When it was released in 1988, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers earned over $17 million in theatres after being made on a $5 million budget. Despite this success, Halloween 4's approach to reviving the story of Michael Myers polarized fans. Yet, with the benefit of hindsight, the film has proven to be not only one of the best sequels, but one of the best movies in the Halloween franchise.
Taking place 10 years after the events of the original, Halloween 4 picks up where Halloween II left off. It turns out that Michael Myers and Dr. Loomis, both presumed deceased, survived the major blast that ended the second film. The pair return to Haddonfield with different missions: Michael stalks his niece Jamie, taking out everyone in his wake, while Loomis stalks Michael, warning everyone he can. What makes Halloween 4 a strong horror film is its reliance on the "slow burn" style of movie-making, its commanding lead cast, and its use of atmospherics over gratuitous mayhem. Even though the film's body count is over two dozen, most of the carnage is implied or indicated through glimpses, hearkening back to the suggestive storytelling power of the original Halloween.
While many reviews have othered Halloween 4 because creators John Carpenter and Debra Hill are not associated with it, the producers and crew of this fourth installment knew what they were doing. Writer Alan H. McElroy - who wrote the script in 11 days - and director Dwight H. Little managed to create a movie that proves returning to genre basics pays off in the long run, even if some moviegoers don't appreciate it.
It Features One Of The Best Opening Title Sequences In Horror History
George P. Wilbur's Turn As The Shape Is Truly Terrifying
It Gets Lumped In With The 'Cult Of Thorn' Mythos, But The Cult Is Nowhere To Be Found
Dr. Loomis Has Fantastic Dialogue
Jamie Is A Great Protagonist And 'Final Girl'
The Film Does A Good Job Of Establishing Michael Myers As The Boogeyman