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

He murdered 16 people, trying to get to his sister, but his Doctor of all people, set him on fire.  Something along those lines.  That is a good way to catch anyone up to the series at to this point.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch was not a success.  I was 2 when it was released, but in talking to older fans who went to the theater, they thought it was the wrong movie.  Where is Michael Myers?  Trailers were not seen as easily as today.  That is possibly why Halloween III did so poorly and for a long time was not accepted by horror fans.  Now it is, but Halloween 4, is really the sequel to Halloween II.  After 7 years people finally got what they wanted, Michael Myers is finally back.

Synopsis:

The apparently comatose Michael Myers (George P. Wilbur) is being transferred from one hospital to another, but he wakes up when the ambulance crew talk about his surviving niece, Jamie (Danielle Harris). After slaughtering his attendants, Myers sets out to find his one living relative who is, fortunately, being cared for by a kind and resourceful foster sister named Rachel (Ellie Cornell). Meanwhile, the ever-cautious Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) remains on the killer’s path.

Halloween 4 was a welcome edition to the series and really stands next to the original as possible the second best in the series.  Sure Halloween II was great.  Halloween 4 was a way to add to the series without making a joke of the series.  Not bringing back Laurie Strode was a good move.  I really enjoyed seeing Dr. Loomis coming back to take on Myers once again.  In some ways, it is Michael Myers vs Dr. Sam Loomis.  For me, the series is good vs evil and that would be Loomis vs Myers.

With Halloween 4, the did not bring Jamie Lee Curtis back, rather new blood.  Danielle Harris plays Laurie Strode’s daughter, Jamie.  This was a smart choice, rather than it being a clone of the original, they bring in a child.  Michael Myers is going after a kid.  Even Jason Voorhees didn’t kill kids.  But thanks to her bloodline Michael has to kill her.  This made for some great and interesting chase scenes with Ellie Cornell.  There are some great scenes on the Meeker rooftop where Jamie was on Rachel’s back running from Michael Myers.  Then there is the scene in the truck with Michael Myers on the roof, he rips a guy’s face off and Rachel has to take over.  Rachel is one of the better “final girls” in horror history, and she was shit on in the follow up, Halloween 5.

Halloween 4 is a great return of a classic horror character and in my experience, people seem to love Halloween and Halloween 4 the most.  I think I agree with that, they are very similar in vibe and atmosphere.  Not to mention the ending of the movie, it kind of book ends the series.  Think about it, in the terms of Friday the 13th the Final Chapter.  Tommy Jarvis kills Jason, Jamie Lloyd doesn’t kill Michael, but they share blood, while Tommy could have become the next Jason…Jamie could have become the new “Shape”.  They could have just left the series at 4, with Halloween 4 ending the series.  Think about this, Halloween opens with Michael’s POV shot killing his sister and being discovered by his parents.  Halloween 4 ends with Jamie’s POV shot stabbing her foster mother.  Leaving her future in question.  Book ending a trilogy of sorts.  But of course, more money needed to be made and six more movies are made.

Mad ramblings from a madman.  I love Halloween 4 and it is to me, the second best of the series.  Sure Halloween II is great and I am a big fan of the clusterfuck of a mess Halloween 6 ended up being.  Halloween 4, matches the tone and the spirit of Halloween.  Both Halloween and Halloween 4 are cast very well, that is another big take away from this one.

IMDB.com has a rating of 5.9 for Halloween 4 the Return of Micheal Myers

I have a way higher rating, 7.4, I really do love this movie.

About Ray Marek III 265 Articles

I am a lifelong horror fan. I have written for a few web sites, Kung-Fu Comrades, Nightfall Unlimited and Rage of Rayzor.

Freddy’s Revenge was the first Horror Film I watched, I was 5. When my mom found out I liked horror films, she began challenging me. Soon to follow were the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead.
Horror is in my blood, I want to share that with you…my blood…horror.

I write unpublished comics. Lifelong dream is to write comics for a major comic book publisher or build my own comic book company.