Archive for the ‘The Shape’ Category

 

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The Halloween series is full of more highs, and lows than Annie Wilkes on a cocaine bender, but one entry I feel gets more hate than it deserves is Halloween III: Season of the Witch.

Season of the Witch was conceived after Carpenter, who was approached to make a sequel to Halloween II, stated he’d only do it provided the film wasn’t a direct sequel, and didn’t contain Michael Myers, seeing the potential for the series to become an anthology taking place on Halloween. After the lacklustre response to the film however, the idea was scrapped.

The producers hired author Nigel Kneale to write at Carpenter’s behest, mainly due to his admiration for the Quatermass series. Kneale stated when writing the script that he didn’t want there to be horror for the sake of horror, and wanted to focus on psychological shocks rather than physical ones, but Dino De Laurentiis, the film’s distributor wasn’t fond of it, and requested he ramped up the graphic violence. Displeased with the changes, Kneale requested his name be removed from the film, and Tommy Lee Wallace, (now known mostly for his adaptation of Stephen King’s, It) was hired to revise the script.

The film follows Ellie Grimbridge, (Barry Bostwick from the Rocky Horror Picture Show’s better half) and Dr. Dan Challis, (Carpenter mainstay, and horror legend Tom Atkins) as they investigate the murder of Ellie’s father. The two soon discover that Silver Shamrock Novelties, ran by Conal Cochran, are responsible for his death, and uncover their heinous plot to sacrifice children in an attempt to resurrect the age of witchcraft.

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The problem many have with Season of the Witch, isn’t its insane, and borderline nonsensical plot involving microchips containing fragments of Stonehenge inside Halloween masks that summon swarms of snakes and bugs to kill their wearer, but rather the lack of relation to its namesake. Had the film been released on its own, without an attachment to the Halloween series, I feel a lot of the hatred it’s garnered over the years would be nonexistent.

The film is genuinely unsettling, relying on the taboo nature of its plot, and use of psychological warfare in place of gore to invoke fear in the viewer. The atmospheric score composed by John Carpenter, and Debra Hill works to further elevate said discomfort.

I love Season of the Witch, and have lauded it for years. Granted, there are some jarring issues with the plot, (more than likely caused from the script’s various revisions) that much I’m willing to admit, but on its own the film stands as a disturbing piece of horror cinema, and I’d place it above the Rob Zombie remakes without regret.

Thanks for reading my dearest darklings, and I apologize for the tardiness of my posts as of late. My two, and a half year streak of being sickness free was recently obliterated, and I’ve been resting up, conjuring more horror to share with you throughout the remaining days of the month.

Until next time skiddies, stay scared.

And remember…

Eleven more days til’ Halloween!