Category: Crime & Mystery

7 Scariest Film Adaptations (You Won’t Guess Number 1!)

Short stories, novellas, novels, well books in general might just be words on paper, but those things are scary. In addition to giving me a paper cut, books can horrify me to my core.

And you know what is scary? Film. What is a film? A series of moving images and images can be scary. Make them move, I just crapped my pants.

So, in honor of fear and in glory to our blood thirsty gods, we present to you seven of Scariest Film Adaptations. Mark my words, young child, you won’t guess number one!

 

 

7-It: Chapter 1

 

Stephen King's "It"

Image Via Amazon

 

Don’t worry, this will be the only Stephen King adaptation on this list. There’s an ocean full of adaptations to choose from but we picked this adaptation because of its heart, its scares, and its optimistic light.

 

Pennywise

Image Via Digital Spy

 

Plus, it’s a close adaptation to the book (unlike Kubrick’s brilliant but unfaithful version of The Shining) that manages to capture both the scares and the comedic self-aware tone that King is most known for, although it does forgo some of the stranger elements.

 

Maturin

Image Via Stephen King Wiki – Fandom

 

6-The Exorcist

 

The Exorcist: 40th Anniversary Edition by [Blatty, William Peter]

Image Via Amazon

 

In 1971 William Blatty brought us The Exorcist. The book goes through horrifying and skin-crawling descriptions of the demonic possession of eleven-year-old Regan MacNeil.

 

Regan

Image Via EOnline

 

While Regan herself is fictional, the book is inspired by a terrifying case in 1949 of reported demonic possession and exorcism that Blatty heard about while he was a student in the class of 1950 at Georgetown University.

 

The Exorcist

Image Via Amazon

 

Two years later the iconic film adaptation hit the silver screens, sending audiences everywhere in a fright. While the film plays fast-and-loose with some of the details, as well as adding its odd terrifying touch, Blatty himself was the screenwriter and producer, marking this adaptation as one of the closest to the original novel.

 

5-Silence of the Lambs

 

The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter Book 2) by [Harris, Thomas]

Image Via Amazon

 

A sequel to the disturbing police procedure with stunning descriptions, The Silence of the Lambs follows Clarice Starling, who must speak to a confined serial killer in order to track down another serial killer. Skin crawling in more ways than one, this novel shoots through twists and turns and shows that even a confined killer can be deadly.

 

Silence of the Lambs movie poster

Image Via Amazon

 

Top it off with a film adaptation that won all the Academy Awards in the top five categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay (the third film in the history of the Oscars to do so) the characters of Hannibal Lecter and Agent Starling have become cemented into the public consciousness.

 

Image result for silence of the lambs film

Image Via Syfy

 

It’s horrifying, its disturbing, its uplifting, it’s everything you want in a horror film and its a masterclass in adaptation.

 

 

4-Dracula (1958)

 

Dracula

Image Via Pinterest

 

Possibly the scariest incarnation of the Dracula story, the 1958 movie departs from the source material only when it wishes to elevate it. At the time, Bram Stoker’s story was horrifying and shocking to readers everywhere. However, sensibilities have changed and the novel was considered tame.

 

Dracula (1958)

Image Via Diabolique Magazine

 

In an effort to strike fear back into the hearts of anyone who heard the name of “Dracula”, the movie displayed the brutal nature of Dracula for the first time in all his onscreen glory. A true movie monster, this adaptation proved to be the scariest depiction Dracula and has kept that title ever since.

 

Christopher Lee

Image VIa BFI

 

Plus, Christopher “His mother was a Countess and he was a real-life spy” Lee portrayed Dracula, he was basically a vampire incarnate.

 

3-The Thing

 

Who Goes There? by Campbell Jr., John W.

Image Via Amazon

 

Did you know this was based on a book? Most people don’t, and they should because the book is just as enticing and awe-inspiring and downright horrifying as its film adaptation.

