Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) Review

Director: Dwight H. Little

Genre(s): Horror, Thriller

Runtime: 88 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

IMDb Page

After Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) underperformed at the box office, it was decided to bring killer Michael Myers back to the series. Essentially ignoring the wacky events of the previous film, Michael Myers (George P. Wilbur) escapes from captivity to stalk his niece, Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris), killing anybody who gets between him and her. This all takes places on the tenth anniversary of Myers’ murder spree back in 1978, as depicted in the movies Halloween (1978) and Halloween II (1981). Oooo…scary!

Despite the triumphant return of the Halloween theme music (originally written by John Carpenter), this is largely a by-the-numbers and, at times, predictable slasher flick. Okay, it’s not bad, but even the quirky Halloween III is superior. The pacing is not particularly propulsive, which just might be the biggest drawback here. Sometimes characters don’t act as terrified or adrenaline-driven as they probably should be when in the presence of Michael Myers.

There are few good moments of horror action in this feature, like an exploding car at a gas station or Myers taking over a speeding automobile. Even if the pacing lags at times, Myers is still a force of nature, stealing the show, as expected. There are a couple of cheesy moments to be found in this picture, but it doesn’t really bother me, and only adds some enjoyment for this viewer. It’s something to shake up the slasher film formula.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is not exactly required viewing for fans of the original movie, but it’s not a waste of time. It deepens the silly-but-fun lore of the franchise somewhat and has several memorable death scenes. I suppose that that’s enough for it to earn a thumbs-up. Halloween 4 has its fans, so, who knows? You could end up being one of them.

My rating is 7 outta 10.

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