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Film / Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

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"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! He's here to kill that little girl and anybody who gets in his way!"
Dr. Loomis

When the idea of making the Halloween franchise into a Genre Anthology didn't work out, the studio had an obvious solution: bring back The Shape himself.

In Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, ten years have passed since Michael Myers terrorized the town of Haddonfield, Illinois. The fire that seemed to consume both Michael and Dr. Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasence) put Myers in a comatose state and burned Loomis over a good portion of his body, but both men lived. During a medical transport, Michael awakens from his comatose state, massacres the ambulance personnel and heads back home with a new target in his mind: his young niece, Jamie (Danielle Harris). Loomis, as usual, follows the trail back to Haddonfield, and it soon becomes a race against time to save Jamie from her psychotic uncle.


While not seen as the best of the series, it was well-received by fans at the time of its release, and did decent business at the box office, enough to bring Michael Myers back for good. It also begins a three-part story arc that continues with the 5th movie and concludes with Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adult Fear: The whole main plot of the movie. Right down to the ending!
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: The film ends with Jamie stabbing her foster mother and holding Michael's butcher knife, implying that she has become the new killer.
  • Asshole Victim: Kelly Meeker, as she stole Rachel's boyfriend Brady from her.
  • Bandaged Face: Michael is covered in bandages when he escapes from the ambulance.
  • Big Blackout: Caused by Michael.
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  • Big Damn Heroes: Loomis and Meeker picking up Rachel and Jamie off the street. It's not played up as a grand rescue, but the audience knows Michael is lurking about and would've made his move if not for the arrival of the police car.
  • Big "NO!": Loomis has the biggest no of history in the ending when he sees Jamie after she stabbed her foster mother.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Rachel to Jamie. She goes through absolute hell to protect her little sister.
  • Bus Crash: Laurie died in a car crash.
  • Call-Back: The ending is one for the first film's opening.
  • Car Fu: Rachel uses her car to run Michael Myers over. But since Michael is Michael, it doesn't faze him in the slightest.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The mask Michael uses to disguise himself for this film is seen on a rack behind Jamie at the drug store.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Rachel uses a fire extinguisher to ward Michael off at the school and later runs him over with a pickup truck.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Michael and Dr. Loomis have burn scars from the climax of the second film.
    • Lindsey and Tommy, the kids from the first two movies, make brief appearances as teenagers early in the film.
  • Cut Phone Lines: Michael doesn't just cut the phone lines of his victim's house. He destroys two diner phones and cuts (by sending fire up a pole) the long distance phone lines and causes a blackout in the town.
  • Danger Takes A Back Seat: Michael pulls this off by clinging to the bottom of a pickup truck. Earlier in the film, this is how he manages to get to the house where the team has barricaded themselves, by hiding in the backseat of a police car.
  • Death by Sex: Trampy Kelly, who sleeps with Brady, her friend's boyfriend, gets killed, as does Brady, said cheating boyfriend. The virginal Rachel survives. For now, anyway.
  • Defiant to the End: Brady spends his last moments spitting at Michael.
  • Determinator: Brady does everything he can to hold Michael off for Rachel and Jamie to escape, first firing at him with the shotgun, then rifle-butting him with it, and then just going for Good Old Fisticuffs. Unfortunately, since it's Michael Myers, he shrugs off everything.
  • Does Not Know Her Own Strength: Jamie is small, but when she sees Michael behind her, she screams and backs away close to the mirror surprisingly shattering it and alerting Rachel.
  • Empty Promise: From Loomis to Jamie, in the school. Subverted when she asks him if he really believes they'll make it out alright, and he gives a barely audible Little "No".
  • Exact Words: Meeker asks Brady if he has handled a shotgun before he gives it to him. That Brady has no formal weapons training becomes a major reason why he gets killed, since he isint trained enough to reload the weapon quickly enough.
  • Final Girl: Jamie Lloyd and her foster sister, Rachel.
