Halloween III: Season of The Witch is the greatest Halloween movie ever. In terms of the holiday and in terms of the series.
Yeah, I said it.
Time to go to guns.
Why’s it the best in the series?
We have Jason Voorhees, we have Freddy Krueger, the other two top tier 80’s horror icons. Now in layman’s terms, I would liken Jason to Sylvester Stallone and Freddy to Arnold Schwarzenegger. One guy was the silent kill ‘em all type, the other sure killed ‘em all but always made with the snappy puns.
Michael Meyers is the Jean Claude Van Damme of horror. What does he bring to the table? Well he looks like Schwarzenegger, he talks worse than Stallone, and he can do the splits. IE, Nothing. He’s just not as interesting to watch. Jason’s mask is cooler, his motive is more compelling (just why is Michael Meyers indestructible anyway?), and Meyers shares his name with the guy who played Austin Powers. Oh and Freddy? He’s got a great look, a signature weapon, and he can enter your dreams. Forget about it.
I know there’s a lot of love for the original Halloween, I know it was innovative in terms of mood and editing and invigorating the slasher genre and all that, but I’m gonna say it now. It’s just not very interesting. It’s a lot of stalking and cheap jump scares and glimpsed stabbings without any rhyme or reason. Psycho without the Janet Leigh subplot, or the great acting, or Hitch to pull it together.
Now I’m not knocking John Carpenter. The man is responsible for movies that are beloved in my home. Big Trouble In Little China. The Thing. Escape From New York. Christine and (see where I’m going?) Halloween III: Season of The Witch.
I know, I know, he barely had a hand in this one. Just produced and did the (awesome) score.
I maintain that had this movie been released simply as Season of The Witch and not under the Halloween series banner, it would not have been so venomously panned, so perennially derided by Michael Meyers fans, who believe me, are an angry lot when they wanna be. Nope, the Halloween series moniker actually sullies this movie.
It’s the quintessential Halloween movie.
How can I say that?
‘Cause it’s like a really good Christmas movie. It takes place during the season, it’s decked with all the trimmings you’d expect, and indeed, the holiday is an important part of the plot. Finally, it leaves you with a feeling appropriate to the season.
But this is Halloween, not Christmas.
Does it take place during the holiday? Check. It’s even in the title, champ.
Does it feature all the tropes and idioms we associate with Halloween? Let’s see, kids in masks getting candy? Check. Masks that kill them actually, so double check. Spookie movies on TV? How about (in a really cool self-reference move) Hallo ‘Michael Meyers’ ween itself? Spooky black magic type stuff? How’s a charmingly sinister toy company CEO whose actually grand poobah of an international witch cult bent on enacting an ages old mass child sacrifice using freaky magically charged chips of one of the Stonehenge triptychs in kids’ masks on Halloween night grab ya?
Uh…check. And is the holiday itself integral to the plot? We covered that already. Does it leave you with a feeling appropriate to the season?
Oh hell yes.
Because it’s scary (what’s scarier than the impending, grotesque death of millions of children?), it’s got a cool John Carpenter score, and it’s fun. It’s fun as hell.
When I tell people the plot they roll their eyes. But this is a GREAT Halloween movie. It’s obviously not meant to be taken entirely serious. It’s a conspiracy based in a town of smiling Irish people who use clockwork people as muscle!! The deaths are over the top violent and bloody – one chick tampers with one of the masks and has her face melted! And they’re using a piece of freakin’ Stonehenge to cause BUGS TO POP OUT OF CHILDREN’S FACES!
How’d they get this giant triptych over to America without anybody noticing? Well, the bad guy just says you wouldn’t believe the amount of trouble it took. That’s the only explanation we get. But come on, if you watched this much of it, does it really matter?
Oh yeah, and who’s the hero? Who’s the George Bailey equivalent in a Halloween holiday movie from John Carpenter? Who’s the would-be savior of little children everywhere? Tom M.F.’n Atkins. An odious, tail chasin’ surgeon whose kids ignore him and who knocks back the sauce in nearly every scene.
This movie is such a cool departure from the usual chase ’em and cut ’em snoozefest that is Halloween the series! Because seriously, after Part II, what does Michael do differently?
I dare anybody to watch the video below and not be humming the jingle all day…..
Seriously, you need to re-think your avoidance of this movie. Go to the video store or get it offa Netflix. I almost guarantee it’ll
be available. I won’t be hoarding it, ‘cause I own it. Love this movie.
And I’m not the only one.
Happy Halloween, y’all.