In the world of horror cinema, there are mysteries that have withstood the test of time. How did Jason “take” Manhattan, and did he use lube? Why was the final Jaws shark taken out with a flimsy wooden bowsprit? Why didn’t The Freeling family go off the grid? How come the kids in The Blair Witch Project stopped to camp every night instead of just forging ahead? Why do so many people hate Wes Craven’s My Soul to Take? And, most of all, why do so many people hate Halloween III: Season of the Witch? It’s almost as if some of you try to bash it and wish it out of existence.
Honestly, Halloween III: Season of the Witch isn’t exactly my cup of tea either, but it’s still far from a terrible film. The biggest problem viewers have is, obviously, the fact that it has no relation to the other films in the franchise as far as story goes. Tamara Glynn, who played Samantha Thomas in Halloween V: The Revenge of Michael Myers, comments, “Logically speaking, most people assumed Michael Myers would be in the movie.” So, let me take a minute to educate the nay-sayers with a little trivia, facts that were even unknown to me up until a few years ago. After the success of Halloween and Halloween II, the plan was to extend the franchise as an anthology series, with each new Halloween title showcasing a new plot and a new threat to society. However, after its final gross of $14,000,000 – considerably lesser than its predecessors – Halloween III was dubbed a commercial failure and the decision was made to revert the series back to the Michael Myers story that captured the nation. This explains the lack of the iconic serial killer’s presence in the movie.
HorrorSociety.com owner Mitchell Wells adds, “I hated it when I first saw it. It took me a long time and a few re-watches for it to really sink in that I liked it. You have to watch it knowing it has nothing to do with any of the other movies. If it was titled something else, then it would be a good Halloween tale.” This drives the point home that Halloween III: Season of the Witch needs to be examined as its own entity, as its own work of art. Viewers need to get over the fact that Michael Myers isn’t killing teenagers in this installment and just watch and enjoy the madness. And, come on, there have been way worse things to happen in horror franchises: Jason Voorhees in space, the Leprechaun in the hood… twice! Why are people so hung up on the fact that Halloween III is disjointed from the main story-line when you still end up with a solid piece of cinema from a great director? My problem with Halloween III is its pacing and long periods of time that I think are quite boring. Disliking the film for those reasons is justified, hating it for the lack of Michael Myers means you never even gave it a chance in the first place to form an unbiased opinion.
“What’s not to love,” asks actor Randy Memoli, star of of films such as The Covenant and Gitchy. “It’s got explosions. It’s got robots. It’s got people’s heads coming off. What’s more frightening than a scifi-born genocide against America’s children?” The actor is also quick to point out that while Halloween III: Season of the Witch doesn’t involve Michael Myers, the film still takes place much in the same universe where Haddonfield exists. “If you don’t read the credits at the beginning of the movie, then you would really think John Carpenter directed the film.” And, he’s right. Tommy Lee Wallace, writer and director of Halloween III, played Michael Myers in the bedroom scene during Laurie Strode’s attack in the first film. Dick Warlock, who played Michael Myers in Halloween II, plays the role of an assassin here. Even Halloween‘s Annie, Nancy Kyes, appeared in Halloween III as Linda Challis. John Carpenter and Debra Hill produced the film, having also done so with Halloween and Halloween II. Carpenter also scored all three movies and Dean Cundey served as cinematographer on all three. Memoli adds, “Even if it has a different plot, it still FEELS like a Halloween movie.”
Let me not forget to mention that Jamie Lee Curtis, who plays Laurie Strode in Halloween, Halloween II, Halloween: H20 and Halloween: Resurrection, has a very small cameo as a telephone operator near the end of the movie. Who knows? Maybe that was Strode’s after college job four years after the original murders? There’s your way of making the third movie in the franchise canonical.
Tamara Glynn finishes the overall conversation with, “Some people love it, some people hate it. Personally, i love it because it focused on the seasonal aspect Halloween as opposed to when Michael Myers comes home.” Earlier this week I polled the HorrorSociety.com readers and received 209 comments. Out of 161 usable answers, the results follow: 70 people hated Halloween III, 66 people enjoyed it and 25 people were left neutral. The debate will rage on long after I publish this post, but I think it’s safe to say we’ll have to agree to disagree. My point with this entire piece is to get conversation going in hopes of changing a couple minds in regards to Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Give it another chance. I did today. Although it doesn’t fit into the Michael Myers story-line, it’s still a great opportunity to watch a classic scary movie with an original plot…all-be it a slow one…