Halloween III: Season of the Witch

Year: 1982

Synopsis: A doctor and a young woman work to uncover a conspiracy that threatens the lives of children across the world.

Pros:
• Had an interesting story involving a surreal mix of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy.
• Dr. Dan Challis (Tom Atkins) and Ellie (Stacie Nelkin) were genuinely likable characters in their own ways.
• Conal Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy) succeeded as an engaging cross between corporate villain, mad scientist, and evil sorcerer. He provided a kind of knowing self-awareness to it all that helped to make up for the film’s weaknesses.
• The antagonists win.
• Was a genuinely fun ride when not taken too seriously.

Cons:
• Connecting to the prior films by playing them on a TV felt like the characters were watching a better movie than we were.
• Surreal lapses in logic, like how a company can be monopolistic by apparently only selling a few products at a time or trying to stop multiple channels from airing a paid advertisement. That Stonehenge subplot …
• It seemed as if Ellie might have been a robot all along, but that apparent mystery is surprisingly uninteresting. At the same time, that mystery ironically masked the other possibility that she was replaced and whether or not she was still alive.
• The whole point of it all was never clear.

Discussion:
The Halloween series was originally envisioned as an anthology, even if that planning was fully undercut by the fact that the first film had a direct sequel. In that sense, an interesting what might have been comes into focus. The horror stories that can be told against the backdrop of Halloween might just be limitless. Season of the Witch embraces that notion of limitlessness by swirling multiple genres together. Did it really mesh here? Not all that well. But it might not really matter. Making the masks be the killer rather than the candy was a very good twist. The materials used to make Halloween costumes do smell rather toxic at times …


Official Website

Rotten Tomatoes — 42%

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