Halloween: The Scream Factory was part of a trilogy of books released from author Kelly O’Rourke between 1997 and 1998.
Between Halloween 6 and the mini revival with Halloween H20 in August 1998 the franchise was in a precarious place with many unsure where it would head next.
The Scream Factory is simply an isolated tale that paints the Shape as a phantom and urban legend of Haddonfield post the events of Halloween 4. There are no real mentions of franchise characters, although our main protagonist is named Laurie.
When a group of teens headed by Laurie paying a visit to the Myers house, they get more than they bargained for. The local Mayor corners Laurie and her best friend Sally to front a Halloween party at City Hall to help jump start the economy which has been hit in the years since Michael’s latest massacre.
The Shape remains on the periphery of the story, but less is more and his appearances really work as they are straight to the point of his trusty butcher knife. He is also up to his old tricks in teasing our teens until he is ready to kill them.
Laurie approaches outsider Jake for his band to play at the Halloween party, which will also include the titular Scream Factory scaremaze which is dying for an appearance from the shape.
This is a more brutal version of Myers too, as he kills off a police officer and promptly chops him to pieces with an axe and leaves the pieces in the local park near the Myers house.
He also takes his licks here too, getting stabbed in the eye while also being seemingly mortally wounded in a way the Akkads would have never in a Halloween film.
Overall Halloween: The Scream Factory is a fascinating time capsule and O’Rourke really takes a minimal approach with Myers that works well for the story. It’s quite rare to find but a must-have for Halloween fans, especially around this time of year.