John W Campell, Jr’s 1938 novella Who Goes There? follows a group of scientific researches isolated in Antarctica who discover an alien spaceship buried inside the ice. They encounter what can only be described as a “thing”—a shape-shifter that takes on the personality of any living thing it devours.

 

The Thing

Image Via Amazon

 

The novella made such an impact that it spawned two movie adaptations, one in 1951 titled Thing from Another World and one in 1982 simply titled The Thing. While Thing from Another World is a great movie on its own, the 1982 became a cult classic and later a mainstream classic thanks due to its memorable characters and its horrifying images.

Warning! Watching this film will make you questions everything, and everyone, around you. Could the Thing be lurking behind you? Is it your loving dog or your cute cat? Or is it your best friend?

Who am I kidding? You don’t have any friends.

 

2-The Wicker Man (1973)

 

The Ritual by David Pinner

Image Via Goodreads

 

David Pinner’s 1967 novel was praised for its “opulent dialogue” but was given a warning because “it is quite likely to test your dreams of leaving the city for a shady nook by a babbling brook”.

 

The Wicker Man (1973)

Image Via Amazon

 

While the remake has its moments (not the bees!), the original 1973 starring many a cast, including Christopher Lee, entices us with this seemingly perfect cult with dark undertones. With themes of religiosity and faith, this film will reach down to your core and make you question everything you believe.

 

 

1-The Cat in the Hat

 

The Cat in the Hat

Image Via School Specialty

 

This is a horror novel. The bright colors might throw you off, but a humanoid cat breaks into the home of two innocent children and proceeds to have ‘fun’ with them through various chaotic games of growing insanity. Yes, the children take the whole thing in strides, but I think this is because they know that resistance is futile against this feline furry.

 

Cat in the Hat

Image Via IMDB

 

This is what the live action film understood perfectly well about the character. It might be overly longer, but like the novel its horrifying how much they have FUN FUN FUN.

 

If you want fun fun fun....

Image Thanks to Megan Bomar

 

I’m going to see that phrase smeared in blood when I get home, won’t I?

 

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Twitock

YA Authors Reimagine Classic Poe Stories in New Collection

If you’re a fan of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic short stories, I’ve got good news for you. Thirteen highly celebrated YA authors have reimagined classic Poe stories in His Hideous Heart, a new collection edited by Dahlia Adler. Though Poe lived nearly two centuries ago, these reimaginings translate his tales into the modern age. And His Hideous Heart just came out today!

 

Image via Amazon.com

 

Here’s the lineup you can expect when you crack open a copy:

Dahlia Adler (reimagining “Ligeia”), Kendare Blake (“Metzengerstein”), Rin Chupeco (“The Murders in the Rue Morgue”), Lamar Giles (“The Oval Portrait”), Tessa Gratton (“Annabel Lee”), Tiffany D. Jackson (“The Cask of Amontillado”), Stephanie Kuehn (“The Tell-Tale Heart”), Emily Lloyd-Jones (“The Purloined Letter”), Amanda Lovelace (“The Raven”), Hillary Monahan (“The Masque of the Red Death”), Marieke Nijkamp (“Hop-Frog”), Caleb Roehrig (“The Pit and the Pendulum”), and Fran Wilde (“The Fall of the House of Usher”).

 

 

His Hideous Heart has already been getting some great reviews from all around the literary world. Publisher’s Weekly writes:

A refreshing assortment of diverse voices and contemporary themes ensures there’s something for everyone in this delightful compilation.

And Beth Revis, author of Give the Dark My Love and Star Wars: Rebel Rising raves:

Heartbreaking, thrilling, gruesome, and gorgeous: these stories will delight longtimePoe fans just as much as readers who haven’t read the classics.

As spooky season approaches, it’s definitely a must-have for any Poe fan. And any YA fan should definitely it have on their radar.

 

Image via Wikimedia

 

 

 

Featured image via Encyclopedia Britannica and Amazon

Don’t Clean Your Room! Read About The Top 8 Books About Dust

Riddle me this: What is everywhere in your room but doesn’t clutter up any space?

DUST!