  • Finger-Twitching Revival: When the doctors in the ambulance with Michael mention his niece, he slowly clenches his fist before waking up and making his escape.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: The Michael Myers mask for this film features slicked-back hair.
  • Gross Up Closeup: A close-up is shown of Michael tearing a man's throat out with his bare hands.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Inadvertently done by Brady who tries to shoot Michael, then futilely struggles with him, ultimately giving Jamie and Rachel a chance to escape.
  • High-Voltage Death: Know how Michael managed to cause a blackout? Throwing some poor schmuck into a electric generator at a power plant. He knows how to improv.
  • Hope Spot: All right, the State Troopers are headed into town and the truckers are getting Rachel and Jamie to safety. Everything's gonna be okay—Oh, Crap! Michael's hanging onto the bottom of the pickup truck!
  • Ignored Expert: Loomis again. He knows exactly what happens after the ambulance crash, despite Hoffman's protests. Meeker is a little skeptical of Loomis's claims early on, but he's more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
  • I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: This excuse for Brady's infidelity with Kelly is actually offered by Kelly herself, remorselessly stating that Brady slept with her because he wasn't getting any from Rachel.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Michael spears a mechanic with a metal rod.
    • Kelly gets impaled to the wall with a shotgun.
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: Rather than shooting Kelly with the shotgun, Michael impales her to the wall with it.
  • It's Personal: Loomis's stake in this. He points to his burn scars and remarks he doesn't want anyone to go through what he did.
    • One of the truckers lost his kid to Michael's massacre in 1978. Whose father he is is never explained.
  • Kick the Dog: Michael kills Jamie's dog Sundae.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Some of the kids at Jamie's school tease her for the fact that she's an orphan, and for her relation to Michael.
  • Missing Mom: Kelly's mother doesn't appear to be in the picture.
  • The Mountains of Illinois: A very literal example, as the Rocky Mountains from the Salt Lake City filming location can be seen in the opening.
  • Murder by Mistake: A group of vigilantes accidentally shoot to death parkgoer Ted Hollister, thinking he might have been Michael.
  • Mythology Gag: After impaling Kelly to the wall with the shotgun, Michael tilts his head exactly as he did in the first film after impaling Bob with a knife.
  • Neck Snap: Brady's death.
  • Off with His Head!: Happens offscreen to an officer in the police station.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: When Jamie and Dr. Loomis manage to escape the Meeker house, they run away, leaving Michael in it, and decide to hide in the school. Loomis breaks open a door - which sets of the burglar alarm - rushes inside, and immediately runs into Michael, who not only managed to get to the school before them, but also got inside without setting off the alarm.
  • Overprotective Dad: Don't go thinking that Meeker didn't notice how Brady was home alone with his daughter.
    "Oh, yeah... I catch you gropin' my daughter, I'll use that shotgun on you. You understand?"
  • Pet the Dog: Kelly has a few of these: When Jamie has a freak out at the store, after seeing Michael with a bloody knife, she's among those who hurries over to see what's wrong, and later she brings Logan some coffee at his guard post.
  • Police are Useless: The Haddonfield Police force is massacred. Only Sheriff Meeker survives. In their defense, it's indicated they put up a fight, and Meeker did have the good sense to call the State Troopers. Sheriff Meeker himself is an overall aversion of this. He's genuinely competent and professional, more than willing to give Loomis the benefit of the doubt, and actively hunts and searches for Myers alongside Loomis with a shotgun. He's also completely badass.
  • Properly Paranoid: The One-Scene Wonder asylum guard keeps Michael under heavy guard and admits that, "I'll be glad to see this one gone, yes indeedy," despite the fact that Michael has been comatose for a decade.
  • Punch Catch: Michael does one in his short fight with Brady, crushing his fist.
  • Put on a Bus: Loomis is told that Sheriff Brackett from #'s I & II has retired in 1981 (which was the year the second film where he made his last appearance was released) and moved out of town.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • After the police force is massacred, Loomis eggs the bar patrons, who realized something was up when the lines were cut to the police station, to go after Michael, despite Sheriff Meeker telling them not to; Loomis justifies his actions by explaining that since all the cops except for Meeker and a lone deputy are dead, the truckers are all they have as defense. However, a bunch of drunks armed with guns aren't that competent and they end up shooting a poor guy named Tom Hollister, mistaking him for Michael.
