Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers ★★★★

Six years after the misunderstood brilliance of Halloween III: Season of the Witch tanked, the franchise bounced back with Halloween 4, a film carrying the very on-the-nose subtitle The Return of Michael Myers. Because Jamie Lee Curtis either couldn't or wouldn't return as Laurie Strode, Danielle Harris stars as Jamie Lloyd, the elementary-school-aged daughter of Laurie. As Laurie and her husband are claimed to be dead, Jamie lives with a foster family, including teen foster sister Rachel (Ellie Cornell). The precocious Harris, who of course would grow up to become one of horror's foremost scream queens, is great as the traumatized child, particularly when pared with Cornell's immensely likable Rachel. The film is gruesome, ominous and efficient, functioning as a back-to-basics after the prior installment while also expanding upon the series' mythology in an effective way. Donald Pleasance's return as Dr. Loomis is entirely welcome, and alongside Jamie and Rachel, the good doctor makes for another compelling character being pursued by everyone's favorite unnaturally powerful silent serial killer, Michael Myers.

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