The witching hour (and 38 minutes)

In the annals of horror sequeldom, few sequels are as reviled as Halloween III: Season of the Witch. On the surface, it’s not hard to see why. The original Halloween hit the horror and independent film scene in 1978 with a chorus of critical praise and audience screams. The saga of Michael Myers continued a few years later in 1981 with Halloween II, which picks up at the exact second the original ended. That film was also a success commercially (though not so much critically) and Michael Myers looked poised to become the first major horror icon (Jason had just made his first solo appearance in Friday the 13th, Part 2 that same year). The brains behind Michael Myers, John Carpenter and Debra Hill, felt pressured by the studio to provide a third entry for October 1982 but they had a different idea. Halloween II ended with Michael Myers burnt to a crisp, after all, so why continue that storyline? Carpenter and Hill liked the idea of a horror film series centered on the idea of Halloween but having storylines independent of each other. Thus, Halloween III: Season of the Witch was born. Audiences must have felt perplexed and deceived by this in-name-only sequel and the result was an interesting, albeit brief, experiment in taking the series in a new direction. Michael Myers would return to the series 6 years later with the aptly titled, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers but the wounds from Season of the Witch still haven’t healed even though my opinion is that it’s a fun and unfairly maligned film.

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