Halloween 3 : Season of the Witch (1982)

After two outings for Michael Myers the Halloween movies took a slightly different turn in 1982. With the thought of making the Franchise into a Anthology Series instead of bringing back Michael Myers, Season of the Witch brought in a completely new story, new themes and even a new genre departing from Slasher Movies and moving onto Witchcraft (not that you wouldn’t have noticed with the name.)

It was the first movie not to star Michael Myers or Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie let alone Daniel Pleasence as Dr. Loomis.

The film flopped, people didn’t like it and when Halloween finally reared its head again Michael Myers was back in the lead role. For me though I’m not so negative about Halloween 3.

As American Horror Story has shown Anthology Seasons are man made for Horror. With so many different things you could do within the Horror/Slasher genre why keep going back to the same old faces? I think it was brave for Halloween to move away from Myers and try something different. In four years they’d produced (with this film) three films whereas the Johnny come Lately Jason Voorhees already had three in three years. Trying to do something different was a great idea.

I like the film though can easily see why others wouldn’t. The acting wasn’t great and the story was all over the place. I loved the idea of making something as simple as Halloween masks scary. There were quite a few moments that didn’t make sense, though I will admit that I probably wasn’t paying enough attention and just let the explanations go over my head, it felt like it was full of many different ideas and over complicated itself. It stayed being scary, in its way, by staying simplistic though. The scares didn’t come from the odd story but from the simple use of violence against children.

Now that sounds terrible I know but its the way it works.

Teenagers are one thing, kids being given masks and then having their faces melted in the masks and the magic spawning bugs and snakes pouring out of the masks is a thing of nightmares. I’m honestly petrified of bugs of all kinds and that includes reptiles like snakes and seeing a giant snake coming out of the mask that once had a kids head in it was simply terrifying. It was the first time I watched it and will be till the day I die.

Because deaths of children as young as that aren’t usually seen in movies or on TV when it does happen it kind of feels even worse. You kind of become numb to the amount of teenage deaths in these movies but seeing kids getting hurt? Well that is scary.

The acting wasn’t great, there was no Jamie Lee Curtis to hold it up. Tom Atkins was fine but seemed to be acting three different stories out and didn’t have the charisma to hold the show together.

Where the film failed back in the day was because we didn’t have a internet full of people telling them what was happening. People would have gone to see a Michael Myers film and they didn’t get Michael Myers. With two films featuring him and a coherent story that followed on seamlessly it is hardly their fault. I wasn’t born until 1989 so I don’t know how much it was advertised or if people truly knew that they weren’t going to see Michael Myers in the film. Something like American Horror Story works because no one, as far as I can remember, thought they’d be going back to the Murder House in Season two therefore were ready for something new. If you went into the second season (or indeed the third Halloween movie) not knowing this then sure you’ll be disappointed.

It was a risk that I think the Halloween Franchise should be applauded for taking and a idea that is very obviously right (for the third time look at American Horror Story!)

Unfortunately by then Slasher Movies had taken off and Michael Myers was probably bigger then the Franchise itself (as did all Slasher movie villains became) add that to people possibly not showing up ready for something different and there was no hope for it.

Thankfully its nice to see that its efforts to do something different have became appreciated in later years because it wasn’t a bad movie.

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