Saturday, July 25, 2009
Review: Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Synopsis: The trick is on a doctor this time, as he fights against a murderous conspiracy of a Halloween mask company, who are creating their product as a means to sacrifice the lives of children, in a witchcraft ritual.
Review: This film is given lots of bad press, as the worst sequel of this franchise, mostly because it doesn't connect itself to the saga of Michael Myers. But while that might be an unfair bias against the film, it is hardly without many flaws of it's own, that hinder it from being a great scary film.
The biggest problem within the film, is lack of giving proper amounts of information to make something convincing. When the doctor (played solidly by Tom Atkins) shows signs that he has feelings for Ellie (played by Stacey Nelkin) and sleeps with her, it seems to come out of nowhere. There is no build up to it, nothing to indicate that they would feel that way for each other, as they've only just met over the course of a day. Later, when the doctor frees Ellie from captivity and they race to stop the broadcasts, Ellie is revealed to be one of the robots of the evil Silver Shamrock company. But how long has that been the case? Was she one all along? Why didn't she deactivate, when they blew up the factory, like the other ones did? There are just so many things like this, that it takes you out of the moment and you lose a lot of the tension the film should be generating.
That isn't to say the film has nothing good about it. The performances by Tom Atkins and Dan O'Herlihy (as the villain of the piece) are very engaging, especially when they are on-screen together. O'Herlihy brilliantly captures that sense of quiet evil with his performance, as he's all smiles and charm one minute, then the heart of darkness the next. Atkins is great as the reluctant hero, who is clearly in over his head. Also, the musical score is top notch (not surprising, as it comes from John Carpenter). It is very eerie and constantly gives you the feeling of dread. Even the jingle to the Silver Shamrock television ad can give you the spooks.
Still, despite all that, the film ultimately suffers from some very poor script writing and lack of proper explanations. It takes what could have been one of the all-time classic scare films and turns it into a mediocre effort, that should have been thought-out more.
This isn't really a bad movie, but the flaws within it keep it from being truly good. I applaud the makers for trying something different. And while the film should not be snubbed for that, it has plenty of it's own issues that lessen the appeal of it. As loathe as I am of remakes, I actually think this film could benefit from such, provided the script writing was up to par. As it stands, the film is merely watchable. Perhaps something to watch late at night, when you can't sleep. Sadly, it could have been so much more.
Rating: 2 Stars (out of 4)