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Michae Myers is back! And this time, well, to be honest he's just doing
what he usually does which is running around Haddonfield killing
people while Donald Pleasance runs around in a circle. This time he's
out looking for his niece, a young girl living with her step parents.
Can Donald finally put Michael down for good? Judging by the films that
came out after this one, probably not.
Michael's niece is generally looked after by her step sister, some teenage girl with a boyfriend who's also caught the eye of the local sheriff's daughter. Michael this time escapes from an ambulance, killing at least six people by the time he comes home. He's on the hunt for his niece (she's out trick or treating with her stepsister) which leads to a showdown at the sheriff's house, with loads of locals out on the warpath for Michael's head. What's a poor misunderstood serial killer to do? Expect more of the same from the first two films, with a bit more involvement from Donald Pleasance, and more indestructible killing machine action from Michael. Not much more to say about this one I was all burned out on Myers by the end and decided to watch Part 5 at a later date. It's a fairly decent slasher film. No more. No less.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ten years ago, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) finally stopped the
insatiable murderer Michael Myers (George P. Wilbur) by causing a huge
explosion which engulfed them both in flames. They survived, however,
with Michael in a coma and Dr. Loomis having some bad burn scars and
having to walk with a cane. It is revealed that Michael's sister Laurie
Strode, who he was trying to kill, died in a car accident a few years
after he was burned to a crisp. Her nine year old daughter Jamie Lloyd
(Danielle Harris), who is Michael's niece, has been living in a foster
home where she is very close to her adoptive sister Rachel Carruthers
(Ellie Cornell). Michael awakens from his coma, still covered in
bandages, and escapes while being transported to another hospital. He
kills several people and quickly finds a pasty white mask similar to
the one he wore during his previous killing spree from a decade ago,
along with his familiar gray coveralls. It becomes apparent that he is
after his young niece and will stop at nothing to finish her off. Dr.
Loomis must now stop his evil enemy once again before poor Jamie is
I can't decide whether I prefer this film or part 2 as the best Halloween sequel. Neither can compare to the original, but both are good in their own right. I like how Michael is now targeting a little girl as it gives the film a darker and meaner edge. This film also represents the actual Halloween spirit better than any other film in the series (with the possible exception of part 6). When I first watched this, I was thrilled to see Donald Pleasence as Dr. Loomis return as he is one of my favorite horror protagonists of all time. It may not be very realistic that he and Michael survived their fiery fate at the end of the second film, but that's okay because a suspension of disbelief is pretty much required to enjoy films like these anyway. Danielle Harris and Ellie Cornell are both great in their respective roles. Props mainly go to Harris for being able to pull off such a believable and emotional performance at such a young age. George P. Wilbur is an excellent Michael Myers, giving a very scary and intimidating portrayal which kind of reminded me of The Terminator. Anyway, those are some of the reasons why fans of the first two movies will love this entry, which shares no continuity with the unrelated but still good part 3. I would rate this magnificent sequel with a whopping 9 out of 10!
Halloween 4 welcomes back Michael Myers to the proceedings having been
incarcerated in a top security mental hospital for ten years.
Unfortunately someone at head office decides he should be transferred
to a normal prison and the transfer process doesn't exactly end well,
especially for the nurses on duty.
Thereafter he heads back to his hometown for the usual mayhem and this time he has further connections to Haddonfield via his niece who has to share Halloween night with her deranged uncle and Donald Pleasance's returning Dr Loomis.
Halloween 4 is a great horror film; it has the requisite amount of suspense and gore and also satisfies its teenage audience with attractive leads. What makes it great though is that it has a well written script, a real family you root for (the Carruthers family) and in Ellie Cornell's portrayal of Rachel, a heroine with real depth and character.
Director Dwight Little does a cracking job to preserve the series traditions (the music, the title cards, mood and suspense rather than gore) and Alan McElroy's ten day written script (due to writer's strike) manages to deliver genuine heartfelt family moments as well as the carnage.
