Thursday, 31 October 2019

13 Reads of Horror! - Halloween II by Jack Martin

It should be no shock to anyone that I'm featuring the Halloween II novelization as my 13th and final review of 2019's 13 Reads of Horror! as my favorite movie of all-time is the original 1978 classic slasher John Carpenter's Halloween.

Halloween II, directed by Rick Rosenthal based on a screenplay by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, was released to theatres on October 30, 1981, which I was just short of being two-months-old at the time. I wouldn't go on to watch the movie until I was seven-years-old. Nice babysitting, Grandma!

Like many other films in the 1980s, Halloween II received a novelization written by Dennis Etchison under the pseudonym Jack Martin and published by Kensington Books, featuring several black & white pictures from the movie. Unlike 1979's novelization of 1978's Halloween written by Curtis Richard (which attempted to explain why Michael Myers kills), Halloween II stays pretty close to sequel's screenplay.

Halloween II has a short introduction to set up the"Halloween" atmosphere. Then first chapter shows shows Dr. Loomis scaring Lonnie and his pals near the Myers home (from the first movie), followed directly with Dr. Loomis running into Tommy Doyle and Lindsay Wallace (a.k.a. the two little kids from Halloween). Then Dr. Loomis saves Laurie Strode by shooting Michael Myers six times.

Laurie is sent to Haddionfield Memorial Hospitial. Dr. Loomis goes a bit nuts on his quest to hunt down and kill the Boogeyman. Meanwhile, Michael gets a new knife and heads to the hospital to continue his killing spree.

Final Thoughts

Halloween II is still an underrated sequel to this day, especially if you tally in the fact it was removed from the timeline with 2018's Halloween reboot. It's a rare sequel that picks up directly where the predecessor left off. However, I do understand the criticism over Michael and Laurie being siblings. 

The novelization goes by the screenplay closely, minus a few bloody kills that was added to movie in reshots by John Carpenter. The book itself is written really well with just enough descriptions to keep the story moving along for 256 pages. 

Overall, Halloween II is the perfect novelization to read around October 31st. That is if you're already a Halloween fan to begin with. If you're a newbie to the series, then I would recommend watching the original 1978 classic before reading the sequel novelization, that's if you can get your hands on a copy. The novelizations of the Halloween franchise are rare and the titles can go for a high price on eBay. I was lucky to find not just one copy but two copies at a used book store many years go and I paid less than $5 for both. 

Happy Halloween!

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