Logline: Ten years after his original massacre, Michael Myers returns to Haddonfield to kill his seven-year-old niece.
Review: After the failure of Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), it was only a matter of time before Michael Myers returned to the silver screen. Dwight H. Little’s Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is one of the better sequels in the franchise.
Donald Pleasance returns as Dr. Loomis and he is a joy to watch, as usual. The true star of the film, though is Danielle Harris as Michael’s seven-year-old niece, Jamie. Making her film debut, Harris is great. One of the film’s most intriguing aspects is the connection between Jamie and Michael, one that clearly extends beyond familial ties. The most obvious example of this is the shocking twist ending but there are hints of it earlier in the film as well.
None of the Halloween sequels come close to the brilliance of the first film and all of them (except for Halloween III) are essentially rehashes. Halloween 4 is a fairly well done rehash, though and an enjoyable slasher flick. For the most part, the film thankfully imitates the bloodless suspense of the first film and there are many memorable scenes.
Halloween 4 is certainly not without its flaws, though. The film’s biggest flaw is sadly, Michael Myers himself who is played by George P. Wilbur. Wilbur wore hockey pads underneath the costume to seem more imposing. However, it comes off as awkward looking. Furthermore, the mask looks terrible. Michael Myers definitely seems more inhuman in Halloween 4 than the first two films. At one point, Dr. Loomis even states, “You’re talking about him as if he were human. That part of him died years ago.” There are aspects of the plot that seem a bit unnecessary such as the teen love triangle and the lynch mob.
While perhaps not the return of the iconic killer that people had been hoping for, Halloween 4 is still an enjoyable film when you ignore any ludicrous plot points. It has a great payoff in the twist ending. They could have ended the series right here. But we all know that did not happen.
Rating (out of ****): ***