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Setting: Haddonfield, October 30th 1988
Michael Myers is to be transferred from Ridgemont Federal Sanitarium, where he's been imprisoned since his killing spree in Haddonfield ten years before, to Smithsgrove Mental Institute. On the journey he escapes and returns to Haddonfield. Laurie Strode is dead, having died 11 months before in a car accident. Before she died, she had a child, a 7 year old daughter Jamie, who has now been adopted by the Lloyd family as her father died with Laurie.
Loomis, angry when he discovers that Michael was transfered and has escaped, rushes to Haddonfield, despite his burns and limp caused by the explosion in Halloween II. Jamie, wearing the same Halloween costume Michael did in 1963, is being looked after by her adopted sister Rachel, whose boyfriend is cheating on her with the new sheriff's daughter. Michael causes a black-out, kills everyone in the police station and is then pursued by a half-drunk mob of vigilantes.
Rachel and Jamie are rescued by the sheriff, who takes them to his home where Rachel discovers that her boyfriend Brady has cheated on her. Michael, however, pursues them and kills many in the house. Rachel and Jamie escape and are picked up by the drunks in their truck, but they are easy pickings for Michael. Rachel drives the truck after the last is killed, runs him over and drives him into a graveyard, where he is shot several times before the ground swallows him up.
Back at home at last everything seems normal until Jamie, wearing the costume and putting on the mask that goes with it, picks up a pair of scissors and attacks her foster mum. Dr Loomis breaks down in tears.
|5.||Mechanic||Stabbed & hung||Garage|
|7.||Bucky||Electrocuted||Power Station||Knocks off all the power|
|8+.||Police||Off screen||Police station||Police|
|14.||Ted Hollister||Shot by Drunks|
|15.||Deputy Logan||Body broken||Meeker's house||Police|
|16.||Kelly Meeker||Gun shoved in||Meeker House||Sheriff's daughter, had sex|
|17.||Brady||Head snapped||Meeker House||Had sex|
|21.||Earl (drunk)||On Truck||Drunk|
|Donald Pleasence||Doctor Samuel J Loomis|
|Ellie Cornell||Rachel Carruthers|
|Danielle Harris||Jamie Lloyd|
|George P Wilbur||Michael Myers|
|Beau Starr||Sheriff Ben Meeker|
|Kathleen Kinmont||Kelly Meeker|
|Michael Pataki||Dr Hoffman|
|Jeff Olson||Mr Richard Carruthers|
|Karen Alston||Mrs Darlene Carruthers|
|Carmen Filpi||Rev Jackson Sayer|
|Raymond O'Connor||Security Guard|
|George Sullivan||Deputy Logan|
Halloween 4 showed that, although the series was no longer as fresh and inventive as it had been in the past, it was still going strong. Despite the death count being much higher, and many of the deaths being unnecessary, it still provokes an atmospheric ambiance, with many good sequences. Rachel and Jamie running along the road, and the scenes in the Meeker house especially build up the tension.
Halloween 4 does have its disadvantages. Dr Loomis is not as present as he should have been, and his absence is felt. One of the scenes he is in where he tells the drunks that Michael Myers is in town is unconvincing. In Halloween he prevented the sheriff from letting people know that Michael was about, saying that the towns people would 'see Michael at every street corner' as a result. Yet now, in Halloween 4, he is prepared to go against his previous advice, as a result of which an innocent man, Ted Hollister, is killed by the drunks.
The drunks themselves are unnecessary, as are several teenagers we briefly glimpse, although one of whom, Lyndsey, had the potential for more. All we see of her is her giving Rachel a lift, but her character may have been intended to have been the Lyndsey we see having been baby-sat in Halloween grown up as she would be the right age. If so, it would have been interesting to see how her character had developed.
Halloween 4 remains scary despite of, rather than because of, the massacre scenes in it; that of the drunks, the police and the scene in the ambulance. They interfere with the story of a child and her sister's reaction to danger.
It also boasts the best shock ending in the Halloween series.
Overall, Halloween 4 brings back the series on track, and paves the way for more sequels with a fresh, interesting character who is more original than the 'typical teen' of Laurie Strode.