cleaner clearer image even if it may be a tad on the bright side. The new Atmos audio mix is an engaging outing and welcome step up. Bonus features are all pretty interesting but fans will want to check out the weird wild alternate opening! Halloween 5 may not be my favorite, but the completionist in me needs it for the collection. Recommended.