Is Michael Myers a boogeyman who commits random acts of violence without reason? Or is he a family annihilator who is trying to eliminate his bloodline? That’s a question which divides the many fans of John Carpenter’s classic horror/Halloween movie Halloween. It’s also a question that is further complicated by Curtis Richard’s 1979 novelization of that film.
The Halloween novelization pretty much follows the basic beats of the classic movie. However, it does so very quickly. It skims over those beats, actually? Why? Because it spends a lot of its time creating things that didn’t happen in the movie. There is a prologue about an ancient Irish teen who kills his would-be lover and her suitor. This prologue suggests that Michael Myers is possessed by the soul of this Irish teen or is perhaps a reincarnation of him. Then there is a chapter in which Michael’s mother tells her mother that Michael is hearing voices, only for her mother to tell a story about Michael’s great-grandfather who also heard voices and ended up killing people.
And if those two chapters don’t totally destroy the movie, there is something else in the novelization that does. We get into Michael’s head. We hear his thoughts. This does two things. First, it shows that he is thinking, not just plotting to kill. Secondly, it shows that he lusts, as some of his thoughts are sexual in nature. In my opinion, both of those things completely destroy either of the two prevalent understandings of Michael Myers.
Still, I wasn’t completely unhappy with the novelization. It does what it should do. It gives us another taste of a movie we love. And that’s a pretty good thing, even if its depiction of Michael Myers isn’t.
BTW, this novelization is out of print and will cost a lot of money on Amazon or Ebay. There are also novelizations of the other Halloween films.