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Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 3 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Halloween 4 blends familiar terror with fresh thrills; the 4K upgrade delights fans.

    Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Halloween 4's UHD release impresses with its 4K scan, enhancing detail, color, and lighting, making it the film's best version yet.

  • Audio
  • Halloween 4 revitalized with immersive audio options, enhancing suspense and mood through diverse Dolby and DTS mixes, prioritizing clarity and impact.

  • Extra
  • Comprehensive insights into 'Halloween 4' are presented through commentaries, documentaries, and special features, focusing on its creation, casting, and production challenges.

  • Movie
  • Halloween 4 revives Michael Myers, mixing nostalgia with new elements and attempts at deeper lore despite cliches, achieving fan appeal but not innovation.

    Video: 90

    Shout Factory's 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers" showcases a significant improvement in video quality, sourced from a meticulous 4K scan of the original negative. Directed by Dwight H. Little and beautifully captured by director of photography Peter Lyons Collister on 35mm using Panavision Panaflex cameras, the film is presented in its true 1:85:1 aspect ratio. This new transfer breathes life into the visuals, offering a markedly sharper image, tighter grain, and a wealth of detail across diverse settings from the atmospheric shadow-laden homes to the local businesses and rural landscapes. The High Dynamic Range grading (Dolby Vision and HDR10 options) enhances the depth of blacks and the vibrancy of colors, from the moonlit blues to the warm interiors, while also improving shadow detail and highlights.

    The color reproduction in this release takes full advantage of the wider color gamut, presenting colors that are more robust and natural. Reds appear more vivid, particularly in the blood, which now boasts a more crimson hue as opposed to the previous brownish tone. Blues and greens are richer, enhancing the overall visual continuity with the series' earlier entries, and skin tones are more naturally rendered, despite occasionally leaning towards the pinkish. The integrity of the film's grain structure is preserved without any noticeable digital noise reduction, ensuring a filmic texture that fans will appreciate. Costuming, facial details, and environmental textures are revealed with newfound clarity, contributing to a more immersive viewing experience.

    The revised framing includes a minor adjustment that allows for a slight increase in information along all edges of the image, making for a more complete visual presentation. Contrasts are well-managed with deep blacks and bright whites achieving an excellent balance without blooming, maintaining the intended atmospheric intensity of key scenes. Despite some softness in the opening titles and minimal speckling throughout, the overall condition of the film elements is commendable. This release not only surpasses previous home video presentations in terms of visual depth and clarity but also faithfully respects the filmmakers' original vision, making it a must-have for enthusiasts and collectors alike.

    Audio: 88

    The audio presentation of "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers" on 4K UHD Blu-Ray offers a comprehensive auditory experience that caters to a variety of preferences with its multiple listening options. Highlighted among these are the Dolby Atmos mix, delivering a nuanced soundscape that excels in heightening the atmospheric tension intrinsic to the film. The mix adeptly utilizes side and rear channels primarily for atmospheric effects and scare cues, while the Alan Howarth score is prominently featured across the front and height channels, enriching the film's eerie ambiance. Dialogue clarity and sound effects placement are significantly improved over previous releases, with key scenes receiving an enhanced auditory depth that adds a new layer of immersion to the viewing experience.

    Conversely, the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix, despite its limitations in spatial dynamics compared to the Atmos track, stands out for its clarity and presence in dialogue, scoring, and sound effects. It provides a solid auditory experience that, while not as expansive as the Atmos version, remains impactful. On the other hand, the 5.1 mixes from the 2012 release and original DVD suffer in comparison, displaying a lack of depth and fullness that becomes evident when juxtaposed against the more robust Atmos and 2.0 presentations. These tracks, while serviceable, require volume adjustments to achieve an equivalent audio impact, highlighting their limitations in delivering the film's sonic intricacies.

    The inclusion of original theatrical and LaserDisc Ultra Stereo tracks further enriches the audio offerings, catering to purists and fans interested in experiencing the movie's sound as it was originally presented. Such diversity in audio options ensures that each viewer’s preference is met, from those desiring the immersive depth of Dolby Atmos to enthusiasts seeking the nostalgic authenticity of Ultra Stereo sound. This range of high-quality audio tracks underscores the care taken in this release to honor "Halloween 4's" auditory legacy while enhancing its accessibility for modern home theaters.

