• Ceris

Ceris' 31 Days of Horror Challenge: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

We start with a wet, windy and stormy night, the perfect setting for a classic horror film. A lone ambulance pulls up at Ridgemont Federal Sanitorium to collect a bandage covered figure, who turns out to be a comatose Michael Myers …… although he’s probably not as out of it as he appears.

The apparently comatose Michael Myers (George P. Wilbur) is being transferred from one hospital to another, but he wakes up when the ambulance crew talk about his surviving niece, Jamie (Danielle Harris). After slaughtering his attendants, Myers sets out to find his one living relative who is, fortunately, being cared for by a kind and resourceful foster sister named Rachel (Ellie Cornell). Meanwhile, the ever-cautious Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) remains on the killer's path.

While in the back of the ambulance, the figure seems to suddenly regain consciousness at the exact moment the paramedic mentions that he has only one living relative, a niece who is too young to be his carer. Which swings us dramatically to a young girl staring out of the window into the storm and seeing an ambulance (it’s the same ambulance!!) across the street. She then essentially blackmails her foster sister into telling her that she loves her before going back to bed and having the mother of all nightmares, where Mikey comes back to kill her! The following morning, again emotionally blackmailing her sister by making out she is the bane of everyone’s lives – she is the bane of this film already – Rachel, her sister, promises to take her out for ice-cream after school.

We are back in the mental hospital, and an angry (British – who knew!) Loomis, with a delightful scar on his face, starts berating the doctor who ordered Myers’ transfer – and quite rightly so I think! Coincidentally – or not if you’re like me, the doctor receives a call advising there has been an accident ….. any guesses what it is? Gold star if you said the ambulance, but while the police say everyone is dead, Loomis isn’t fooled, saying ‘You won’t find him, he’s done all this, and now he’s escaped’. Loomis then tells everyone he is going to Haddonfield to find Michael.


Next, we find ourselves in a small petrol station and garage, where a very much alive and conscious Michael stabs the poor mechanic and steals his clothes. Funnily enough, it happens to be the same garage Loomis stops in for gas, coming across the mechanic hanging from the chains in the garage, and the dead man in the shop. He looks up and see Michael back in his classic boiler suit, but with a bandaged Michael staring back at him. A few pistol shots and Michael manages to get past Loomis and into the garage and into a truck, before making his escape and practically running Loomis over in the process.


Back with Jamie, who’s getting picked on for being an orphan – which clearly isn’t her fault, but I tell you what is …. the emotional blackmail. With the puppy dog eyes, Rachel and Jamie go to get her a Halloween costume and while Rachel is distracted, Jamie goes and finds a clown costume (who remembers what Mikey was wearing when he killed is sister) and also I spy a very familiar (although much shitter) looking mask. Jamie has a nervous breakdown after seeing Uncle Mike in the boiler suit and mask in the shop, but no one believes her. This is defo coming back to bite them on the ass!


Out on the road, Loomis is attempting, and failing, at being a hitchhiker, but let’s be honest a car full of pretty cheerleaders aren’t going to give a lift to a limping weird looking old man. That’s okay, an equally weird and eccentric priest just happens to be passing and picks him up.

Rachel’s parents leave and Rachel takes the mick about the contact numbers her parents have left for her …… this will be something she wishes she didn’t do; I can sense it. They leave to go Trick or Treating, and Myers goes into the house and looks through photos of his family. Loomis, trying to be a good guy, warns the police that Michael has escaped and has come home to Haddonfield to go after his niece. The new Sherriff clearly doesn’t believe him until one of the troopers tells him the phones lines are down – evidently the work of one Mr Myers. Jamie is out Trick or Treating, and the nasty bastards from school want to be her friend now, and Rachel is devastated to learn Brady cheated on her from the blonde shop assistant – little do they know Michael is watching them, just as Rachel manages to lose Jamie!


At the local bar, the TV informs the occupiers that by order of the sheriff office they need to close, which they aren’t happy about. They try ringing the station but get no answer, so in typical small town vigilante mob style, they head to the station themselves. Loomis and Sheriff Meeker go to Jamie’s house and figure out Myers has been there, when they see the dog dead in the cupboard.


