Taking Shape: Developing Halloween from Script to Scream review


Whilst we have had comprehensive books and documentaries covering the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street series’, it always feels like there hasn’t been anything close for Halloween.

This has finally been addressed with Dustin McNeill and Travis Mullins’ comprehensive book which takes us from the 1978 classic up until 2018’s fast-forward sequel.

McNeill is familiar to genre fans having already produced a superb book on the production hell of Freddy vs. Jason plus books on the Jaws Ride and Phantasm series.

With insightful interviews with some of the big players and some behind the scenes crew, we finally get the idea of what it was like working on a Halloween movie through the decades.

Add to this, ideas on scripts that either never saw the light of day or in some cases, were weeks away from shooting and you have plenty to devour here.

To their credit McNeill and Mullins have steered clear of the usual suspects for some of the films and got stories from people who either got forgotten along the way or never had the opportunity.

For the films in the franchise that don’t get as much adoration they have also done a great job of providing a balance opinion on it, when it would have been so easy to trash it (I’m looking at you Halloween II (2009).

With Halloween Kills currently in post-production, and the Shape well and truly back with a bang at the box office with Halloween (2018)’s box office takings; there’s no better time to delve into the history of this franchise.

The stand out chapter has to be the stories from behind the scenes of Halloween VI, including dealing with the Weinsteins, the infamous Producers Cut and reshoots following the sudden death of Donald Pleasance.

Christmas is on the way, but with Taking Shape you have the essential Halloween gift that can be enjoyed all year round.

A sequel to the book has also been announced for release in 2020 too.

Taking Shape: Developing Halloween from Script to Scream is now available in Paperback and Amazon Kindle.

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