books v film

Book v Film: The Mist

Today I want to look at one of my favourite writers and an adaptation of one of their novellas. I’d like to look at the adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Mist’. The novella was released in 1985 in the collection ‘The skeleton Crew’, while the film came out in 2007.

In my opinion, the main things that changed when the novella got adapted were the atmosphere and tone of the story. I want to focus this blog on the elements that the director changed which I feel has effected these.

The most obvious in my opinion is the pacing, the novella, for all it is short at only 130 pages, is a slow burn. Everything in the novella takes time, the characters are introduced gently and given time to establish themselves before we get to the monsters (the first one doesn’t show up until the second third of the novella). King uses the first third of the story to foreshadow, build tension and most importantly make you care and connect with the characters.

The film jumps almost straight to the action, we get a brief introduction of our main character, his son and his neighbour all before we’re whisked away into the supermarket where the bulk of the film takes place. I understand that films will struggle with pacing compared to novels and novellas, they are a completely different medium so we struggle to spend time in our MC’s head, films also have a limited run time so it’s natural that they might cut some of the ‘fluff’ but the world and character building does suffer for it in my opinion.

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books v film

Books v Film: The Ruins

The Ruins is a novel by Scott Smith, that was released in July 2006. The novel is set in Mexico and tells the story of a group of tourists, who while exploring rural Yucatán accidentally find themselves trapped on top of a hill, where they are hunted by an unexpected predator. 

The film of the same name was released in 2008 and is relatively faithful to the novel. However, where the novel received high praise the film has been criticised. This is a good example of situations where a story is better told via a novel or other written media as opposed to a visual storytelling media. This is mostly because the film had to leave out a lot of the detail that the novel portrayed easily. It is the level of detail in the novel that grounds the reader deeply into the story.

By staying deeply inside the heads of the main characters as they try to understand their situation and devise a means of escape, Smith effectively creates a tense and terrifying atmosphere. This atmosphere simply cannot be reproduced in a solely visual medium.

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books v film, Horror Writing

Books v Film: Eaters of the Dead

While I was at university, I discovered the film 13th Warrior and it quickly became a solid favourite.  It’s a fun film with horror elements, fantasy elements, monsters, Vikings, and adventure. I enjoyed it as a film for a long time before I was even aware that it was based on a book by Michael Crichton called Eaters of the Dead. Crichton even did some of the directing on the film and was one of the producers.

So naturally, my enjoyment of this story has led me to want to include it in my series Books v Film. I was also interested to see if my preference for the film or book differed as this is one of the rare occasions where I watched the film before, I read the book.

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books v film, Horror Writing

Books v Film: Carrie

I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase “the book was better than the film,” it’s a common complaint and one that most people expect. But as I’ve said before in this series, books and films are very different mediums, a book has far longer than a film to capture the reader’s attention and can easily divulge far more detail than a film is able to. Although films can visually show an audience a lot more than a book can. One scene in a movie can take an author paragraphs or pages to create

As mentioned previously, this blog series isn’t about which is better, books or films as personally, I find it unfair to compare the two. They are too different for any comparison to be fair. Rather this series will look at the key differences (not all differences) in the story when it makes the transition from book to film and let you decide if you think those changes are for better or worse.

It should go without saying, but like before, I’ll say it anyway just for clarity sake. There will be spoilers abound, so if you’d rather not have the book or film spoiled then I recommend giving this a miss until you’ve seen or read it yourself.

Continue reading “Books v Film: Carrie”
books v film, Horror Writing

Books v Film: Bag of Bones

I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase “the book was better than the film,” it’s a common complaint and one that most people expect. Books and films are very different mediums, a book has far longer than a film to capture the reader’s attention and can easily divulge far more detail than a film is able to. Although films can visually show an audience a lot more than a book can. Once scene in a move can take an author paragraphs or pages to create.

This blog series isn’t about which is better, books or films as personally, I find it unfair to compare the two. They are too different for any comparison to be fair. Rather this series will look at the key differences (not all differences) in the story when it makes the transition from book to film and let you decide if you think those changes are for better or worse.

It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway just for clarity sake. There will be spoilers abound, so if you’d rather not have the book or film spoiled then I recommend giving this a miss until you’ve seen or read it yourself.

Continue reading “Books v Film: Bag of Bones”