John Carpenter explains how the strangest ‘Halloween’ movie to date came to be

John Carpenter explains how the strangest 'Halloween' movie to date came to be
Image: Universal

John Carpenter has always been a more visionary director. Known for films such as The Thing, Halloween, Assault on Precinct 13 and many more, he’s scored almost all of his movies. Steadfast in his vision and still a huge drawcard into his 70s, there’s always been one oddity in his career. Namely, the Halloween sequels.

The original Halloween is an absolute horror masterpiece. So many have tried to emulate it, but nobody has ever done it as well as him. Following up was a much trickier task, with Carpenter revealing he was stumped for ideas when it came for Halloween II. With the sequel getting almost entirely negative reviews, Carpenter wanted to switch gears entirely.

Speaking to Variety, he revealed Halloween II was written out of “desperation”, with his intention from there being an anthology-like series. Unfortunately for Carpenter, Halloween III: Season of the Witch did not land like he’d hoped.

“Well, I thought after the first one there was no more story. Boy, was I wrong, huh? They kept bringing that thing back. I wrote the second one — it was out of desperation. Anyway, I thought after that, ‘Let’s steer this baby away.’ I wanted to do different movies every year under the title ‘Halloween.’ So ‘Halloween III’ was that kind of a film. Boy, the audience didn’t like that! ‘No, no, no, no! We want our Michael Myers back with a knife!’ I thought, ‘Oh God, OK. Well, this is what they want.'”

Depending on who you talk to, Season of the Witch is either a cult classic or an abomination. Completely switching gears away from Michael Myers and Haddonfield, it’s a science fiction horror film dialing up the cheesiness. The light of day in 2023 suggests it’s more in the cult classic category.

Looking back at Halloween III and the various films to come since then in the franchise is funny. It is arguably the last good sequel in the series, and possibly in the franchise’s top three films. Completely detached from the soap opera-like plotline of David Gordon Green’s recent trilogy, it’s just a silly movie about Stonehenge chunks brainwashing children into becoming murderers.

They don’t make ’em like they used to.

Carpenter’s ideas for Halloween becoming an anthology in retrospect seems the better idea. Franchise fatigue has set in by now, with Halloween Ends grossing just slightly over $100 million despite the name brand and promise of a big finish. Perhaps when it inevitably gets rebooted again, they should sink their teeth back into the anthology idea.