After a brief flirtation with making the Halloween brand into horror anthology series with the “need to see it to believe it” third movie; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is a back-to-basics slasher sequel. At the end of the the second movie, Myers and Dr. Loomis ended by burning to death and exploding, respectively. This movie says that didn’t actually happen and they actually just go a little burned but that’s all. Which is good because the return of Donald Pleasance takes what would be a competent if not exactly thrilling slasher and cranks the crazy knob way up.
It’s been 10 years since the events of the original movie and Michael has been unresponsive ever since. However, when they try to transfer him to another psychiatric hospital, the paramedics make the mistake of saying that Michael has a living niece that still lives in Haddonfield. Filled with rage at the prospect of having relatives, Myers murders everyone in the ambulance he’s in and then goes harrying off towards good ol’ Haddonfield. Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis is somehow still allowed to practice medicine even though he is straight up unstable. With Myers on the loose, Loomis once again decides that only he, a psychiatric doctor, can stop the murder machine that is Michael.
The niece in this is supposed to be Laurie’s daughter but, in this timeline, Jamie Lee Curtis didn’t want to come back and so her character died in a car crash a year before this. Jamie, which is the name of the little girl, is the other high point of this movie along with Pleasance. Danielle Harris supplies some very good child acting of being extremely freaked out. While still much more active than the first film, it’s still nice to see Myers back into the stalker aspect that we lost in the second movie. Like I mentioned above, the movie is a return to basics and it both helps in keeping the film grounded but does make for a slasher that doesn’t particularly do anything we haven’t seen before.
Michael Myers is given a brand new, very white mask in this movie that looks cartoonish every time you get a decent look at him. Though I have to say, what store is selling a mask of a generic white face to begin with, especially in Haddonfield. It’s a small town and yet they are still selling the same mask a serial killer used to terrorize their town? And we get a group of teens dressed up as Myers and almost getting their asses shot by Loomis and the Police because of it. You’d think the local drug store would just not stock that particular item. Anyway. Myers also ends up finishing his transition into fully being basically supernatural in this movie as he gets the Jason teleportation powers and can now fully ignore any and all damage unless dramatically appropriate for knocking him down.
This was made for those that craved Michael Myers and wanted to watch him stalk around. There are no frills and it’s fairly standard slasher, for the most part, but has an ending that I thought was great even if it comes out of nowhere.
Score: 3 out 5