Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Ahh, Halloween 4… how you tried to bring the series full circle. For those who don’t know: after the mess that was Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, the franchise as a whole attempted to steer back into Michael Myers territory… where they succeeded in reconnecting to the original plot, but they also seemed to do a lackluster job in terms of piecing together the actual movie. Was it okay or was it awful? Read on to find out.

Having been years since I had originally seen this movie, and by extension increasing my ability to critique a movie by a few years (I’d like to think), I decided to give it another watch to see what I thought about it with a new perspective. I remember when I had first seen it, I thought it was good (especially considering I watched it right after seeing Halloween 3), however, with my most recent viewing of it, I’d say it was fairly mediocre at best. ‘Meh’ if you will.

The story starts out ten years later with some medical squad taking a comatose Michael Myers from Smith’s Grove to another facility. During this move, someone decides to bring up the fact that Michael now has a niece; shortly after hearing this revelation, Michael reactivates his God-mode, virtually destroying the entire crew and their ambulance. A day later, after this carnage has been discovered, Smith’s Grove and Sam Loomis are informed of the situation. As a result, Loomis travels as quickly as he can back to Haddonfield.

Most of this whole sequence, as well as many other parts in the movie attempt to get us acclimated with the situation from the past movies, and the current characters. The main problem I have with this is that it all happens so quickly and blandly. It seems like they’re just trying to get it out of the way so they could move on to much more “intense” things, like Michael getting his kill on, or a bunch of girls running around screaming their heads off.

Another problem I have with this movie is the acting: for the most part it, much like the movie, is fairly mediocre. The screams, and much of the dialog simply do not sound genuine or believable coming from most of these people… probably another reason why I disliked the acclimation sequences. And there are quite a few of these things strung out through the entire movie.

Having said these things though, there are some good things to this movie. Donald Pleasence makes his return as Dr. Sam Loomis, and, once again, steals the show (especially compared to the rest of the cast). The story itself really isn’t half bad either, it is just a combination of seemingly rushed or careless work, in combination with some shoddy acting that takes it down a few notches. And while Michael wasn’t necessarily bad in this movie either, the fact that he hardly gets face time like before, and is mainly just used as a jump scare (which also come a plenty in Part 4) sort of bugged me.

Also, as far as slashers go, this movie does just fine. If you are someone who is just looking for a movie along these lines, grabbing a bag of popcorn, and not necessarily caring for a big story, large buckets of gore, or a killer who seems to have lost 73% of his neck since the last movie, you shouldn’t be disappointed with this movie.

Considering the fact that I’m more of a person who looks for a bit more in terms of the story and acting within a movie, those two factors are what really brought it down for me. Keep in mind though, I don’t necessarily consider it a bad movie… by all means it certainly could have been good It is just that it could have been done better, but wasn’t. And, believe me when I say, it really only goes downhill from here this point on. 6/10

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2 thoughts on “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

  1. Pingback: HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS « Written in Blood

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