Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

September 29, 2011 - 10:35pm | Johnny D
  Tags: 80's Slashers, Beau Starr, Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Dwight H. Little, Ellie Cornell, George P. Wilbur, halloween, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, horror icon, Kathleen Kinmont, masked killer, michael myers, Michael Pataki, slasher

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Dwight H. Little
Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris, George P. Wilbur, Michael Pataki, Beau Starr, Kathleen Kinmont

As much as the first Friday the 13th was a rip-off of the original Halloween, their sequels are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. While the Friday the 13ths were, most of the time, over the top campy fun, the Halloweens were more grounded with a serious tone (maybe even too serious in the case of the later sequels). For the ten year anniversary of the original, the Halloween producers forgot about the druids and masks of the third entry and went back to the basics with Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers to create one of the better entries of the series.

So it's ten years after Dr. Loomis blew the shit out of the hospital in the epicness that was Part 2s finale. Clearly suspension of disbelief is a must as Loomis and Myers are both still very much alive with minimal surface scars. While good ol Mikey, in full on vegetable state, is being transferred to a different clinic conveniently on the night before Halloween (why would they do that?!) he awakens with the mere mention of the existence of his niece Jamie. After my boy M. Myers takes out everyone in the ambulance that was transferring him (including one ridiculously frightening looking woman), he heads off for Haddonfield to create all sorts of mischief and mayhem. Hot on his trail, however, is Loomis in a mad attempt to save Jamie and the rest of Haddonfield from reliving the events of ten years ago.

The success of The Return lies solely in the simplicity of it. No over complicated plot or bizarre twists that plagued the fifth and sixth films. Just Michael; Haddonfield; sexy teens; a butcher knife; Donald Pleasance, and a cute kid thrown in for good measure. While I found Season of the Witch to be decent for what it was, I couldn't have been happier to see M. Myers back on the screen doing what we all love to see him do. It's not just Mikey's return that elevates this entry, but also the all around mood of the film. Using full color temperature blue filters in almost every scene filled the screen with a cold, foreboding tone. Director Dwight Little knew exactly how to make it feel like Halloween, from the unnerving opening credit sequence to the streets and sidewalks covered in dead leaves. And can we discuss that ballsy ending for a second? How phenomenal was that? And how disappointed were we all that nothing was done with it in the fifth film?

Donald Pleasance is in his third stab at the character that defined his career and he breezes through it effortlessly. This is his character, he knows it inside out. No one can play obsessive madness quite like Pleasance. Danielle Harris does the impossible by playing a child in a horror movie that doesn't annoy the piss out of me. Jamie Lloyd's a shockingly likable kid. And dear god did Danielle turn out to be a total smoke show or what? Unfortunately a rather large flaw comes in the form of Michael's mask. I wish they spent a little more time in trying to recreate the look of it. It's cheap looking, like a mask that you can get at one of those Halloween outlet stores that pop up on every corner come October.

Halloween 4 is a worthy sequel that went back to the basics that made the original the classic it is today. While the mask was a poor decision, the overall tone and the pants shitting ending made up for the short comings and propel this movie to Seven out of Ten drunken beer bellied red-necks.

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Johnny D




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