Category: Based on the Book

03/29/08

The Ruins to hit the big screen!

Scott Smith has adapted his eco-horror thriller The Ruins (2006) for the big screen, in theaters Friday, April 4th.

In 1993, Smith's debut novel, A Simple Plan, attracted immense praise from the likes of heavyweight horror writer Stephen King and resulted in a critically acclaimed film adaptation of the same name. See previous post "Reel Reads for October 2007".

The Ruins is a visceral, visual novel filled with moments of genuine terror -- a perfect candidate for film adaptation. Six unsuspecting travelers become trapped in the Mexican jungle, where unspeakable horrors unfold at a rapid and unrelenting pace. Reviews of the novel have not all been positive; while Stephen King has called it "the best horror novel of the new century", others have slammed it and called it the worst book they ever finished. I loved it and am really excited to see it brought to the big screen. See the horror blog's review "In Defense of Scott Smith's The Ruins".

Scott Smith is not only a talented novelist, but a gifted screenwriter and this only bodes well for the movie. Go to the IMDb page for The Ruins (2008)

Watch the trailer for The Ruins (2008) here.

The Cryptkeeper


03/19/08

The Dexter that started them all...

Darkly Dreaming Dexter
By Jeff Lindsay

Dexter Morgan, a seemingly shy, quiet, blood-spatter analyst for the Miami-Dade police department is not quite as he appears to be. By night, he becomes a vigilante...a serial killer with “morals” who will only kill the ones that have fallen through the cracks of the justice system.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter is the book that started the television series on Showtime. After thoroughly enjoying the show, the novel seemed brief, incomplete and lacked in the character development I was accustomed to in the television series, especially with the secondary characters. I’m told that this first book merely serves as an introduction to more thrilling and satisfying reads to follow. We’ll see…

Keep watching for more Dexter reviews as I will be making my way through the series...

Posted by SKA


03/17/08

Coming Soon on DVD!


The Mist (2007)

Directed by Frank Darabont

From Amazon.com: Writer-director Frank Darabont, who showcased the softer side of Stephen King in his film adaptations of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, turns to darker material for The Mist, his latest King adaptation about a group of ordinary townspeople trapped in a supermarket by a mysterious fogbank. Thomas Jane is top-billed as a Maine illustrator who attempts to calm the frightened shoppers, but his job is cut out for him from the get-go, first by the discovery of malevolent creatures lurking in the mist, and then by the mad mutterings of Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden), a local eccentric who calls for Old Testament-style sacrifices to appease the supernatural forces....--Paul Gaita

I'm not as crazy about this latest King adaptation as some people are. Read my previous post: The Mist offers up mixed results



I Am Legend (2007)

Directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Will Smith

If my expectations for The Mist were too high, my expectations for I Am Legend were too low. Based on the classic horror novel by Richard Matheson, this latest reincarnation of Robert Neville as the last man on Earth contains some genuine thrills and chills. Will Smith plays it cool and sincere and I found him to be a very sympathetic and engaging Dr. Neville. The ending's changed of course (and not necessarily for the better), but I thought the "creatures" were frightening (if a little too much CGI-ish). Neville's relationship with an uninfected dog is explored much more in this film version and for the better. See previous post Re(Discover) a classic! for June 2007

I Am Legend is now playing at the Rainbow in Regina.

The Cryptkeeper


03/06/08

30 Days of Night. . . the novel

30 Days of Night: a novelization (2007)

by Tim Lebbon

Based on the screenplay by Steve Niles and Stuart Beattie and Brian Nelson

Horror writer Tim Lebbon has novelized the film 30 Days of Night (which itself was based on the graphic novel series of the same name). Many novelizations fail because they are only cheap knock-offs of the movie written quickly -- and too often, poorly -- by hack writers in order to capitalize on the popularity of a film.

In this case, the result is a pleasant surprise, and by pleasant I mean appropriately creepy and terrifying. Lebbon is a talented writer and it shows here. He understands what is so frightening about the vampires of Barrow Alaska. For far too long vampires have been distinguished aristocrats, Byronic heroes, or sexy "bad boys" to make the hearts of women everywhere go pitter-patter. The vampires of Barrow are ruthless, and everything vampires should be if you want to scare the heck out of someone -- merciless, bloodthirsty, villains with no conscience.

