Tag Archives: Halloween II

My Thoughts on: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

After making my way through the misfit Halloween III: Season of the Witch, I was more than ready to get back to the story of Michael Myers with the aptly named Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and I was not disappointed. Released six years after Halloween III, Halloween 4 moves the focus to Jamie (Danielle Harris), the young daughter of Laurie Strode (and by extension Michael’s niece) who is struggling to live with her foster family, as she suffers from constant nightmares of Michael, though she doesn’t realize it’s him as yet.

Michael conveniently escapes the day before Halloween and makes his way back to Haddonfield once he learns that he has a niece. Pursuing him along the way is Dr. Loomis, now badly scarred after suffering burns due to the conclusion of Halloween II (a nice continuity touch). There’s a noticeable difference to Loomis in this film, compared to his appearances in Halloween and Halloween II. While he was always obsessed with Michael to a certain degree, starting with this film Loomis becomes noticeably vengeful too. This is no longer a case of a doctor wanting to save the world from his incurably evil patient, now Loomis is distinctly obsessed with killing Michael to remove his evil from the world. That, combined with the scars, makes Loomis a little frightening in his own right.

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the focus of Halloween moving to Jamie, a young girl. But Danielle Harris’ performance in this film is quite good, not least because she reacts to Michael exactly the way you’d expect a little kid too: with fear, terror and a lot of screaming. Speaking of, those screams practically broke my heart. It also left me completely unprepared for how the film would end (more on that in a little while).

I’ve read multiple times that people don’t like Michael’s mask in Halloween 4, but I confess I don’t see the problem with it. It’s clearly established that this is a different mask from the one he had before (he stole it from that store Jamie was in), so naturally it’s going to have a different look. It was certainly scary enough for me, I had no problem believing that was Michael Myers.

Then there’s the ending of the film and THAT final scene with Jamie. Considering it’s been over a year since I saw the original Halloween, I’d forgotten the significance of Jamie wearing a clown costume for trick or treating as young Michael wore something similar when he killed his older sister. If you make the connection back to the original film, it provides a frightening bit of foreshadowing for the horror that will come in the film’s closing moments. I particularly liked how Halloween 4 pays homage to the first film’s opening scene by giving us a POV through mask holes. And that last image of Jamie….that will remain burned in my brain for years to come, and I KNEW the scene existed! Being easily frightened, I review a summary of each Halloween film before I watch it so I’m not overwhelmed by the kills or jump scares, so I knew exactly how Halloween 4 ends. But even though I knew, it didn’t stop the ending from giving me an emotional gut punch that left me sitting stunned through the credits. That is the sign of a good film, when you know how it ends but it still gets to you anyway.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) Directed by Dwight H. Little Shown: George P. Wilbur

The original Halloween is still the best in the series, but dare I say it, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is not far behind. This is definitely one of my favorite films in the series and it left me eager to move on to Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (though in hindsight I shouldn’t have been that eager).

Let me know what you think about Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Halloween (1978)

My Thoughts on: Halloween II (1981)

My Thoughts on: Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

My Thoughts on: Halloween (2018)

My Thoughts on: Halloween Kills (2021)

Film Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

My Thoughts on: Halloween II (1981)

After gingerly making my way through Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills (2021), I decided I might as well go for it and make my way through the rest of the Halloween movies. And as I’ve already seen the original Halloween (albeit last year), that meant my starting point would be Halloween II, the no-longer-canon sequel to the original Halloween film. Halloween II picks up immediately where the original film left off, and finds a traumatized Laurie Strode still pursued by Michael Myers, with the action now moved to Haddonfield’s local hospital.

Given how terrified I was by the first Halloween film, I was a little nervous going in to Halloween II. But I shouldn’t have worried, as there is a noticeable drop in terror between the first Halloween film and Halloween II. Which isn’t to say that Halloween II isn’t scary, it definitely is, but it’s not as scary as the first film, which so far bears out what others have told me about this franchise, namely that the first film is the best and it all went downhill from there.

Although as I said, Halloween II does have it’s fair share of scary moments, it just takes a while….a LONG while….for things to get interesting. Everything that happens before Michael shows up at the hospital is, well, to be honest it’s a little dull. In fact, up until a certain point, I was fully prepared to state that I was completely bored by this movie. But then Michael showed up at the hospital and things got interesting in a hurry.

The kills and scares once Michael gets to the hospital are more than a little gruesome, especially THAT scene with the therapeutic hot tub. The one big disappointment I have with the kills though is that we don’t see how the one head nurse meets her demise. Oh sure, we see the bloody aftermath, and it looks gruesome, but I want to see how she got into that position to begin with. Because of all the kills I’ve seen Michael do, that one doesn’t feel like something he would do. It’s too slow, if that makes sense. Michael, as far as I can tell, goes in for a relatively quick kill: stabbing, strangling, scalding to death. All excruciating ways to die, but it’s still relatively quick. Death by bleeding out (unless Michael tapped an artery) is going to take a while. Maybe that’s why the movie doesn’t show that part, because it wouldn’t fit with what we usually see Michael doing when he kills.

I do find it more than a little funny that Michael was able to move throughout the hospital for so long without anyone getting wise to him being there. But then again, this IS a horror movie, and it IS established to be the dead of night, so I won’t nitpick too hard on this point (but it IS funny if you think about it). Oddly enough, I think I liked Donald Pleasance’s performance in the first film better than in this one. Somehow, he just didn’t come across as good this time around.

I know it’s been long since retconned, but I do like the plot point of Laurie being revealed as Michael’s long-lost younger sister. Suddenly Michael’s ongoing obsession with killing Laurie in particular makes total sense. After all, this all started with Michael killing his older sister, it stands to reason he would want to kill his younger sister for the same twisted reasons. Even though it’s no longer canon, I like how the film drops that little bombshell into the mix, and I can only imagine that it got a big gasp out of the audience when it first hit theaters.

One other detail that interested me comes late in the film. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but knowing what I know about the plots about Halloween 4, 5, and 6…is it possible that Michael scrawling “Samhain” on the chalkboard is a tiny bit of foreshadowing for the weird Thorn plot that makes up the plot of 4-6? I don’t know if that’s even possible given the time gap between Halloween II and Halloween 4 but I feel like it could be interpreted that way.

While it’s nowhere near as good as the first film, I did enjoy Halloween II, and I can totally see how it was intended to be the definitive end for Michael’s story (though of course history had other ideas). Onward to Halloween III: Season of the Witch (aka “the weird one” in this franchise)!

Let me know what you think about Halloween II in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Halloween (1978)

My Thoughts on: Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

My Thoughts on: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

My Thoughts on: Halloween (2018)

My Thoughts on: Halloween Kills (2021)

Film Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook