Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) (98 minutes)
Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace.
Written by Tommy Lee Wallace.
Starring Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin and Dan O’Herlihy.
Follows Halloween II (1981)
Followed by Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
Masks, dressing up and spooky Halloween tunes. When you think of Halloween your mind turns to, what will I wear? What mask will I buy? I need to look good for trick or treat. This was before you watched Halloween III: Season of the Witch.
Tommy Lee Wallace creates a nail biting movie which plays on all the main things that make Halloween and trick and treating fun. He turns it on its head, pardon the pun and terrifies the life out of anyone choosing to wear a mask and watch TV during the Halloween season.
This classic horror uses three different types of mask; a pumpkin, a ghost and a witch. In the movie children can not resist buying them and are not happy if they get a different make than the Silver Shamrock merchandise. The results of wearing this mask literally melts your head, and the scenes are gruesome to say the least. If that is not bad enough the tune that plays along in the movie puts anybody watching TV at that time wearing the mask under a hypnotic spell. This puts the boat scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to shame. The whole film is dark and eerie from the outset and just the thing to put you in the mood to be scared.
From the beginning you are on the edge of your seat hoping the man in the suit – who definitely has no soul and must be a distant cousin to Jason from Friday the 13th – is nowhere near your car in the parking lot, or you will have a bigger hole in your ear than is needed to listen to your tunes.
The movie works well because it does use children, which are almost always innocent in classic horror, and they become the main victims. Their heads are reduced to a putrid mess on the family rug which would give Agnes “Aggie” MacKenzie from How Clean Is Your House? an instant stroke. With that and the robotic-like people working in the factory to make these masks, it is enough for you to have second thoughts when buying your next Halloween mask.
This shows a very clever use of directing and script writing. Something that is part of a festival that people believe in and take part in. A storyline that centres on merchandise popular with Halloween that is not too far from the truth, such as children wanting masks and the all the things that go with dressing up. This is what gives the movie the scare factor.
The last thing to mention is from the very first time you watch this movie you will never get that jingle out of your head… “Three more days ’till Halloween…” If you don’t start singing it when the movie is over I will eat my own head. And if you have seen the movie I bet you’re singing it now.