Horror Movie Review: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)


Everyone…look whose back?

After being shot, blinded, blown up & set on fire Michael took Halloween 3 off…probably a wise decision in hindsight.

I have to mention that I have never seen Halloween 4, 5 & 6. My excitement about watching fresh Michael Myers stuff is fairly obvious.

It’s been 10 years since Michael Myers cut a bloody path to Laurie Strode in Haddonfield before being involved in a fiery explosion at the end of the 2nd movie. Myers didn’t die in the fire but has been in a coma for 10 years. On the night he is being transferred to another hospital & he overhears 2 paramedics saying he has a niece in Haddonfield. Michael wakes up in the back of the ambulance & kills the paramedics.

H4 - Thumb

Dr. Loomis (still played by Donald Pleasance) also didn’t die in the resulting explosion (although he bears some scars as a result) finds out about Michael’s escape & sets about hunting him down knowing he will be heading to Haddonfield.

H4 - Donald

Stopping at a gas station on the way Loomis finds the bodies of some of Michael’s victims before running into the killer himself. Before Loomis can shoot him Michael escapes destroying Loomis’s car & knocking down a load of telephone poles (conveniently stopping any contact with Haddonfield).

Meanwhile in Haddonfield, Michael’s niece, Jamie is living with her foster family & having bad dreams about Michael, the bogyman but she doesn’t understand them. In Haddonfield it is common knowledge that Myers is her uncle & she is teased about it at school. On the night of Halloween Jamie’s foster parents are going out forcing her foster sister, Rachel to look after her.

H4 - Michael's Niece

To cheer Jamie up Rachel decides to take her trick or treating & they go to buy a costume. Michael has arrived in Haddonfield & is on the lookout for a mask. The costume store is where Jamie & Michael first meet as she picks out an outfit exactly the same as the one young Michael wore the night he killed his sister. For the record I loved this!

With Michael now in town & night beginning to fall the deaths begin to mount up. Michael is way less subtle then previous & sets about slaughtering everyone in sight. Dr. Loomis arrives, teams with the local sheriff & they set about trying to find Jamie & stop Michael once & for all.

H4 - Michael In Street

Do they? Halloween 5, 6, H20 & Resurrection suggest otherwise.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is a simple slasher movie making very little attempt to live up to the legacy left by the first 2 movies. By no means is it a bad movie, it just has so many glaring faults that you’re left feeling disappointed.

Considering the threat of Myers he is being transported by 2 paramedics only is stupid beyond belief. I don’t care that he has been in a coma for 10 years…the man has proven to be near indestructible (if you didn’t know that already this movie will spell it out for you). Michael’s motivation to go after his niece is pretty sketchy in my opinion, the best explanation that anyone can give is the family relation but since when has it been about wiping out his entire extended family? Is it the Haddonfield connection?

H4 - Myers In Mirror

I can gloss over that mind you, what I can’t gloss over though is just how slow Michael is in this movie. Man, the guy has always been methodical about his killings, he is slow but will just keep coming. In Halloween 4 he moves like he is in slow-motion & his in-ability to kill a little girl who is crawling away really puts into question his serial killer credibility. Michael can kill a police station full of officers & 4 hillbillies on a truck but can’t stab a child? Yeah right.

H4 - Michael In Car

He just doesn’t ever seem to get anywhere & you can’t help but think if he moved just a fraction faster he might actually kill Jamie.

That’s not my only complaint about Mr Myers though; you see the actor portraying him seems smaller & less physically imposing. It becomes much more noticeable at the end especially when you can clearly see padding underneath for stunt sections.

That being said there are some wonderful scenes that really add to the Halloween mythos including a standoff between a freshly escaped Myers & Dr. Loomis in the gas station & a stabbing with a shotgun. Yes, Michael Myers stabs a teenage girl through the chest with a shotgun, such force is used that it goes all the way through & into the wood behind, outstanding stuff.

H4 - Shotgun

One of the nicest surprises about Halloween 4 was the level of acting throughout…Jamie is excellent, Rachel is excellent, most of the cast are great (except Brady…I thought he was awful). Special mention has to go to Donald Pleasance though who is just wondrous throughout the movie constantly sporting hugely melodramatic lines such as:

“You’re talking about him as if he were a human being. That part of him died years ago”.

H4 - Michael On Roof

“We’re not talking about any ordinary prisoner, Hoffman! We are talking about evil on two legs”.

He just doesn’t let up & the sound of him crying No! No! No” over & over again at the end (I won’t spoil the reason why) will comfort me in my sleep.

H4 - Ending

Better than expected as long as you don’t hold it up against the first 2 movies. There is so much to enjoy that the fairly obvious mistakes (during the school section Myers has blonde hair!) can be ignored. I can’t wait to see what Michael survives next!

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
  • 7/10
    The Final Score - 7/10
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