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Dwight Little
Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris
Alan B. McElroy

Ten years after his original massacre, the invalid Michael Myers awakens on Halloween Eve and returns to Haddonfield to kill his seven-year-old niece.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 88 min.
Price: $14.99
Release Date: 8/21/12

• Audio Commentary with Director Dwight Little
• Audio Commentary with Actors Ellie Cornell and Danielle Harris
• Discussion Panel
• Trailer


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Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers [Blu-Ray] (1988)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 13, 2019)

Although 1981ís Halloween II produced pretty good business, 1982ís Halloween III: Season of the Witch sputtered. Much of the blame got placed on the choice to eliminate murderous Michael Myers from the equation, as fans didnít want a Halloween sans ďThe ShapeĒ.

After six years Ė an eternity in 1980s horror Ė the franchise and its lead came back to movie screens. This occurred via 1988ís aptly titled Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.

Set a decade after the events of the first two movies, we find Myers (George P. Wilbur) in a long-term coma. When he gets transferred from one facility to another, however, he learns that has a niece, and this information rouses him from his slumber.

Back on his homicidal path, Michael sets out to find niece Jamie (Danielle Harris). In the meantime, Michaelís old nemesis Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) again attempts to locate Myers and halt his murderous ways.

Is it just me, or does that plot synopsis make Return sound an awful lot like a remake of the first movie? This might be because Return really does offer a glorified remake, one that only deviates from the template in minor ways.

Whereas the Friday the 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street films both largely remained bound to the settings of their initial offerings, they managed to spice up matters due to largely different casts. These allowed for some twists that kept the sequels from too much formula.

Unfortunately, Return canít figure out how to separate from the first two movies. No, we donít get Laurie Strode Ė the protagonist of Halloween and Halloween II - but we find her daughter Jamie, a character who essentially fills the same role, albeit at a younger age.

In the Friday and Nightmare movies, the villains found new and different ways to execute victims, but Michael seems stuck on one note. Return canít find any ways to liven up the role so he feels monotonous.

Of course, poor Donald Pleasence winds up trapped in the same shrill part as well. Another movie, another crusade by Doctor Loomis to convince doubters of Michaelís menace. Yawn, yawn and yawn.

At least we get a small turn from Carmen Filpi, the actor who delighted as the exuberant hobo in Pee-weeís Big Adventure. Other than that, Returns becomes a stale stab at horror.

The Disc Grades: Picture C/ Audio B/ Bonus B

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Expect a watchable but unspectacular image.

Sharpness seemed erratic. Some of the movie offered pretty good delineation, but exceptions occurred, so expect a fair number of oddly soft shots.

The movie lacked moirť effects or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. No obvious digital noise reduction appeared, but occasional print flaws like specks and marks interfered.

Colors tended to look decent. At times they boasted nice vivacity, but other scenes came across as less dynamic. Overall, they remained acceptable, if inconsistent.

Blacks looked a little dense, while shadows felt a bit murky. This turned into a wholly mediocre presentation.

The filmís Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundfield usually stayed with a forward bias. In that realm, elements were accurately placed and meshed together pretty nicely. Audio quality continued to seem strong. Dialogue could be a little edgy at times, but given its age, speech felt reasonably natural and concise.

Effects sounded pretty tight, with surprisingly good impact. Music also showed nice presence and range. Nothing about the mix floored me, but it worked well for a movie of this oneís vintage and budget.

Two audio commentaries appear here, and the first comes from director Dwight Little. Along with moderator Justin Beahm, he provides a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music and editing, effects, stunts, and related domains.

Overall, this becomes a fairly good track. While it doesnít ever seem scintillating, it manages to cover the appropriate topics in a reasonably informative manner.

For the second track, we hear from actors Ellie Cornell and Danielle Harris. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific discussion of cast/crew and their experiences during the shoot.

Though amiable, the commentary never seems particularly strong on filmmaking details. Cornell and Harris offer a likable pair but they donít give us much substance about the movie, so this ends up as a mostly superficial chat.

In addition to the filmís trailer, a Halloween 4/5 Discussion Panel runs 18 minutes, 28 seconds. It includes Harris and actors Kathleen Kinmont, Sasha Jenson, and Jeffrey Landman.

From a 25th anniversary convention, the actors chat about their experiences and related areas. This ends up as a decent but not especially informative panel.

After a failed attempt to deviate from the franchise formula, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers goes back to the well. Unfortunately, it feels more like a tired rehash than anything fresh and scary. The Blu-ray brings mediocre picture along with pretty good audio and a decent array of bonus materials. Returns fails to revive its franchise.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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