Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) - Rotten Tomatoes

Halloween III: Season of the Witch1982

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)



Critic Consensus: Its laudable deviation from series formula not withstanding, Halloween III: Season Of The Witch offers paltry thrills and dubious plotting.

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Movie Info

In the third Halloween feature--which really has little connection to the previous two--the psychotic killer is a scientist (Dan O'Herlihy) who creates a brand of satanic Halloween masks which kill the children who wear them.

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Tom Atkins
as Dr. Daniel Challis
Stacey Nelkin
as Ellie Grimbridge
Dan O'Herlihy
as Conal Cochran
Ralph Strait
as Buddy Kupfer
Bradley Schachter
as Little Buddy
Jon Terry
as Starker
Al Berry
as Harry
Dick Warlock
as Assassin
Joshua John Miller
as Willie Challis
Maide Norman
as Nurse Agnes
Loyd Catlett
as Charlie
Paddi Edwards
as Secretary
Jeffrey D. Henry
as Technician
Michael Greene
as Technician
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Critic Reviews for Halloween III: Season of the Witch

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (5)

Absolutely atrocious. I admire the fact that they did try to propel the story in a different direction. But the story they chose was insanely boring.

November 2, 2018 | Rating: D- | Full Review…

This movie is a dirty trick on all Halloween fans.

October 19, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The end result is a bit of a mess but hugely enjoyable, and often (thanks to Dean Cundey's camerawork and John Carpenter's close supervision as producer) as striking visually as its predecessors.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

This is one of those Identikit movies, assembled out of familiar parts from other, better movies.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Mr. Wallace clearly has a fondness for the cliches he is parodying and he does it with style.

August 30, 2004 | Rating: 3/5

Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a horror movie worth discovering, revisiting, and most importantly experiencing.

November 2, 2021 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Halloween III: Season of the Witch

A mediocre movie that feels more like an episode of an anthology series stretched for 98 minutes (with shades of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and even James Bond), and it takes too long to gain momentum and move into high gear to make us care about its stupid plot.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Ah, Halloween III: the black sheep of the series. This one gets ignored and dumped on since it strays from the others and has nothing to do with the rest of the series. For the longest time I vowed to never see this, simply for that reason. However, as time went on, I gave it some thought, and decided to reconsider upon learning that, from the start, John Carpenter had envisioned an anthology where, each subsequent film in the series (save for part 2) was unrelated, save for taking place on/around and involving Halloween. Think of the possibilities. They're basically limitless. Unfortunately most people didn't seem to get that, weren't happy about it, confused as to why this one deviated, and eventually forced the rest of the films to bring back Michael and stick to formula. That kind of thinking is rather unfortunate, and I feel bad for being so narrow minded, especially when I learned about Carpenter's intentions. Okay, enough with the backstory. Our plot concerns a doctor who, along with the daughter of a recently deceased patient, get caught up in a malevolent conspiracy involving the founder of a Halloween mask manufacturer who wants to return the holiday to its ancient, sacrificial origins. It sounds nuts, I know, and the specifics are even weirder, but this actually shows a bit of thought and uniqueness, despite not making a lot of sense. Tom Atkins is okay as the doc, and Stacey Nelkin is passable as the daughter, but the one who steals the show is Dan O'Herlihy as the head of the mask company. He's creepy, unnerving, and absolutely nuts. It made me even happier when I soon realized that he's also the same guy who played the CEO of OCP in Robocop. Sweet. The film's got a dark, moody tone that's really comparable to the previous two films, and a lot of that is thanks in part to Alan Howarth and John Carpenter's score, which is really eerie, atmospheric, and unsettling, establishing the perfect mood and tone. The cinematography by Dean Cundey is also quite good. The plot is off the wall, but there's some decent effects, and the fact that the filmmakers wanted to be risky and make the primary intended victims is commendable. I don't condone violence towards kids, but I do applaud balsiness. The film does have a lot of issues with story and some of the acting, and it does start to fall apart towards the end, but I do give it credit for having some neat ideas and doing something different. This really isn't THAT terrible of a film, and it's unfortunate that it's so underrated. If you have an open mind, you might want to give it a chance.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Androids, the mystical powers of Stonehenge, rattlesnakes and magical Shamrock coins are all enveloped into one conspiracy theory. What might sound like a bizarrely exhilarating rollercoaster is actually a laughable, groan-inducing shadow of Carpenter's talents. It possesses the incontrovertible trademarks of Carpenter: the priceless keyboard score, the sparse style and Dean Cundey's legendary cinematography. However, none of the characters are remotely sympathetic (Atkins is essentially a lecherous gigolo who flirts with every ample-bodied female), the gore is wildly overcooked (a beheading and nostril dislocation) and the bombarding, annoying theme song is repeated ad nauseum. When the protagonists are hiding behind a mask rack, it's like a scene directly from a 'Scooby-Doo' episode. I was never an overwhelming fan of the franchise, but this disconnected sequel is among the most taxing to watch, let alone enjoy.

Cory Taylor
Cory Taylor

Super Reviewer

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