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Halloween III: Season of the Witch

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Do you know where your kids are tonight? The streets are quiet. Dead quiet as the shadows lengthen and night falls. It's Halloween. Blood-chilling screams pierce the air. Grinning skulls and grotesque shapes lurk in the gathering darkness. It's Halloween. The streets are filling with small cloaked figures. They're just kids, right? The doorbell rings and your flesh creeps. Do you know where your kids are tonight? The streets are quiet. Dead quiet as the shadows lengthen and night falls. It's Halloween. Blood-chilling screams pierce the air. Grinning skulls and grotesque shapes lurk in the gathering darkness. It's Halloween. The streets are filling with small cloaked figures. They're just kids, right? The doorbell rings and your flesh creeps. But it's all in fun, isn't it? No. This Halloween is different. It's the last one.


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Do you know where your kids are tonight? The streets are quiet. Dead quiet as the shadows lengthen and night falls. It's Halloween. Blood-chilling screams pierce the air. Grinning skulls and grotesque shapes lurk in the gathering darkness. It's Halloween. The streets are filling with small cloaked figures. They're just kids, right? The doorbell rings and your flesh creeps. Do you know where your kids are tonight? The streets are quiet. Dead quiet as the shadows lengthen and night falls. It's Halloween. Blood-chilling screams pierce the air. Grinning skulls and grotesque shapes lurk in the gathering darkness. It's Halloween. The streets are filling with small cloaked figures. They're just kids, right? The doorbell rings and your flesh creeps. But it's all in fun, isn't it? No. This Halloween is different. It's the last one.

30 review for Halloween III: Season of the Witch

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hugo

    Better written than most film adaptations, and Etchison seems keen to dig into the background of the protagonist more than the film does, though he remains a bitter and self-pitying drunk, even as he resolves to solve the central mystery presented to him. There isn't a great deal of depth in Wallace's script, and Etchison fails to add much of his own to improve it; I would love to have seen the author work with Nigel Kneale's original treatment. (He also plays down the awkward generationally-cha Better written than most film adaptations, and Etchison seems keen to dig into the background of the protagonist more than the film does, though he remains a bitter and self-pitying drunk, even as he resolves to solve the central mystery presented to him. There isn't a great deal of depth in Wallace's script, and Etchison fails to add much of his own to improve it; I would love to have seen the author work with Nigel Kneale's original treatment. (He also plays down the awkward generationally-challenged sex scene, which is a blessing.) Etchison's great strength was in the short story form, though if this paid the bills for a while and left him to focus more on his other work, all power to him.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steve Banes

    Jack Martin does a better job here than with his book adaptation of John Carpenter's The Fog, (writing as Dennis Etchison), which lacks the spooky descriptive atmosphere that wonderfully saturates H3, example: "...Challis divided the curtains and saw a jury of black crows disarranging the yellow-green creepers of a pumpkin bed that had been neglected in the harvesting, the largest of the melons were cracked open like fiery skulls with shriveled features pecked into their faces to reveal decay wi Jack Martin does a better job here than with his book adaptation of John Carpenter's The Fog, (writing as Dennis Etchison), which lacks the spooky descriptive atmosphere that wonderfully saturates H3, example: "...Challis divided the curtains and saw a jury of black crows disarranging the yellow-green creepers of a pumpkin bed that had been neglected in the harvesting, the largest of the melons were cracked open like fiery skulls with shriveled features pecked into their faces to reveal decay within...." and if you're a fan of the unique and under appreciated film starring Tom Atkins, you'll most definitely appreciate his efforts in this book. It's a quick suspenseful read, and follows the movie pretty much exactly, with a few minor changes and additions, most thankfully/notably more character development on Challis and Ellie. I would've loved more background on Cochran since he's a fascinatingly evil character with the most sinister, ingenious holiday trick ever conceived. Maybe someone someday will give us a bit more on him and his terrifying wind-up army. Happy Halloween...

