It’s generally known that Halloween III: Season of the Witch is the most disappointing of the Halloween franchise. Besides those Rob Zombie schlopfests, that is. People seem to write off Season of the Witch because series regulars Michael Myers, Laurie Strode, and Dr. Loomis don’t appear at all. Hell, they’re not even mentioned. But that’s one of the reasons why Season of the Witch is so unique and interesting.
Below the fold, I have a list of reasons why Halloween III should be taken seriously by horror fanatics. Won’t you read them, please?
5) Loads of great people worked on it
Starring Tom Atkins, who starred in John Carpenter’s The Fog, Escape from New York, as well as Creepshow, and Lethal Weapon, Season of the Witch has a great cast. And playing the main villain is Dan O’Herlihy, who also plays The Old Man in Robocop.
Directing the movie is Tommy Lee Wallace, who went on to direct the supremely creepy adaptation of Stephen King’s IT. Wallace is a great choice for Season of the Witch, mostly because his style of shooting is very similar to John Carpenter’s. Longer, static shots shot on 2.35:1 widescreen with great use of steadycam, Halloween III is almost like watching an actual John Carpenter picture. And let’s not forget about Wallace’s script! Another high point of the movie, it blends suspense, humor, and characterization that most horror movies need. Sure, it’s no The Thing or The Shining, but Season of the Witch is a well written film for all intents and purposes.
4) John Carpenter and Debra Hill are still involved
The story behind Season of the Witch goes something like this: Halloween I & II masterminds John Carpenter and Debra Hill wanted to focus on a different scary thing happening with each Halloween sequel. That means no Michael Myers after part two. What they came up with is a “mad scientist”-esque story of crazed capitalism and consumerism.
While they didn’t write or direct the movie, both Carpenter and Hill produced the flick. And Carpenter provides one of his best scores of the 80s in Season of the Witch. Easily up there with The Thing (which came out the same year as Halloween III), this flick’s score freaking spooky as all get-out.
3) It has some seriously awesome kills
When the chip in the back of the Halloween masks is set off, a really awesome, incredibly gruesome death is dealt to the wearer. And it’s actually horrifying, for once. While it’s not as gory as Halloween II, Season of the Witch has some of my favorite kills of the franchise. Whether its men in business suits ripping someone’s skull apart without breaking the skin, or watching snakes and insects march out of a dead child’s mouth, Halloween III has some amazing kills. There’s also a really good beheading, and every horror film needs at least one of those.
2) It has a lot to say about society
A lot of horror films have some sort of critique of current society. But that doesn’t make Halloween III’s message completely lost. Sure, the movie may be about how a crazy company wants to kill kids for liking Halloween because reasons. But it’s also about America’s notoriously famous consumerism, and how a lot of people buy things because they’re told to. And how about the image of children everywhere automatically turning on their TVs at 9 pm because it told them to? Spooky, right? Well, it’s still happening to this day. That may be the scariest thing about this movie: it’s completely unafraid to show how cognitively weak we are as a society.
1) It’s the inspiration behind Resident Evil 4
Ok, this one is a bit of a stretch, I know. But hear me out! Let me loosely describe Halloween III: Guy investigates a close-knit ethnic village. What he uncovers is a cult led by a maniacal leader hell-bent on world domination. Also, there’s some gruesome deaths. Sound familiar? That’s essentially Resident Evil 4! And while RE4 features more burlap sack wearing chainsaw dudes, the similarities between the two are definitely there. Go ahead, watch Season of the Witch and play RE4. I dare you to say the two aren’t similar.
When I was a kid, getting in to the Halloween series big time, I always hated watching this one. I’m pretty sure I only watched the first few minutes and turned it off because it was booooooring. But after watching it again last night, Halloween III: Season of the Witch is now one of my favorite horror movies. I highly recommend you check out the red-headed stepchild of the Halloween franchise.