Halloween III: Season of the Witch Review (1982)

 

My History With the Film:
I've told the story about discovering my love of horror films through Halloween several times over the years. It was my first true introduction into the genre and it's a franchise I hold near and dear. If I had to make a guess, I'd say I've seen the first film at least 30 times, the second film 15 times, and the rest of the films somewhere between 5-10 times (excluding Rob Zombie's). In all these watches over all these years, I've never once sat down to watch Halloween 3.

When I first got into horror movies in the mid-90's, I heard nothing but bad things about Halloween 3 online. It was still relatively fresh in the minds of people who were disappointed that it didn't include Michael Myers, and I could understand why. I had no interest in seeing a Halloween film without Michael Myers. So, I just skipped it and pretended like it didn't exist.

Over the past ten years or so, I've noticed a change in the horror fanbase's feelings regarding Halloween 3. The tone has changed from "Halloween 3 is a disgrace" to "It's one of the better Halloween films" or "It's great as long as you don't expect Michael Myers to show up." Upon purchasing the Halloween blu-ray boxset last year, I decided that it was time to give Halloween 3 a shot, and on one dreary, rainy Sunday afternoon, I closed the curtains and got comfortable and gave Halloween 3 a fair shot.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A doctor discovers that a Halloween mask company is planning to turn kids into real monsters on Halloween.

What I Liked About It:
-John Carpenter did the score for Halloween 3 and its wonderful. From the opening credits I knew I was listening to something special. His distinct synth sound is always a joy and sets the mood for the film. This soundtrack is quickly going into my spooky playlist rotation.

-John Atkins is a fantastic actor and this film was made for him to shine. He carries the film and provides the audience with a great "every man" to relate to.

-The special effects were top notch. There is a scene in a hotel room involving a minor character discovering a micro chip that was truly haunting. It takes a lot to give me the creeps, but this scene managed to do it, thanks in part by a very adventurous bug.

-The town (Lolita, California) that was used for Santa Mira has a very distinct look and feel to it. It's not quite abandoned mining town, but not quite strange small town. It feels like it exists in-between those two realms in some fantasy world.

-I loved the ending. Those last two minutes were perfect and I love the ambiguity of the ending.

-Although unnecessary, I enjoyed the nods to the original Halloween movies. I won't spoil them, but there are several scenes and actresses that pop up.

-The film is broken down into days that are leading up to Halloween and I really like when films use this chronological filmmaking technique. It helps the viewer build up to the big ending/reveal.

What I Didn't Like About It:
-::SPOILER:: You'll see me write this over and over again, but I hate body snatcher type movies and I hate robots. They do nothing for me and as much as I loved the first half of this film, once it turned into a robot story I began to lose interest in the story. Sadly, I love the idea of witchcraft in the computer age, especially of the early 80's, I just hate the use of animatronics.::END SPOILERS::

-I really liked almost everything about this movie, except for a certain part of the plot. You'll have to see the spoiler above, but I highly recommend you watch the movie before doing so.

-I'm good never hearing "London Bridge" again for the rest of my life.

Additional Notes:
-This is an interesting look at the original concept of having the Halloween franchise become an anthology series. Halloween 3 wasn't as strong of a movie compared to the first two Halloweens, but I really liked the concept. In a fantasy world I could see Trick R Treat being part of the Halloween anthology franchise and I like that thought.

-The idea behind turning the Halloween franchise into an anthology series was created by John Carpenter following the death of Michael Myers in Halloween 2. However, Halloween 3 under-performed and that plan was dropped.

-The gas station featured at the beginning and end of the film can also be seen in The Fog.

-The novelization of Halloween 3 went onto become a best seller, despite the critical failure of the film.

-The filmmakers used "London Bridge" as Silver Shamrock's jingle because it was in the public domain.

-The town name Santa Mira is the same town used in 1956's Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

-Joe Dante was the original director for Halloween 3, but dropped out to pursue another project.

Rating:
It's taken me over twenty years to finally get around to watching Halloween 3. In that time span I've heard a lot of good things and a lot of bad things about the film. I went in with an open mind and made no comparisons to the rest of the Halloween films. This was a standalone 80's horror movie as far as I was concerned.

With that being said, I liked a lot of the film. I like the cast, the music, the setting, and even the story. What I didn't like was an intricate part of the plot that I don't think would bother many others. In trying to keep things spoiler free, I can't dive into that too deeply (you can see what I'm talking about behind the spoiler tag above). I guess, I would say I enjoy 70% of what Halloween 3 is and despite having a great final minutes, I lost a lot of my interest during the last twenty minutes.

Overall I enjoyed what I saw and I'll definitely be listening to the soundtrack in the years to come, but I don't see myself revisiting this film anytime soon. I'd rate Halloween 3 a three out of five and say it's a rental.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think this flick gets enough love. Forget the Halloween part of the title, just call it Season of the Witch, and it's a solid horror flick.

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