Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) starring Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris, George P. Wilbur directed by Dwight H. Little Movie Review

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Danielle Harris as Jamie Lloyd in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Taking the Michael

What do you do when you've killed of a major character and then realised it was a huge mistake, well you could bring them back as a ghost or have them reappear from a shower and say everything was a dream or as is the case with "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers" just say they didn't die. You could say that the outrageousness of having Michael still alive after we saw him die at the end of "Halloween II" is a big mistake but in truth it's not it just adds to the legend of Michael Myers that even when he takes a licking he keeps on ticking. It also means that "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers" returns to form and is nothing more than a slasher movie with Michael Myers but one which if all you want is some simple horror entertainment works.

Ten years after the massacre at the Haddonfield hospital Michael Myers (George P. Wilbur) is in a vegetative state and unbeknown to the disfigured Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is being transferred out of Ridgemont Federal Sanatorium. Shocked to discover Michael is gone he is not surprised when news comes in that the ambulance that was transporting him has been involved in an accident and Michael has gone. Knowing where Michael is heading Dr. Loomis returns to Haddonfield where Michael's niece Jamie (Danielle Harris) lives with the Carruthers family and warns the police that Myers has returned looking for her.

Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Whilst I liked what John Carpenter tried to do with "Halloween III" it didn't really work and after stepping away from "Halloween IV" we had a series which returned to form and basics. Now that does mean we have to believe that Michael is indestructible and survived the massacre at the end of "Halloween II" as did Dr. Loomis but get beyond that and we have a solid but not amazing slasher movie. Solid because it manages to tie in a few new elements to the growing story of Michael Myers with the introduction of a 7 year old niece called Jamie but not amazing because there is nothing new when it comes to horror movies. We get some gruesome deaths intermingled with some typical slasher movie characters especially teenage ones where we know that if you are a bad teenager who has sex you will die.

So basically "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers" is just a typical slasher movie but in a way because this 4th movie sticks to what it does best, doesn't try to over complicate things or create some over detailed back story it works. It also works because of the character of Jamie and what a fabulous job Danielle Harris did in her first movie as the 7 year old girl making her likeable with out ever being a brat. But what is more interesting is the connections they create, the fact she chooses a clown outfit to go trick or treating in is a clever bit of writing and gives a sense of foreboding. And that sense of foreboding whilst delivering a strangely contrived ending also delivers a shocking one.

Aside from that to be honest there isn't a lot to say about "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers", it is a shame that Jamie Lee Curtis isn't in the movie but then we do get Donald Pleasence who continues to evolve the character of Loomis nicely. And there is an entertaining scene featuring several Michael Myers, which I will leave at that for those who have yet to watch this 4th movie.

What this all boils down to is that "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers" is basically a slasher movie with Michael Myers going after a niece he has never met. Yes the fact Michael is alive is outrageous but bringing him back works and we get an enjoyable slasher movie with Danielle Harris in her movie debut stealing many a scene.