The Halloween Novelization Can Change the Way You Watch the Horror Movie


Summary

  • The novelization of
    Halloween
    delves deeper into Michael Myers’ origins and provides more insight into his motivations and inner thoughts.
  • Fans may be surprised to learn that some scenes in the book were adapted into the TV version of the film, adding another layer to the franchise.
  • The
    Halloween
    novelization offers a unique perspective on the iconic character, making it a must-read for true fans seeking more information.



The classic horror film of 1978 by John Carpenter, Halloween, is one of the most important genre films of all time. Made on a tight budget, the film introduced audiences to Michael Myers, a mindless slasher killer who has haunted audiences since his first time on screen. However, not a single line of dialogue was needed for Myers. Only the expository dialogue by Dr. Loomis and Michael Myers’ inherent evil was enough for audiences to see that mayhem did not need an agenda to be effective.


But after the groundbreaking success of the first film, a franchise was created – one that was maligned by the creator himself, who would sever his relationship with Halloween after a couple of films. His vision had been tampered with, and what Michael had turned into wasn’t what he initially thought. Sure, fans indulged in whatever facts about Myers and his bloodline the following films provided. The important question is: Did we need all that to be clarified?

The discussion is still going on. A remake by Rob Zombie and a relaunching of the franchise by Blumhouse didn’t exactly help. People are still discussing Michael’s origins and the changes the character has suffered throughout the years. You may disagree with the direction of that conversation, but you can’t deny that it’s interesting what fans may think they need about their favorite character or movie. Most people don’t know that some answers lie in the paperback that was released shortly after the film’s release. Halloween, the novelization by Curtis Richards (who is, in fact, a pseudonym used by the author Richard Curtis), may not be a great book, but it holds some information about Michael Myers and 1978’s Halloween that fans should know. Let’s take a look at what “changes” the book provides.


The following article may contain spoilers.


What Does the Halloween Novelization Change About 1978’s Halloween?

The book, which has been out of print since the 1980s, follows the same story as the film. Richards didn’t do much to change what was already a compelling story. So, perhaps “change” is a big word that could easily scare any die-hard Halloween fan who decides to jump in on the novelization to learn more about Michael. However, the book does offer more insight than you may imagine. Needless to say, some of the dialogues are verbatim, as you hear in the movie. The more important details about Halloween that you can find in the novelization include:


  • The prologue expands on the origins of the curse of Samhain. It’s all a story about revenge and an extremely violent event that starts it all. It was as if something from the Celtic era could have influenced Michael and his trance-like status during the night of Halloween in 1963.
  • Michael interacts with his grandmother before the events that would send him to a mental institution. Michael’s mother doesn’t like the idea of the boy listening to grisly details about ancient Halloween traditions. She just wants him to wear the clown costume that night. His mother also lets the grandmother know that Michael can hear voices. He’s actually a good boy.
  • Some information is given about Michael feeling motivated to kill his sister after hearing the sounds in her bedroom. An important detail is that he associates the voices in the bedroom with sounds he hears in his parents’ bedroom as well. There were voices in his head telling him to get rid of the “dancing lovers.”
  • When Michael has been institutionalized, he speaks with Loomis and even proposes to have a Halloween party. He’s also featured in mysterious, violent events surrounding other patients and nurses.
  • As Michael returns to Haddonfield, we can read his thinking. The masked killer is able to reason beyond his stupor. There’s nothing more important than what the voices tell him. Also, he sees the resemblance between Laurie and his dead sister, Judy. Michael is also shown to feel arousal whenever he sees the babysitters in their underwear, adding a psychosexual element to his acts.


The Origins of Michael’s Wrath

The original Halloween was interesting enough to be a standalone film. There was no need to make Michael Laurie’s brother or to add some kind of Druid influence on Michael through the cult that summoned him and his evil ways. The simplicity of his mask, his subversive and faceless wrath, and the fact that he killed without thinking make the original film so compelling.

Yes, the question is: why does he go after Laurie? The novel may also provide insight into this matter as his motivation is expanded upon. Sure, the movie was informative enough, but the self-awareness Richards helps with and formalizes in the novel is fascinating.


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Ultimately, it’s all about Michael being influenced by an ancient force or spirit that convinces him to finally do what he does. If we only paid attention to the movie and Loomis, then it would seem Michael kills for the sake of it, and as good as it was for the birth of the Halloween franchise, you will find some details about his origins that may help you understand the entity behind the “voices” and how they relate to the night of Halloween. As the novel explains, his hiding behind the mask was related to something that powered him.

Is the Halloween Novelization Worth Reading?


The novel is only 166 pages long and is in the beautiful form of a mass-market paperback. Copies are running for several thousand on eBay and a few hundred on Amazon, and that’s if you find someone willing to sell the book. If you’re a fan, chances are you will be trying to find a copy. It’s worth it if you want to expand your knowledge about the Halloween universe, the origins of Michael Myers, and, most of all, the fact that Michael was always accused of being a soulless killing machine. In the book, you can get to know him better.

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Halloween: Why the Classic Horror Movie Should be Seen in Black and White

Halloween exists in a dual state of haunting gothic and nostalgia. By turning the color off on the TV, we are moving it further into the past.

Also, if you’re a collector of all the versions of Halloween that were ever released, you will find some scenes in the book that were adapted into scenes for the TV version. In 1981, after cutting the nudity and violence, NBC asked for more scenes to be shot to make the film long enough to be a feature. Carpenter complied and added some scenes that not everyone has seen, and they’re included in the book.


The novelization of Halloween isn’t an encyclopedia, but no novelization has ever been. They’re expansions written for true fans of a feature and franchise who feel they need more information than what they saw in the various cuts of their favorite film. Let’s remember that often, these novelizations took information from the scripts, meaning more details could be provided about the plot. In some cases, plot holes have been solved with these small books. In the case of Halloween’s novelization, there aren’t many changes. There’s just more information for you to dive into and make some sense of the ridiculously violent nature of one of cinema’s prime villains. Halloween is streaming now on AMC+, Crackle, and SlingTV.



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