Michael has managed to wander to the electricity station and decided the maintenance man is looking a little pale so crisps him up by lobbing him into the pylons. Rachel is now wandering the deserted streets looking for the child she lost, not knowing just how much shit she is in, and Jamie seems to have only just realised she is lost herself – don’t worry hun I’m sure you can blackmail Uncle M into not killing you. Guys no one panic!! Loomis and Meeker found the girls so it’s good, but Loomis spots Michael at least he thinks he does, until 5 more men in masks appear – turns out its some kids being arseholes (standard). As they drive away Michael is standing in the middle of the road.


Back at the station, they are greeted to a gruesome site and SBM (Sheriff Ben Meeker) says they wouldn’t have given up without a fight – I would have run away screaming! The lynch mob arrive after they accidentally kill some random person, they thought was Myers, who they are on the hunt for after his massacre 10 years ago. One of the deputies’ radios in asking about the station, and the boss tells him to go to his house. No one knows Michael is lying in wait on the back seat and the deputy has brought him straight to Jamie.


Brady is getting frisky with the blonde one, who is of course Sheriff Meeker’s daughter – and they essentially turn the house into a fort. But we all know that won’t stop Myers.


Right on cue, Mikey. Kicks. Off.

First the deputy who is supposed to be keeping everyone safe – 10/10 for effort.

Then Kelly (the blonde), who to be honest was a dick so I wasn’t too bothered about her. Kudos to Michael for the creativity of stabbing her with a gun instead of shooting her though! Rachel and Brady figure out the others are dead, and they are trapped in the house before spying Myers heading towards them. Brady stays behind to try and be the man of the hour but he really should have figured out how to use a shotgun faster and better, he may have kept his head intact then.


Rachel and Jamie make a run for the roof – this was not gonna end well let’s be honest. First they try climbing the roof, but Jamie uses it more as a slip and slide, and you guessed it Uncle Mike is right behind them. Rachel is losing her patience with Jamie – she has done much better than me – and lowers her to the ground before a swift punch to the head and a knife swipe to the knuckles knocks her off the roof and leaves her unconscious on the floor. Jamie is obvs upset, but somehow Michael is downstairs in 2.5 seconds and is back on the hunt.


After literally running into Loomis in the street, they head to the school because apparently this is the safest place – seems weird to me. Michael gets there sharpish though and chucks Loomis through a door before Jamie falls down the stairs trying to get away from him. Never fear, Rachel is here armed with a fire extinguisher and manages to fend him off. The mob arrives and decides to take the girls and get out of Haddonfield and let the state troopers find Michael. On the way to safety, they pass the troopers and are told there is a highway patrol substation up the road where they will be safe ……. Do I believe it …… do I f*ck, especially as the fog descends and a hand appears at the back of the truck.


1, 2, 3 men dead, followed by Earl, but its Rachel again who manages to drive the truck and knock Michael off the roof – I won’t lie the bit where his face hit the windscreen made me laugh, but it properly pissed Rachel off that he wasn’t dead – so she ran over him. Jamie as standard ignores Rachel advice and walks up to Michael who she assumes is dead, but obvs he isn’t – luckily, she listened to old Meeker who yells get down and they shoot Michael appearing to kill him before he falls into a mine shaft.

I was getting ready to write how much I enjoyed this film and then PLOT TWIST sort of put a dampener on it. Jamie clearly inherited her uncles psychotic tendencies or was it a possessed clown outfit that made her stab her foster mother. Wasn't for me but I'll admit I very much liked the fact it was shot the same was as when Michael killed Judith as a child. Loomis however I think needs a rest, the poor bloke, cos he defo didn’t see that coming.


Regardless of the twist I wasn't overly keen on, I did very much enjoy the film. Enough jumpy bits but not too bad, I can see why so many Halloween fans enjoy this one. I'd still say my favourite sequel out the lot I've seen is H20. My main complaint is that this film features another timeline within the franchise…and I found that confusing; still do if I’m honest. Adam said something about a cult called Thorn but it doesn't really touch on that until the next two films...which I find equally confusing but there we go. And the mask; what the hell was going on with the mask?! It's pretty poor in comparison to the first film and I'm pretty sure the hair colour changed on it at least once in the film weirdly. Poster's pretty misleading with that mask...

Onto day 5 tomorrow with Creepshow...