  3. 4 out of 5

    { U n s o l v e d M y s t e r y }

    I've always loved this movie and now, I can love the book. Neither feature Michael Myers, but they are part of The Halloween Franchise made famous by John Carpenter. Thank you so much, Mr. Carpenter. You are truly one of the greats. Like the movie, this book does not disappoint. They capture that Halloween/Fall spirit that is inside you. If you love the movie or the holiday, you'll LOVE this book. Happy Halloween! I've always loved this movie and now, I can love the book. Neither feature Michael Myers, but they are part of The Halloween Franchise made famous by John Carpenter. Thank you so much, Mr. Carpenter. You are truly one of the greats. Like the movie, this book does not disappoint. They capture that Halloween/Fall spirit that is inside you. If you love the movie or the holiday, you'll LOVE this book. Happy Halloween!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Wayne

    Another case of the movie being better than the book. I know the movie came first. The first part of this deals with the lead character, Dr. Challis. After reading for abit all I could say was "O.K. he drinks already." When we get to Santa Mira it dose get better. But in the end it just did not work for me. It does not deviate to much from the movie. Another case of the movie being better than the book. I know the movie came first. The first part of this deals with the lead character, Dr. Challis. After reading for abit all I could say was "O.K. he drinks already." When we get to Santa Mira it dose get better. But in the end it just did not work for me. It does not deviate to much from the movie.

