All witches, all skeletons, all Jack-O-Lanterns, gather 'round and watch. Watch the magic pumpkin.
Once again, everyone is wrong.
Halloween III doesn't have the best reputation. It currently holds an average rating of 4.6 on IMDb, a 37% on Rotten Tomatoes (25% of the audience liked it), and an aggregate rating of 38 on Metacritic (with a 5.8 user rating). People do not like this movie. The biggest complaint? "Where's Michael Myers?" That's right, folks, this is a Halloween film that doesn't not feature its infamous Shatner-faced killer.
What happened is that after Halloween II (which in my opinion is terrible and is ignorant to much of what made the first film work so well), John Carpenter wanted to do something different. Instead of driving Michael Myers into the ground, he pitched the idea of making the franchise into an anthology series, with a new movie every year with the holiday of Halloween being the thread that connects them. I suppose that before the internet, getting that idea across to the audience was quite difficult. Going into it with that knowledge, I can't see how anyone can call this a bad movie. In fact, I think it's pretty great.
All the kids want a Silver Shamrock mask for Halloween. You really can't blame, these masks look great. After a bizarre incident at a hospital where a man was murdered and his killer sets himself on fire, the man's doctor and his daughter decide to investigate. The clues point them to the Silver Shamrock factory. As is the case with most of these things, the less said the better from that point. I will say that this movie goes dark. Really dark. Much darker than I think Hollywood is willing to go these days.
John Carpenter did not direct this movie, but he did produce it and work on the score. I love just about all of his scores, but this might be his best work. There's nothing a catchy as the original theme from Halloween, but the atmosphere it creates is terrific. The Silver Shamrock jingle that plays throughout is irritating and somewhat infectious, making what it becomes during "The Big Giveaway" scene entirely haunting.
Just like the first Halloween, Season of the Witch tells quite a chilling tale, but what really makes it special is how it manages to tap into the mystery, the allure, and the perceived danger of the holiday. Halloween III has the original beat in that regard. This is a really well-done movie, perfect for the season, and is sure to be one I go back to in years to come.