The Halloween 5 ending is somewhat abrupt and confusing on initial viewing, so here’s what happens in the final scene and who the mysterious Man in Black is supposed to be. Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers came out shortly after Halloween 4. The fourth installment was released to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the original and marked iconic slasher Michael Myers big screen return, following his absence from standalone entry Halloween III: Season Of The Witch.
Halloween 5 was given an immediate greenlight and started filming without a completed script. The original concept picked up from the disturbing ending of Halloween 4, where Michael’s niece Jamie stabs her adopted mother in a sequence reminiscent of the original. The initial idea for Halloween 5 was to feature both Michael and Jamie as killers, though it was later decided this was in poor taste. Another rejected concept featured Michael being resurrected as a gentle, Frankenstein’s Monster-style figure, with his former psychotherapist Dr. Loomis – who spent three movies trying to kill him – now trying to stop angry locals destroying him.
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Halloween 5 has telltale signs of a rushed shoot, including an unfocused storyline that fails to provide a clear protagonist for most of the movie. That said, the sequel is a good time with the right mindset. One element that bemused viewers back in 1989 was the introduction of the Man in Black, a mysterious figure who appears midway through the story for no clear purpose until he breaks Michael Myers out of jail in Halloween 5’s ending.
Most of the complaints about the Halloween 5 ending center on how abrupt it is, with the Man in Black suddenly appearing, killing every cop in the police station and vanishing with Michael into the night. It turns out the issues with this final scene can be traced back to the rushed production. The Man in Black character was actually created halfway through filming to help tie together some plot threads and also because franchise producer Moustapha Akkad wanted to create a hook for the next sequel.
Even the filmmakers weren’t exactly sure who the Man in Black was so it was kept vague. Director Dominique Othenin-Girard felt he could be Michael’s twin brother or alter ego, which is why Michael’s performer Don Shanks played both roles. The original opening of Halloween 5 also featured Michael being resurrected by a punk hermit with an occult ritual, who tattoos The Shape with the Thorn symbol seen on his wrist; the Man in Black has this same symbol, suggesting it linked them together. The opening was later reshot leaving the tattoo’s origins a mystery.
Despite the lingering mystery of the Halloween 5 ending, it took six years for the franchise to return with Halloween 6: The Curse Of Michael Myers. This installment revealed the Man in Black is actually Dr. Terrence Wynn, who ran the Smith’s Grove Sanitarium Michael escaped from in the original. Wynn is the head of the Cult of Thorn and marked Michael with a curse that drove him to kill his entire family and would grant the cult power. The Man in Black watches over Michael and that’s why he busted him out of the police station in Halloween 5.
Of course, Halloween 6 had the tricky task of taking the various loose ends from the Halloween 5 ending and trying to make sense of them. The answer didn’t prove very satisfying to longtime fans, however, with the Cult of Thorn being one of the most derided plotlines of the entire franchise. The franchise almost revisited the Man in Black character during early plans for Halloween 9, but it was later decided to remake the original with director Rob Zombie instead.
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