Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers Reviews
Halloween 4 is just a cheap attempt at keeping the franchise alive amongst the Jason and Freddy movies that were making tons of $$$ in this era. Yeah, those weren't very good either. Michael goes around slashing teens and whoever gets in his way. What's hard to understand is how a guy who was burned to death (almost) and lying in a bed for most of the Reagan administration can be strong enough to thrust his thumb into another mans forehead. But hey, if that Voorhees kid can do it.
And while we're at it, why in the hell does everyone feel the need to transport him so close to Halloween. Hey, let's take him out of maximum security on the night he gets a woody to slash some family. I know that something like this is like picking lint out of a belly button, but it just furthers the case that Halloween 4 was thrown together schlock.
The only redeeming thing about the film is Donald Pleasence, who returns as Dr. Sam Loomis. Even in this low budget slasher he is still a great actor who gives an uncredible film credibility. He's riveting, but it's still not enough to save this film.
So as an entry into the unkillable killer genre of the 1980's Halloween 4 is low rent, which like I said isn't saying much considering what we were getting into (think Manhattan). Completists can't even really hop on this film since future films ignore this one. Sadly, this film is a notch above another- the remake.
An excellent horror movie and sequel, You can tell that the filmakers attempt to make this a quality horror movie and it does have some very scary moments. The film-makers made it suspenseful and creepy and also made it gory without throwing buckets and buckets of blood at the camera. Jamie (Harris) and Rachel (Ellie Cornell) are actually likable and for once there is a lawman character (Beau Starr) who actually takes the advice of the good doctor. Thats one thing I love about this film. Everyone does the right thing and yet still people are dying. For some it may get a little tiresome seeing how the inhuman Myers can constantly slaughter victim after victim with a minimum of effort on his (or should I say its) part, but that's also what makes him (it) an intimidating character.
Donald Pleasence, once again playing his signature role, is compelling and believable and I've got to feel for the guy. How would YOU feel if you kept trying to contain some madman who kept returning from the dead?
A great sequel to Halloween 1 and 2 with a very creepy ending. Well worth checking out.
Myers has become seemingly indestructable by now. He was seen emerging from a hospital as a human fireball at the end of art 2 and yet he seems to have escaped more or less unscathed. And howcome he can see anything when he was blinded in Part 2 just before being roasted alive?
However, if you overlook these points you'll find this is an entertaining and well-made film. Dr Loomis returns to Haddonfield after his ex-patient, played by Donald Pleasance at his best, and there are plenty of interesting characters and situations.
One of the better of the Halloween series, certainly much more worthwhile than the dismal Halloween 5 or most of the repetative Friday the 13th films.
A script had been penned by Dennis Etchison, writer of the novelizations of the first three movies, but Akkad rejected it as "too cerebral". From what's known of it, the rejected script had a post-modern twist, ironic given the massive success of the revisionist "Scream" a decade later. Alan B McElroy, a self-confessed "Halloween" nut, rushed out a script in eleven days which focused on Jamie Lloyd, the young daughter of Laurie Strode, (Jamie Lee Curtis), orphaned following her parents accidental death a year earlier. Thanks to the revelations of the second film, fans now knew that young Jamie (Danielle Harris) was of course the niece of none other than Myers himself. It's a well paced, punchy script which certainly feels like it was written by somehow who understands and appreciates the series.
With Curtis out of the picture, the film would be carried by Pleasence, now practically a household name thanks to the role of Dr. Loomis. As with the second film, he's given some great dialogue to chew on. A confrontation between Loomis and Myers in a gas station is one of the highlights not just of this film but the series as a whole. Loomis, replete with burn scars from "Halloween 2"'s finale, is now a tired old man who resorts to begging Myers to "leave those people alone". Few slasher flicks can boast of such a human moment. As the series' newly elected heroine, ten-year-old Harris is a revelation, a child actor who actually acts like a child rather than a miniature adult.
Director Little does some effective if not earth shattering work behind the camera. His two greatest contributions are the moody shots of farmland in the credit sequence and a "Vertigo" zoom in the aforementioned gas station set-piece. Compared to the hacks who would take over in subsequent sequels he does an admirable job. After collaborations with Carpenter, composer Alan Howarth strikes out on his own for this film's score. While the central themes remain, Carpenter's absence is notable and the music isn't nearly as effective as in previous films.
"Halloween 4" was met with scorn but, importantly, it won back the fans with a thrilling and snappy installment in the adventures of their favorite mass murderer. Sadly, the series was about to enter it's wilderness years.