There are hundreds of recommendations and guides this spooky season for things to watch and even things to do, but what about things to read? The folks over at Titan Books, the kings of the coffee table film art book, have recently released a hefty tome about the making of David Gordon Green’s “Halloween” trilogy and they’re following it up with an even superior volume timed to the anniversary of one of the most popular horror films of all time, “The Wicker Man.” While The Wicker Man: The Official Story of the Film is elevated by chronicling a significantly better film than the three in Halloween: The Official Making of Halloween, Halloween Kills & Halloween Ends, these are both impressive collector’s editions for horror fans this holiday season.
Abbie Bernstein’s chronicle of the making of 2018’s “Halloween,” 2021’s “Halloween Kills,” and 2022’s “Halloween Ends” feels at first like a collection of film stills, one of those books with a massive photo from the film itself or a behind-the-scenes shot on every page. While that kind of art book is valuable for fans of a franchise, the best of these books merge imagery with information about the process of filmmaking. There’s just enough of that there in the columned text alongside the imagery of Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Myers, almost presented as a longform interview with Green himself as the production of each film is unpacked. Ultimately, this one is a bit shallower than the best of these books, but it fits the franchise and the fan base, leaning more on things like the impressive make-up than the thematic underpinnings of the films or even how they fit within the legacy of the series started by John Carpenter so long ago. Those who like the new trilogy should appreciate this release, and that’s all that really matters.
John Walsh’s The Wicker Man: The Official Story of the Film digs deeper into its source, but it admittedly has more ground to unearth in a film that just reached its half-century anniversary. And the passage of time has only made “The Wicker Man” more interesting as filmmakers have regularly referenced and the fan base has grown. Walsh not only offers new behind-the-scenes details but unpacks why this film has maintained a growing legacy with new interviews and never-before-seen material. It’s a dense, well-assembled, gorgeous book, one of the best art books in years for horror fans.
Halloween: The Official Making of Halloween, Halloween Kills & Halloween Ends is available now.
The Wicker Man: The Official Story of the Film will be released on November 7th, 2023.