In my beloved horror genre, moreso than any other genre, there are icons. Characters who have come to define the genre as a whole and who will forever be linked to it. A nightmare on Elm St gave us Freddy Krueger. Hellraiser gave us Pinhead. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre gave us Leatherface. And Halloween gave us Michael Myers. In their own ways I love all of these legends, but I have always had a particular soft spot for Michael Myers. All of the other killers have to try so hard but Michael’s mission is and always has been effortless. And he does it with no one liners and the same expression on his white mask for every movie. At this point in time we have seen every Halloween movie hit Blu-ray except for the related-only-in-title Halloween III and the two related sequels that followed it 6 years later, parts 4 & 5. Well, Scream Factory is bringing us Part III in the fall, but Anchor Bay is giving us 4 & 5 right now.
Taking place 10 years after the events in the original Halloween (and released 10 years later as well), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers finds our killer, Michael, in a coma after the events in Halloween II. When he is transferred to another hospital, he overhears that he has a niece in Haddonfield and promptly escapes custody. In Haddonfield, Michael’s niece Jamie (Danielle Harris) is now living with her adopted family and getting ready to go out trick or treating with her sister Rachel (Ellie Cornell). Little does Jamie or any of the residents of Haddonfield know, their most famous past resident is back to kill Jamie and anyone who stands in his way. Jamie and Rachel end up enlisting the help of the local sheriff (Beau Starr) and Michael’s original doctor, Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance) to stop the murderous and masked killer before all of Jamie’s nightmares come true.
Halloween 4 is a really great, fun Halloween flick. Keeping the tense pace and scares made famous by the original film, Part 4 is a worthy sequel in every respect in my opinion. Danielle Harris is excellent here in the film that made her a horror icon herself right up to today. Her performance is part scream queen, part genuine creeped out kid. All of the supporting cast fill their roles nicely with no crappy performances to mess it up. The script is tight and fast paced, with plenty of scares and gore for Halloween fans. Donald Pleasance ups the camp even more than previously and is a joy to watch as well. Many fans seem to dismiss parts 4 & 5 but I find them to be consistently enjoyable along with the films that came before it, and I think they hold true to the feel of the originals as well.
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers picks up one year after the end of Halloween 4. Jamie is now in a children’s hospital and being treated by Dr. Loomis. She hasn’t spoken to anyone since the previous Halloween night. Michael Myers is also back, after biding his time until he has a chance to find Jamie. Once he tries to get to Jamie at the hospital, she flees with Dr. Loomis, hoping to lead Michael back to his old house and finish him off for good. But there is another mysterious newcomer to Haddonfield, someone who may know more about Michael Myers than anyone.
Halloween 5 is another underrated sequel. Again, the events are tightly conceived and well executed. The scares are plentiful and the story is interesting. Elements are introduced into the story that suggest Michael may have something to do with some sort of cult or religious group, but the questions are never really answered in this film. The set up was great, but the plot line was unfortunately ruined in the lackluster sequel 6 years later, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. Still, the elements of it in Halloween 5 really work and intriguing in terms of what the answers might have been had the story been followed up on properly. Nonetheless, Halloween 5 is a worthy sequel and a fun horror film that deserves to be watched, especially by fans of the original two films.
The Blu-ray transfers for both films are a nice upgrade from the previous DVD editions. While not displaying any of the HD ‘pop’ we are used to with new releases, the transfers are still a noticeable improvement overall. Black levels are decent; colors are a nice improvement as is overall detail and clarity. Especially during daytime scenes, the picture is much clearer with much more visible detail than the DVD ever displayed. Both films are definitely worth the upgrade price for fans of the series. Highly recommended.