Is there a film series that leeches of its first film more than the Halloween series? John Carpenter’s masterful introduction to Jamie Lee Curtis’ seismic screams and Michael Myers still resonates today, while all the films branching off it are lazy slasher films that completely don’t understand what made the original film so terrifying. Admittedly, the Halloween sequels are watchable, but they don’t elicit fear anymore than they draw cackles as a string of idiots meet their timely demise. But for as safe and absurd as all the sequels are, I’m annually drawn to the series’ lone attempt to deviate from the slasher genre- Halloween III: Season of the Witch. This a film that doesn’t feature Michael Myers. Instead, it features deadly masks, handsome robots, and a corporation willfully killing children through television commercials. The premise is woefully constructed, as it’s battling many, many plot holes, but there’s a sense of unease haunting the film’s frames. From an invasive commercial jingle to actually seeing a child dying, there’s an indelible strangeness to the proceedings that most horror films can’t replicate. The image above is one of the finer compositions from the film. There’s a sense of nostalgia suffocating the frame, all while hinting at a destructive future. With the children moving briskly from the dusk into the darkness, it’s as if an act of innocence is about to be molested by the Devil’s hands.
Cinematographer: Dean Cundey
Director: Tommy Lee Wallace