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Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers Review

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It’s ten years since unstoppable psycho Michael Myers last put on his mask and terrorised his home town of Haddonfield, Illinois. Now, after escaping from a criminally low-security ambulance, he's up to his same old tricks, unless…yawn…someone can stop h

★★★★

Halloween III: Season Of The Witch was a brave experiment that didn’t come off. A sequel that wasn’t a retread of exactly what had happened in Halloween and Halloween II, it dared to be different and intriguing, and stiffed badly at the box office. Now, five years later, the rights to the series have passed from originator John Carpenter to producer Moustapha Akkad and this fourth film corrects what Halloween 3 did “wrong” by being precisely as unimaginative, uninspiring, predictable and dumb as the disappointing Halloween II or any of the other psycho sequels to the Friday The 13th or A Nightmare On Elm Street bloodbaths currently clogging the marketplace. As you might expect, it cleaned up last year in U.S. theatres (over here, we’re getting it a Halloween late) and has been followed by Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers, which you can expect next year.

Jamie Lee Curtis’ career has taken off to such a degree that she wouldn’t even consider appearing in a trash quickie like this (except in a photograph), but Donald Pleasence, the busiest actor in the world, doesn’t have such scruples and so Dr Loomis, the looney shrink Donald played in the first two films, is back with some plastic scars to show he was a bit hurt by the explosion at the end of Halloween II, but with his raincoat and silly voice intact. When Michael busts out of the loony bin and goes after the orphaned daughter of the old Curtis character, Loomis heads for Haddonfield, to stop the slaughter. Some teenagers make out and get killed, Michael causes a power cut, the cute ickle orphan is menaced, some gory things happen off screen where there’s no danger that they might frighten you, and Carpenter’s old synth riff is replayed plenty of times.

It opens with lumps of dull exposition, and then rushes through a story littered with annoyingly thin characters, ridiculous contrivances and wholly idiotic plot twists. Miraculously, something interesting happens in the last two minutes, but by that time it’s far, far too Iate.

It’s incredible that a film could be so closely patterned on Carpenter’s still-thrilling original movie and yet be so stupid, unscary and plodding as Halloween 4 is.