Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

“They’re going to kill us — all of us!”

When a doctor (Tom Atkins) helps a young woman (Stacey Nelkin) investigate the murder of her father (Al Berry) eight days before Halloween, he uncovers a plot by the nefarious owner of a novelties company (Dan O’Herlihy) to use Halloween masks to control kids all over the country.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Amateur Sleuths
  • Horror Films
  • Mad Doctors and Scientists

This third film in the Halloween (1978) horror film franchise is notorious for not featuring serial killer “Michael Meyers” and actually having nothing at all to do with the original film (other than showing clips of it on television in the background). Producer John Carpenter’s idea was to begin a series of Halloween (the holiday)-related films each year, starting with this one about masks, androids, shamrocks, and the power of Stonehenge (!). Unfortunately, the intriguing central premise — i.e., a silver medallion on many of the masks that will brainwash kids through a commercial airing on Halloween — neither makes much sense (what’s up with the bugs and other creepy-crawlies that come oozing out?):

… nor pays off effectively.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • A creepy premise

  • Atmospheric cinematography

Must See?
No; you can skip this one unless you’re curious. Listed as a Sleeper in the back of Peary’s book.


5 thoughts on “Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

  1. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    After the classic original, the best film in the series. Written by the great Nigel Kneale of Quatermass fame although he was re-written by director Tommy Lee Wallace and had his name removed (he regretted it in later years).

    Characterisation is all over the shop but it’s well plotted, creepy, atmospheric and has a killer John Carpenter-Alan Howarth score. Generally well regarded these days and was certainly not the flop it’s made out to be ($2.5 million budget against $15 million US box office – international not known).

    Not must see but a great little Halloween bon mot.

  2. Sylvia, this needs changing to 1982 as that was when it was first released.

  3. Incidentally, the point of the masks is to sacrifice the children hence they turn into piles of bugs etc and killed. Cochran says this very explicitly as he’s a Celt.

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