Starring: Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris, Beau Starr,
George P. Wilbur, Sasha Jenson
Directed by: Dwight H. Little
Story: Ten years after his original massacre, the invalid Michael Myers
awakens and returns to Haddonfield to kill his seven-year-old niece on
Halloween. Can Dr. Loomis stop him?
Ten years ago he changed the face of Halloween. Tonight, HE'S BACK! It's
not always pleasing when a series goes past three sequels. After the
tremendous disappointment from fans and critics, it would seem that the
only way to give Halloween a good name was to bring back its star. How
would you do that? Well it's simple; writing is a wonderful tool. In 1988,
Trancas International Films independently released Halloween 4: The Return
of Michael Myers. The film revolves around Michael Myers for a third time
after his absence in Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Directed by Dwight
H. Little, the film stars Ellie Cornell as Rachel Carruthers, Danielle Harris
(who gives a great performance) as young Jamie Lloyd, and George P.
Wilbur as the shape. This installment picks up 10 years after the original.
Michael Myers has been in a coma ever since the events of Halloween II
where he and his Doctor were almost burned to ashes.
While being transferred to the Smith Grove Sanitarium, one of the orderlies
slips in saying that Myers has a surviving niece. Once Michael hears of this
news, he springs back into action leaving a bloody trail of corpses on the
road to Haddonfield. Donald Pleasance returns as Dr. Loomis, who is
scarred and crippled from his last encounter with Myers. Pleasance's role in
this film is that of an aging hero seemingly on the verge of madness.
Although crippled, it doesn't stop him from rushing to Haddonfield to save
little Jamie Lloyd, the 10 year old girl terrorized by her evil uncle. Once the
townspeople are alerted about Michael's return, they gather together to
form an angry mob. An angry mob with shotguns that is. Halloween 4 was
directed by Dwight Little, who has managed to create a professional slasher
sequel filled with the goods: shocks, stabs, and thumbs to the forehead.
Widely considered by fans to be the best of the sequels, Halloween 4 broke
away from the traditional formula to generate more thrills than chills.
Suspense was replaced with more blood, and even some gore. Although
the film broke away from the basic suspense formula, it was still faithful to
the story and is one of the most praised films in its series. Critics would
have you thinking otherwise, but you cannot deny the fact that Halloween
4 took the series to a fresh and rewarding direction. As the title suggests,
Halloween 4 marks the return of Michael Myers. A character who was most
recognized in the first two Halloween films. It's a fresh breath of air for
those who were disappointed by Halloween III, a film which I personally
enjoyed despite not having Myers at all. Michael isn't the only character to
come back. The other tie in from the original is the return of Donald
Pleasence, who reprised his role as Dr. Sam Loomis.
The film features one hell of a story that was written in 11 days to beat the
writers strike. After waking up from a 10 year absence, Michael Myers
wakes up to continue where he left off. Only this time, he's going after his
young niece Jamie Llyod. The 10 year old daughter of Laurie Strode (who
was pronounced dead). Jamie Llyod is a sweet and sympathetic character
who you end up falling in love with by the time everyone is being chased by
the pale faced monster. Jamie lives a pretty depressing life, for she is being
raised as a foster child. She's even teased at school. Not just because
she's an orphan, but because her uncle is the boogeyman. I mentioned
earlier that Halloween 4 broke from the original formula. In this movie we
actually get to follow Michael on his journey as he kills anybody that stands
in his way. John Carpenter once wrote a treatment for this film, only it was
more of a ghostly psychological approach to the Myers mythology.
It concerned the town of Haddonfield and what effect the events of the
first two films have had on the it's citizens. This concept was later by
rejected by Moustapha Akkad who wanted to bring back the favored killer
in true form. The film was a moderate box office success. It's an
improvement from the unsuccessful run of Halloween III. But compared to
the original Halloween, and the 1981 sequel, it just doesn't compare.
Nonetheless, Halloween 4 is a good movie and is often considered the best
of the Halloween sequels. Considering that the film cost about 5 million to
make, the film ended up grossing well over $17 at the box office. The best
part of the film has to be the ending. Halloween 4 features a shocking
ending that makes for a fitting end. Of all the sequels in the franchise,
Halloween 4 really stands out as being one of the better films in the series.
Genres: Horror, Thriller
Runtime: 88 minutes
Review done by: Nightmare Child
Online since: February 20th, 2006