Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Slasher Film, Teen Movie  |   Release Date - Oct 21, 1988 (USA)  |   Run Time - 88 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Mike DiBella

Any film series that exceeds trilogy status is headed for trouble, and Halloween 4 is no exception. While the original is a truly classic stark horror film and even the sequel gets some high marks, the fourth installment is mostly ineffective, beginning too hastily and not becoming even remotely compelling until the final act. Donald Pleasance's Ahab-like quest for Michael Myers is admirable, but this film was made in a time when believability simply did not factor into production. The film's dark and gruesome tone does still make Michael Myers -- the embodiment of pure evil who kills without conscience -- a seminally frightening figure. But, while the other Halloween films delved deep into Myers' psychological profile, this film does an about-face by labeling Myers' evil as purely genetic. While not devoid of camp and some adequate horror-flick touches (including the signature Halloween theme music), this movie did little more than foreshadow the numbered days of aimless slasher fare.