Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers
Extras: Two Audio Commentaries, Convention Featurette, Trailer
"Jamie's uncle is the bogeyman!"
After the lacklustre performance at the box-office of Halloween III: The Season Of The Witch in 1982, the Halloween franchise seemed dead and buried. But in 1988 The Shape returned to the big screen in an instalment that brought the series bang up to date and which contained one of the finest movie debuts any actor has ever delivered, Danielle Harris.
Ten years to the day of that fateful Halloween when the adult Michael Myers first terrorized the sleepy town of Haddonfield, Illinois, the malevolent monster awakes from a decade-long coma, escapes incarceration and returns home. His latest prey is his niece, Jamie Lloyd (Harris), a young girl whose short life has been plagued by recurring nightmares involving her evil uncle. The only man aware of the true horror of the situation is Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence), Michael's childhood psychiatrist and now the killer's nemesis.
Dark with just the right amount of ironic touches to the past, Halloween 4 is one of the best of the series. Shot with style and a script that’s a sharp as Michael's blade, the film adds much to the franchise without bogging it down with unnecessary subplot.
Donald Pleasence is his old reliable self, delivering a solid and enigmatic turn as the unstoppable Dr Loomis, but the film belongs to Danielle Harris as Jamie. Harris is simply stunning as the youngster who discovers that there's more than just skeletons in her family's closet. The ending still has some shock value to it and contains that certain punch many slasher movie endings omit.
Director Dwight Little handles the action and many slayings with care, yes there's more blood than the original but Part 2 had liberal amounts of the red stuff too. George P. Wilbur is good value as Michael adding the right amount of silent menace that the character needs. He would return to the series for the incredibly poor 6th Part.
This Blu-ray release contains a solid transfer of the movie. Colours are sharp without any outline bleeding and the darker sequences contain many shades of black. The only real downside here is the extras. There’s two commentary tracks; one from Director Dwight H. Little and author Justin Beaham which is very technical and one from actors Ellie Cornell and Danielle Harris that is incredibly light in tone and low on info but huge fun. We also get a Halloween 4 & 5 Cast Panel recording which was taken at the H25 Convention and contains contributions from Danielle Harris, Kathleen Kinmont, Shasha Jenson and Jeffrey Landman. Badly shot with some rough audio this will only get one airing. Add to this a theatrical trailer and that's all you get.
So then, a film that is far better than it should have been, but did they keep up the quality for Part 5. Find out in the next review.