    Extra: 86

    The extra presentation of the 4K UHD Blu-ray of "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers" is a comprehensive treasure trove for fans and cinephiles alike, seamlessly merging nostalgic and contemporary insights into its creation. With dual commentary tracks on both the UHD and Blu-ray versions featuring key cast members like Ellie Cornell and Danielle Harris, as well as director Dwight H. Little and author Justin Beahm, the disc offers rich, multifaceted perspectives on the film's production. The inclusion of "The Making of Halloween 4: The Final Cut" and "Back To Basics: The Making of Halloween 4" provides an in-depth exploration into the film's genesis, casting nuances, and technical challenges, supplemented by fascinating anecdotes about ad hoc solutions to unexpected problems. The set is rounded off with "Horror’s Hallowed Grounds," offering a unique geographical context to the narrative, alongside a collection of TV spots, a newsprint ad gallery, a still gallery, and the theatrical trailer, all of which enrich the understanding and appreciation of this horror classic.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary featuring Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris: Actors share memories and off-topic discussions.
    • Audio Commentary featuring director Dwight H. Little and author Justin Beahm: A Q&A session revealing film creation insights.
    • The Making of Halloween 4: The Final Cut: A making-of featurette detailing the film's development.
    • Back To Basics: The Making of Halloween 4: An extensive documentary on the movie’s production.
    • Horror's Hallowed Grounds: A tour of the Utah filming locations hosted by Sean Clark.
    • TV Spots: Four commercials for the film.
    • Newsprint Ad Gallery: A collection of advertisements and showtimes.
    • Still Gallery: Compilation of poster art, publicity shots, film stills, and behind-the-scenes photos.
    • Theatrical Trailer: Promotional trailer for the movie.

    Movie: 78

    Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers," directed by Dwight H. Little, represents a pivotal moment in the Halloween franchise, aiming to recapture the essence of Michael Myers' terror after the detour taken by "Halloween III: Season of the Witch." Released in 1988, the film is celebrated for reintroducing Michael Myers to a new generation, juxtaposed against the atmospheric backdrop of Haddonfield's foggy streets. This installment opts for a more traditional slasher narrative, placing Myers in pursuit of his niece, Jamie Lloyd, played with notable vulnerability by Danielle Harris. Despite criticisms regarding its adherence to the subsequently maligned family storyline initiated in "Halloween II," the film draws strength from its efficient set pieces and the return of Donald Pleasance as Dr. Loomis, whose performance injects a much-needed urgency into the proceedings.

    The film navigates the balance between innovating within the series and honoring its roots. While it resurrects the menacing figure of Myers, it's scrutinized for its lack of narrative originality, particularly in its reliance on the family connection motif, which some argue detracts from Myers' mystique as the embodiment of pure evil. However, it compensates with atmospheric tension and a few well-executed scares, earning its place as a competent sequel within the broader Halloween saga. Notably, Little's choice to eschew the iconic "Halloween Theme" for an ominously scored opening credits sequence offers a fresh yet foreboding reintroduction to the series' mythos.

    Critically, "Halloween 4" is seen as a film crafted under the pressure of industry strikes and fan expectations, resulting in a product that, although flawed, showcases significant merits. Its atmosphere and pacing help maintain suspense, and while the film may not innovate dramatically upon the franchise's formula, it finds strength in its execution of genre staples—survival against an unrelenting killer amidst a backdrop of small-town Halloween terror. Moreover, the film's technical presentation—most notably its transition to 4K UHD—underscores its enduring appeal to both new audiences and longtime fans, offering an enhanced viewing experience that highlights the film's commitment to mood and menace. Despite a contentious mask design and debate over its place within the franchise hierarchy, "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers" ultimately affirms Michael Myers' status as an inescapable nightmare, solidifying its legacy as a cult favorite among horror aficionados.

    Total: 89

    Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, while not the pinnacle of the franchise, brings a blend of familiar thrills and a modest attempt at innovating within its genre confines. The film, as observed, often treads into the territory of formulaic horror, echoing its predecessors with its stalk-and-slash antics. However, it manages to inject dynamism with sequences such as a rooftop chase and a contentious moving truck showdown, ensuring that the installment retains an element of excitement amidst its conventional backdrop. The portrayal of Michael Myers, despite veering into the absurd with inconsistent costuming and mask design, does little to detract from the overall experience, which remains entertaining and competently crafted.

    Scream Factory’s Collector's Edition UHD release of Halloween 4 significantly enhances this experience with a striking 4K Dolby Vision presentation that outshines previous versions. This edition, accompanied by an array of audio options, including a robust Atmos mix, caters well to audiophiles and cinephiles alike. With a generous assortment of legacy bonus features, the release reflects a thorough commitment to fulfilling the desires of the film's loyal fanbase. Although some may find the extras incomplete, they nonetheless represent a considerable value-add to anyone looking to delve deeper into the film's production and legacy.

    In conclusion, while Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers might not reach the heights of horror mastery, Scream Factory’s 4K UHD release provides a compelling reason to revisit or discover the fourth chapter in the saga. The enhancements in visual and audio quality alone make this a worthwhile addition to any horror aficionado's collection. Notwithstanding its narrative and aesthetic shortcomings, this release underscores the enduring appeal of Michael Myers and his place within the pantheon of horror icons, serving both as a nostalgic trip and a technologically refreshed viewing experience for fans.