Dust is actually very important, as far as books go. They can set a scene, they can create a mood, they can be an important plot element. So before you go off and clean your room or procrastinate about cleaning your room, you might just want to read through this list about our top 8 books that feature dust as an important element in the story.

 

 

8-Amelia Bedelia

 

Amelia Bedelia

Image Via Banres & Noble

 

Before we get dark, let’s start with a happy children’s book. Starting in 1963, Amelia Bedelia stars, well, Amelia Bedelia, which started this hit children’s series. Funny, brilliant, this stories often follow Amelia Bedelia, a maid in the Rodgers family, who often misunderstands various commands of her employer by always taking figures of speech and various terminology literally.

 

Dust The Strawberries

Image Via Teaching College English

 

Notably, she takes the command “dust the furniture” literally and, well, mayhem ensures.

Lucky, after a series of comic misunderstanding and general mayhem, Amelia Bedelia is usually able to the win the family over with a delicious pie or cake. After a while the Rodgers family becomes astute enough to realize that Amelia Bedelia takes everything they say literally so, instead of firing her, they give her more specific commands such as “undust the furniture”.

So remember: You shouldn’t ‘dust around the house’, you should ‘undust the house’. Or you can dust the house. I don’t care, you do you.

 

7-Cinderella

 

Cinderella book

Image Via Amazon

 

With that out of the way, let’s get dark. Dust can set a scene, set a mood, and you know that things are dark when this story opens with a little girl dusting the house while her step-mother and step-sisters are lounge around the house.

 

Cinderella dusting

Image Via Your Keyword Basket

 

Since her father’s death, Cinderella’s has been left in the dust, left in the squalor of her step-mother’s tyrannical rule. We all know where the story goes from here, either from the Disney movie or Grimm’s Fairy Tales, with her rising from the dust and into the arms of someone who loves her.

6-Infinity Gauntlet

 

Infinity Gauntlet Comic Book

Image Via The Wrap

 

Before the monsters of movies, Infinity War and Endgame, hit theaters, comic readers knew since 1991 that there was a chance our favorite heroes might get dusted. Though we weren’t sure if Disney was going to go through with it, we sat back in awe as our favorite characters, including Spider-Man, bit the dust.

If you want to see where this plot point came from, we’ll buy this comic and listen to Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” as you see characters you know and love and characters you don’t know but will love get dusted. Be warned:

 

 

It’s some heavy stuff.

 

 

5-Howl’s Moving Castle

 

Howl's Moving Castle

Image Via Hero Complex Gallery

 

Published in 1986, Howl’s Moving Castle is a fantasy novel by British author Diana Wynne Jones. A runner-up for the annual Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, the book was adapted into in 2004 was adapted as an animated film of the same name in 2004 and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

 

Young and Old Sophie Hatter

Young and Old Sophie Hatter / Image Via Fairlight Books

 

The importance of dust cannot be understated. After her father dies, Sophie Hatter takes over her family’s hat shop but encounters some trouble when she meets a witch who believes Sophie is doing some magic in her territory. In the book Sophie’s guilty as charged, so the witch curses her into looking like an old woman.

She runs away and, cold alone, sneaks on board a moving castle. But she’s found out!

This is when dust comes into play. See, Sophie’s cover story is that, since the castle is old and dusty, she’s the new house keeper! A quick look around and everyone is satisfied with her story, and Sophie ends up actually cleaning the castle.

The story goes on from here, but the most important moral of the story is this: Dust is helpful.

 

4-The Help

 

The Help

Image VIa Amazon

 

Published in 2009, Kathryn Stockett’s The Help is about African Americans working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the early 1960s.

A story about oppression, prejudiced, and hope, this story utilized dust to symbolize the hardships people go through and the impossibilities in cleaning away hatred.

 

3-Les Miserables

 

Les Miserables

Image Via VisitLondon

 

You might know the film, the play, or Victor Hugo’s magnum opus, this story shines a lighter on the misery and the pain of poverty and finding redemption in a cruel world. From the grimy streets of Paris to the dirt of the taverns, this story is known best for this image:

 

Les Miserables image: Cosette sweeping

Image Via Pinterest

 

There’s a reason for that. A young girl cursed to poverty, to survive and not thrive in a dirty world, she’ll have to work hard and, with a little luck, she might be given a new start and a clean slate.

