A Nightmare from Friday to Halloween - Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
The three most prominent American horror franchises (Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street) have influenced American cinema even beyond the horror genre. As of 2021, there are exactly 31 movies across all three franchises, and I am going to attempt to watch all of them, for this Halloween, one per day.
I don’t think the fairly long gap between Halloween III and Halloween 4 really did this movie any favors. Both Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street were in full swing with multiple sequels each and Michael Myers seems almost like a pale imitation of both Jason and Freddy even though he was the one that inspired these two killers to some extent. They definitely did not get the mask right. Michael finds it in the shop where Jamie finds her costume, almost as if Halloween had become a cheap, commercialized version of itself. That being said, this movie wasn’t too bad. Despite the crummy mask, Michael is still as terrifying and unstoppable as ever, but honestly, Michael is only as compelling as his victim, and I really missed the presence of Jamie Lee Curtis. They wisely chose not to recast Laurie Strode, but Halloween 4 felt a lot more generic, even though he is technically going after his niece in honor of how much Michael hates his family. I did appreciate Donald Pleasence in this movie, even though Pleasence probably hated that he was in another Halloween movie. I can kind of see how tired it would have gotten to yet again play the role of Cassandra, that he is the only one who knows the true extent of Michael’s evil. So while this movie is OK, it also sets up element of this franchise that I can see are going to become quite trite and annoying pretty soon.