Movies

Blu Ray Review: Halloween 4

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

Anchor Bay

In Halloween 2, Myers was walking down the street when he just happened to overhear some people talking about Laurie Strode (his would-be last victim from Halloween 1) being sent to the hospital, thus setting him on a mission to kill her.  In Halloween 4, Myers is being transported to another hospital when the two doctors accompanying him just happen to mention Laurie Strode’s daughter.  People have to stop talking in front of him.

 

Yes, Michael Myers survived the fiery explosion that climaxed Halloween 2, though not unscathed, as he’s has been in a coma for the last ten years.  Also surviving the blast was Dr. Loomis, who fared much better, with only a scar on the side of his face as evidence of the past tragedy.  Loomis, of course, is not happy to hear that Myers is being moved.  After all this time, he still thinks that the conscious-less boy he failed to fix is a bomb waiting to go off; and it turns out he’s right.

Myers escapes and makes his way to Haddonfield, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake (which Loomis follows).  Once there, he begins stalking his prey, the 8-year-old Jamie, the daughter of Laurie Strode (named after the actress who played her mother, Jamie Lee Curtis).  His methods haven’t changed since the first Halloween, when he stalked Laurie in the day leading up to his nighttime attack.  Michael, in a featureless Captain Kirk mask, stands motionless in the middle background, staring creepily.  Incidentally, I love the fact that Myers goes to a costume store to get a new mask.  I like when monsters are practical.

There are a number of allusions to the original Halloween in this film.  It was probably intentional, since Halloween 3 featured a whole new cast and story, unrelated to Michael Myers; and this installment was seen an attempt to reconnect with the story from the first two.  Myers mounts a bloody escape the night before Halloween; there’s a scene of him on the roof of a car breaking out a side window; Loomis convinces the police chief to drive around aimlessly looking for Myers, and Jamie’s choice of a Halloween costume just happens to be the same kind of clown outfit as Michael wore in the opening scene of the first film.

The choice of using a child as the primary target is an interesting one for this type of movie.  Normally; the protagonists are the same demographic as the audience, so that they can better identify with them.  Danielle Harris (here’s what she looks like now), who plays Jamie did a well in the role, even if she did over-act a little at times.

This was the first Michael Myers story in which creator John Carpenter was not involved (he actually sold all his interests in the franchise to producer Akkad during the production, after his initial concept for the film was rejected); but by copying much of the film’s style and structure from the original, the result is a competent and watchable (but not at all original) entry in the franchise.

The Blu Ray from Anchor Bay looks as good as can be reasonably expected.  This is an older, low-budget film.  It’s reasonably sharp, even in dark scenes, but the colors are on the dull side.  The extras are a trailer, and a discussion panel on this film, and Halloween 5.

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