From Book Description:
"In the sleepy and secluded town of Barrow, Alaska -- the northernmost settlement in North America -- its citizens are preparing for the annual coming of the Dark, when the sun will set for more than thirty consecutive days and nights. But this year, the Dark will bring something else. From across the frozen wasteland, a horrifying evil descends upon Barrow, mercilessly besieging its residents with unrelenting terror and swift death. And as the darkness continues and the thirty days of night seemingly have no end in sight, Barrow's only remaining hope lies with Sheriff Eben Oleson and Deputy Stella Oleson, a husband and wife who are torn between saving the town they love and their own survival..."

DVD coming soon to RPL; check it out! .

For information about the graphic novel series, go to the graphic novel blog here.

The Cryptkeeper


02/07/08

The Humble Beginnings of a Cannibal

Hannibal Rising
By Thomas Harris

In Harris’ prequel to the popular “Silence of the Lambs” series, he aims to shed light on the traumatic event that explains the origin of Hannibal Lecter’s unspeakable need for human flesh.

Although this was nowhere in the league of “Silence of the Lambs” or “Red Dragon,” it was a somewhat entertaining read. Like so many authors who’ve made their money, the quality of writing wasn’t up to par, and the story wasn’t as page-turning as some of his other novels. The fact that the movie came out right around the same time as the book makes me wonder if the movie was based on the book, or was the book based on the movie. The latter would explain a few things…

If you want to enjoy quality writing and horror, try some of Harris' earlier novels. The movies are deliciously satisfying as well...

The Books in chronological order:

Hannibal Rising (2006)
Red Dragon (1981)
Silence of the Lambs (1988)
Hannibal(1999)

RPL has the movies too!

Hannibal Rising
Red Dragon (or Maneater)
Silence of the Lambs
Hannibal

--Serial Killers Anonymous (SA)


02/04/08

The Ruins coming soon to the big screen

Scott Smith has adapted his eco-horror thriller The Ruins (2006) for the big screen, due to be released this April. Smith's triumphant debut in 1993 with A Simple Plan attracted immense praise from the likes of heavyweight horror writer Stephen King and resulted in a critically acclaimed film adaptation of the same name. See previous post "Reel Reads for October 2007".

The Ruins is a visceral, visual novel filled with moments of genuine terror -- a perfect candidate for film adaptation. Six unsuspecting travelers become trapped in the Mexican jungle, where unspeakable horrors unfold at a rapid and unrelenting pace. Reviews of the novel have not all been positive; while Stephen King has called it "the best horror novel of the new century", others have slammed it and called it the worst book they ever finished. I loved it and am really excited to see it brought to the big screen. See the horror blog's review "In Defense of Scott Smith's The Ruins".

Scott Smith is not only a talented novelist, but a gifted screenwriter and this only bodes well for the movie. Go to the IMDb page for The Ruins (2008)

Watch the trailer for The Ruins (2008) here.

The Cryptkeeper


01/11/08

A New Brand of Serial Killer...

Dexter the First Season

Meet Dexter Morgan, a polite wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s handsome and charming, but something in his past has made him abide by a different set of rules. He’s a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likeable: he only kills bad people. And his job as a blood splatter expert for the Miami police department puts him in the perfect position to identify his victims. But when a series of brutal murders bearing a striking similarity to his own style start turning up, Dexter is caught between being flattered and being frightened–of himself or some other fiend. (Description taken from Amazon)

The gripping drama, the spine-tingling suspense, the wild roller coaster ride full of unexpected twists and turns, and the nail-biting moments when you think you just can’t take it anymore…that’s the complete Dexter experience. I spent my Christmas holidays watching this series and it certainly did not disappoint. The second season has just finished airing on Showtime a few weeks ago, so I’ll be eagerly waiting for the DVD release. Until then, the books on which this series is based on will have to satiate my hunger for anything Dexter.

In reading order:

Darkly Dreaming Dexter (2004)
Dearly Devoted Dexter (2005)
Dexter in the Dark (2007)

Watch for the fourth novel in the series entitled "Dexter by Design" available later this year.

