Michael Myers hears he has a niece and decides it is time for him to rise from his coma and begin his hunt again, having been burnt to a crisp 10 years earlier. He escapes from hospital and heads for Haddonfield, and for his niece Jamie, a pre teen girl. Unlike the previous 2 sequels, Halloween 4 has some effective scares and a decent plot. While it is still a cash in on the original, 4 (and 5) are the only other films in the series which can stand respectably with the original. Not as good, but not as terrible as you might expect. This is largely because of Danielle Harris’ performance, she outshines every other cast member, who admittedly are playing stupid teens ready to be slaughtered, but the range of emotions she shows at such a young age proves that she is among the best actresses of her generation. However, she can’t get a decent role these days and is content to do voices for The Wild Thornberries etc. (since this review was originally written Danielle has featured heavily in both of Rob Zombie’s Halloween movies and starred in Hatchet 2, hopefully carving her way into further big roles.
As with most slasher sequels, the kill count is very high and the death scenes more elaborate and ridiculous, with most of the central characters being wiped out. However, the gore level is low, and the deaths are not as gratuitous or set-piece like as other films. Unlike most slasher sequels though, the script is good, and the twist at the end is very effective, if a little strange. The director does well, creating a fair amount of tension, and we do not simply sigh as we wait for the inevitable next kill and final showdown. Pleasance returns as Loomis and is as good as ever, but he now is beginning to show signs of insanity, as Myers is taking over his life. This theme is explored further is the following film. It seems that only now, intelligent audiences, fans, and critics are realising that this is a decent film in its own right- that it should not be judged because it is not Halloween. Overall this does have a few of the expected flaws of a sequel, but it will surprise you by being better than you would think. The DVD does not have any real features, but for fans of the series, this should be a quick purchase.
As always, feel free to leave any comments- did you find this sequel better than you expected or is it just another cheesy teen-fest?