Movie Review: Halloween 4 (1988)

Rather than just do the sequel, which I’m holding off on for another day, I went for the fourth installment this time. Our fourth Halloween (the holiday) movie is the fourth Halloween (the series) movie. Those unfamiliar with the series might not know that the third movie was a complete separation from the series — it is an unrelated stand-alone film. The fourth movie returns to the original series, and is a sort of internal re-launch.

I like this one. A lot. Without giving away the plot, the horror in Loomis’s face at the end is perfect, they could not have written a better “screw you”. It’s too bad the fifth movie goes a little off the rails. But I do enjoy this one a lot.

Most of the killing takes place off screen — and unfortunately, the truly annoying people in the movie don’t die on or off screen. Those are the snotty teenagers who make fun of Loomis when he’s trying to get a ride.

The plot is pretty much the plot of every mainstream Halloween movie, and slashers at large: we have a killer, and he’s gotten loose (or revived in the case of Jason Vorhees). He’s mostly targeting teenagers, especially if they have sex. There’s a central girl we get to know (in this case, two). The adults are largely idiots, except for the ranting madman (Loomis) who is actually right all along.

I usually don’t like kid-centric movies, but in this case she’s more or less like the flag in Capture the Flag, and our main characters are trying to play keep-away with Myers. The acting over-all is pretty good, especially Pleasance returning as Loomis. A lot of the film doesn’t feel like a Slasher, there’s a lot of tension and not a lot of slashing.

Over-all, this is one of the better ones. Halloween (the holiday) movies make it out with a 2-2 record. On to Thanksgiving (and April Fool’s Day, because there aren’t enough Thanksgiving horror films).

Report card:
Runtime: An hour twenty-eight.
Acting: Good.
Effects: None to speak of.
Violence: A lot, and more off screen.
Dead Townsfolk: A dozen or so plus the entire police force off-screen.
Gun Use: Unrealistic.
Gore: No.
Creepy? No.
Monster Type? Michael Myers.
Monster Ick Factor: No.
Funny? A little bit.
Nudity: No, it gets close as it can though.
Pet Death: No.
Pacing: Pretty decent.

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