Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

Horror has returned to Haddonfield.

Horror Thriller
88 min     6.209     1988     USA


The apparently comatose Michael Myers is being transferred from one hospital to another, but he wakes up when the ambulance crew talk about his surviving niece, Jamie. After slaughtering his attendants, Myers sets out to find his one living relative who is, fortunately, being cared for by a kind and resourceful foster sister named Rachel. Meanwhile, the ever-cautious Dr. Loomis remains on the killer's path.


John Chard wrote:
Apocalypse, End of the World, Armageddon. It's always got a face and a name. After Halloween III veered in a new direction without Michael Myers, the indestructible killing machine of the franchise, the rights to the series changed hands and so it came to pass that part 4 (though part 3 in essence) brought Myers back. After being in a coma for ten years Myers is up for a transfer to a sanitarium, but wouldn't you know it, he wakes up and upon hearing he has a niece back in Haddonfield, he sets off on a murderous rampage back to where it all began. It's one of the Halloween sequels that causes much debate among the series' fans, there are those who decry its lack of blood and its ordinary screenplay (both viable complaints), and those such as myself who like that it reverts back to what made the series start so brilliantly. Including a superbly devilish nod to the start of the 78 film. Haddonfield becomes a town under siege, this the work of one monster, or as Donald Pleasence's scar faced doctor says - "evil on two legs". Myers once again is just glimpsed here and there, adding that unearthly suspense factor, until he hones in on his niece and her foster sister and the pursuit begins. Some of the interim characterisations are padding out the run time, the usual teen angst romantic flannel, but Pleasence's determined Dr. Loomis is never far away to remind us that everyone is doomed! Then of course there's the ending, which is an absolute beaut. There's no brains on offer here, but it's a worthy sequel and a good tracer line for its iconic bogeyman. The story has moved on to another level and leaves the fans hankering for more. 7/10
Gimly wrote:
I don't know which of the four (or five, by this time next year) different _Halloween_ timelines to consider the "official" one, but I guess personally I've always considered the one the includes the "_of Michael Myers_" movies to be it for me. Not necessarily the best movies, but its the longest timeline, and (not counting _Season of the Witch_) the first. _Halloween 4_ is a good lead in for the rest of this particular continuity. It's certainly not a perfect movie, but if you're looking for some background kills to accompany your October vibes, you could do worse. _Final rating:★★½ - Had a lot that appealed to me, didn’t quite work as a whole._
Wuchak wrote:
Better than the original; and one of the best 80’s slashers Ten years after the events of “Halloween” and “Halloween II” (which both took place on Halloween night, 1978), Michael Myers escapes captivity a second time and again returns to his hometown in Illinois with a direly concerned Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) hot on his trail. Myers goes after his sister’s daughter, Jamie, and is willing to take down the whole town of Haddonfield if necessary. “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” (1988) ranks with the best 80’s slasher flicks and is actually superior to the somewhat overrated progenitor of the genre, “Halloween” (1978). Whereas the original “Halloween” was an effective low-key but classy slasher and deserves credit for starting the craze, it wasn’t without flaws and “Halloween 4” (1.) fixes those issues and (2.) improves upon its strengths. For instance, while the original movie takes place during Halloween in Illinois, you certainly wouldn’t know this by the footage since it clearly looks like summer. This movie, by contrast, definitely looks like it takes place during the fall and has an all-around superior Halloween ambiance with trick-or-treaters and so forth. Another example is the original’s lack of drive and the fact that Michael only kills a few teenagers and doesn’t seem all that formidable whilst this film features a mounting build-up of suspense and potently conveys Michael’s deadly formidableness while upping the ante in the body count. Other advances includes the lack of lame dialogue (like in the original when the girls were walking home) and Dr. Loomis has much more interesting things to do than lurk in the bushes by the Myer’s dilapidated abode speaking ridiculously ominous words. When Loomis speaks portentously in this entry there’s great reason to believe him (take, for instance, what happens to the Police Station). Yet another (arguable) improvement is the women: Although Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes (Loomis) and PJ Soles were fine in the original, “Halloween 4” has winsome Ellie Cornell as Rachel and hottie Kathleen Kinmont as Kelly and the movie wisely takes advantage of their presence in a classy way. Rachel may not strike you as anything special at first, but as the story progresses she emerges as an attractive and noble final girl. The “Friday the 13th” franchise debuted two years after “Halloween” in 1980; and by October, 1988, when this film was released, the “Friday” franchise had no less than seven films under its belt. Meanwhile, “Halloween 4” was only the third Michael Myers movie (keeping in mind that “Halloween 3” was curiously disconnected from the Michael Myers mythos). “Friday the 13th” of course ripped-off “Halloween,” but simultaneously added original components to the genre (e.g. summer camp and everything revolving around it, easily the best females in the slasher genre, as well as an increasingly devolving supernatural killing machine). “Halloween 4” sort of gets its revenge by borrowing from the “Friday” films; for instance, the character of Jamie Lloyd and what happens to her mirrors Tommy Jarvis’ story arc from 3-4 years earlier. Perhaps the greatest revenge is that “Halloween 4” is better than any of the “Friday” sequels after “Part 2” and is at least as effective as “Part 2.” The original “Halloween” was shot in the Los Angeles area (South Pasadena & Hollywood) while this one was filmed in the Salt Lake City, Utah, region. Like the first film, it’s streamlined and doesn’t overstay its welcome. GRADE: A