 

 

2-Series of Unfortunate Events

 

Three orphans cleaning with toothbrushes because life sucks and then you die

Three orphans cleaning with toothbrushes because life sucks and then you die / Image Via Fast Company

 

In this series the Baudelaire orphans can’t catch a break. While they are bounced around to guardian after guardian, they are met with increasingly dire circumstances and squalor beyond repair. From a greedy man who just wants them for this vast fortune to a man engulfed in smoke who keeps them (including the baby!) working in a lumber mill, the orphans are no stranger to dust, grime, filth, and dusty things.

Thankfully, they never seem to catch a case of the sniffles, so I guess they’re lucky in that regard.

 

Count Olaf

Image Via Pinterest

 

Darkly funny and disturbingly horrific, this series is certainly something that’ll make you thankful because, even though dust seems to follow you everywhere you go, at least you’re not being chased by a villain.

If you are in fact being chased by an evil villain, considering calling 9-1-1.

 

1-His Dark Materials

 

His Dark Materials

Image Via The Verge

 

Does dust follow you everywhere you go? Well, that might be a good thing. In the His Dark Materials trilogy, dust are elementary particles associated with consciousness and are integral to the plot. Everyone is chasing dust.

In the first book, young Lyra is bombarded with adults who claim that dust is evil, a terrible particle that causes all the misery in the world. Even her father, Lord Asriel, tells her that

Somewhere out there is the origin of all the Dust, all the death, the sin, the misery, the destructiveness in the world. Human beings can’t see anything without wanting to destroy it, Lyra. That’s original sin. And I’m going to destroy it. Death is going to die.

In the first book, Lyra believes this wholeheartedly, but at the end of the novel her eyes are opened up to the wonders of dust when her daemon, Pantalaimon, asks her:

We’ve heard them all talk about Dust, and they’re so afraid of it, and you know what? We believed them, even though we could see what they were doing was wicked and evil and wrong…We thought Dust must be bad too, because they were grown up and they said so. But what if it isn’t?

From there, Lyra realizes:

If Dust were a good thing…If it were to be sought and welcomes and cherished..

‘We could look for it too, Pan!’ she said

The moral of the story? Don’t dust your house, because dust is magical.

 

 

Featured Image Via RZIM

7 Literary Characters That Desperately Need to Go Back to School

With the start of September comes a new semester of school. Not the most exciting time of the year, unless you’re Hermione Granger. Good on you if you’ve made the leap to educate yourself. It is indeed something many people desire to one extent or another, but for some, it is an absolute necessity due to a severe lack of intellect. To speak in layman’s terms, for those of you who don’t understand, some people are pretty dumb.

In honor of the start of school, we are counting seven literary characters who are very much in need of a good education.

 

 

1. Crabbe & Goyle from The Harry Potter Series

 

Image result for crabbe and goyle

Image via DeviantArt

 

Without question, Malfoy’s lackeys are in desperate need of schooling, together. The two would surely have to go to classes together as they are so lacking in intelligence separately they’d have to combine their minds, either figuratively or literally via magic, to pass any of their classes.

 

2. Captain Ahab from Moby Dick

 

Image result for captain ahab

Image via DeviantArt

 

The man had goals, but not the wits to catch one particular whale. With a little more to learn, Ahab could greatly benefit from learning more about whales in Biology. That or he could go for his teaching license in Whaling. You know what they say, “if you can’t do, teach.”

 

 

3. Ariel from The Little Mermaid

 

Related image

Image via Tenor

 

Finding your place in the world is a huge part of school, especially in high school and college. At the very least with education being the central focus, it’ll prevent you from making undersea deals with strange old hags and running away from home for some pretty boy—or so we hope. Ariel could certainly learn about stranger danger if she enrolls now.

