Horror Movie Review: Phantasm V: Ravager (2016)

The fifth & final (as of now) Phantasm movie was released in 2016, 18 years after the phenomenal Phantasm IV: Oblivion. Amazingly, all the series regulars return. A. Michael Baldwin, Reggie Bannister, Bill Thornbury & Angus Scrimm all reprise their roles, the only difference this time being a change in director. Don Coscarelli handed the reigns over to David Hartman but stayed on as a producer & writer.

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You can read our reviews of the first 4 movies below:

1979 – Phantasm
1988 – Phantasm II
1994 – Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead
1998 – Phantasm IV: Oblivion

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Phantasm V: Ravager opens with series favourite, Reggie (Reggie Bannister) running through a desert still on the trail of Mike (A. Michael Baldwin) & the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm). After getting his car back (in an great scene) from a thief, Reggie is chased by a pair of the Tall Man’s spheres.

He fights them off & then surprisingly wakes up in a hospital.

Mike is there & claims that Reggie has been there for some time as he suffers from dementia. To say Reggie is surprised is an understatement & all his claims about the Tall Man are meet with cynicism.

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Get used to this. Phantasm V jumps dimensions & time-zones with no clear explanation. One minute we’re with Reggie in a modern-day hospital, another time he is lying in a bed in the 1800s next to a dying Jebediah Morningside (Angus Scrimm) & another time he will be battling the Tall Man’s minions in a decayed & dystopian future.

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It can be very confusing but comes together in such a brilliant & comforting way that you just have to sit back & applaud the effort put in. Phantasm V, as a conclusion (sort of) to the series, is so satisfying. Being back in this world, with these characters & seeing just how far they have all come is just amazing.

Sure, some of them are looking a tad old now (Angus Scrimm with die in 2016) but the characters feel as fresh as they did in 1979.

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The relationships between all these characters, we as viewers share. Their journey is our journey & Phantasm V ties up many loose ends well. We finally get an explanation (along with a great visual) about the Tall Man’s in-ability to die, we finally see just what his end game is & we finally see him realise that Reggie is more than just a pain in the butt.

Action packed with plenty of gore, Phantasm V mixes sci-fi with horror perfectly. It feels fresh but it still feels like a Phantasm movie.

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The movies biggest flaw relates to just how cheap it looks, the CGI is laughably bad at times & the camerawork comes across amateurish.

Visuals aren’t everything though. Phantasm has always been about family, the love between brothers and friends. On that front, Ravager is an incredible success & it’s final scene is one of the most emotionally fraught & devastating endings in horror.

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Watch this movie, but only after you’ve watched the first 4. That is what will make you care about the characters. A journey that started 1979 & ended in 2016.

Phantasm V: Ravager
  • 8/10
    The Final Score - 8/10
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