  5. 5 out of 5

    BRNTerri

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. !!!!!!!! SPOILERS BELOW, NOVEL VS. FILM !!!!!!! I'd like to point out something funny, that the author dedicated this book to himself using his real name. I don't like the synopsis the book was given as it doesn't tell you anything about the plot and instead wants you to believe this is a typical slasher novel, which is isn't. What's not in the film at all: The book's entire prologue isn't. It's Challis sleeping in the lounge room at the hospital, being woken by nurse Agnes, who's complaining abou !!!!!!!! SPOILERS BELOW, NOVEL VS. FILM !!!!!!! I'd like to point out something funny, that the author dedicated this book to himself using his real name. I don't like the synopsis the book was given as it doesn't tell you anything about the plot and instead wants you to believe this is a typical slasher novel, which is isn't. What's not in the film at all: The book's entire prologue isn't. It's Challis sleeping in the lounge room at the hospital, being woken by nurse Agnes, who's complaining about him working double shifts. She's massaging his shoulders. The Agnes in the movie doesn't match with the one in the book. The novel has him at a convenience store buying cheap masks for his two kids, nine-year-old Bella and seven-year-old Willie. A man and his young son are there and he buys his son a Silver Shamrock Novelties witch mask. As he's going into the store he sees an "uncommonly large person" near the parking lot but lost sight of him. As he pulls away from the store he sees a "tall stiff figure" come out of the shadows and walk past the store. He drives to his ex-wife Linda's house and sees near her front door a "shape." Those sighting are confusing to me. I don't understand why those Silver Shamrock Novelties men in gray suits would be watching him or anyone else in public, especially in a different town than where the mask factory is and where the action takes place later, in a town called Santa Mira. The scene where Ellie and Challis are traveling to the Silver Shamrock Novelties factory in Santa Mira, CA, she tells him of a time when she was six years old and her father bought her a bird. She let the bird out of its cage and her father beat her for it. She said a child never forgives something like that. Right after that, still in the car, Challis falls asleep and has a very odd dream. He dreamed that he's in another town and there are crying children who are dressed oddly in colorful old fashioned clothes, and a boy with a large head is in a tunnel-like passage with red glowing walls. There's a priest at the end of it. Children came out of wherever they were hiding and followed him. He gathered them into a circle made of rocks. The sun rose up out of it. The priest had a featureless face. He raised a knife, the children screamed, the sky turned red.... and the dream ended. I can see why this was not put in the film because it had nothing to do with anything that I can think of. Challis meets Marge, the woman staying at the motel, in the parking lot. She's talking about the Silver Shamrock mask and showed him how the round emblem came off when her four-year-old threw it against the wall. She sees the microchip on the back of it, says it looks like the inside of her transister radio, that it must be electronic and asks him to bring her batteries for her to put into her radio to see if she can get the emblem to light up "or whatever it's supposed to do." He also notices the emblem's the size of a U.S. quarter and is made from ceramic. Later on in the book but not the film, Cochran tells Challis that each Silver Shamrock Novelties emblem has a piece of Stonehenge on it. The film doesn't have Challis and Ellie going to Marge's room right after hearing a lot of noise and finding her dead. In the film they acknowledge a loud sound but that's it. The book's version of this is so much better than the film's. The lab worker, Teddy, whom Challis is keeping up with about the case of the gray-suited man who burned himself up in the car at the beginning, she's only in the book once, I think, and her death scene's not in the book. There's a scene in the book where Challis is caught and put in the room at the factory, hands tied with tape and a skeleton mask on and made to watch on a monitor Ellie in another room. Cochran goes into the room with Ellie, she calls him "Daddy" and he gives her a witches mask, comes back into the room with Challis, tells him Ellie is now six years old mentally and that that's a good age to be a victim. He tells Challis that he's bought two minutes of airtime on all three networks (which would be NBC, CBS, ABC) and they're going to air the special commerical at 9 PM. In the book when Little Buddy was in the room with his parents, watching the Silver Shamrock commerical, it activated the emblem on the mask, making it glow red, which it didn't do in the film. A black spider the size of a hand came out of Little Buddy's mouth then jumped onto his mother's face. Challis is tied to a chair with black tape or something and he kicks the television screen in, gets a piece of the glass and cuts the tape on his bindings, and escapes. In the book I don't think he's tied to a chair. He gets a Silver Shamrock emblem out of his pocket, the one he took from Marge's room after she died, throws it at the television screen, causing it to explode. In the book he escapes the room, finds Ellie, they're on a catwalk above all the workers, she spots Cochran and yells out "Daddy!", they all see her, she asks him if she can let the bird fly, she takes out some Silver Shamrock emblems, throws them as if they're birds, they hit the television screens, causing them to explode and the workers to short-circuit, "Their bodies instantly short-circuited and split open in fountains of squirting silicone." The scene in the film is much better because I like how Challis set all the televisions in the room to the Halloween commerical, which caused the emblems to explode when they hit the screens. The ending is exactly the same except in the book when Challis is calling television stations to get them to not air the 9 PM commercial, he claims he's going to set off a bomb but in the film, he just told the person on the phone to tell whomever's in charge that a bomb's going to go off if it airs. Other differences: The film's entire opening scene, with the old man running from a car that's following him and clutching a Silver Shamrock Novelties pumpkimask, and the gray-suited man getting crushed between two cars, isn't in the book at all. This scene is far superior to the book's and a suspenseful scene was an excellent way to open the film. The scene in the film where Challis leaves the liquor store and runs into a man who wants a drink of his liquor then gets killed by two gray-suited men, the man's death scene isn't in the book. In place of that, later, after Marge is killed and put in the car on a stretcher by the men in white coats, in the book Challis sees a headless man in the back of it, dressed like the man from outside the liquor store and assumes it's the same man. The scene where Challis escapes the motel room through the bathroom window and finds a phone booth down the street, in the book he calls his ex-wife to tell her to get rid of the masks. She misunderstands him as saying to get rid of the masks she'd already bought the kids, Silver Shamrock ones, yells at him, he calls her a "fucking bitch", and she hangs up on him. He leaves the receiver hanging when he leaves the booth and a suited man hangs it up. In the film, the call doesn't go through to her and he hangs the receiver up after the call. Later in the movie when he escapes the room he was held in, he finds a telephone in the building, calls his ex-wife to tell her to get rid of the masks, she misunderstands what he's saying and hangs up on him without him calling her a "fucking bitch." What's not explained in either book or film is what lead Ellie to wonder if the old man who went to the hospital clutching a Silver Shamrock Novelties pumpkin mask is her father in the first place. I suppose she couldn't get hold of her father and wondered if the dead man, who I assume was mentioned on the news, was her father. MY THOUGHTS:There's not much to dislike about this film. The opening credits are are best, the theme song with the synthesizer, and the ending, which is the greatest one yet, as it's so damn unexpected. I love the gray-suited men lurking about everywhere showing no facial expressions. I don't understand the dislike for this film. There are things in the book I wish had been in the film but the film's opening scene is so good that I'll have to say I like the film better than the novel. A friend bought me a movie poster and I framed it, here .