 

 

 

4. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum From Through The Looking Glass

 

Image result for tweedle dee and tweedle dum gif

Image via Giphy

 

With an inclination toward mischief and violence, the twins would give any teacher a hard time. However, if separated and placed in the right classes, their bad habits could be turned around. Have them involved in a sport like football or volleyball, and on the side, fostering their apparent interest in poetry could help them to express themselves in more productive ways. Then again, going back to the chaos of Wonderland it would take much longer to find progress, unless they dorm that is.

 

 

5. Ophelia from Hamlet

 

Image result for ophelia hamlet

Image via Wikipedia

 

School could have literally saved Ophelia’s life in Hamlet. When you’re with a really great teacher, you can be tested to think for yourself. Granted, in Medieval Times women were expected to follow the men, Ophelia being swayed left and right is a tragedy in itself. If she was given an education, then maybe she’d be more logical in thinking with her heartbreak over Hamlet. At the very least she could have benefited from swimming classes.

 

 

6. Victor Frankenstein from Frankenstein

 

Image result for victor frankenstein gif

Image via Giphy

 

In spite of how smart of a scientist he was before his grave-robbing began, Dr. Frankenstein realized only at the end how much of a fool he was to try and play God. Even then, he still did not understand that he is no hero in this tale of horror.

Victor may not need to go back to the basics of Science, but he ought to register in several classes on Ethics as soon as he can.

 

 

7. Dr. John Watson from The Sherlock Holmes Series

 

Image result for dr watson gifs

Image via Giphy

 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Watson is a Doctor, he’s already gone through years of school. Not enough when he keeps being schooled by Sherlock. Maybe Dr. Watson should go back to Elementary.

 

So good on you for making the smart choice of an education! *Cough* Hope it’s not a waste of money. *Cough*

As for this bunch, they definitely need to be making the choice to go to school. It’s still not too late for them to apply, but they’re probably too stupid to know that.

 

 

Featured Image via cornel1801

Adaptations Round-Up! 10 Adaptations Coming out This Year!

Adaptations galore is coming this fall season! What are the ones that you should look forward to most? Well, stay tuned!

 

 

It Chapter 2

 

It: Chapter 2

Image Via Vanity Fair

 

A sequel to the horrifying film It, the ‘Loser’s Club’ is back twenty-seven years later (or two years later). The group returns to Derry, Maine, where the Losers must finish what they started: destroy Pennywise.

Who from our lovely ‘Loser’s Club’ will be lost in the ensuing bloodbath? How will these losers defeat Pennywise? Well, it’s based on a Stephen King novel that was released back in 1986, so the answers are out there and, um, it’s pretty wild. Remember to sing your praises to Maturin this September 6th!

 

 

Joker

 

Joker

Image Via Variety

 

An original standalone origin story for a character who infamously doesn’t have a definitive origin, this movie starring Joaquin Phoenix has clearly taken cues from Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke by making Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill man disregarded by society, into an up-and-coming comedian. In the iconic comic book, the unnamed man’s career in comedy ends in a chemical bath, but Arthur Fleck’s story might end on a different note entirely.

Is that scene, where Arthur Fleck, in full-fledged Joker makeup, goes on stage with Robert Di Niro a callback to The Dark Knight Returns scene when the Joker poisons the audience and the talk show host alike in a scene of ‘hilarious’ death?

 

 

We’ll find out this October 4th.

 

 

Nancy Drew

 

Having been around since 1930, Nancy Drew has been around longer than your parents (not judging) and she’s spent her time well: solving mysteries even when people told her she couldn’t.

This series has been around forever and if you haven’t read it, you’ve definitely heard of it. Well, we’re getting an adaptation of this series that’s set to debut on October 9, 2019 on the CW.

 

 

 

Looking for Alaska

 

The Fault in Our Stars broke our hearts, and now John Green is at it again. Or has he already broken our hearts beyond repair? The Fault in Our Stars was Green’s sixth novel and Looking for Alaska was his first novel, but for all of you who haven’t read the book, you’re in for something special.

