Major improvement 4 Stars

Shout! Factory’s new 4K release of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is a major improvement over previous releases of the film.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
Released: 21 Oct 1988
Rated: R
Runtime: 88 min
Director: Dwight H. Little
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Cast: Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris
Writer(s): Dhani Lipsius, Larry Rattner, Benjamin Ruffner
Plot: Ten years after his original massacre, the invalid Michael Myers awakens on Halloween Eve and returns to Haddonfield to kill his seven-year-old niece. Can Dr. Loomis stop him?
IMDB rating: 5.9
MetaScore: 34

Disc Information
Studio: Scream Factory
Distributed By: Shout! Factory
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: Dolby Atmos, English 5.1 DD, English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English 2.0 DTS-HDMA, English 5.1 DTS-HDMA
Subtitles: English SDH
Rating: R
Run Time: 1 Hr. 28 Min.
Package Includes: UHD, Blu-ray
Case Type: 2-disc UHD eco keepcase with slipcover
Disc Type: UHD
Region: All
Release Date: 10/05/2021
MSRP: $36.99

The Production: 3.5/5

After the box office disappointment of Halloween III, the rights reverted back to producer Moustapha Akkad, who was determined to put the series back on track. Picking up ten years after the events in Halloween II, Michael Myers (George Wilbur) escapes yet again during a prisoner transfer, heading back to Haddonfield in search of his niece, Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris), the daughter of Laurie Strode, who died in a car crash several years earlier. Adopted by the Carruthers, Jamie bonds with her step sister Rachel (Ellie Cornell), who takes her trick or treating, not knowing that Michael is on the prowl. But Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance) is on Michael’s trail (again), warning the sheriff and the girls that danger is coming. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers sounds like a retread of the first two entries but with different characters, however director Dwight Little manages to create some suspense and breathe some new life into the story and genre. It’s not a great film, but it’s still a fun thriller without going overboard with gore and violence.

Video: 5/5

3D Rating: NA

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers has had a rough time on home video over the years. The look of the film is somewhat different from the previous entries due to the departure of DP Dean Cundey and the use of the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, but previous releases were also kind of drab. This new UHD release from Shout! Factory has been sourced from a new 4K scan of the original camera negative, with both HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range on the disc, and the results are like night and day. Colors are much more robust and vivid without appearing overly (or in the case of previous transfers under) saturated. Black levels are much improved, too, allowing for more refined shadow detail. Fine detail gets a nice boost, too, allowing for more noticeable fabric textures. Film grain is noticeable and organic, and never distracting. For those who have not upgraded to 4K yet, the included Blu-ray has been sourced from the same new 4K transfer.

Audio: 4.5/5

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers was released theatrically in Ultra*Stereo (an open-source version of Dolby Stereo), and that track is replicated on the default DTS-HD MA 2.0 stereo track. Shout! Factory has also included two 5.1 tracks, one in DTS-HD MA, the other in lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 (labeled as “Original DVD 5.1”). The real highlight, though, is the new Dolby Atmos track. Like the Atmos track on Halloween III, this track excels in giving the film’s score by Alan HowarthD MA 20H more breathing room, but it also better prioritizes dialogue and more discrete sound effects. It’s not a soundtrack I would use to show off my sound system, bit is a marked improvement over previous mixes.

Special Features: 3.5/5

Shout! Factory has included nearly all of the video supplements associated with Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers from their 15-disc Complete Collection Blu-ray release from 2014.

UHD Disc:
Audio Commentary with Actors Ellie Cornell and Danielle Harris: The two actresses reminisce about making the movie as well as working on the next installment.

Audio Commentary with Director Dwight H. Little and Author Justin Beahm: The author of Halloween: The Complete Authorized History moderates this track with the film’s director, as they discuss the making of the film, casting the parts, etc.

Blu-ray Disc:
Audio Commentary with Actors Ellie Cornell and Danielle Harris
: The two actresses reminisce about making the movie as well as working on the next installment.

Audio Commentary with Director Dwight H. Little and Author Justin Beahm: The author of Halloween: The Complete Authorized History moderates this track with the film’s director, as they discuss the making of the film, casting the parts, etc.

Halloween 4: Final Cut (1080i; 16:47): An archival documentary (from the DVD release of Halloween 4) on the making of the film, upscaled from an SD source.

Back to Basics: The Making of Halloween 4 (1080p; 47:47): Created for the 15-disc collector’s set, featuring new interviews with director Dwight Little, Malek Akkad, writer Alan B. McElroy, composer Alan Howarth, and actresses Danielle Harris and Ellie Cornell.

Horror’s Hallowed Grounds (1080p; 25:50): Host Sean Clark takes us on a tour of the shooting locations for Halloween 4.

Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 1:42)

TV Spots (upscaled 1080p; 1:37)

Newsprint Ad Gallery (1080p; 2:36)

Still Gallery (1080p; 6:16)

Overall: 4/5

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is not a great film, but it’s still a fun thriller without going overboard with gore and violence. The new 4K scan is a noticeable improvement over previous releases.

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Published by

Todd Erwin

editor,member