Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers (1988)

Hi, I’m Adam and here we are, October 1st 2018. Another year, another 31 Days Of Horror – and to kick off, I’m starting with Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers!

You’re probably wondering why I’ve just jumped in on number 4 – that’s because or the past two years I’ve been watching and reviewing horror movies every day in October as part of my blog, over at www.ap-tyler.com, where I got a bit trigger happy in the first year and reviewed Halloween 1 and 3, because, damnit, Halloween 3 is the best of the lot. Anyway, if you want to read my earlier reviews – you can find the link down the bottom. Okay? Okay.

It’s October 30th, 1988. Ten years after the dreaded babysitter murders of the original Halloween, and ten years since Michael Myers was exploded at the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. Despite being comatose for the last decade, Michael is stirred to life after he hears Laurie Strode has died, and is survived by her daughter, Jamie. Breaking free, Michael sets off to Haddonfield to kill his niece – for some reason.

On his trail is Dr Loomis, once again played by Donald Pleasance, who apparently survived his incineration with only minor cosmetic damage. Obsessed to the point of insanity, Dr Loomis follows a trail of corpses back to Haddonfield, where he begs the local Sheriff for help.

Jamie, meanwhile, is in the care of her foster sister, Rachel. Haunted by visions of Michael, Jamie is desperate to live a normal life, and convinces Rachel to take her trick-or-treating on Halloween. As all the players move closer, things take a dramatic turn as the characters are forced to hole up in the Sheriff’s home, watching desperately for Michael to return…

Halloween 4 seems like an obvious attempt to bring the spirit of the original back into the series after the failed experiment of 3. And yet, despite that, it just feels.. kinda bland. From the moment we reach the house, things pick up again, but until that moment the film just feels like a television movie – or, worse still, a soap opera. Suspense is replaced with plodding inevitability, and the whole thing just feels like an exercise in patience. Logic, too, flies out of the window as Michael appears to have developed the ability to just be somewhere else – often just appearing in different parts of the town as the plot demands – sometimes even taking the time to dye his hair.

That said, Halloween 4 feels like the plot of what should have been Halloween 2. It is a nice follow up to the original story, despite the role of Rachel being a fairly obvious shoddy stand in for Laurie Strode. Oh! And you know what? I’m calling it now, best ending of the series. It’s worth it just for that. Give it a go and you’ll see what I mean.

Anyway, see you tomorrow.


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