Book Review: Taking Shape II: The Lost Halloween Sequels

Taking Shape II: The Lost Halloween Sequels
Published by Harker Press, 2020. 600 pages.
By Dustin McNeill & Travis Mullins

With all the information packed in their initial book, Taking Shape, how could authors McNeill and Mullins put out yet another massive 600 page book on this series that fans have been following for over 40 years? That’s just it… it’s not about the films that were made, it is about the films that were not made. In fact, Taking Shape II: The Lost Halloween Sequels covers 24 sequels(!!!) that never got off the ground for a variety of reasons. You get to read about each of these proposed storylines, with interviews with the people directly involved, like the writers and directors. You also get a good look at inside the studio systems and just how screwed up the industry can be, and the poor creatures that have to work in there! Imagine turning in a screenplay that is exactly what was asked for only to be told that another executive hated it and you’re now off the project. Or being notified (over the PA system, no less) that the whole project itself was now cancelled just weeks before shooting was to start. It shows that with multiple bosses / executives, guiding the writers and directors in different directors, at the same time, while others not even caring about anything but the potential box office receipts, the scariest part of these films were trying to get these films made.

Once again McNeill and Mullins have given Halloween fans something to devour and ponder the different possibilities of storylines that never came to be. Some are just bat-shit crazy while others could have potentially made a decent entry. You’ll get to read about the 3 different variations on Halloween 4, a couple on Halloween 6, and even the Michael vs Pinhead ideas that were floating around after the success of Freddy vs. Jason. And while I’m not being a huge fan of the later day sequels, all of these were really interesting to read, not only because of the plots, but also why they never came to be.

Like their first volume, if you are a fan of the series, then you have to have this in your library. Some stories that were in development will depress you that they never came to be, while others will make you rejoice that they never went any further than script form! But having them documented like this here is a blessing and a true treat for fans of the series, from the ones that have been fan since 1978 to the ones just discovering this looming figure in a white mask.

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