Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers – Retro Review

After the box office backlash from Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, fans were hungry for Michael Myers to return to the big screen. After creative differences between Moustapha Akkad, Debra Hill, and John Carpenter about the direction this film would take, Hill and Carpenter sold all of their rights to Akkad. In the process, this completely wiped out the original script and put a rush on getting a new one. Alan B. McElroy was brought in to provide the film with a script and due to the infamous impending writer’s strike of 1988, he hurriedly completed one in eleven days. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers completed shooting in 41 days and showed us why Michael Myers is a force to be reckoned with.


As usual, critics attacked Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, saying it was “uninspired” and “a completely contrived storyline.” Once again in my humble opinion, I feel that most big wig critics are indulgent assholes that almost purposefully hinder the growth of the horror industry. There should be a requirement to reviewing horror films. That requirement should be that you, at the very least, enjoy them on a regular basis. Unfortunately, that is usually not the case. Had Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers been reviewed by a horror fan, it would have been praised for not only bringing The Shape back to the series but for maintaining the suspense and terror that the two original films gave us.

This go ’round, we follow Michael’s niece, Laurie Strode’s orphaned daughter Jamie, as she is stalked by her uncle on Halloween night. Donald Pleasance returns as the famous Dr. Loomis who, along with Jamie’s adopted sister, Rachel, are trying to protect the little girl from her psychotic uncle. I bet you thought you had family issues!

After watching this as a child, I found it incredibly hard to sleep that night. Between the dream sequence at the beginning and the horrific ending, I was convinced Michael was hiding under my bed and waiting to kill me. Oddly enough, this is my absolute favorite film out of the series, the first movie excluded. There was something about Michael stalking a child that made this one stick out to me. It made him more menacing and a hell of a lot more ruthless.

Michael Myers chasing a child was pretty controversial. As usual, Halloween is known for tastefully pushing boundaries and paving the way for horror films in general. The only thing I feel this film could have done without is the Redneck Vigilante Team story arch. Is it believable? Yes. However, it is highly unnecessary and waters down the story slightly. Oh well, at least it added to Myer’s body count hit list.

There were plenty of interesting things that happened during the production of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. During the rooftop scene, Ellie Cornell lacerated her stomach on a nail while sliding down one of the sides of the roof. She lost a considerable amount of blood but pushed on without telling anyone until after the shoot was done. She is a trooper! Also, Melissa Joan Hart originally auditioned for the role of Jamie but the role was eventually given to newcomer, Danielle Harris.

This film also possesses an alternate ending.


In the original ending, Jamie was supposed to stab her sister, Rachel, to death, much like how Michael killed his sister. Then, it was eventually rewritten so that she stabbed her foster mom, Darlene, but not fatally. The ending they used was chilling enough. I don’t think I would have been able to handle Rachel getting killed after everything she went through protecting Jamie.

Halloween 4

As I said earlier, this is my favorite entry in the series. A sequel’s necessity is always in question when it comes to the horror community. I don’t know why they are so hated because, let’s face it, we all want to see more of our favorite villains. We just can’t get enough of bad guys like Michael Myers. They could make one hundred sequels and I would watch every single one. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is not only a must-see of the series but a must-see if you are a horror fan. It possesses all of the ’80s slasher qualities, subtracting some of the cheese and adding a ton of terror. Make sure to add it to your list of horror movies to watch this Halloween season.

About Preston Holt

At 5 years old i was catapulted in to the horror genre and have had no desire to ever leave it. I'm 26 years old with a great sense of humor and a thirst for the horror industry that just will never be quenched. I have a horror review site of my own called cabinintheweb reviews and when I'm not writing about, or watching, horror films, I am spending time with my spouse and my animals.

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One comment

  1. SIX bodies! Sheriff! That’s what I’ve seen between here and Ridgemont. A filling station in FLAMES! I’m telling you Michael Myers is here…IN THIS TOWN!