50/50 Review #42: Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers.

As most people know, Halloween 3 is not a Michael Myers film. It's some weird flick about Halloween masks that kill people. So when that bombed, they decided to go ahead and bring back the signature villain and dub it The Return of Michael Myers. The film picks up ten years after the second film when Michael Myers (George P. Wilbur) is being transported to a different facility. He wakes up, kills everyone, and escapes. Why? Because the next day is Halloween, and Laurie Strode's daughter, Jamie (Danielle Harris), is out there. And he wants her dead. So Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) is on the case to find her before Myers can.

The film gives off a decent atmosphere; however, it's not very scary. There aren't that many big scares, and the actor playing Myers seems rather scrawny or awkward and isn't very intimidating. And then that mask just looks silly in comparison to other variations. But there are some good scenes in it, like the rooftop scene and, of course, the ending. The ending is pretty shocking, and I was lucky enough not to know what happens. Though I've heard the next film completely negates it, so that sucks.

Otherwise the film came off as just a generic slasher. Outside of Loomis, the characters weren't very interesting, and the story was almost non-existent. And even Loomis is just saying "He isn't a man; he's evil" or some variation the majority of the film. He doesn't really do much in the movie outside of a really good performance in the final moments of the film. But I can't care about the characters. They just... had no personalities. And there was nothing to keep me invested in any of them... outside the fact that Jamie was a little girl and you rarely want kids to die in horror movies (unless they're creepy kids... or bad actors).

But it did have some good ideas that I wish it had gone with or expanded on instead. For instance, there's an implication at the beginning that Dr. Loomis could just have gone crazy after all these years and was just having paranoid hallucinations. Had the film been from his perspective, they really could have played that up. What if Myers really had been dead or totally invalid as he was supposed to be, and Loomis was just imagining this other stuff was happening. And even the teens in the town dressing up as Myers, as they did in the film, could have helped play it up. And going this route could have made the ending even stronger. Imagine--he goes through all of this just to realize Myers is really gone and he's kinda crazy. And then BAM, we get that same ending. That would have been awesome. As it is, Myers was really there, and there was another aspect of the film they could have done more with: The Town Vs. Myers. You don't see that too often in slashers. But the rednecks form this lynch mob... and nothing really comes of it except they make a pretty big mistake (that nothing ever comes from) and then when they're really needed, they're like "screw it." I wish they had set up the town to trap Myers so it was like a cat and mouse game, back and forth between him and the rest of the town.

On the whole, though, I found myself checking the time often. I just found it difficult to really get into.  Like I said, there were good ideas, and the one idea it goes with (the ending), they can't apparently stick with thanks to the follow-up. Again, the atmosphere was alright, but it wasn't really scary or exciting. A good scene here and there, but that's about it. It's not bad, but it's nothing super-fantastic, either.

Stop Saying OK! OK.

(P.S. That'll wrap up Joel's Month! I must say, it wasn't a very exciting month, unfortunately. I only actually liked one film (Open Your Eyes). Otherwise, the movies were anywhere from dull to blah (or just plain bizarre in the case of Watership Down). But now it's time to move on to the next month! Next month I'll be taking on Jess' selection... which, I'll admit, is an interesting mix of films.)

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