Clearly the Halloween team realised that for the series to have a future that Michael Myers had to return as its central core. Luckily for us they proceeded to deliver a film which brought our unhappy anti-hero back in a way that respected the needs of the heritage, the fans and the money men all at once.
I liked the first three Halloween films. The original wasn't as scary
as I thought it was when I watched it a few times, but it was still a
horror classic. The first sequel was flawed, but was pretty decent in
my opinion while Halloween III: Season of the Witch, despite the
story's plot holes and the main villain's confusing death, was
underrated due to it's creative premise and it's spooky and atmospheric
soundtrack. So, when the producers wanted to bring Michael Myers back
at Halloween II, they released their fourth entry "The Return of
Michael Myers", released in 1988, seven years after the second
installment. After I saw Halloween V, which was the first installment
I've watched in television a few years ago, but I'll get to that film
sometime later, Halloween IV was the second installment I've also
watched and to my surprise, it's arguably the best in the series it
even surpasses the original Halloween.
Sure, some of the characters are underdeveloped and would've given a lot more depth to them, but that flaw is completely wiped out by it's praises. The story captures the tone and spirit of the original Halloween and makes it both engaging and terrifying. The direction from Dwight H. Little is excellent and did a very good at creating a mood of suspense and atmosphere. It's also well-paced and the music from Alan Horvath, once again teaming up with John Carpenter, is excellent and gives out what they have with some of the most atmospheric moments which fits really well in the film like the previous entries. The death scenes are also gruesome and creative, but the strongest aspect goes too the ensemble cast who gave out their amazing performances they had used especially the ever loyal Donald Pleasance and Danille Harris who did a fantastic job as Jamie Lloyd.
Overall, Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers is by no means the best of the series and is always worth-watching for fans of the original classic. Go watch it if you have the chance to. It's that good.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Let's get this right out in the open: John Carpenter's Halloween is
probably the best horror film ever made. Keeping that in mind, any
sequel is bound to elicit a measure of disappointment simply because
matching or exceeding the peerless kickoff to this series is an
impossible feat. But despite an extremely spotty track record, the
(admittedly over-)extended Halloween franchise has its share of strong
efforts, and this fourth installment certainly deserves to be mentioned
in that capacity.
The most effective aspect of The Return Of Michael Myers is how closely it adheres to the atmosphere and spirit of the original, and though there is a clear effort made to incorporate some overt bloodshed to please fans of the '80s splatter cycle, Halloween 4 has even more in common with the first "Night HE Came Home" than the hastily made but suitably enjoyable part II. This offering faithfully duplicates the deceptively ominous leaf-strewn streets of Haddonfield, the manic fervor of the returning Dr. Loomis, and, most importantly, the deadly disposition of "The Shape" him(it?)self. At this point in the series, we're still a couple of sequels away from quasi-mystical ramblings about ancient Pagan symbols and "hip and edgy" self-aware contemporary updates, and, thankfully, we're a world removed from Rob Zombie's obtusely trippy white stallion hallucinations. So, the Michael Myers we get here is the same remorseless and unyielding killing machine we were introduced to ten years before, and his purpose is equally singular and inexplicable. That's precisely what makes him the perfect Boogeyman, and Return wisely maintains the air of menace and mystery that later entries watered down by neutering our series figurehead via ridiculous plot elements that were closer to parody than they were to anything resembling horror. Halloween 4 isn't about rappers doing battle with a pop culture serial slayer, it's about a malevolent force stalking and killing anyone who gets in its way, and at least in that sense, the film remains true to its aim.
The impetus for the titular Return is Michael's eight year-old niece Jamie Lloyd, the orphaned daughter of the, we're informed, deceased Laurie Strode (H2O et al. decided differently, but this development works for our purposes here). If you can accept the apparent psychic bond that allows Jamie to have nightmares about the uncle she's never seen before he re-appears in Haddonfield and Michael's myopic fixation on murdering a relative he really shouldn't know even exists, this cat-and-mouse aspect of the plot falls into place rather nicely.
