Just like all the major slasher franchises, the Halloween series has been all over the place. Most start off strong, like the 1978 original, but by the middle, they’re running out of ideas and try, desperately, to inject some fresh blood into a dying property. Friday the 13th tried it when they swapped main villain Jason Voorhees out for a spurned ambulance driver in the fifth installment, A New Beginning, Freddy Krueger pursued a Dream Child for a few films and, for Halloween 5, Jamie Lloyd was almost the new killer.
As we’re all aware, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers had the second-best ending of any movie in the franchise. Dr. Loomis breaking down and shrieking “No!” over and over again after seeing a blood-covered Jamie Lloyd wielding a pair of scissors, repeating the cycle of violence that will forever curse the Myers bloodline, is devastating every time. In fact, it’s become a personal meme to my close friend.
But it also had the purpose of setting up future installments to follow the Jamie/Dr. Loomis feud. However, series producers, following the negative reaction to Halloween 3, decided never to abandon Michael again and ditched the idea post-haste.
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That decision retroactively hurts Halloween 4 quite a bit. Jamie grabbing Michael’s hand before he’s shot to hell and back while being sent down a mineshaft was meant to be a symbolic representation of the passing of the murder torch, for lack of a better term, between uncle and niece. I guess murderous rampages skip a generation? But the dumb psychic link that replaced Jamie’s actual villainy in Halloween 5 is lame and serves to push the fifth installment into “worst of the franchise” territory, just like Friday the 13th: Part V.
To be fair though, as much as I love Danielle Harris, I don’t think Halloween would be the same without good ol’ Ghost Shatner behind the wheel of the murder bus, ya know? After all, Michael’s too entwined with the series’ identity to ever fully move past the specter he leaves behind. The Shape is eternal, folks.