Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Halloween by Curtis Richards

(pb; 1979: based on the screenplay by John Carpenter and Debra Hill)

From the back cover:

"Tricked by his cunning ... Treated to his savagery ... Annie, Linda and Laurie ... fresh, pretty, ready to be taken ... stalked by a sadistic power who has returned to claim new victims, on this ... the most frightening night of the year."


Halloween is an above average movie tie-in/novelization of John Carpenter's 1978 iconic slasher flick. What elevates the book version in relation to other movie tie-ins is its expansion into the background of why Michael Myers is what he is, as well as some of its characters' motivations (whose logic-challenged actions are sometimes frustrating).

What keeps Halloween from being excellent is its Richards's occasional flirtations with cheesy writing and love of unnecessary adjectives; also, there is the Laurie Strode's weird visualizations of Judith Myers's murder. These visualizations feel forced, unnatural, like Richards felt like he had to keep those sadistic images fresh in his readers' minds.

This out of print and pricy book is worth owning despite these minor nits, not only for its rarity but for its overall suspenseful writing and how it builds on the ideas, characters and horror of its source film. Followed by Halloween II (by Jack Martin, a.k.a. Dennis Etchison).

Additional note: A Wikipedia article relating to Dennis Etchison claims he also wrote under the name Curtis Richards, an assertion I have not yet confirmed.

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