Jamie is played by the debuting Danielle Harris, who delivers an absolutely fantastic performance, especially given her age and lack of experience. Harris was a great find, and even during the film's most harrowing sequences, her acting chops easily rival those of any of her more seasoned cast-mates. Her youth ends up being a major asset because of its direct deviation from the archetypes of the strict slasher formula, and the fact that a relatively defenseless child is at the nucleus of Michael's murderous rampage heightens the tension immeasurably.
Of course, Return does feature its share of goofiness. While the presence of Donald Pleasence is certainly welcome and integral to the story, his occasional dalliances with overblown histrionics create unfortunately cheesy moments out of a few scenes that should be bubbling with intensity. Also, though The Shape is as formidable and sadistic here as fans would hope for, his ability to teleport from an industrial power plant to a suburban neighborhood in the span of one scene, and to apparently hide beneath the chassis of a moving pick-up truck for several miles before climbing into the bed and catching the passengers unaware, strikes a serious blow against the hyper-realism that grounds the most potent terror elements in the series.
But despite the sillier aspects here, the film as a whole hits more often than it misses. Several references to Carpenter's benchmark such as an homage to the POV murder which launched the saga and Jamie's donning of a clown costume identical to the one worn by her uncle when he was her age keep part 4 closely tied to its source. Even better, the utilization of a few subtle shots of the iconic ghostly mask hidden deep in the background while the future victims go about their business completely unaware of their peril re-establish the lurking Shape persona which provided the original Halloween with its most indelible images. There's also a mirthful scene between the hitchhiking Dr. Loomis and a drunken fire-and-brimstone religious zealot that allows Pleasence to crack a smile for a change, which will remind savvy viewers of his endearingly coy grin after the "Lonnie, get your ass away from there" moment from 1978.
You'll have to decide for yourself whether the dicey twist ending really works, but it certainly does finish off the film on a tremendously dark and shocking note, which is in keeping with the fairly serious tone Return maintains throughout. Chalk that at as yet another touch which sets this entry apart from some of the unbearably ridiculous drek that followed it.
I'm not sure if I can definitively state that this is the best of the Halloween sequels, but it is most assuredly nowhere near the worst. I realize that's not a huge endorsement once you've seen how low this franchise proved itself capable of sinking later on, but you can consider it an endorsement nonetheless.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
John Carpenter didn't know what he was unleashing in 1978 when his
independent slasher "Halloween" hit theaters. It was a runaway
sensation which spawned hundreds of imitators and continues to even
now. Whenever a movie is financially successful, you can bet on it
studios are going to demand a sequel. "Halloween II" followed the
original in 1981 without Carpenter's direction. It picked up exactly
where the first one left off.
An attempt to take the "Halloween" franchise into a different direction without the help of serial killer Michael Myers chopping away at victims failed in a third movie. The decision was made to re-instate the successful formula of the first two films with the next installment, "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers." Anchor Bay released a new Blu-ray version of the 1988 movie and it looks marvelous.
It's the 10th anniversary of the Halloween night massacre in Haddonfield, Illinois. Michael Myers escapes from an ambulance while being transferred to another mental facility. He makes his way to the small town obsessed with finding and killing his nine-year-old niece. Dr. Loomis is hot on his bloody trail and must protect the girl and her new family from the knife-wielding maniac.
"Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers" is a competent follow-up to the second film. It contains everything fans of the original could want with the exception of Jamie Lee Curtis. The movie takes viewers back to the familiar location of Haddonfield 10 years later. It shows us how the town has dealt with the many deaths of their family members a decade before. There's also a direct tie to the first two films because the character of Jamie is the daughter of Laurie Strode. We see the return of Dr. Loomis and gain some insight into what happened to him after the hospital fire in "Halloween II."
