This may come as a surprise to many of you, but Mr. Universe and myself (Channy Dreadful) are an item. Who could have possibly known? Naturally, he pressured and forced me to allow him to discuss one of the films from the Halloween franchise. (I'm obviously kidding.) When I asked him if he was interested, he told me he would be happy to and was kind enough to let all of the other guests pick their choices and take whatever was left over. Lucky for him, many of the movies in the Halloween franchise just continue to improve, or at the very least are decently enjoyable horror films. You can't say that about many franchises -- just ask Ron and Jessica, they know better than anyone! You are in for yet another treat when it comes to Jordan's review on Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers! - Channy Dreadful
Let’s set the stage. You’ve produced two slasher horror movies that were critical successes, and one sequel that had people leaving the theatres wondering, “But where was the dude in the mask?’ Now, since you’ve kicked this whole slasher genre into high gear, everyone’s doing it - and they’re getting gorier and crueler than your films ever were. Some filmmakers are even popping out sequels with the same killers that should’ve been dead already, and the audiences are too excited and scared to care that it doesn’t make a lick of sense. Why didn’t you think of that? Where do you go from here?
Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers is aptly-named, and clever in it's barely tongue-in-cheek lack of subtlety. Yes, Michael returns in this film within the film’s universe. On top of that, a big neon sign to the disappointed audience still reeling from their seasonal witch allergies: MICHAEL RETURNS IN THIS FILM. GIVE US ANOTHER CHANCE. Now, Michael may have returned this time -- but he’s damned near the only one who did. Both John Carpenter and Debra Hill took a hard pass on this one, as did the entire cast save Donald Pleasence. The ironic thing about making an iconic movie is it catapults your cast into pop culture stardom, and then they can get better roles and don’t have to work with you. It’s a vicious cycle. C’est l’industrie.
This film is centred around a little girl -- Jamie Lloyd, daughter of Laurie Lloyd (née Strode, remember her?) -- who is living with a foster family after her parents were killed by an out-of-control plot device. As a comatose Michael Myers is being transferred to a sanitarium (because euthanizing him would’ve been soooo cruel) he does what he does best and escapes mid-transit. Then he proceeds to do what he does even best-er and kill everyone who deigns to acknowledge instead of ignore him, all while on his mission to do what he does most best-est - head to Haddonfield, IL and attempt to hunt down and murder his own family, no matter how distant, for reasons unapparent. Meanwhile, Jamie seems to have inherited more than her mom’s actress’s name, as she knows what Michael looks like and constantly has paranoid delusional hallucinations about him.
After a particularly merciless lashing from the kids at school, little Jamie decides to show them how cool she can be, and go out trick-or-treating-through-a-KILLER-ON-THE-LOOSE-curfew with her teenage foster sister Rachel, all while dressed the way her crazy uncle had dressed twenty-odd years prior when he first smacked down. Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis returns to town with some groovy new facial-burn prosthetics to fuck Michael up once more before his ass-kicking pension locks in. You can see where this is going. Love triangles, redneck lynch mobs, child terror and gruesome, gruesome deaths - this movie’s got it all, kids. All but a decent police force, apparently. You’d think they learn, after twice housing a notorious serial killer who is still alive?
Fetus Danielle Harris really stands out in this film, and I feel that she’s a large reason this movie worked at all. She come across as pretty damaged and unhinged even before the whole Uncle Mike business (who wouldn’t be?), but I really like her portrayal of fear. It’s a hard thing for a child to capture -- I guess that’s why Danielle stuck with horror as her go-to genre. Plus, the twist-ending involving her character is the only way this film could have gone without wasting perfectly good parallels. While I feel Jamie Lee Curtis was great in the first two instalments, I can’t say that her presence is sorely missed in this film. All we need is some Michael, some Pleasencetries, some gore brought about in superhumanly ridiculous ways - we’ve got the makings of a real Halloween movie.
All in all, it seems the general consensus is that this is the drop-off before the Halloweens start to become Hella-bad (Not clever, Universe, and not entirely accurate. Bad joke.) so I would enjoy it while it lasts. Just remember, kids: next time you’re trying to transport someone with a track record of not-really-being-dead and a penchant for killing-everyone-who-talks-to-him, consider taking a teensy bit more precautions with the situation. Safety first.