Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) | Scream Factory Collector’s Edition | 4K Blu-ray Review


Michael is back and so is Scream Factory with the 4th in the line for the 4K upgrade in the Halloween series. Having abandoned the anthology concept and attempting to get back toward the originals, the film definitely has its supporters and detractors in terms of execution, but I’m more focused on Scream Factory’s execution of this 4K disc and whether or not it’s worth picking up.


If after checking out the review, you decide to pick it up, you can find it here*: Amazon

Scream Factory’s Halloween 4, 4K Blu-ray cover art

Tech Specs:

Format(s):UltraHD/4K Blu-ray (BD-100)
Blu-ray (BD-50)
Released By:Scream Factory
Release Date:October 5th, 2021
Video Format / Codec:4K: H.265 (HEVC)
BR: MPEG-4 (AVC)
Resolution:4K: 
Native 4K, 2160/24p 
(3280 x 2160 at 23.976 frames/sec, progressive)

BR: 
Full HD, 1080/24p 
(1920 x 1080 at 23.976 frames/sec, progressive)
Digital Intermediate (DI):4K (from 35mm negatives)
High-Dynamic Range (HDR):Dolby Vision (FEL), HDR10
Aspect Ratio:1.85:1
Audio Format(s):English (4K/BR):
Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
DTS-HD MA 5.1 (48khz, 24-bit)
DTS-HD MA 2.0 (48khz, 24-bit)
Dolby Digital 5.1 (448kpps)
Subtitles:English SDH
Packaging:Dual disc snap case w/ rigid slipcover*

*Slipcover may only be available on initial pressing
Region Coding:4K: Region-free
BR: Region A (locked)

Video Review:

To date, the only home media release I have had on my shelf is the much maligned 2012 release from Anchor Bay, I’ll be focusing on that release for comparison in the screen shots. That said, I am also looking to see how this 4th film holds up on the visual standpoint to the 3 other Halloween films I’ve already reviewed from Scream Factory, or if this was where they started to cut corners. I was very pleased to find a pretty impressive transfer from Scream Factory. Detail levels were on par with the other 4Ks, and a world ahead of the older Blu-ray. Skin textures, costume details, practical effects and environment all get a significant detail upgrade. The film grain is present and pretty well managed throughout without any (or at least only mild) use of digital noise reduction. The film source itself looks good with a few signs of age here and there, but definitely a step up from past transfers.

On the color and contrast front, the Dolby Vision encode is absolutely a step in the right direction for me. The older Blu-ray was pretty darn drab and muted, to the point that red blood in some scenes appeared brown and almost blended into the environment, whereas this new color grade brings the effects of Michael’s return back to life. Colors looked more natural, and the overall tone is definitely a bit warmer, and possibly a bit pink, but not to any extreme and really only noticeable when you compare it to the brown/blue/yellow tint of the older color grade. I personally find it looks more natural, but your preference may vary.

Shadows and highlights are well managed with little lost in shadows and a few mild highlights blown here and there, but overall a nice use of the capabilities of the HDR color depth. Shadow details are definitely more noticeable without being elevated. And the contrast in the nighttime scenes between the dark of night and the lit areas is definitely impressive.

The included Blu-ray also uses the same transfer and looks excellent compared to its 1080p peers and outclasses the muddy looking 2012 release.

Video Score (4K): 4.5 / 5

Video Score (BR): 4.5 / 5

Audio Review:

For the 3rd installment we lost one track, so Scream Factory made up for it with 4 tracks to pick from here. The original stereo track is here, as well as the 5.1 surround mix. We also get a brand new Dolby Atmos mix, and they decided to throw in the old DVD 5.1 mix for added kicks. Overall my two favorites were the Stereo and the Atmos mix, with the latter being my preferred track.

The stereo mix is much stronger and with a wider soundstage than those 2.0 mono tracks of the past 3 films as one would expect and it delivers. It maintains a solid presence with clean clear dialog throughout and a decent handling of the musical effects and overall decent authority.
But the Atmos mix absolutely comes alive, leveraging the capabilities of the format to introduce a much higher level. While surround effects are introduced strategically and generally are fairly quiet, when they do come alive, it transforms the scene, pulling you attention further in and your sense of suspense further up. The musical score gets the biggest benefit here surrounding you as you watch with clear presentation, and a full bodied sound. Bass is absolutely present throughout and used to reinforce the action with some low end prowess, but certainly not a demo track or one to break in your new subwoofers.

The two 5.1 mixes in my opinion don’t get anywhere near the other, coming off thin and lackluster.

Audio Score (4K/BR): 4.2 / 5

Special Features and Packaging:

Scream Factory once again pulled together much of the past features available for these films and collected them in this set. Unfortunately for them, this is also where the list of special features to pull from starts getting a little smaller, but what we do get is still god. Audio commentary, featurettes, trailers, stills and tv spots are all here, there are just fewer of them than the past 3 films. Still a really nice collection and enjoyable to dive into from time to time.
From a packaging standpoint, once again we custom artwork on the rigid slipcover, reversible artwork on the case and art on both of the discs. It lines up nicely with the previous 3 films on the shelf and overall it’s a great looking premium package.

Features Score: 4.3 / 5

Buy/Upgrade-worthiness:

In short, YES! If you enjoy this film, or if you just like the franchise in general, this one is If you’ve made it to Halloween 4, and you’ve already grabbed the other 3 (or even if you skipped Season of the Witch), then you need this one in your collection too. It’s a world ahead of its past releases and any fan of the film would appreciate the experience of this film in its much higher quality, more immersive audio and decent list of features.


Buy/Upgrade Recommendation: YES!

If after checking out the review, you decide to pick it up, you can find it here*: Amazon

Summary and Overall Scores:

While I enjoyed Halloween 3, I was happy they decided to bring the franchise back onto Michael Myers (although I’ll take or leave the familial connection). And on that front, I was incredibly pleased with what Scream Factory put together in this release of the film.

Experience Score**: 4.3 / 5  (Very Good)

** Experience score does not take into account the quality of the film itself, just the technical presentation, packaging and included features.

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