Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

This movie is about as pure 80’s slasher sequel as can be. The only difference is that it’s kind of well made.

In the late 70’s a film called Halloween was released. It had a tiny budget and was about a killer hunting babysitters on Halloween night. It was hugely popular and spawned a ton of copycat films looking to make big bucks off of small budgets. They were called slasher films and followed a pretty simple formula. Teenagers had sex and got murdered. The 1980’s, were flooded with sequels to these slasher films. Most were cheaply made and poorly done. Halloween 4 was a little bit better with a higher budget and ambitions of telling an actual story.

That story follows Jamie and her adoptive family. Her uncle is the famous serial killer Michael Myers. Jamie is struggling with belonging. She doesn’t feel that she belongs with her new family. She is teased at school, and her new sister doesn’t want to spend time with her. When her uncle breaks out if the asylum and comes hunting for Jamie, she and her sister must become a real family in order to survive. It’s a nice little story that gets the viewer invested in the leads and inspires empathy during all the horrible things they endure.

The villain here is built up to an almost ridiculous degree. From his superhero level strength to his ability to kill anyone with anything he can seem a little ridiculous when he has trouble catching a little girl. However, with his white painted mask and slow methodical movements he remains intimidating. The way he stalks forward in spite of any obstacles in order to catch his prey is still chilling. He is the personification of death. Death is unstoppable and always coming for you. All slasher movies are similar, but this one gives its silent killer a singular goal and the weight of unceasing fate.

One of the best parts of this movie is it’s opening credits. It is essentially silent with nothing but shots of Midwest farms in late fall. It is bleak, cold, and strangely ominous. Shots of old jack o lanterns and dead corn fields evoke the dark side of this season and everything it entails. Just the credits are enough to get you in the Halloween mood.

The film does have lots of ticks in the negative column as well. It’s views on dating are pure 80’s misogyny. The clothes are outrageously 80’s. Some of the murders in this movie are very comic. A man over-acts being electrocuted to the point that it looks like he’s auditioning for home alone. There’s just a lot of 80’s cheese, and it’s up to each viewer to decide if that cheese is still fresh or not.

For me it’s fresh enough. It’s my cup of tea B

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