It's interesting to note that there are very few actual scenes of stabbing or hacking. Director Dwight H. Little chose to go for a "less- is-more" approach and cuts away from direct scenes of penetrating carnage. It gives the film a bit of a Hitchcockian atmosphere. You can tell Little wanted to focus more on the suspense and less on the graphic violence. However, there's still plenty of blood and gore to thrill horror enthusiasts.
Actor Danielle Harris is perfect as the character of Michael Myers' nine-year-old niece, Jamie. She moves back and forth through emotions quite effectively and is convincing in the role. Donald Pleasance pours his heart and soul into his portrayal of Dr. Loomis for a third time. It's excellent to see a veteran actor of his caliber take a part in what most would call a simple slasher film and treat it with such a high level of sincerity.
The high-definition transfer looks and sounds excellent. The picture maintains its original feel but is clear and precise at the same time. The audio delivers all the slashing, screams, and pulsating music your nerves can take thanks to a 5.1 surround mix.
Special features for this edition include two separate audio commentaries with actors Ellie Cornell and Danielle Harris and director Dwight H. Little and author Justin Beahm. The "'Halloween 4 / 5' Discussion Panel" from the 25th Anniversary celebration is also here. It contains a theatrical trailer as well.
Fans of the franchise who are always looking for the latest and greatest versions of these films will want to run out and buy the new "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers" Blu-ray from Anchor Bay. Consumers will also be happy with its slightly altered but new packaging. Some interesting bonus material sweetens the deal and adds value to the product.
Halloween III was poorly received by critics and audiences alike and
had no impact on the box office. Audiences were disappointed by the
film, thinking they were ripped off because Season of the Witch was not
a 'Halloween' movie. John Carpenter and Debra Hill left the series and
went on to do other things and effectively the Halloween series was
Over the next few years the slasher film was officially cemented into the annals of cinema history. And so it was that in 1988, ten years after Halloween created this subgenre of film, Moustapha Akkad secured the rights to the franchise and decided to cash in on the genre that he helped create. On October 21st, 1988, Halloween 4 was released. The first Halloween was original, scary, and well made, the second was well made and fun and the third was original and different. Halloween 4 pales in comparison, not only to the three films that came before it but to many of the imitators that followed in the original Halloween's wake.
Right from the beginning of this film things just seemed off. The credit sequence done so effectively in the first three is gone. Instead we get shots of barns, and painted skulls and windmills with the sun setting behind it. Sure it sets the mood of the halloween season, but it isn't very Halloween.
Once the story kicks in, we find that Michael Myers and Dr, Loomis didn't die at the end of part II, they were just horribly burned, and Myers has been lying in a coma for ten years. Laurie is dead, and her daughter is living with family. And so Myers awakens to go after her while Loomis chases after him.
The acting in Halloween 4 is by far the worst of all the four films. Ellie Cornell, the female lead, is rather stiff and stilted and Danielle Harris, who plays Laurie's daughter Jamie, is a great screamer and can show fear rather well, but when it comes to crying and other emotions she just falls apart.
Donald Pleasance is the only returning actor and as usual his performance is rather good but as a viewer one can't help but feel sad for him every time he appears. He puts so much into his role and loves the character but everything else around him is so badly done that it becomes depressing watching him. Take Michael Myers for example. While a terrible force of evil in the first film and a gruesome killing machine in the second, here he is rather lame. Not only does he move differently (no awkward and eerie head movements) but he just doesn't seem that imposing. He is seen mostly in full frame shots with lots of light and thus he just isn't that scary. What made Myers so scary to begin with was his ability to become one with the shadows.
And the deaths in this film are pretty lame. They take place off screen for the most part, which seems to be a deliberate attempt at recreating the feel of the original. But in the original, Myers only murdered three people and although there was not much blood and gore, all three deaths were seen on screen in glorious terrifying detail. Here you don't see the deaths, instead the film-makers either cut away from them or a character stumbles upon them long after they were killed.
