In 1982, John Carpenter and partner Tommy Lee Wallace attempted to move “Halloween” away from Michael Myers and turn it into an anthology series with “Halloween III: Season of the Witch,” a movie arguably as good if not better than the original “Halloween.”
1978’s “Halloween” was a break-out hit for director John Carpenter and actress Jamie Lee Curtis.
It told the simple tale of a babysitter named Laurie Strode who found herself being stalked by a relentless force in the form of Michael Myers, an anomaly with no real goals or motivations, other than to kill. At the end, Dr. Loomis shoots Myers off a balcony, only for the killer to disappear into the night.
By now, people know that wasn’t the end of Michael Myers, but with each passing sequel, the act of Myers stalking and killing became increasingly tiresome and routine. Even in 2018’s “Halloween,” it’s the same old song and dance.
In “Halloween III,” a doctor finds himself caught up in a conspiracy involving masks produced by the Silver Shamrocks Company. His investigations lead him to a small town, where the company is producing masks capable of killing those who wear it when a special commercial is going to be played across America on Halloween.
Upon its release, “Halloween III” was lambasted by critics and audiences alike for not featuring Michael Myers. As inane as that sounds, it’s true, and in recent years, the film has found its following and is regarded as a misunderstood movie released in the wrong place and at the wrong time.
It’s an interesting film, one which is light on gore and murder, but heavy on the suspense and dread. It’s also a commentary on the commercialization of the holiday, what with the villain’s plan being an attempt to mix the dark origins of Halloween with the positive, joyful holiday it’s become now via the masks.
Connell Cochran is deceptive and manipulative. His plan is sinister yet fitting. It’s a situation where one hopes the protagonist is able to stop him before it’s too late. The ending, well, the less said, the better.
It’s not a perfect movie. There are some plot holes in Cochran’s plan and how it came to be which are never explained, but its biggest problem is its title. By making and associating it as the third entry in the “Halloween” series, it misleads the viewer into thinking they are going to see more of Michael Myers, which is far from the case.
Despite its problems, “Halloween III” is still a hidden gem worth seeking out. The atmosphere and direction of the movie really gets the audience into the holiday spirit, and it has some interesting things to say on the commercialization of the holiday.
When compared to where the series went from the fourth film and onwards, “Season of the Witch” feels refreshing, but it also makes one wonder what could have been had they stuck with the concept of “Halloween” being an anthology series instead of wearing out Michael Myers with too many sequels.