Book Review by Lenni - “Now A Terrifying Motion Picture: Twenty-Five Classic Works of Horror Adapted From Book to Film” by James F. Broderick

Ever have this argument while walking out of a movie theatre?
“The book is better!”
“No, it’s not! The movie was way better!”
Then the conversation degrades into a series of grunts and clicks unrecognizable to any but the purest book or movie geek.
With so many books being adapted to film; “Harry Potter,” “Hunger Games,” and (may the literary gods help us) “Twilight” – not to mention the recent hemorrhage of comic movies – I’d wager you all have had or overheard this argument at least a dozen times in the last few months alone. This book takes you through 25 classic horror movies and their book counterparts in order to reconcile the two.
From Amityville Horror to Village of the Damned, Broderick takes you through the history of the book and its impact on the horror genre to the movie and the differences in the imagery in the movie as compared to the film.
For all of these titles, if you haven’t read or seen the source material, you’re getting full summary of each one. This can be tedious if you’ve already seen the movie or read the book but there are always cool little factoids about the authors, actors, or directors you may not have known before.
From a scholarly perspective, this is an interesting read. The discussion of the transformation of a printed story to film is fascinating; especially when you get into the mind of a man like Alfred Hitchcock or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Learning about the author’s style versus the director’s style and how the tension in the book is placed on the screen is fascinating, though it may drag in some parts of the book.
I would best recommend this book for very rabid fans of horror in any form. If you see a movie and not care about anything but what’s on the screen in front of you for 120 minutes, this book will bore you. However, if you want a detailed discussion of your favorite horror films and books, Broderick’s book is not a bad place to start.