Miles Halter is our man and through his eyes we are introduced to Alaska Young. A new student meets a timid young girl? Sounds like a love story made in heaven, until Miles soon learns that her life isn’t as perfect as he originally thought.

We’ll get a chance for our spirits to rise and our hearts to grow and break and grow again this October 14th.

 

 

HBO’s Watchmen

 

Another (sort of) Alan Moore adaptation, this version of Watchmen will be, in the words of showrunner Damon Lindelof, “a remix.”

For those of you who need to be brought up to speed, an alien invasion took place which ended the Cold War, but it was all a fake-out. Rorschach, before his untimely demise, sent his journal to the press where he laid a bread crumb trail to the truth.

What is known about this HBO series is that it takes place thirty-four years after the original comic left off. Taking place in an alternative reality in 2019 where this is no internet or smartphones, we are introduced to a United States where Robert Redford is now the longest-serving president, having been elected in 1992, a feat accomplished thanks to President Nixon abolishing the two-term limit back before the original comic book. Things are in disarray. A white supremacist group calling itself “The Seventh Cavalry,” with members who all wear homemade Rorschach masks, commits simultaneous attacks on the houses of police officers. Because of this, the police start wearing masks themselves.

What is this leading up to? Where are the original characters? Tune in to HBO October 20th find out.

 

 

Doctor Sleep

 

Another Stephen King adaptation, this one is an adaptation of Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining. While the movie won’t be based on the Stanley Kubrick version, since the movie departs too much from the source material, this standalone is clearly drawing on the imagery set forth by Kubrick. Will it be any good? What’s going to happen?

The film arrives in theaters this November 8th.

 

 

 

The Good Liar

 

Catherine McKenzie brought us The Good Liar, and Warner Bros is bringing us the film adaptation. Ian McKellen is going to grace the screens as seasoned conman Roy Courtnay.

After he meets Betty McLeish online, he decides to steal a glorious amount of cash from her. But Betty McLeish, played by Helen Mirren, is too much for the conman and he finds herself falling for him. How will this sinister love affair turn out? See it in threaten this November 15th.

 

 

Cats

 

First, T.S. Eliot brought us Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats in 1939. From there we got a play, and now we’re getting a movie. The plot is hard to describe, but it basically follows a tribe of cats known as the ‘Jellicles’ who gather together to make the ‘Jellicle choice.’ Those who get the ‘Jellicle choice’ mean they can now be killed so they can go to heaven and come back because, you know, cats have nine lives.

Don’t get it? Doesn’t matter! There’s singing and there’s dancing and there’s this purr-fect trailer! It comes out December 20th.

 

 

His Dark Materials

 

Image via Amazon

 

This series has never been adapted before (we don’t talk about that other thing) and so THIS will be the first adaptation of Phil Pullman’s epic book series, His Dark Materials, in our books. The first season will draw upon the first book in the trilogy, following the life of a young Lyra (Dafne Keen) who is an orphan living with the tutors at Jordan College, Oxford. It’s not the Oxford you and I know, however, it’s an Oxford in an alternative world where all humans have animal companions called dæmons, which are the manifestations of their souls.

Lyra’s search for her missing friend will lead to uncovering a massive conspiracy linked to a mysterious substance called Dust and secrets from these two mysterious people, Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) and Marisa Coulter (Ruth Wilson).

If the first season is good (please let it be good), then we’ll be getting at least two more seasons! BBC One and HBO are teaming up, so hopefully they won’t disappoint us… In the meantime, however, I just want them to give a release date that’s more specific than “autumn.”

 

The Witcher

 

The Witcher is known as a great video game series, but did you know it started out a book series? In fact the saga is based on a series written by Andrzej Sapkowski that started in 1992 with Sword of Destiny. The last book in the series, Season of Storms came out in 2013.

The stories follow Geralt of Rivia, played by Henry Cavil, a solitary monster hunter who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. What will become of Geralt?

Check out the series on Netflix this sometime “late 2019”.

 

 

 

 

Featured Image Via HITC