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YMMV / Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

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  • Complete Monster: Michael Myers. See here.
  • Contested Sequel: For the longest time, Halloween 4 was widely seen as a return to form for the Halloween series after the poor fan reception of Season of the Witch, with many ranking it pretty high as one of the best sequels for its great cast of characters and ramped up slasher elements. Over the years, however, it has attracted more negative attention from some fans who see it as a sloppy retread of the original film that doesn’t do anything new to the series, saw the plot as overly contrived and felt the new faces were either just lazy replacements of the original characters or too Unintentionally Unsympathetic to like, often ranking it as one of the worst sequels. Depending on where one stands, it’s either one of the series best, one of its worst, or just an alright slasher movie.
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  • Critical Research Failure: Sheriff Meeker and co. are "Haddonfield Police," despite Haddonfield being in Warren County (or Livingstone County depending on the movie). Consequently, they should be portrayed as county police because sheriffs are county - not town - law enforcement.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Jaime Lloyd, and by extension Danielle Harris, are often considered the best aspect of the film and for good reason. Between being a new take on the Final Girl formula (a child instead of a teenager) and an overall strong and likable character, she's remained one of the most popular characters in the franchise to this day.
    • Sheriff Ben Meeker is also quite the beloved character as well, being an overall welcome aversion to the usual Police are Useless cliche present in slasher flicks and Beau Starr's intense performance being praised. He's genuinely competent at his job and actively assists Dr. Loomis in his efforts to stop Myers. Being the one leading the shootout against Michael at the end helped garner him a lot of fans.
    • Rachel also gets praise for overcoming her fear and quickly becoming an Action Survivor determined to protect her adopted sister. She manages to get the best of Michael twice, the latter of which involves her running him down with a truck. Fans were not happy when she fell victim to Sudden Death Sequel Syndrome.
  • Narm:
    • Dr. Loomis' cries of "No!" when he sees Jamie at the ending is hilarious to some people.
    • The original trailer does a nice job of building up the hype for this film - except for one shot of Michael clinging to the roof of a swerving pick-up truck; the sound effect is straight out of a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
    • Michael himself in this film can be this for some people, as his mask is noticeably much whiter and less detailed than his first 2 appearances and it looks like the actor was wearing shoulder pads to make him look stronger than ever before...despite being in a coma for 10 years, therefore his muscles should’ve been much weaker.
  • Narm Charm: The scene of the bullies chanting "JAMIE'S AN ORPHAN" is a bit over the top in its cruelty, but Jamie's emotional reaction to it makes it feel a little too real to laugh at.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Reverend Sayer, the kooky old priest who gives Loomis a lift into Haddonfield is quite entertaining.
    • The Properly Paranoid guard at the asylum who escorts the medical team transporting Michael to his room.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Subverted. Viewers were rather fond of Jamie due to Danielle Harris's performance and because of how easy it is to feel sorry for her.
  • Shocking Swerve: One of the biggest criticisms of the film is the ending just comes completely out of nowhere and feels like a twist forced in there for the sake of a twist. Most likely a victim of What Could Have Been as the next film was supposed to make Jamie the killer.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The rooftop chase.
    • The scene where Meeker and the state troopers put Michael down with a barrage of gunfire.
    • Jamie’s nightmare at the beginning.
    • The Twist Ending where Jamie is in her clown costume and mask, holding a pair of bloody scissors that she used to stab her foster mother.
  • So Okay, It's Average: After the divisive Season of the Witch, The Return was made to closely resemble the first two movies and avoid changing the formula too much, though it did feature a couple switches (child protagonist, the twist ending). Consequently, it's usually seen as this in the broader scope of the franchise, being a competent film, but not one that does enough to be terribly interesting.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: For those who didn't like Season of the Witch, The Return was a welcome return to form.
  • Tear Jerker: Brady's death. Sure, he cheated on Rachel with Kelly, but his death is quite somber, and Rachel is begging Brady to come with them, and later is on the verge of outright weeping as it becomes obvious to her Michael will kill him.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: A teenaged Lindsey Wallace from the original film appears briefly in one scene as Rachel's friend. It would have been interesting to see her reaction to Michael's return, considering she was there the night of his first killing spree. The same goes for Tommy Doyle, who also makes a cameo at the drug store where Jamie gets her clown costume.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The lynch mob, led by a man whose son was one of Michael's victims. They only succeed in gunning down one of the locals by mistake, decide to let the state police handle the situation as soon as they have a chance to engage their prey, and then are easily picked off while escorting Jamie and Rachel out of town.
    • It also would have been neat to have actually seen Michael slaughter the Haddonfield police in their station like The Terminator. Although, that may have been what the filmmakers were trying to avoid, in addition to the Nothing Is Scarier aspect.
    • The Papa Wolf aspect of Meeker's character feels a bit underused after getting set up nicely, and it would have been interesting to see him either trying to save his daughter's life at the house (successfully or otherwise) or show grief at her death and have that further motivate his pursuit of Michael at the end.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: The Michael Myers mask used for the film was heavily criticized by fans for its overly blank look and quizzical expression.
  • The Woobie: Poor Jamie Lloyd.
  • Values Resonance: This film directly messed with the normal expectations of the slasher genre. Rachel was clearly planning on having sex with Brady before being told to go trick or treating with Jamie, Sheriff Meeker is clearly depicted as an incredibly competent and formidable law enforcement officer, and Brady, despite having cheated on Rachel with Kelly, is still depicted positively and his death is treated as sad. This was relatively rare during the 80's, 90's, and even the early 2000's. Nowadays, subverting, or outright deviating from the slasher genre norm is becoming increasingly common in cinema.
  • Vindicated by History: An inverted example. At the time this was seen as one of the series finest with Michael’s return and the ramped up slasher elements ranking it high as a major fan favorite. Nowadays, while it still has its fans, it’s been seen more as a So Okay, It's Average slasher film that plays itself too safe to be considered one of the franchises best sequels.
  • What an Idiot!: After Michael climbs aboard the truck, and kills the 4 men, Rachel takes the wheel, throwing Michael off of the truck and ramming him, sending him flying into a ditch, and eventually the state police arrive and Rachel orders Jamie to stay in the truck.
    • You'd Expect: That Jamie would listen to Rachel and stay put in the truck.
    • Instead: She walks out of the truck, and goes straight towards Michael who is unconscious and touches his hand making him awake.
    • As a Result: She now retained a telepathic, psychically-possessed link between herself and her uncle Michael as shown in the fifth film, after touching his hand, he possesses her making her attack her foster mother, Darlene with a pair of scissors at the end of the fourth film, and having seizures whenever he kills someone.


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