Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

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This movie holds a special place for me. It was the first horror flick I ever saw in a movie theatre. I was about 9 years old and my friend’s mom was cool enough to take us and watch it with us. That movie theatre is still open to this day but is now only a budget theatre. It was one of the most memorable movie going experiences for me. Up until that point, I had already seen Halloween 1 and 2 on TV (had no idea what part 3 was back then), and was excited to see The Return of Michael Myers.

At the time, it was the creepiest flick I had ever seen and I ended up having nightmares of Michael Myers for days on end, often waking my parents up in the middle of the night. At 8 or 9 years of age, I already knew enough to know it was only a movie and that Myers was not real, but still in my young, impressionable mind, I tried to convince myself I was safe since I didn’t live in Haddonfield and was, as far as I knew, not a blood relative of Myers. Those days were so much fun. When horror villains frightened me so – almost to the point of being traumatized by them. But still, I kept going back for more, and I’m happy I did.

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Back to the actual movie: Halloween 4 is quite simple. Michael Myers, while being transfered from one asylum to another, hears the news that his niece Jamie, is alive and well in Haddonfield. He escapes, of course, and leaves a path of destruction behind him – including an unforgettable kill where he drives his thumb through a guy’s forehead.

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Dr. Loomis gets wind of what has unfolded, and begins to hunt Mikey yet again.

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There are some solid performances in this flick that still hold up decently well to this day. Danielle Harris played her role as Myer’s niece splendidly. Donald Pleasance was terrific yet again as Dr. Samuel Loomis. Even the supporting cast was decent – especially compared to other slasher flicks of the time.

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Having seen this film hundreds of times now – most recently on AMC’s FearFest – I’ve grown a different kind of appreciation of this film. It’s no longer scary as it once was, but is still enjoyable to watch. Aside from John Carpenter’s original masterpiece, this stands as one of the best examples of the slasher sub-genre done right. There are some of the most imaginative, and inventive kill scenes in the franchise, and some of the camera work is outstanding. Only the original John Carpenter classic can match some of the use of shadows with Michael Myers used in this one. The action and chase sequences in Halloween 4 are also tough to match; from the rooftop scene to Myers riding on the roof of a pickup truck, this has it all. The ending also had an interesting and awesome cliffhanger; I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next.

The mask used in this is nowhere near as good as in the very first film – but is not as bad as I hear or read from people’s comments. The mask used in Part 5 is far worse. And don’t even get me started on the awful masks used in H2O and Resurrection. Not. Scary. At. All.

Maybe some day I will write a piece, ranking and analyzing all the different masks used by The Shape.

Halloween 4 still ranks as one of my all-time faves, and holds up much better than, say, sequels from the Friday the 13th series – which for the most part have in my opinion held up rather poorly over the years – though, of course, I am a fan of that series as well (see this blogs first ever post!).

I love this time of year. I predict I will continue watching this one for years to come around this time.

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About jpthorn

If you would like to submit books or films for review, e-mail me at thehorrorbooth@gmail.com
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4 Responses to Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

  1. Halloween 4 is amazing, one of the best slasher flicks EVER. Donald Pleasence MADE this series. Micheal Myers without Loomis is like peanut butter without jelly.

  2. theipc says:

    This is one of my favorites of the entire franchise!

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