I recently wrote a blog about some films that I enjoyed more than the books they were based on. I think typically we tend to enjoy the book more than the film, but not always. And the three I discussed in that blog far surpassed the story in the book for me. But that’s not typically the case. Today I was thinking about a particular book and it’s film and it inspired me to write this blog. These have been around quite awhile, so not new information, but they were three easy examples for me to write about. As usual, I will try to give my opinions without giving anything away about either story so as not to ruin them for you if you’d like to go back and visit them.
The first is one of the first Stephen King novels I ever read. This was probably over 20 years ago. As you can see, my copy has some wear and tear. This is a fairly scary story, and one that I recall being a page-turner. I read it fairly quickly and really loved it. So when the movie came out I was really excited to see how it translated. I really loved the interpretation of The Stand – but if I recall correctly, that movie is 6 hours long. It’s not easy to get one of King’s books to translate well because the things he puts into your head are far more horrifying than I think can be brought to life at times. Not only that, but his stories are incredibly lengthy sometimes, and it’s tough to get all of that information into a movie. Even knowing all of that, however, and not expecting a miracle, I was sorely disappointed in the movie. I just didn’t feel it was that well done, and it didn’t do the novel – or its characters – any justice.
I love Toni Morrison’s books. No one writes like her and her stories truly take you on a journey. I cried reading Beloved – I was so moved by the characters and the hearbreak. The fear and the uncertainty. This novel moved me so much that even now, over 20 years after reading it, I think about it from time to time. I only read it once. I don’t think I could take reading it a second time. I keep it in my library at home though. It’s one of the most moving things I’ve ever read. So when I learned a film was coming out, I was beyond excited. Hearing that Oprah would be in it made it all the more exciting. At the time, I loved Oprah. We went to see it in the theater. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations. It’s not that it’s a bad film. But as you often see in interpretations, things get lost. The film isn’t bad, but the book is so, so much better. The emotions and experiences are easier to absorb when you read Morrison’s words – with this one something is definitely lost in translation.
Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark
Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark is 100% one of my all-time favorite books. It is truly horrifying. The stories are terrifying and the illustrations are so disturbing that more recent publications feature newer, less unsettling imagery. Apparently someone decided it was too scary for its intended audience – children. I read it when I was in 4th grade. I couldn’t ever remember seeing anything like it. I wasn’t like most kids though. I was a fan of horror films and looked everywhere for scary books too. This one blew my expectations out of the water. Years ago my brother bought me this one, with all of books in one. Luckily he got his hands on it before they changed the illustrations. Our favorite part. So you can probably imagine how excited we were when we learned that a film was in the works. We were curious how the would take a bunch of short stories and poems and turn them into a movie. Well, it turns out, they didn’t. They chose a few of them and built a story around a group of kids. I won’t say more than that because I don’t want to give anything away. The movie just came out in 2019 and my brother and I went to the theater to see it. We were definitely not disappointed. It is a well-done film. The acting is good and it’s just scary enough. I even let my kids watch it at home, on DVD. But there is no possible way to truly capture the horror of those original stories and illustrations. I just don’t think it’s even possible. In this case, I did like the movie. Enough to go and buy it even though I’d already seen it, and I’ve watched a few times. Of the three discussed, this is the one film that, while it didn’t live up to the book, it definitely didn’t disappoint. In fact, a second movie is in the works with the same writers and director signing on and I absolutely can’t wait to see it!