Reviewbr> “You talk about him as if he were a human being. That part of him died years ago.” – Dr Loomis
Michael Myers has been comatose for ten years, and Haddonfield has put him into the mythology box. Unfortunately Mikey learns he has a niece, and he’s back up and stalking again. Escaping from an ambulance transferring him to another asylum, when will they ever learn, the Shatner-masked dude heads on home to celebrate Halloween … Myers style!
Myers’s ten-year-old niece Jamie is in foster care but has been having nightmares about Michael for the past few days. She knows he’s coming, and it’ll take the combined efforts of her foster sister Rachel and Dr Loomis to make sure she makes it through the night. Will Michael get his niece, or will his nemesis spring to the rescue once again? Much tension, some claret, and a tad of new directions for the franchise ensue. Ready to take out the carving knife one more time….?
It took seven years post Halloween II for the franchise holders to revisit with Michael Myers, after Halloween III pretty much capsized the series. The third movie wasn’t well received, and plans for a whole swag of “Halloween” themed movies were shelved. Producer Moustapha Akkad basically brought the rights to the franchise, and decided the only way forward was to give the fans what they wanted: more of the night he come home! And are we ever-glad Akkad decided to go with that.
First and foremost, Halloween 4 is an attempt to resurrect the franchise, hence the similar plotlines it shares with John Carpenter’s original. We have Myers incarcerated in an institution, which he then escapes from to return to Haddonfield on Halloween evening, with Dr Loomis in pursuit. Pretty standard fare to be honest. But writer McElroy ups the ante and goes in a different direction. This time round Mikey isn’t after his teenage sister, standard slasher stuff that we’ve all seen before – instead he’s after his ten-year-old niece! As stated in other reviews, putting kids in danger is a difficult job to pull off in the horror genre; McElroy achieves it and adds the wow factor in doing so.
Nice additional touches are the hinted-at mental connection Jamie has with her uncle, once again a strong female saviour figure, and the inclusion of some of the background from JC’s first couple of movies in the franchise. If you remember back to H2, both Loomis and Myers went up in flames during the penultimate scene. This time round both characters are showing lots of signs of burn damage, with Loomis now having heavy scarring etc. We never get to see Myers’s face, as he is still “the shape” as devised by Carpenter. Cool use of the Shatner mask to keep Michael as a semi-mythical figure.
Director Little hits a home run with the fourth movie. There’s plenty of blue filtering going down, good use of lighting to keep the sides of the film frames in semi-darkness, and an all out creepy feeling to proceedings. Director Little knows the Halloween franchise is all about tension, and goes after that like a Trojan. You just never know when Michael might pop up, and what he might be carrying.
Michael is back and he's not taking a backward step in getting his Halloween on
Clearly influenced by the avalanche of slasher fare during the 1980s, the Director adds a tougher feeling to the movie than we have previously seen. He isn’t holding back the ketchup and Michael sure looks pissed off on his third visit to Haddonfield. I was on the edge of my seat during the tension-filled and draining rooftop scene in the latter half of the film. Little nails that one, and it’s one of the best scenes in a Halloween movie since JC hung up his director’s cap. Little, you’re on my Christmas card list dude!
If the Director and Writer are on song here, they are amply backed up by an outstanding cast, who had me believing all the way to the mortuary. Ellie Cornell (Rachel) gives a rounded performance, and surprisingly comes off as your typical chick teenager rather than the big-boobed victim which dominates the genre. Rachel has normal teenage concerns and is worried about her social life, which probably won’t be helped by Michael any time soon. Danielle Harris (Jamie) has a big slice of the movie’s screen time and handles it well. She was only ten during filming and isn’t overawed by the experience. Harris really adds a new dimension to the Halloween franchise and I was buying her performance.
Of course Donald Pleasence is back as the deranged Dr Loomis, and is even crazier this time round. Pleasence nails this sort of a role, and isn’t letting us down in the fourth movie. The Dude is a hoot, and brings one of the best franchise characters to life.
T&A is restricted to a quick boob shot, but if you like chicks bums in g-strings then dive on in. Wonderful example right here for the pervs amongst us.
Alan Howarth lays down the score for us, and pretty much re-uses John Carpenter’s work from the first movie. Once Carpenter’s noteworthy theme kicks in you’ll have the cold shivers heading up your spine. Outstandingly good, and I for one am pleased the movie makers didn’t discard anything from JC’s original score.
It’s Halloween 4 and Michael Myers is back with a vengeance. Arguably this is the best franchise entry since the original movie knocked our socks off, and I was grinning throughout the running time and having fun times. All the elements we have come to know and love from the franchise are back, and there are some new elements to the Haddonfield mythos. We get what we want, and a little gravy on the top to make us all happy campers. The only thing blunting this butcher’s knife is the lack of Jamie Lee. Okay so we might be biased and all, but by heck we love Jamie Lee.
Halloween 4 slurped up $17.7 million at the U.S. Domestic Box Office, and is the fifth most successful movie in the franchise. The budget was a cool $5 million, so no wonder the franchise kicked into gear again. Surprisingly the indie outfit Galaxy International managed to secure this movie from under the noses of Universal.
For trivia buffs, the chick driving Rachel and Jamie to the costume store is called Lindsey, and the character is approximately 17 years old. Jamie Lee looked after a 7 year old in the first movie also named Lindsey. And if that isn’t excitement enough for you Halloween fans, a teenager named Tommy is mentioned in the store.
Huge recommendation coming at you for Halloween 4. The movie goes back to the Haddonfield basement and delivers us a new improved Michael. If you like the franchise, then this is a must-see movie. If not up with the Myers saga, you can still view the movie as a stand-alone; you don’t necessarily need to know what’s gone down previously in the series. Play that funky music Mikey, nice to see you back visiting the relatives!