Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

I'll admit I had serious ulterior motives for bumping Halloween 4 up to the top of my Netflix queue.  I desperately wanted my banner to be a picture of Danielle Harris as a child dressed as little Michael Myers.  No amount of googling could help me find a picture big enough.  So I had to get it on Netflix, McGuyver my way around Apple's stupid restrictions about taking screen shots of DVDs, and finally, I had my banner.  And also watched the movie, but apparently that was secondary in my mind.

It's 10 years after Michael's arrival in Haddonfield and he's been strapped to the bed in some mental institution. The doctors feel him to be completely disabled, but we all know that Michael just does that in order to save strength for his imminent escape.  Meanwhile, back in Haddonfield, Laurie Strode's daughter, Jamie Lloyd lives on.  She is sad and misses her parents, and currently lives with her aunt and uncle, and her cousin Rachel.

Rachel is busy dating guys that work at discount stores and wearing mom jeans, and she's not too interested in an insomniac little girl that she has to cancel dates in order to babysit.  And that's exactly what happens on Halloween.  Rachel is forced to take Jamie to the store to get a costume, where she strangely enough picks one of a clown, identical to Michael's childhood getup. 

Of course adult Michael is traipsing his way back to Haddonfield, taking out everyone in his path on the search for his niece, Jamie.  Dr. Loomis, looking a little worse for the wear, learns of the escape and tries to beat Michael back to his hometown and rescue little Jamie.  There's a supernatural element to this as well, as throughout the movie, Jamie is having visions and dreams of Michael, although she couldn't possibly have any idea who he was/is.

This is a solid installment in the Halloween franchise, and many feel it makes up for the craziness of Halloween 3.  Although Danielle Harris is obviously successful in the horror world, watching this movie made me wonder why she never went Hollywood like Drew Barrymore.  She was a damn good child actress and cute as hell to boot.  Well, I'm glad that our genre got her instead of romantic comedies.  Hail to the scream queen!