Looking at films with friends...
2014 saw the fourth trio of films watched for Halloween. This time was Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) and Halloween IV: The Return of Micheal Myers (1988).
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
Starting immediately after Friday the 13th: Part III and set the following day the idea that this is all happening on a Friday the 13th is becoming increasingly less likely (especially since Friday the 13th: Part III was set the day after Friday the 13th Part 2.) By this time Jason just has to be immortal and that's OK. The movie is the usual formula of nubile teens being killed (along with a couple of adults) although there are, again, absolutely no camp counsellors. It plays with the rules a little by having a false final girl, but doesn't really hold the attention. At least it's the series final. (It must be, the title says so, right?)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
This film is a complete mess. It spends a lot of time killing off the heroes of the previous film before finally handing over the baton to a new batch who then don't have enough time to build any sort of audience sympathy before being killed off themselves. The deaths are big but not tense at all. Even worse than A Nightmare on Elm Street II: Freddy's Revenge, if that's possible.
Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers
The return of Michael Myers sees the return to glory of the series after the misstep of the unrelated Halloween III: Season of the Witch and the rather dull Halloween II. It's not the original Halloween or anywhere near its quality, but the second best of the series so far, attempting to break the rules in good and bad ways. Given the chance the heroines flee the town, but there's too much time spent killing random people off-screen and only one nubile couple killed.
Whereas last year it was up to A Nightmare on Elm Street III: The Dream Warriors to bring the night with the weak other two films, this time Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers had to do the heavy lifting. It does OK, and is helped by an average Friday film. It's really Nightmare that brings the night down, a dull film but not bad enough to get so-bad-it's-good points.