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The Shape's Shake n' Bake Date Night
on 2 September 2017
Following an unsuccessful attempt to deviate the series with the entertaining but flawed third entry 'Season of the Witch', producer Moustapha Akkad decided a 'back to basics' approach was in order due to the upsurge of 'franchise killers' in the late '80s such as Freddy, Norman and Jason giving the erstwhile mogul good enough reason to resurrect Michael Myers some ten years later...
We're back in Haddonfield and all has been quiet since the massacre all those years ago. The perpetrator of those crimes, one Michael Myers (AKA The Shape) is seemingly comatose, repeatedly being transferred from one hospital to another when one fateful night he decides to wake up - upon hearing the news of his one surviving niece, Jamie (Danielle Harris). Michael makes it his business to escape (following a bout of the old 'stabby stabby') and forges a trail of blood as he returns to his old stomping ground in order to put an end to his newly discovered bloodline. However, ‘ol mask face didn’t count on the return of his old nemesis - the good Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) who it seems has become even more deranged and determined to vanquish the evil of Micheal forever with both on a collision course to meet each other once again on Halloween night…
Although derivative and lacking the heightened tension of the John Carpenter original, this fourth go around for the series is a streamlined thriller that ticks all the boxes and hints at a deeper mythos (which is sadly ruined in the subsequent sequels). From the pitch perfect opening credit sequence in almost eerie silence to the wonderfully demented performance from returning star Pleasance - this one has got plenty to recommend: With a number of highlights such as expert direction from Dwight H. Little (‘Marked for Death’, ‘Rapid Fire’) and great turns from Ellie Cornell and Danielle Harris as the two leads who both exhibit genuine warmth and likeability which inturn cements our fear for their characters. Sure, the screenplay maybe by the numbers but Little’s razor sharp eye combined with the excellent score by Alan Howarth ensure this adds up to a legitimate sequel that delivers all the treats, with nary a hint of trick.
Anchor Bay’s UK DVD release sports an okay transfer with vibrant audio and a number of extra features such as a trailer and ‘Inside Halloween 4’ featurette which is one of those quickie numbers that doesn’t really add much, but as the price Amazon are asking isn’t all that high - one can’t complain. All in all, a solid little sequel that although won't rock your world does manage to hit the right notes and ensures Halloween fans are given an entertaining time. Recommended.