  6. 5 out of 5

    David Veith

    1st of all, this is not a "Halloween" book. Michael Myers is not in it! Overall it was ok. Writer seemed a bit pompous (which is pompous of me to say I guess). Story was fast paced and good, just sort of felt it was lacking though. No real meat and potatoes. 1st of all, this is not a "Halloween" book. Michael Myers is not in it! Overall it was ok. Writer seemed a bit pompous (which is pompous of me to say I guess). Story was fast paced and good, just sort of felt it was lacking though. No real meat and potatoes.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amit

    Actually this time about this series "Halloween III" didn't match my expectations. I find there's some lacking in it. Couldn't dive in to the story if you know what I want to say... Dr. Challis working a in a hospital he was the prime character of the book. Got a nurse who was by profession vety active. He got his ex wife Linda, two daughter Bella, Willie. Having a relationship with that girl named Ellie. It all started when he went to that convenience store to buy musks for his childrens. In the Actually this time about this series "Halloween III" didn't match my expectations. I find there's some lacking in it. Couldn't dive in to the story if you know what I want to say... Dr. Challis working a in a hospital he was the prime character of the book. Got a nurse who was by profession vety active. He got his ex wife Linda, two daughter Bella, Willie. Having a relationship with that girl named Ellie. It all started when he went to that convenience store to buy musks for his childrens. In there at that time A man was buying his son a Silver Shamrock Novelties witch mask. That mask actually the main twist about that book. There's some crime scene of murder and something happened here and there. Nothing much and then Cochran came in to view. He got some issue with himself. Dr. Challis and Ellie found themselves in a danger situation. It's up to now on Challis responsibility about how to rid off that danger and free Ellie. That is how the tale goes as a matter of fact. There's nothing much to say. The ending was ok. That's all. Didn't like much...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Like 'Halloween II' and 'The Fog,' this novelization of yet another of John Carpenter's films was also written by Dennis Etchison under a pen name. I quite enjoyed the author's decision to include many amusing easter egg references to the first two movies (as well as 'The Fog') - cheekily suggesting that these events may occur in the same universe. The writing is just as strong as his last effort but the differences between book and film are greater this time around. It's unclear if this is due Like 'Halloween II' and 'The Fog,' this novelization of yet another of John Carpenter's films was also written by Dennis Etchison under a pen name. I quite enjoyed the author's decision to include many amusing easter egg references to the first two movies (as well as 'The Fog') - cheekily suggesting that these events may occur in the same universe. The writing is just as strong as his last effort but the differences between book and film are greater this time around. It's unclear if this is due to artistic license or the author not having access to a completed film to reference or having to rely on earlier drafts of scripts.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jamie (TheRebelliousReader)

    3 stars. Ehh, this one was my least favorite. I would much rather just watch the film. It’s way more entertaining. This book stick faithfully close to the film, so much so that it doesn’t really add anything new or interesting to it. Halloween III the movie is way more fun so I’d say just watch that instead of reading this. {Challenges completed:✔The Lost Challenges: Hidden Homes Semi-Annual Challenge✔For Love of a Book: Baking Challenge}

  10. 4 out of 5

    Greg Kerestan

    Though I have little to no memory of the movie that inspired it (I'm not sure I even saw it), I have an unapologetic love of the pulpy, melodramatic horror novels that associate with the Halloween season. This one did not fail to satisfy, with its bizarre plot twists, sex, violence, horror and the catchiest jingle of all time. Though I have little to no memory of the movie that inspired it (I'm not sure I even saw it), I have an unapologetic love of the pulpy, melodramatic horror novels that associate with the Halloween season. This one did not fail to satisfy, with its bizarre plot twists, sex, violence, horror and the catchiest jingle of all time.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joaquin Romero

