Halloween III: Season of the Witch is an awesomely-80s movie about the daughter of a murdered mask salesman and an alcoholic doctor* who looks like the love child of Tom Selleck and Charles Bronson fighting a Celtic Bond villain and his robot henchmen to the tune of the most insidious jingle** this side of It's a Small World. This movie literally has it all--mustaches, shitty parenting, schlubby leading men, indoor smoking--all the things that made the '80s great. BUT it's also got a serious robo-twist at the end that doesn't quite work.
After defeating the evil Conal Cochran*** and speeding away from the mask factory, the amazingly-named Ellie Grimbridge and Dr. Challis crash into a tree where it's revealed that HOLY SHIT ELLIE IS A ROBOT. It's a crazy, jolting twist, but one that doesn't quite work.
What makes for a good plot twist? The ideal plot twist is one that is completely obvious in retrospect but that the reader or viewer did not see coming. It's a delicate balancing act--the writer has to provide enough information for the twist to make sense and to be justified, but also has to misdirect even the most astute observer so that the game's not given away too soon. There's a reason why people bring up The Sixth Sense when talking about plot twists--it's highly effective. Sure, everyone has that one jackass friend who claims they totally guessed the ending (after drinking thirty-seven beers and getting a handjob from their super hot girlfriend who lives in Canada, no you wouldn't have met her), but for most of us it landed perfectly.
So what of H3's robo-twist? Why doesn't it work?
There are two different options here:
1. Ellie was a robot all along.
2. Ellie was replaced with a robot double when Conal Cochran kidnapped her.
#1 doesn't make sense, because why would she bring Dr. Challis to Santa Mira in the first place? Challis has nothing Cochran needs to make his plan work, having the doctor drink and fuck his way through little Dublin until he wastes Celtic Blofeld and his robo-goons is just an unneeded irritation. Why introduce that element of risk? Unless of course Cochran has a literal sexual fetish for having his plans fucked up and catching a laser to the brain. But that seems unlikely to say the least. Occam's razor dictates he wants his plan to succeed, so why purposefully try to fuck it up****?
#2 makes even less sense than #1. Why didn't Robo-Ellie stop Dr. Drunkass from making it rain witchy laser buttons and taking out Cochran and his robo-goons? And while the robots all look lifelike, none appear to have the capacity to act human or even speak. Robo-Ellie would be like six generations beyond the goon-tech. Not to mention the fact that there's no history of replacing characters in the movie with robots. Maybe if they'd telegraphed the reveal by having Marge come back as a robot, it would make sense.
So how would I fix this robo-twist presuming I, as the H3 screenwriter, left it in and didn't have Michael Fucking Meyers pop up from the back seat ready to paint the interior of the car with Dr. Challis' .23 BAC blood?
Simple. Ellie's a robot from the beginning. Her job is to lure Dr. Challis to Santa Mira, but Dr. Challis isn't a medical doctor anymore--he's a world-renowned optical engineer. Once in Santa Mira, Cochran and Ellie manipulate the good doctor (not too difficult, since he's drunk AF the whole time) into helping refine the designs of the chips that go into each Silver Shamrock mask. This change makes Ellie's robothood make sense, AND serves a more important function--now when Challis tries to stop the mass murder of trick-r-treaters, the stakes are even higher because HE'S PARTLY RESPONSIBLE!
If David Gordon Green goes on to remake Season of the Witch, he better fucking hit me up.
*Dr. CHALLIS=chalice, GET IT? 'Cause he's a DRUNK.
**Happy, happy, Halloween, happy happy Halloween, happy happy Halloween, SILVER SHAMROCK! Boom, now it's in your head too.
***I kept hearing it as "Colonel Cochran" and the Blu-Ray doesn't have subtitles, thanks assholes
****And if you're really into having your plans shit-canned, why recruit an alcoholic doctor instead of like an actual James Bond type?