Tuesday, October 31, 2017

My Review of Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers (1988)

Written by Dhani Lipsius & Larry Rattner & Benjamin Ruffner & Alan B. McElroy
Directed by Dwight H. Little

Dr. Loomis (re Michael Myers and Jamie): "Ten years ago, he tried to kill Laurie Strode. Now he wants her daughter."

After the criminally underrated third movie decided to take a break from Michael Myers and unfortunately suffered the consequences of that decision, it was time for Haddonfield's most deadly to come out of a ten year retirement (in the movie's chronology of course) and wreck more havoc, only this time, Laurie Strode wouldn't be the target of his obsessive killing spree.

With Jamie Lee Curtis deciding to distance herself from the franchise until 1998, the target in question became Laurie Strode's younger daughter, Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris), recently fostered into the Carruther family and suffering terrible nightmares about her murderous uncle that soon become a reality when he escapes from the hospital and makes it back to Haddonfield a decade from his last visit to the place.

Of course while Laurie's a no show in the movie, Donald Pleasance is however back as Sam Loomis and he's every bit as doom sounding as he was in his previous appearances as he tries to get the local Sheriff to help him try and stop Michael from killing his only other blood relative along with other innocent people as well.

Outside of the first movie, this one definitely did a great job of building something of a bigger world for the franchise. Casting child actors isn't an easy task but this movie did well with Danielle Harris, who is great as Jamie, even if it does seem a little contrived that Laurie had a child that she then might or might have abandoned but at the same time, it's a continuation of the family linked that somewhat restricted the franchise to a point.

Jamie is technically the final girl of the movie as she does her best to avoid being killed by her murderous uncle (George P. Wilbur) with the help of Loomis and 'sister' Rachel (Ellie Cornell), the latter of whom even makes for a more compelling protagonist than even Laurie did in her later movies, until the movie ends on a note that shows that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

The  movie deserves points for making Michael a little scarier than his second appearance, although none of the deaths, bar the opening kill are too shocking. I also like that Rachel and her friends are fairly dimensional characters before Michael picked off the majority of them and the various callbacks to the first movie actually work in this one's favour to boot.

- Danielle Harris would later go on to play Annie Brackett in the Rob Zombie remakes.
- Although it's not really revealed as such both Tommy Doyle and Lindsey Wallace from the first two movies are actually in this one.
- This movie along with the next two will then be erased from canon by the time Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later came out.
- The script was done in 11 days and it was also done while a writers strike was looming.

Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers might arguably be the last great movie in the franchise until 1998 (and hopefully 2018) and it certainly helped to expand a world that would later be scrapped when the franchise decided to reboot itself but as a movie, it's a worthy entry into this particular universe.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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