What is an ABC’s of horror without a Halloween movie, or four? I have a confession to make. The first Halloween movie I saw was part 5, The Revenge of Michael Myers. Thanks to a multitude of cousins, a voracious appetite to expand my knowledge of horror movies and a good old fashioned video store, I had no respect for order. Looking back now Halloween 5 was probably not the best place to start, but far better than hearing Busta Rhymes say “trick or treat motherfucker!” Halloween 5 is definitely a slasher film. Granted, an enjoyable one but a far cry removed from the original 1978 undisputed masterpiece. A douche tough-guy boyfriend, responsibilities abandoned for sex, an idiot prankster, a couple of keystone cops, crappy 80s dance moves, and the usual poor decisions threaten to make it typical 80s horror slasher fare. However, thanks to one of the great child actor performances Halloween 5 is elevated to, emphatically better typical 80s horror slasher fare. That actor was Danielle Harris. Danielle Harris’s first movie credit was Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and at only 11-years-old proved herself a fantastic scream queen or at least scream princess as Michael Myers niece Jamie. For me though Halloween 5 is where she hits her stride. She plays the opening act unable to speak and it heightens the terror greatly. Where other child actors are placed in a villainous role (Harvey Stephens in The Omen or Linda Blair in The Exorcist) Danielle Harris is strictly the victim and with some great acting, her fear is unequivocal. The lengthy scene in which she evades her murderous uncle in a laundry chute is one of the best scenes in all the Halloween series. The claustrophobia and terror on her face was enough for the MPAA to shorten the scene and remove the shot of her getting stabbed in the leg. The movie ends with a strange turn for Michael Myers when a mysterious stranger in black breaks him out of jail leaving Jamie whispering “No.” But Danielle Harris was not yet done with Halloween and our friend in the William Shatner mask… Danielle Harris went on to have several roles in television where her acting and comedic skills and voice acting improved. She talks shit to Bruce Willis magnificently in Tony Scott’s The Last Boy Scout – “YOU’RE SUCH A FUCKUP!” She made Steven Seagal talk tough to a doctor when Jamaican drug dealers tried to kill her (big mistake) in Marked for Death. And one of my favorites, “Let’s kick some ass,” from Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitters Dead. Almost two decades after her initial big screen debut, and a multitude of credits, Danielle Harris returned to the Halloween franchise with the 2007 remake directed by Rob Zombie. Her performance in the role of Annie Brackett is far removed from little Jamie Lloyd back in 1988. No more adorable clown or princess costume, but a sassy pants, ready-to-party-and-get-stabbed teen. Danielle Harris continues to act in smaller independent horror movies that are released with regularity including Hatchet 2, The Victim, and See No Evil 2. Child stars in horror movies are sometimes just as memorable as the villain. We all have a creepy kid we remember fondly, but Danielle Harris is one of the few horror film final girls that could pull off such a phenomenal job at an even younger age than her counterparts. Not the son of the devil, kid lost in the TV, or the telepathic kind. But a convincing, assured fantastic actress being stalked by one of the great iconic villains in horror film history. It’s a fitting bookend that she did it twice for Michael Myers. In the 80s she got away but in the 2000s after honing her craft even more, she had to come back to Haddonfield, and prove that on Halloween nobody gets out alive… Side note: After Wes Craven’s passing last year I asked myself: Why have I made zero effort to visit a horror convention? I live for this kind of thing and I had yet to experience the purity of being in the thick of it with like-minded individuals. And so, months later and pennies saved I found my way to “Texas Frightmare Weekend” in Dallas. If you too have yet to visit one of the many conventions that are offered, I promise it is worth your time. It was here that I met Danielle Harris. I was at first stunned by how gorgeous she was but I quickly reminded myself, “Holy crap! That’s Jamie! Michael Myers niece!” It was the briefest interaction but it was truly special to shake her hand and say the only words I could think of: “Thank you.” And I am the proud owner of a permanent Halloween decoration… Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.