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Quick Daily Review #254: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Halloween 4 BoxHalloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1989)
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris, Ellie Cornell
Director: Dwight H. Little
Genre: Horror, Slasher
Released: October 21, 1988
MPAA Rating: R

 

Halloween 4 is the movie that brought the Halloween franchise into the same slasher-fest league as the movies that had imitated it. Whether or not that’s a good thing depends on how big a fan you are of these kinds of flicks.

John Carpenter had big Twilight Zone like ideas for the series, of which H4 was supposed to be a ghost story—but after the abysmal failure of the third entry in the franchise, the producers and Mr. Carpenter decide to give the masses what they want—more Michael Myers.

Never mind the fact that in the last scene of Halloween 2 we saw him get his eyes shot out and take out Dr. Loomis with him (this would be just the first of several Halloween ret-cons to come in later years) he’s back, because, well, just because.

Since there wasn’t enough moolah to bring back Jamie Lee Curtis, this time around Michael stalks a previously unknown niece named Jamie. This entry is truly Halloween on steroids. Michael Myers blows up a gas station, flips over a pick-up truck, wipes out a police force, and shuts off an entire town’s electricity.

The best scene in the movie is a killer roof-top stalking sequence that actually managed to be quite scary.

Donald Pleasance is full on meme-worthy in this one. Gone is the subtle (comparatively speaking anyway) restrained performance from the first film. In this movie he becomes an obsessed raving lunatic playing a game of cat and mouse with the monster he blames himself for letting back out into the world.

In the acting department, Ellie Cornel does a fine job as Rachel the babysitter, who was one of my favorites out of these movies growing up (she becomes the lead girl here by default since the actual lead is a child)—other than that it is your usual hodge-podge of sexed up twenty-somethings pretending to be teenagers.

George Wilbur played the Shape—and you can definitely see an inspiration in all the Halloween and Friday the 13th movies made after The Terminator (not counting recent remakes), as he is definitely more machine than man in this one.

3 Stars

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About William McPherson (382 Articles)
Professional freelance writer, who also writes blogs, reviews, and assorted nonsense at www.vortexeffect.net

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