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

A lot clunkier and a lot cheaper (ditching scope lenses does it no favors), but there’s enough fast track-in zooms and booming proper use of the score to make it feel bigger and more exciting than it is. And I love all the small town character drama, how much more rural Haddonfield is depicted here, the trigger-happy vigilante party, the pranksters in Myers masks, the outrageously cruel bullying, Harvey Dent Loomis at his maddest & and his hangout sesh with the drunken religious crusader & just that Donald Pleasence stayed on so long in the series, in general; Meeker as the new Brackett, the whole police force being torn apart (literally), the whole town’s power and phone lines being cut off by a zapped Bucky, outside reinforcements being called in because the Shape is such a big threat here—and I definitely don’t mind Kelly in her lacy undies and immaculate side boob shots. The kills are great, too, with the doofus boyfriend Brady getting his teeth squeezed out of his face, the shotgun impalement, the pretzel cop, the thumb through the head, the torn throat, and how Myers literally knife-fu’s the rednecks in the truck bed at the end. This was definitely the start of some ill-advised mythology building, and the mask looks a whole lot goofier (that frosty white Mike, oh man), and the whole thing feels like a feature length local cable channel Halloween commercial for a convenience store in the ‘80s/‘90s, but Mike goes hard as fuck in this one and I think it does a great job at at least capturing the season’s atmosphere. All the exterior stuff here feels just like growing up in an East Coast small town in October. I bust on this one a lot because it’s an undeniably monstrous plunge from the first two (& Witch), but in all honesty I have a big dumb soft spot for it and I enjoy the hell out of it every year, and just love how fucking excited it is to be returning Michael Myers back to us ten years after the original (before that became a literal trend every decade since).