How Different is the Novelisation of ‘Halloween’ to the film?


Released in 1983, the novelisation of John Carpenter’s Halloween has become a must-have collector’s item for fans of the series.

I recently got the chance to read it, and here are ways it is different to the film –

  1. The book opens with a pagan ritual where a woman is slaughtered in Ireland by her would-be lover who is said to inhabit a lust to kill from this moment forward (sound like anyone we know?)
  2. Instead of opening at the Myers house, we instead open to a family scene where Michael’s grandmother explains this ‘curse’ and we learn that Michael has been experiencing visions and voices in his head. This plot point feels very similar to the Mrs Blankenship scene in Halloween 6 where she explains about Michael hearing a voice.
  3. After the murder of Judith, Michael actually communicates whilst in the asylum before slowly developing a catatonic state.
  4. We also learn from his time at Smith’s Grove that due to some unexplained incidents that other inmates have become quite wary of him up until his escape where it seems he is effectively running the place on fear alone.
  5. After Michael’s escape from Smith’s Grove, Loomis speaks with his wife on the phone, whereas in the film it’s never mentioned whether he has a family or not.
  6. Instead of running into Sheriff Brackett in the street in the ‘One Good Scare’ scene, Laurie actually judo rolls him, showing her readiness for battle later on perhaps.
  7. We also dig a bit deeper into Laurie’s mind as she has visions of murder, although this could have been tagged on with brother-sister relationship revealed in Halloween II.
  8. When following Michael we also have a flashback to Judith’s murder and his mindset seems more programmed than spontaneous, meaning he was being controlled by another force.
  9. In a really effective and heartbreaking scene, Brackett actually talks to Annie on the phone shortly before she is murdered, warning her to be careful, although he never alludes to Michael being on the loose.
  10. During Michael’s first attack of Laurie she actually jumps over the bannister and isn’t knocked over like in the film.
  11. After being stabbed in the neck with the knitting needle, the Shape actually smashes a door through in one of the bedrooms to get to Laurie, with Tommy and Lindsey both hiding in the room’s adjacent bathroom.
  12. The beginning of Halloween II is tacked onto the finale as one of the neighbours tells Loomis he has been ‘trick or treated to death tonight’. Loomis then reloads before going to inspect the Shape’s absent body.

Have you read the novelisation of Halloween? Tell us what you thought of it in the comments section.


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