    • Brady's attempt to shoot out the lock promptly results in the lock being too hot to touch. Later, Brady tries to frantically reload his shotgun. However, he is trying to do it in a hurry, and he has no formal firearms training. As a result, Michael has closed the gap and his shotgun is quickly rendered impossible to shoot.
    • Michael is left briefly disoriented when Rachel sprays him with a fire extinguisher. A fire extinguisher's liquid can seriously burn someone, so Michael left briefly disoriented is a powerful depiction of realism.
  • Right Behind Me: Rachel complains about having to give up her date with Brady to babysit just as Jamie walks in from behind.
  • Sadist: Some of Michael's actions indicate sadism. A prime example of this is Kelly's death. He continually rocks back and forth in the chair just as the deputy did, while Kelly brings the deputy coffee and it's only when she realizes who really is in the chair that he kills her. He similarly takes his time with Brady, preferring to see Brady try to fight back against him with his shotgun and later fisticuffs, and dragging out the kill as a form of mockery. This comes to bite him later on, as it costs him valuable time to get to Jamie and Rachel.
  • Scars Are Forever: Both Loomis and Michael bear gruesome burn scars from the explosion in Halloween II.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: Subverted. Brady tries to do this so that he, Rachel, and Jamie can escape Micheal (having key locked the doors to keep him out, they now have no key or time to unlock them when he gets in anyway). Unfortunately, Reality Ensues. Having been blasted with a shotgun, the lock is far too hot to touch.
  • Slashers Prefer Blondes: Blonde Kelly Meeker winds up falling prey to Michael Myers. The other blonde, Rachel, is an inversion in that she survives multiple fights with Michael Myers.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Kelly Meeker stands 5’10” and is the resident Ms. Fanservice of the film.
  • Stock Subtitle: Justified because, after the Myers-less third movie, the producers wanted to make it absolutely clear that Michael was back.
  • Take Me Instead: When confronting Michael at the diner, Loomis invokes the trope — saying Michael could kill him in exchange for leaving the people of Haddonfield alone. Michael remains still following this, suggesting he turned it down and prompting Loomis to try to shoot him.
  • Take That!: In a cut scene, Michael is coincidentally looking for a new mask at a store the same time Jamie is. He grabs a Ronald Reagan mask and walks off screen. A few seconds later, he throws it away and grabs the bleached William Shatner mask instead.
  • Theme Music Withholding: The opening credits feature a creepy synthesizer score, until it cuts to the hospital with the main theme in full blast.
  • Tuckerization: Jamie's name was originally Brittany, but she was named in honor of Jamie Lee Curtis.
  • Underside Ride: Michael hitches one of these on the truck used to get Rachel and Jamie out of town.
  • Unexplained Recovery:
    • Dr. Loomis managed to survive the explosion of the first floor of a hospital in Halloween II (1981), returning with a slightly burnt face, a limp, and mangled hands.
    • The same goes for Michael, seeing as before the explosion, he got shot in the eyes by Laurie, causing him to become blind. To be fair, it's implied that he isn't exactly human...
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The nurse who asked about Michael having relatives not only sets off the events of this film, it sets off the other two films as well, resulting in dozens of people dead.
    • Also Dr. Loomis telling the mob about Michael causes them to accidentally shoot an innocent person, which in turn draws away Sheriff Meeker when his staying at the house might have made a difference.
  • Welcome to Hell: The comatose Myers is about to be transferred, much to the relief of the staff at his hospital.
    Cop: Yeah, I'll be glad to see this one gone. Yes, indeedy. Welcome to hell.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After Loomis riles a group of truckers into becoming a lynch mob against Michael, Sheriff Meeker calls him out on it. Loomis, however, turns the tables by pointing out that the police force is dead and the truckers may be the only defense the town has against Michael. This turns out to be wrong as the truckers themselves get killed by him.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Michael, obviously. But strangely enough, Dr. Loomis, who does not hesitate to slap iron at a child no less than twice in the movie (to be fair though, the first time he doesn't know they're just kids).
  • Your Cheating Heart: Brady moved onto Meeker's daughter when Rachel got tasked with taking Jamie out trick-or-treating.


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