    Can't believe the novelization is better than the movie, I'm a fan of the Halloween franchise but always hated Season of the witch, I just don't get it, so I gave this book a try anticipating failure to amaze me but it didn't I loved how well written it is, and I totally recommend it. Can't believe the novelization is better than the movie, I'm a fan of the Halloween franchise but always hated Season of the witch, I just don't get it, so I gave this book a try anticipating failure to amaze me but it didn't I loved how well written it is, and I totally recommend it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andreas Schriefer

    As good as the movie with some more details about the marriage of Dr. Chalies

  13. 4 out of 5

    Suzi

    Early teens trashy horror phase, was good at the time

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    Loved the movie. Loved the book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Negan88

    Great Adaptation! Jack Martin (aka Dennis Etchison) did a fabulous job with this Novelization of Halloween III Season of the Witch! He also was amazing in writing the novelization of the second film as well. I really felt that this novelization was superb with minor flaws. There were some segments that were altered from the film. Some segments in the film were missing in the book, and I felt some were done better than the film as well as some worse. Two specific segments I felt would have been so Great Adaptation! Jack Martin (aka Dennis Etchison) did a fabulous job with this Novelization of Halloween III Season of the Witch! He also was amazing in writing the novelization of the second film as well. I really felt that this novelization was superb with minor flaws. There were some segments that were altered from the film. Some segments in the film were missing in the book, and I felt some were done better than the film as well as some worse. Two specific segments I felt would have been so amazing on screen was the way the Marge Guttman scene was portrayed in the book in comparison to the film. It was a bit more drawn out, and Challis learns more at this point. I also felt that the segment with the boy in the jack-o-lantern mask was much more brutal in the book than the film. I would have loved to see it happen on screen! One aspect that was missing was I felt Challis was portrayed as a martyr, and in the film he is kind of a skeeze. The scene in the film where the redhead gets the drill is completely missing. That was a bummer. Overall, a pretty great novelization.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ianc Ehs

    oh my god this book... THIS BOOK! its like a dog that just peed on the rug you say no... NO! how could they do this to the halloween series? i get that they wanted to renew the whole series, getting a fresh start but HOW could you think that changing this entire setup and all of the characters is good? this actually would have worked way better as a stand alone movie just titled the season of the witch. throughout my entire read through i was waiting for michael myers to apear until i realized t oh my god this book... THIS BOOK! its like a dog that just peed on the rug you say no... NO! how could they do this to the halloween series? i get that they wanted to renew the whole series, getting a fresh start but HOW could you think that changing this entire setup and all of the characters is good? this actually would have worked way better as a stand alone movie just titled the season of the witch. throughout my entire read through i was waiting for michael myers to apear until i realized that i was almost done with this book. this has to be the worst halloween movie AND book... but at least they dont try to cash in on the success of the first two movies with remakes... wait THERE WERE REMAKES!?!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mikepottz

    An interesting and dark world of millions of halloween masks ready to cause destruction. Some really great kills in this movie tie-in and does compliment well with the movie. Yes i know there is no Michael!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kerri

    Actually an enjoyable read, it's a great Halloween story it makes me wish they'd remake the movie with decent acting and budget. Actually an enjoyable read, it's a great Halloween story it makes me wish they'd remake the movie with decent acting and budget.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    was pretty good. I didn't know there was a book to this movie. I got it for free at the Christian center this morning was pretty good. I didn't know there was a book to this movie. I got it for free at the Christian center this morning

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca English

  22. 4 out of 5

    Richard Lister

  23. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  24. 5 out of 5

    John M. Webster

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dave/Maggie Bean

  26. 4 out of 5

    KAggie97

  27. 5 out of 5

    Scott Coryell

  28. 5 out of 5

    John

  29. 5 out of 5

    Allen

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany Alden

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