Blu-ray Review: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

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Distributor: Anchor Bay / Starz

Release Date: 21/Aug/2012

Region: A

Length: 97 min

Video: 1080P (MPEG-4, AVC, 30 Mbps)

Main Audio: English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD (48 kHz, 1.5 Mbps)

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Ratio: 1.85:1

Notes: The film has also been given a few DVD releases.

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“John Carpenter created the idea of Halloween, so his vision remains the most focused and intelligently directed.” -Donald Pleasence

Focus is certainly lacking in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. The previous entry set up many interesting possibilities for the fifth installment, but the creators of Halloween 5 failed to take advantage of them. The film is considered by many fans to be one of the weaker entries in the series and they may very well be right. Few will argue that this is a wonderful film.

The script simply threw away too many opportunities. Rachel (Jamie’s stepsister and a Halloween 4 survivor) is killed in the first act of the film and is replaced with a new character named Tina. Tina carries much of the action in the film and even sacrifices herself in order to save Jamie. Wouldn’t it have worked better to allow Rachel to carry this action and sacrifice herself for her stepsister? Also, why complicate the story with a mysterious man in black? His presence doesn’t serve any reasonable purpose and only manages to distract the audience. Most of the ideas in the film simply don’t work. It is usually not advisable to change or add to the established lore of a series and this entry is a good example of what can happen when this basic rule is ignored.

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The Presentation:

3.5 of 5 Screams

Anchor Bay packages the discs in a standard Blu-ray case with reasonably attractive artwork.

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The animated menu showcases the Halloween theme with footage from the film and is nice enough. 

Picture Quality:

3.5 of 5 Screams

The discs transfer is slightly better than the one that Halloween 4 received and is a significant improvement over the film’s DVD transfer. The transfer offers much improved resolution and the detail is a vast improvement. Colors are vibrant and skin tones are even and well balanced. Posterization becomes an issue in a few places, but not to a distracting degree. Blacks can look washed out at times, but shadow detail is usually nice with deep blacks. Contrast is also reasonably rendered on most occasions. Grain is evident throughout, but is never overbearing (and would be inherent in its source material). There is an overall softness to the image that likely stems from the source, but does make for a slightly less impressive image in high definition.

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Sound Quality:

3.5 of 5 Screams

The lossless 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack is also better than the one on the Halloween 4 Blu-ray. The sound has better dynamic range and is spread throughout the channels in a more natural and engaging manner. The mix includes a few directional effects that are well realized and the overall sound seems well balanced. Dialogue is consistent and clear throughout the track. While the mix will not compare to more recent releases (or even to more expensive re-masters of older films), it is certainly more than adequate.

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Special Features:

3.5 of 5 Screams

The “making of” featurette (which was included on DVD editions of the film) was not ported over to this Blu-ray disc, but fans are given more supplemental material than one might expect to find on such a release.

Audio Commentary with Don Shanks (moderated by Justin Beahm) – [Blu-ray Exclusive] 

Don Shanks discusses his experience playing Michael Myers in this interesting commentary that covers a variety of topics.

Audio Commentary with Dominique Othenin-Girad, Danielle Harris, and Jeffrey Landman

Director Dominique Othenin-Girad discusses the production with actors Danielle Harris and Jeffrey Landman in this interesting commentary. This is the perfect track for fans because listeners hear first hand about some of the questionable story choices. Discussed are such issues as the Meyers house, the man in black, the infamous tattoo, and the psychic connection between Jamie and the shape. While Dominique Othenin-Girad’s reasoning might not be very sound, it is at least nice to know why certain story choices were made. This is probably the stronger of the two commentaries.

Halloween 5: On the Set – (16:16) – (480p)

This vintage VHS gives viewers a glimpse of the cast and crew as they were shooting the film. There are also a few short interviews with some of the cast members. The footage should delight series fans.

Halloween 5: Original Promo – (5:50) – (480p)

This is a standard EPK promotional featurette, but it is interesting to see a few vintage interviews with key cast members.

Original Theatrical Trailer – (0:36) – (480p)

This is an unusually short theatrical trailer for the film. It is interesting to see how the film was marketed to audiences.

Final Words:

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers is not the most loved entry of the series, but fans will be glad that this Blu-ray release is a significant upgrade and should enjoy the supplemental material provided.

 Review by: Devon Powell