'Halloween 3: Season of the Witch' Movie Review

Halloween 3: Season of the Witch by Chris Wright, MoreHorror.com

Directed By: Tommy Lee Wallace
Written By: Tommy Lee Wallace

Starring: Tom Atkins (Dr. Challis), Stacey Nelkin (Ellie Grimbridge), Dan O’herlihy ( Conal Cochran)

Happy Halloween, Silver Shamrock! Halloween 3: Season of the Witch is probably one of the most underrated Halloween movies and, by a large margin, an underrated known horror film overall! It deserves a good review since when it was released, it was a box office flop and panned by Michael Myers’ enthusiasts.

Could it be Carpenter’s original intent was a new Halloween story per year? It was but die hard fans wouldn’t let that direction be realized. Thus we eventually got crap fests like Halloween Resurrection with Tyra Banks and Busta Rhymes. (Oh yeah, this series went there.) After seeing all the subsequent sequels, I would have preferred Carpenter’s anthology vision of this series.

The story is about a man named Cochran, owner of a Halloween mask factory, who is devising a plan to literally murder millions of children who wear those masks on Halloween night. How’s that for turning a seemingly fun holiday to something menacing?

The plot is greatly original. It’s essentially the only Halloween sequel that even remotely mentions the story behind Halloween as a holiday. Tom Adkins, Stacey Nelkin, and Dan O’Hearlihy do an outstanding job in their roles as Dr. Chalis, Ellie, and Conal Cochran respectively. Conal Cochran’s character is the living embodiment of evil (similar to that of Michael Myers). How can anybody deny the evil that is Cochran when he wants to literally murder children because Halloween has strayed from its Celtic background?

John Carpenter’s synthesizer score is the cream of the crop and enhances the mood and dread in this movie. I venture to say it’s the second best musical score in the entire Halloween franchise. Along with the small town setting (a creepy town that even has its own bed time . . . . literally), it makes for a great atmosphere for a Halloween movie.

The most gruesome death comes for a random mother who tries to figure out the electrical device attached to the shamrock pendant on the mask. She was certainly in for a shocking treat as a sharp laser beam blew right into her face! What sights I had to witness with her mangled disturbing face and rodents and bugs coming out of her mouth.

We see a similar example of 'what is to be’ with Cochran scheduling a ‘test study’ for a family and their kid in a living room when the Silver Shamrock commercial (which has been so catchy that nobody ever forgets this jingle trust me!) begins to play. The boy puts on the mask and, along with the jingle and activation, we see what the plan is! Essentially the mask destroys the person wearing it and snakes and disgusting bugs come rolling out instead.

How can folks bash a well thought out creepy plot? Even the emotionless robotic men are creepy to me. This film got so much hate from the “Michael Myers only” club and even from the Studios, who as always, wanted to milk the life out of a “slasher icon”. Thank you John Carpenter for at least not participating in the milking of your own creation.

In the words of Tom Adkins at the end of this movie as the Silver Shamrock commercial is still being played “Stop it!!!” I will go on record to say Halloween 3: Season of the Witch is the second best Halloween sequel, even over Halloween II. The sequels after this one declined in quality as they desperately grasped for straws to keep Michael Myers alive to the point of compromising essentially everything (I’m talking to you Halloween 6) and in some cases, to the point of making us bleed from the eyes (I’m talking to you Halloween Resurrection). While this film received a much undeserved 3.9/10 on IMDB due to either misunderstanding or hate, I give this a 5 out of 5. Check it out and ignore the fan boys!

I leave you the words of Cochran himself:

“Do I need a reason? Mr. Kupfer was right, you know... I do love a good joke and this is the best ever, a joke on the children. But there's a better reason... you don't really know much about Halloween... you thought no further than the strange custom of having your children wear masks and go out begging for candy. It was the start of the year in our old Celtic lands, and we'd be waiting... in our houses of wattles and clay. The barriers would be down, you see, between the real and the unreal, and the dead might be looking in... to sit by our fires of turf.

Halloween... the festival of Samhain! The last great one took place three thousand years ago, when the hills ran red... with the blood of animals and children. Sacrifices. It was part of our world... our craft. Witchcraft. To us, it was a way of controlling our environment. It's not so different now... it's time again. In the end... we don't decide these things, you know... the planets do. They're in alignment, and it's time again. The world's going to change tonight, doctor, I'm glad you'll be able to watch it. And…happy Halloween.”


Submitted by Margaret Waggoner (not verified) on Wed, 10/12/2011 - 04:25

Margaret Waggoner's picture

wait a minute... if Carpenter's original idea was to have a different Halloween movie per year, then why did he create Halloween 2 as a continuation of the Michael Myers story? And the stories haven't declined with each sequel- they have built upon one another to develop a deeper understanding of what caused Michael to become a killer. But I like your analysis of Halloween 3- it makes the movie sound watchable albeit not for someone expecting a Michael Myers film.

Submitted by Dr. Theda (not verified) on Wed, 10/19/2011 - 03:20

Dr. Theda's picture

Did not care much for the "Robots" But the overall storyline was Great!!

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