Double Feature Friday: Halloween III: Season Of The Witch & Trick 'r Treat

An ongoing series of horror double feature recommendations, today's Double Feature Friday offers up two oddball films that are haunted by the greatest holiday of the year: Halloween.
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An ongoing series of horror double feature recommendations, today's Double Feature Friday offers up two oddball films that are haunted by the greatest holiday of the year: Halloween.

BY LIONEL FRANKENSTEIN

Horror nerds that we are, Fun Size Horror would love to share with you some of our favorite genre films, but with a twist: instead of just listing off some favorites, each week we'll offer up a pairing of two horror films that complement one another in unique or fascinating ways: Double Feature Friday.

As we enter the greatest month of the year, it's time to celebrate year's greatest holiday: Halloween. As such, all of October's Double Feature Fridays will be dedicated to (and will present films that are set on or around) All Hallows'Eve.

First up in our month-long celebration: the utterly wacky Halloween franchise outlier (i.e., it's The One Without Michael Myers) Halloween III: Season of the Witch, and the gloriously Halloween-centric anthology film Trick 'r Treat.

HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982/ 98 minutes/ dir. Tommy Lee Wallace)

A bizarre, thoroughly nihilistic piece of work that both abandons the premise of its franchise (the film's story has nothing to do with series lynchpin Michael Myers) and tried bravely to launch a new one (each new Halloween film would be a standalone thriller that takes place on October 31st), Halloween III: Season of the Witch failed to turn the Halloween franchise from tired slasherdom and into an anthology series. But as a unique standalone, it remains one of the best Halloween (and Halloween) films ever.

An oddball rollercoaster that investigates the truly weird tribal ritual of dressing up kids as monsters and sending them out for candy, Halloween III centers on a plot to sacrifice all the children of the world on Halloween night in order to appease Lovecraftian "Old Gods." For nearly 100 minutes, Season of the Witch acts almost as an anthology film, cobbling together a host of disparate elements--witchcraft, conspiracy theories, androids, Irish paganism, murderous Halloween masks, and Stonehenge--to tell its dark and goofy tale of "the night no one comes home."

TRICK 'R TREAT (2007/ 82 min/ dir. Michael Dougherty)

One of our favorite anthology horror films, Trick 'r Treat wonderfully revives the spirit of such films as Creepshow, while also creating a through-line that ties each of its disparate stories together on one night: Halloween night.

Much like Halloween III, Trick 'r Treat takes as its focus the strange practices and rituals of Halloween, telling multiple tales bloodily stitched together by one dark thread: the appearance of Sam, a demonic enforcer of Halloween traditions. And when combined with Halloween III, the two films form a kaleidoscopic prism--sometimes goofy, sometimes chilling--that cover the broad spectrum of weirdness and horror that Halloween night contains.

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