10 Days of Halloween: Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers

25 Oct

After the Halloween series diverted away from Michael Myers in Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, the public demanded his return and 1988 the franchise released its fourth installment: Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers.  In correspondence to its release date, Halloween IV takes place ten years after the original two films and follows the events surrounding Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris), the nice of Michael Myers and daughter to the now deceased Laurie Strode (the movie suggests she and her husband died 11 months prior). 

 Jamie can’t sleep because of the presence of a figure in her dreams who she refers to as “the nightmare man” and she is still struggling to adjust to her new life without her mother.  simultaneously, the comatose body of Michael Myers is being transported back to Smith’s Grove hospital until Michael abruptly wakes up in the ambulance, kills everyone on board and escapes.

Once he learns about the transport of Michael Myers and the accident on the ambulance en route, Dr. Loomis starts trailing Michael back to Haddonfield where he believes Michael is headed.  It becomes more and more clear to Dr. Loomis that Michael is returning to Haddonfield to kill his niece, Jamie, and only Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) can stop him.

Weapon of Choice: Gun, because it has to work eventually

Halloween IV stands as probably the best sequel to this franchise with the exception of Halloween II.  Though no longer aided by the hand of John Carpenter, Halloween IV still maintains the integrity of the first two films, winks to the first movie often, and at times even mimics it very well.  Just as Carpenter did in the original, a lot of the suspense of Michael terrorizing Jamie and her adoptive sister comes from Michael lurking in the shadows.  The action of the film takes a while to pick up but once the sun sets on Haddonfield on Halloween night the film is really entertaining to watch.

That being said, there’s a lot about this film that just makes it OK.  The Halloween films are at their best when Dr. Loomis is involved as a “Van Helsing” type character, but it’s a little difficult to get over the fact that he survived the events of Halloween II.  Additionally, while the gore of this film is another notch up from Halloween II, this film was made in 1988 and the kills can look a little campy (i.e. the thumb through the forehead).

The fairest way to gauge this sequel is compared to others of the franchise and other 4th installments of popular horror franchises.  …The Return of Michael Myers ranks 3rd amongst the Halloween movies and for the most part surpasses all other franchises at this point in their lifespan.

Fun Fact: Danielle Harris, the actress who plays Jamie Lloyd in this film also plays Annie Brackett in Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween II.

from Halloween 4, all pictures of Harris from Rob Zombie's films are NSFW

 

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2 Responses to “10 Days of Halloween: Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers”

  1. thoughtsappear October 25, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    I think it’s cool that you’re watching all the Halloween movies before Halloween. I did that a couple years ago.

    This year I’m making my way through all of the Friday the 13th movies…only I forgot about it and started a little late. Oops…

    • Chris Petersen October 25, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

      Yeah, it has been pretty fun to do, even when the films were really bad, it has been fun to review them. I like Halloween better than the Friday the 13th series, but they are both a lot of fun to watch. You definitely have your work cut out for you with Jason. Thanks for reading!

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