After rediscovering lost footage from the original film, the fourth film rewrite itself somewhat as it jumps through several flashbacks and dreams trying to "repair" some "faults" from the two sequels as the fourth entry try to go back to it's atmospheric roots again. It feels very ambitious for it's low budget as it really could have needed both a better running time and budget to get all it wants to tell across.
The franchise hit a low point with this unnecessary sequel that attempts to bring the story cycle to a close but just seems like an endless quest for a screenplay. Any horror has long since evaporated. Unfortunate this was made instead of the infamous Roger Avary script that was far more ambitious.
A jumble of conflicting ideas, timelines and bull-shit "mysticism" that is redeemed by its evocative imagery and heartbreaking final scene. By using lost footage from the original Phantasm, Coscarelli once again brings the story back to the psychodrama of a lost and frightened little boy still struggling to make sense of death; the entire franchise recalibrated, pre-Inception-like, as an elaborate system of dreams.