Halloween III: Season of the Witch Review

Capitalise. Create. Completely corrupt the opportunities at hand. Halloween III: Season of the Witch marks the creation of a trilogy and the death of the series for six years. Horror series often lie dormant. They can flutter in and out of the subconscious ridiculously easily, partly because of the memorable characters, but also due to the mood they create. Director Tommy Lee Wallace makes a bold decision with this third instalment, removing every necessary pocket of detail, rinsing out Jamie Lee Curtis and company. They are, apparently, surplus to requirement. His vision of villainous Halloween masks storming around the populous with curse-like entities is not beyond the realm of this timeline and story, but it does feel like a leap and a half to make this change. 

Where would we be without bold innovation? Likely in the comfort of John Carpenter, but that is a wilder ride than first anticipated. He was not a golden catch and could do only so much with what he was working with. For Halloween, he was crafty. A simple thriller and slasher blend that cemented the idea that fear is a projection rather than an entity. Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a bold and tenacious outing, for it sees the complete removal of any identifiable fear. Audiences must rely on the uncomfortable masks, which look utterly terrifying when wedged between the Silver Shamrock Oddities with the janky television screen, but not at all when shown next to these protagonists. It is the stretches Halloween III: Season of the Witch takes in being different from its predecessors that stutter its chances of being bigger than the Carpenter classic. 

From its blistering opening credits track to its desire to try something different, Halloween III: Season of the Witch is neither good nor without merit. Whether we applaud or condemn the notions of change found within this third instalment to the Halloween franchise is up to those who will feel either repelled or confused. Perhaps both. Synth notes dominate the soundtrack, the whines and groans of the soundtrack as cars trundle into view or unnamed characters run from impending danger. All the while audiences are waiting for the man in the white mask to show up. Had it been possible to forget, the real terror would be the feeling of dread created by that lingering thought of where Myers could be.  

They are not present in this feature, though. Halloween III: Season of the Witch lingers not as a bad feature, but an out of place one. Too ambitious, too early. Wallace has interesting set pieces but none of it is backed up by anything connected to that Halloween tag right in the title. He is right to move the series away, however briefly, from the slasher variety. That would get stale rather fast had it been beaten like the dead horse it is. But the direction he moves the series in isn’t too exciting. His direction is strong, with plenty of unique framing devices and excerpts of cheap horror. Unfortunately, the tone the film takes and the pacing of it all, the general cheapness that lingers underneath all the silly deaths and odd character arcs, is not worth the time it takes to get to those few great moments.  

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