Serial killer Michael Myers (Don Shanks) has finally been tracked down to the outskirts of Haddonfield, and after looking as if he will manage to kill his own nine-year-old niece, Jamie (Danielle Harris), the cops gun him down, with the body falling down a ridge. But Myers escapes the ensuing explosion by tumbling into the river, and though injured floats downstream to rest by the bank where he clambers out and stumbles away to be found by a hermit living nearby. There he stays, recuperating for a whole year, as in the meantime Jamie causes great concern - stabbing your foster mother will do that...
Halloween 5 was shot back to back with Halloween 4, hence some of the cast returning for another go here, and the footage from the climax of the previous instalment reused for the opening to this one. Whereas part 4 had been strictly run of the mill, here there were attempts to inject more off the wall elements into what by this time was a tired concept, not that it had stopped the eighties slashers coming. So here, as with the contemporary Friday the 13th sequel, a psychic link was thought up for the main character between her and Michael, trying to revitalise what had become very average in execution.
No pun intended. Well, maybe a bit, because here the executions were a little gorier and more novel than what had gone before, but aside from that those newer concepts didn't play too well, with Jamie's ESP doing nothing to enhance the basic storyline that the filmmakers could not get away from: Michael Myers wanders the night of Halloween, murdering people. The John Carpenter original had become such an archetype that meddling with the formula was likely to bring down the wrath of the fans, who were the main audience and gave the impression that they would have paid good money to see anything with this fictional mass murderer in it.
That regardless of how innovative the movie was, or as in this case, how downright unimaginative it was being. One year after the events in part 4 and Jamie is still in a psychiatric ward, unable to speak and subject to seizures that our old friend Doctor Loomis (Donald Pleasence, back again) thinks he can get to the source of. He, in his increasingly unscientific fashion, has come to believe that Myers is the embodiment of evil in a more supernatural sense, which might explain why he keeps coming back as evil tends to do. Nevertheless, Loomis does have his own pet theories about how to get the better of the hulking maniac, and they include luring him back to his old house in Haddonfield.
Seeing as how Michael is drawn to the area anyway, perhaps this isn't quite the inspired choice that Loomis thinks it is, and before you get a chance to wonder, hey, why has the Myers' home become a mansion? the plot has begun to bring the characters together in earnest. They include Rachel (Ellie Cornell), also returning, although not for long as if to say, yeah, we're willing to bump off anyone this time - anyone except Michael, that is, you don't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. In addition, there were a selection of new potential victims to be menaced, including Wendy Kaplan as Rachel's best friend Tina who looks set to be our new final girl, but then there's someone we've forgotten. That's Jamie, as Harris put in what was a surprisingly good performance for the traditionally unpromising "kid in a horror flick"; she's not enough to make this must-see material, but she did make it less of a chore to sit through than it might have been. Same goes for Pleasence, although the ending which set up a sequel even the writers hadn't planned was far from satisfying. Music by Alan Howarth.