Halloween by Curtis Richards

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.

Halloween3Still, 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.


Doug is a child of the 80s who was raised in Ohio and is now living the life of oblivion in the bay area of California.

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7 thoughts on “Halloween by Curtis Richards

  1. This year, I actually got a copy of this book (the version I have is the second pic you posted) and am reading it right now. I am taking it as an “alternate universe” type deal. The movie stands just fine on its own and this book can do the same. But yeah, some of the differences are jarring. Michael actually speaking as a boy? Wow, that threw me. That said, am I enjoying it? Yeah, but just because I have wanted to read this for years and see how it compares.

  2. I think that’s the way to take any novelization. It’s an alternate universe, not really the movie but just kind of like the movie. I like it better, though, when it adds to the movie.

  3. Those are the sort of book covers I would stare at in the grocery store when I was six or seven years old.

    I’m sure the piped in music playing over the speakers made it even more terrifying.

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