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Halloween III - Season of the Witch (1982)


Average Rating: 4.5/10
Reviews Counted: 18
Fresh: 6
Rotten: 12

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Counted: 3
Fresh: 2
Rotten: 1


Average Rating: 2.3/5
User Ratings: 51,399



Movie Info

Halloween 3, a dismal, unappealing slasher film, has nothing in common with the original Halloween other than its title. Here, a deranged mask manufacturer (Dan O'Herlihy) makes and sells millions of Halloween masks that will kill any child who wears them. When his scheme is found out, he goes on a bloody rampage in order to escape detection. This film, badly directed by Tommy Lee Wallace and with terrible performances by all the cast, is a silly, rip-off of a successful series. Fans expecting … More

Science Fiction & Fantasy , Horror
Directed By:
Written By:
Tommy Lee Wallace
In Theaters:
Aug 31, 2004
MCA Universal Home Video


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Critic Reviews for Halloween III - Season of the Witch

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (12) | DVD (8)

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.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

It's no wonder they gave up after this, and brought back Michael Myers.

Full Review… | October 28, 2013
Cinema Crazed

Halloween III, while not a complete success, at least offers something different from the norm.

Full Review… | October 13, 2012
Creative Loafing

Halloween III: Season of the Witch might have been hated back in the day, but it simply doesn't deserve the anger and animosity nowadays.

Full Review… | September 26, 2012

It is high time for viewers with a hang-up to reevaluate the pleasures that Halloween III: Season of the Witch has to offer.

Full Review… | October 29, 2008

There are more than enough giant logic holes, stilted characters and idiotic developments to make sure that it is bad for reasons transcending its simple poorness as a sequel

Full Review… | July 27, 2008
Antagony & Ecstasy

Has little connection with first two "Halloweens," including true terror.

February 19, 2008

Though the film certainly isn't awful, the filmmakers couldn't decide on their focus.

Full Review… | August 27, 2007
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Something stinks!

March 11, 2005

Were it not for the middle 30 minutes, which take approximately 73,000 hours to watch, forgetting it would be easy.

Full Review… | November 29, 2003

Oh boy, this is a howler, justly ranked as one of the worst films in history and shocking in that it didn't kill Carpenter's career outright.

Full Review… | September 30, 2003

Very peculiar variant on Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Connected to the Halloween series in name only.

April 21, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Points for trying something new, but the results are more laughable than terrifying.

July 26, 2002

Audience Reviews for Halloween III - Season of the Witch

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

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


Season of the Witch is a drastic departure for the Halloween series. The film is significant for the fact that the film has the absence of Michael Myers, which was this films death rattle. The film would've been better as totally new horror film that wasn't part of the Halloween saga. This film was a disappointment and is certainly one of the worst and weakest of the series, along with Halloween: Resurrection. The film would have been something good if it wasn't part of the Halloween franchise. However it's part of the franchise, and the result is a poor third entry with not so great performance, a poorly developed plot and the absence of Michael Myers. Every film maker feels compelled to do something different with a franchise no matter what the genre is. In Horror, something different can be a BIG risk taker, the film can either work or not. Let's take Halloween III Season of the Witch for instance. The film makers decided to omit Michael Myers al together from this film, and start a new. The film is a big mistake, and is one of the worst ever made in the series. I can at least respect the idea, but the absence of Michael Myers is inexcusable. He is the one that makes the series what it is, it be like removing Leatherface from the TCM series. The film is an utter failure and the worst in the series.

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer


So you thought Halloween III: Season of the Witch was terrible because it was a film that didn't involve a story featuring Michael Myers, right? Well, that's where you're wrong. Halloween III is actually much better than you would perceive it to be, and the fact that it doesn't involve the series' main antagonist or storyline actually strengthens it. I've always thought of it as a poor man's Cronenberg, but in a good way. It definitely has that Cronenberg feel to it, with an unorthodox storyline, moody atmosphere, dark score (by Carpenter himself) and a nice little cast. It's not a perfect horror film, but it's got enough atmosphere for ten more like it. It may not have been the best idea to call it a Halloween sequel (simply Season of the Witch would have sufficed), but it's not a terrible film by any means.

Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

Halloween III - Season of the Witch Quotes

Conal Cochran:
Oh and, Happy Halloween.
– Submitted by Casey C (2 years ago)
Conal Cochran:
I do love a good joke and this is the best ever: a joke on the children.
– Submitted by Rocky F (2 years ago)
Conal Cochran:
You know what you really need to see is a demonstration and there's one coming right up.
– Submitted by Paul B (3 years ago)
Dr. Daniel Challis:
You haven't know, is there a vacancy here in this motel? My wife and I need a place to stay.
You've come to the right place. It's cozy, it's quiet, and the price is right.
– Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)
Betty Kupfer:
I think this whole thing is a big joke. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.
– Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)
Dr. Daniel Challis:
(on the phone) The third channel, it's still on. Please, take off the third channel. The third channel, it's still running. Stop it, please, for God's sake, please stop it. There's no more time! Please stop it. Stop it now. Turn it off! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! STOP IT!
– Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)

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