“… saved by an amazing performance and an even better ending.”
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is exactly what it sounds like; it’s the fourth Halloween movie and it is about Michael Myers again. What the title doesn’t convey is just how fucking boring it is to get through. So Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers picks up a decade after the events of Halloween and Halloween II and miraculously both Michael Myers and Dr. Loomis are fine. They “almost burned to death”, but they sure as hell don’t look it. Anyway Michael Myers escapes from yet another facility (seriously, why do they keep trying to move him?) and goes after his only living relative in Haddonfield, Laurie Strode’s daughter Jamie.
So we have Michale Myers back, the movie is only 80 minutes long, what’s so bad about it? Nothing. Fucking. Happens. The first hour of the movie is populated with three, that’s right only three victims that die by the hands of Michael Myers. I thought we had agreed that the Halloween franchise was a slasher franchise now, you can’t try and revert it back to horror like the first film. It doesn’t work.
So the first hour of the film sees Michael Myers creeping around in the bushes again, but this time it is quantifiably less scary due to one factor changing: his mask. I’m not sure what was done to Michael Myers in this movie but he looks like a fucking dork. Seriously, look up a picture of Michael Myers from Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and you will see the worst halloween costume that has ever graced your vision. And becasue of this all of the fear that was struck into your heart during the first and second movie is completely gone.
And it doesn’t help that the beginning of the movie is very confusing as well. I’m not sure exactly what they were going for, but it is next to impossible to tell what is a dream. The movie centres around Jamie, a little girl who is the current target of Michael Myers, and the movie introduces that well. What it doesn’t introduce is the fact that Jamie fucking hallucinates almost constantly so what we see from her point of view is almost definitely a lie. This caused major confusion when Michael Myers was seemingly able to cover thousands of miles in seconds, along with complete outfit changes.
But speaking of Jamie, Danielle Harris (the actress who portrayed Jamie) is the best part of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. I never thought I would be saying this but the child actor in a Halloween sequel is the best part of the movie. Seriously though, her acting is incredible. She is very expressive and realistic which is not only impressive due to her age but also the subject matter (directors often don’t want to scare children, so getting them to act like they are actually scared is a challenge).
So I was ready to almost completely write-off Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, save for the incredible performance by Danielle Harris, but then the ending happened. I don’t think I’ve ever had a movie win me back so much with its ending. I don’t want to spoil it here, but it was perfect. It was bleak, it was horrifying, it was exactly what I wanted from the franchise, and it was punctuated by an amazingly over-the-top performance by Donald Pleasence. It was perfect.
Overall Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is not a good movie, but I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would. The beginning of the movie is terribly boring, but it is saved by an amazing performance and an even better ending.
I give Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers a C