Posted by Serial Killers Anonymous (SA)


01/09/08

Cirque du Freak Update

I have just been informed that a movie based on the Cirque du Freak series is currently in pre-production and is due to be in production next month. John C. Reilly (Talledega Nights, The Aviator) has been cast to play Vampire Larten Crepsley, and the role of Darren Shan will be played by Chris J. Kelly (he appeared in an episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent). According to The Internet Movie Database, the film is due to come out sometime this year…let’s keep our fingers crossed.

posted by: Serial Killers Anonymous (SA)

See previous post for a complete list of books in this series.


10/13/07

Reel Reads for October 2007

So you've read the book and now would like to see the movie...or maybe you've seen the movie and want to read the book it was based on. Every month on the Horror blog we will review one or more examples of what we're going to call "Reel Reads" (books into movies). Enjoy!

*****To view last month's Reel Reads click here*****

A Simple Plan (Knopf, 1993) by Scott Smith. Also available in Large Print.

A Simple Plan (1998), directed by Sam Raimi; screenplay by Scott Smith

A Simple Plan has a very simple premise: three friends (two of whom are brothers) stumble upon a crashed plane in the woods that contains four million dollars. A decision must be made -- keep the money or turn it in? The level-headed, college-educated brother Hank (Bill Paxton) decides that they must wait and see if anyone comes looking for the money. If the money goes unclaimed then they are home-free and their patience will have been rewarded. Simple, right?

Soon the deadly sin of greed conspires to unravel all of the men's good intentions and their road to hell is paved. One desperate act leads to another to cover up the first and so on. The men become paranoid and begin questioning each other's loyalty. This is brilliant human drama, realistically portrayed.

Author Scott Smith wrote the screenplay based on his novel and received an Academy Award nomination for his efforts. Sam Raimi's direction is inspired and his winter landscapes are reminiscent of the Coen brothers work in Fargo. Bridgette Fonda is chilling but sympathetic as Hank's wife Sarah, a Lady Macbeth in the making, so consumed with escaping her suffocating, average life she is ready to push her husband to commit dark deeds. The most memorable performance however, is given by Billy Bob Thornton who plays Hank's mentally slow older brother Jacob. Even though Hank is the one with the fancy college education, Jacob sees into the heart of things in a way Hank cannot. For reviews and more go to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

This movie easily makes my Top Ten list of all-time favorites. What's your opinion? How do you think it compares to the novel?


09/20/07

Reel Reads for September 2007

So you've read the book and now would like to see the movie...or maybe you've seen the movie and want to read the book it was based on. Every month on the Horror blog we will list some great examples of what we're going to call "Reel Reads" (books into movies). Enjoy!

American Psycho (1991)
Both the controversial novel by Bret Easton Ellis, and the film adaptation starring Christian Bale take an unflinching look at what happens when a psychopathic killer succumbs to his most gruesome sadistic urges. The line between reality and fantasy blurs beyond recognition as wealthy New York investment banker Patrick Bateman (Bale) struggles to hide his alternate homicidal ego. It is a dark and terrifying journey not easily forgotten. For reviews and more go to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

Carrie (1974)
As his first published novel, Carrie launched master storyteller Stephen King's literary career. Brian DePalma's movie adapatation, while looking a bit dated, is still one of the best films to be made from a King work. Sissy Spacek is phenomenal as Carrie White, and Piper Laurie is absolutely chilling as her fanatically religious mother. DePalma perfectly captures the horror instrinsic to adolescent isolation, rage, and revenge. For reviews and more go to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

The Shining (1977)
The Shining stands as one of the best horror novels ever written, and Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation ranks as one of the best horror films of all time. An evil, haunted hotel; a creepy little kid, his sixth sense and his imaginary friend Tony (the boy who lives in his mouth); an isolated family on the verge of disintegration; could you ask for anything more really? For movie lovers, this may well be Jack Nicholson's most memorable performance ("Heeeere's Johnny!")For reviews and more go to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

The Silence of the Lambs (1988)

"Well Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?"

There are very few instances when I would argue that the film version trumps the book, but this is one of these times, hands down. While the Thomas Harris novel is quite a good mystery / crime / police procedural, the 1991 Jonathan Demme film is just tremendous. Not only did it garner the Oscar that year for Best Picture, but Demme received the Oscar for Best Director, Ted Tally won for Best Adapted Screenplay, Jodi Foster for Best Actress, and Anthony Hopkins for Best Actor -- an unprecedented sweep. Movies don't come any better than this actually. For reviews and more go to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).


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