The direction by Little is terrible in this movie. The editing is poor and the cinematography is weak. Gone are the glorious widescreen shots of Dean Cundey, only to be replaced by unintentionally shaky and bland shots with generic lighting and poor framing. The editing is choppy and doesn't flow well and the film, although only 88 minutes and the shortest in the series, ends up feeling a lot longer than it's predecessors.
And although Halloween III had a lot of plot holes, part 4 makes it seem like an Oscar winner. Sure Myers can do some incredible things; find people when he should have no idea where they are; drive a car with out learning how to; but in this movie Myers has become something more. Now Myers can appear in one part of town in one scene and in the next he can be in a completely different part of that town. He appears anywhere where the story needs him to be with no regard for logic. And when Loomis is looking for the schoolhouse, in Haddonfield of all places, he needs help, even though he has been there before.
After 7 years of waiting for Michael Myers to return to the big screen, he finally does and boy oh boy does he disappoint. There are very few good things to say about this movie. The best thing about it is the Halloween theme by John Carpenter, and even that isn't heard enough. Donald Pleasance puts his all into the role but is let down by everything around him and the gore and nudity (now an almost requirement in the slasher films) is virtually non existent. Even when the opportunities arise to deliver the goods, they never happen. From the opening frame to just shy of the last minute, Halloween 4 disappoints. Then in the last minute, a twist arrives. It's rather interesting, it's cool, it's original and it opens up room for a rather original sequel. Other than that, Halloween 4 is a disaster, a mess and a complete waste of time.
Film Rating: 40%
Breakdown (How Halloween 4 scored 40%):
Production Design: 5 out of 10 Cinematography: 2 out of 10 Re-playability: 4 out of 10 Originality: 3 out of 10 Costumes: 5 out of 10 Directing: 3 out of 10 Editing: 3 out of 10 Acting: 5 out of 10 Music: 7 out of 10 Script: 3 out of 10
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This is personally my favorite sequel of the Halloween movies which introduces some great characters in Jamie Lloyd, Sheriff Meeker and Rachcel. With the return of Michael Myers its clear that he is truly unstoppable and Loomis was right when he says "Maybe no one knows how to stop him". The pacing for the most part is fast, the mask, music, and atmosphere is all great. Some of the kills however, do get a little laughable but some of them are done well (Meekers daughter). The ending is a small bit of a let down but Halloween 5 is a good hangover cure for the ending. I highly suggest to watch Halloween 4 especially on a fall day such as Halloween.
To me, this is one of the best Halloween films. The acting in the film is great. Danielle Harris's acting ability is phenomenal as well as Ellie Cornell and the late Donald Pleasence. The synopsis of this film is great and the music is as well. I can't stop watching this movie! Danielle Harris's introduction to fame is very, very great. Her acting made this movie great! If it wasn't for Danielle Harris, it wouldn't be as good as it is! The best sequel besides Halloween II and H20. The music for this film is by Alan Howarth. I love the music to this film. I can actually go out and buy the soundtrack and listen to all of it in enjoyment. I could listen to this soundtrack, the first soundtrack, 2nd, and 5th with enjoyment. John Carpenter did the first and Alan Howarth did the others. I love this movie. I love the soundtrack!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Finally Michael Myers Is Back In Another Sequel After The Disappointment Of Halloween 3 This Sequel Is Just As Great As The First Two Films Were And Again It Stars The Late Donald Pleasence As Dr. Sam Loomis Ellie Cornell As The Hot Attractive Rachel Carruthers Introducing Danielle Harris As Jamie Lloyd Who Later Became A Hot Attractive Adult Beau Starr As Sheriff Ben Meeker Kelly's Father Kathleen Kinmont As Kelly Meeker Sasha Jenson As Brady Rachel's Boyfriend Who Cheated On Her With Kelly And Of Course George P. Wilbur As Adult Michael Myers And Erik Preston As Child Michael Myers Love This Sequel Who Doesn't He Returns Once Again After Ten Years Great Sequel Love Ya From Brandon DeVore
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