Retro Review: Halloween III: Season of the Witch

We are now in the final stretch of October, culminating with my favorite day of the year Halloween. All month long, we at The Horror Syndicate have been bringing you new content to gnaw on during your daily grind. We’ve covered the Friday the 13th franchise, Nightmare on Elm Street and now finishing up with of course, the Halloween franchise. I have been given the honor of taking on my favorite sequel of the Halloween franchise. The sequel that feels the most like a true Halloween holiday themed film. The sequel that didn’t even have Michael Myers in it. SAY WHAT?!? Yep, you read that right. So let’s dive into the stand alone sequel, Halloween III: Season of the Witch.

In case you don’t know anything about this film here’s your obligatory synopsis.

Hospital emergency room Dr. Daniel “Dan” Challis played by horror movie ladies’ man Tom Atkins (The Fog, Night of the Creeps) and Ellie Grimbridge (Stacey Nelkin), the daughter of a murder victim, uncover a terrible plot by small-town mask maker Conal Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy, The Cabinet of Caligari). A madman who’s planning a Halloween mass murder utilizing an ancient Celtic ritual. The ritual involves a boulder stolen from Stonehenge, the use of Silver Shamrock masks and a triggering device contained in a television commercial — all designed to kill millions of children.

Catch all that? The premise may be a little far-fetched, but come on, it’s a Halloween movie. Initially film producers, wanted to create a new direction for the franchise. With Michael Myers being killed off at the end of part II, they took this as an opportunity to try something different. The idea was to create an anthology of sorts, with a new Halloween holiday themed film every year that released just in time for the big day. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Until the film released in theaters that is.

Some fans balked and became outraged because they didn’t know what they were watching. They came in expecting a Michael Myers slasher film. What they got was a film that had nothing to do with the initial premises of the franchise. Other fans found the film extremely different and equally enjoyable. I am a member of the latter. I thought it was a great and original film. To this day, Season of the Witch is a mainstay in my 31 Days of Halloween lists, even more so than the original!!!! But needless to say, the anthology idea was immediately dropped and the fans were given more mediocre Michael Myers films.

Season of the Witch is the ultimate holiday film for October. Even though it’s my favorite sequel, it does have its share of faults. Like the dreadfully repetitive jingle from the Silver Shamrock commercial. God that fucking song gets increasingly more annoying as the movie progresses. Another fault is the need to throw in a useless love story between Challis and Grimbridge. But these minute issues don’t really hinder the final product.

Ultimately I think the main issue I have with Season of the Witch, was the filmmakers trying to pass it off as a Halloween franchise film. The idea for the film was already there and very well thought out. I believe that had it been released on its own and outside of the franchise it would have been received much better. It would have taken a different path entirely and possibly could’ve started a franchise of its own with yearly Halloween anthology films.

…I guess we’ll never know


IMDb: 4.7/10 (Dreadfully too low)

ZombiSurvivor: 7.6/10 (I LOVE IT!)

Thanks for reading!







About Jared Letourneau 189 Articles
Hey there boils and ghouls! My love of horror films came on a dark and stormy night.... ....Truthfully, it probably happened in 1980-something during a sunny day when I was 5 or 6. That movie was JAWS. I had never been so terrified to go swimming and I live in a land-locked state! I have been a Horror Hound ever since. Having seen hundreds of films, some good and some downright dreadful, my love for horror cinema has grown stronger than ever! A couple of my favorite directors are Lucio Fulci and John Carpenter. Contributing here at T.H.S and being able to work with these other folks will be a treat I look forward to. I will share secrets after a few drinks and I also enjoy long romantic walks in dimly-lit cemeteries. My fave top 5 films are: 1)Dawn Of The Dead (Original) 2)The Thing (Carpenter's Remake) 3)Zombie 4)The Beyond 5)Friday the 13th pt IV: The Final Chapter Stay Scared! -ZombiSurvivor