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“Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers”
Director: Dwight H. Little
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris, Ellie Cornell
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 88 Mins
“Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” is viewed to me, as one of the best sequels in the Halloween franchise. The original film is the best film in the series, but there’s a debate that either this or “Halloween: H20” is my favorite sequel of the franchise. It usually changes, every time I talk about it. Enough with that, since I’m here to talk about this film and the Blu-Ray.
The takes places years later, after the events of Halloween 1 and 2. After being comatose for so long, Michael Myers wakes up while transferred to another hospital. Once he escapes the ambulance, he proceed go back to Haddonsfield for the orphaned daughter (Danielle Harris) of Laurie Strode and her Step-sister Rachel (Ellie Cornell). Standing in Michael’s way yet again is Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence), who is determined to stop his reign of terror once and for all.
Director Dwight H. Little does a very good job with the direction. I liked how, he makes the film stand out from the other entries in the series. Little does that through the way that he captures the background. From the opening title sequences to the night scenes, he does a very good job capturing the atmosphere in the scene. It works especially well with the action that goes on.
Little also did a very good job handling the film’s performances. The performances are what helps make the characters interesting instead of being downright annoying like the next entry of the series. The performances themselves were very good. I enjoyed the lead performances, as both Ellie Cornell and Daniele Harris did a very good job developing chemistry between the two. It helped bring a dynamic that you can believe their characters as sisters and helped with some of the film’s climatic scenes. The other thing about the direction of the acting that I liked was the fact that none of the supporting performances felt annoying. This film could’ve easily had it with the sex crazed girl, the cheating boyfriend and a bunch of truckers, but Little does a very good job directing their performances. It doesn’t become distracting to the fim and it keeps the film’s dark and intense tone.
The screenplay was written by Alan McElroy, who later would write the screenplays for “Spawn” and “Wrong Turn”. I liked the screenplay here. One of the things that makes it work, he was able to tie in this film to the first two films in the series. Even though there aren’t any flashback sequences, McElroy does a very good job making reference to those films through dialogue in the beginning of the film. It explains what happened to Michael and Dr. Loomis after the events of the second film and you’re not left wondering about the continuity of the series. The other thing that McElroy does very well, he does a very good job developing the relationship between Jamie Lloyd and Rachel Curthers during the course of the film. By spending time on that, it made the characters interesting and makes you invested with all the horrific action that goes on during the course of the film.
The first extra on the Blu-Ray is the new audio commentary track on the disc that features “Halloween 4” director Dwight H. Little being interviewed by Justin Beahn from Halloweenmovies.com. I liked how they both cover the film’s production. From the production to working with the film’s producer to various myths about the film, Little provides some interesting stories. He also goes into very great detail about the locations and how he envisioned this entry of the Halloween series. It adds more to the making of the film. This is must listen track for fans of the film.
The next audio commentary track features actress Daniele Harris and Ellie Cornell. This was imported from the film’s DVD release. This was the first time that I heard the track and I thought it was good. I liked the chemistry that both of the actresses had, as they recount the time that they had on set. It goes into interesting stories about what happened behind the scenes and the fun time that they had working on this film.
After the audio commentaries, there is “Halloween 4 & 5 cast panel”, which was also imported from the original DVD. It’s an eighteen minute featurette that features “Halloween 4” cast members Danielle Harris, Sasha Jensen, Katherine Kinmont and “Halloween 5” actor Jeffery Landsman talking about their characters and answering questions about their experiences on the set of the films that they were involved with. Then, the disc wraps up with the film’s trailer.
With a very good screenplay and very good directing from Dwight H. Little, “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” is one of best film in the series. It’s a good way to spend the upcoming Halloween season with.
Review Rating: Four Stars
DVD Extras: Three and a Half Stars