Halloween III: Season of the Witch

Halloween III: Season of the Witch ★★★★

Well put me down as on Team "Halloween III fucking rules". And also add my name to the list of those who wish it had been more of a box office success so the producers could've continued the plan of making the Halloween franchise an anthology film series that tells different creepy stories that are all somehow centered around Halloween night. That could've been great.

As much fun as those other potential films might have been, I'm not sure they would've held the same aesthetic appeal for me that Halloween III does almost right from the get-go with its Atari-tinged vector graphics opener and accompanying score that sounds like John Carpenter was channeling his own inner Tangerine Dream. Peak '82 vibes for sure.

There is something borderline magical about these turn-of-the-decade Carpenter productions, something that transcends the occasional faulty performance or storytelling misstep and keeps these films eminently watchable. Honestly the story in Halloween III isn't much until the third act (and Tom Atkins ain't exactly the most convincing of screen doctors) but everything is presented with so much competent stylistic flair that it's always engaging. Dean Cundey once more beautifully illustrates why he is the ace cinematographer of Carpenter productions. The infamous, deceptively simple-looking throwback Halloween masks the kids all want have very appropriately become iconic in their own right. And that little advertising jingle used to sell them--which at first listen is goofy but also slightly catchy--starts to sound genuinely maniacally unhinged by the time we reach the big night (and yes, it did manage to earworm its way into my subconscious for weeks after). Plus it's just great watching Dan O'Herlihy play a right evil bastard.

Halloween III could easily become a new Halloween staple for me. But I also don't want to risk overusing its magic either. One thing I do know: I will be watching it again.

(sidenote: Halloween III may also go on to always have a special place in my heart because it was during that initial viewing that I learned that it is indeed possible in Austin to get pizza delivered at 2am Halloween night but it will be 1--poorly made, 2--ridiculously overpriced, 3--not warm, 4--delivered almost 90 minutes late by a very tired Indian woman who was driving around your neighborhood forever trying to find your place but without bothering to call you...but how does that saying go? "Bad pizza is still better than no pizza?" Oh and don't worry, I still tipped the driver well and made sure she left with some candy)

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