HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS

Written by Alan B. McElroy, directed by Dwight H. Little, and released in 1988, this film takes place 10 years after the events of the first and 2nd film. We learn that somehow Michael survived the fiery explosion at the end of Halloween 2, he was just badly burned and has been in a coma this entire time (I guess hIs eyes must have, uh, grown back?). Likewise, Dr. Loomis (a returning Donald Pleasence) also survived, with some burns on his hands and face, and now he walks with a cane. In the Sanitarium, Michael overhears some staff members commenting that his sister Laurie and her husband had died in a car accident 6 months earlier, and their young daughter, Michael’s niece and only surviving relative, is living in Haddenfield with new foster parents. So while being transported via ambulance to a new facility, Michael snaps out of his “coma”, kills everyone, causing the ambulance to crash in a lake, and proceeds to make his way back to Haddenfield. Dr. Loomis finds out, and tries to get to Haddenfield before Michael, and warn the authorities.

Danielle Harris plays Jamie Lloyd, Laurie’s 8 year old daughter. As the film opens, she’s been living with Darlene and Richard Carruthers (Karen Alston & Jeff Olson) and their teenage daughter Rachel (Ellie Cornell) since her parents died. She’s a bit withdrawn, and has to deal with taunts from some of the other kids in school, who tease her for being Michael Myers’ niece. Halloween is coming up, so Darlene and Richard are going out for the night, leaving Rachel home to watch Jamie, meaning Rachel will have to break plans she had with her boyfriend. After overhearing Rachel’s complaints about being stuck with Jamie, the young girl becomes upset, but Rachel apologizes and promises to take Jamie out trick or treating that night. While shopping for a costume, Danielle picks out a clown outfit, similar to the one Michael wore when he first killed his older sister. On Halloween night, Michael causes a city-wide blackout, plunging the city into darkness, as he begins his killing spree. Dr. Loomis and the new town Sherriff, Ben Meeker (played by Beau Starr) try to find and stop Michael, but as the bodycount rises, panic ensure, and soon a group of men have armed themselves and formed a lynch mob, patrolling the city, but that just adds to the chaos.

The film subverts some of the plot from the first film, in some interesting ways. Once again, it has a teenage girl running from Michael while trying to protect the child she is babysitting. Except this time the child is the actual target of Michael. Rachel is a “good girl” who survives, while the “bad kids,” such as her boyfriend Brady (Sasha Jenson), who cheats on her with Sheriff Meeker’s daughter, Kelly (Kathleen Kinmont), get killed by Michael. The film ends with Rachel ramming Michael with car, sending flying toward an abandoned mine shaft. When Michael gets up, the Sherriff and the mob all unleash a barrage of gunshots at him, hitting him what has to be dozens of times, and his body falls down the mine shaft, apparently dead. But this isn’t played like the first film, there is no double-checking for his body, it’s just assumed by everyone that he is finally dead, thanks to all the bullets he was hit with. And then the scene moves back to the Carruthers’ home, where the parents return. Then Darlene goes upstairs to take a bath, and Jamie followers her, grabs a pair of scissors and apparently stabs her to death. The final shot is of Jamie standing there, in the clown costume, holding the bloody scissors, with a catatonic look on her face, seemingly now afflicted with the same evil/insanity that engulfed Michael, as Dr. Loomis shouts “No!”, thinking that it’s starting all over. He even aims his gun at her, but Sherriff Meeker stops him from firing it.

Overall, this was a good film. It went back to basics, and gave us what made the original film so enjoyable: Michael Myers killing people at night. The killings weren’t too gory this time, unlike the last film, getting back to relying on the audience’s imagination. Danielle Harris did an excellent job as Jamie. Having such a young girl as the lead victim in a film like this was a bit of risk, it could have easily came off as just creepy instead of scary, but they made it work. And the ending set up an interesting premise for possible sequels, closing the chapter on the story of Michael Myers, while setting up Jamie Lloyd to follow in his footsteps.

GRADE:

Available on Amazon

  1 comment for “HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS

What do YOU think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: