Note to all: Giving order to this list felt as difficult as birthing a bowling ball...presumably, of course. But if Google can actually come out with "Project Glass" and offer us augmented reality glasses, I could step up to this task.
Yesterday I received an email for an upcoming stop on this month's blog tour asking for my Top Ten Horror Adaptions. Sweat began to dampen my forehead and palms. My panic wasn't as much in picking ten adaptions, but in creating an order and naming a favorite of all time. In the end I did the best I could; though, the lower five could easily be rearranged at any time, depending upon my mood. I thought I would share this painstaking list and perhaps elaborate as to why I've chosen this incredible grouping.
Top Ten Horror Novel to Film Adaptions:
10) Cujo, Stephen King
First of all, any writer who can pigeonhole himself into the use of only two characters in a space the size of a truck-stop bathroom, and make it work, deserves props. Any filmmaker who can take that script and transfer its limits to the screen without boring me to death, deserves the same props and more.
9) Altered States, Paddy Chayefsky
I first saw Altered States as a kid. I hadn't a freakin clue what was going on but watching the dude bounce around from wall to wall and freak-the-hell-out was cool. A few years later A-Ha's Take On Me was a huge Mtv hit and reminded me of the very scene in the film (I believe that was the point in the music video) so I gave the film another try. Again, cool as fek, but I was still pretty lost. Eventually, as an adult, I watched the film again, and bingo! I got it. Confession...I have never read the book, but it has been added to my To-Read list and I will get to it in the near future. If a movie can confuse the heck out of me yet instill the need to keep coming back rather than call it stupid and throw in the towel, it gets props!
8) Pet Sematary, Stephen King
I saw this one with my oldest, dearest friend, and continuity guru, Jesi - we both vowed on that day to have children that looked like poor little Gage (she succeeded...I did not). Now, everyone knows I worship at the alter of King (1 point!), Most of you know I spent years working in Rock n' Roll...The Ramones (2 points!), The cutting of an Achilles tendon by a tiny freak hand beneath a bed (3 points!), the ability to bring loved ones back to life, however bad the idea, (4 points!). I can keep going, but I won't. This is a film I have watched time and time again. Love everything about it.
7) Misery, Stephen King
Two words...Kathy Bates ...'nuff said.
6) The Amityville Horror, Jay Anson
I was so into this movie that when the actual home for which the book/film was based went up for sale, I toured the house and contemplated buying it. There are so many aspects of this adaption that I love, but it is best summed in one line...He went back for the dog!
5) The Shining, Stephen King
Now here's where I run the risk of making enemies... While I would normally defend the King of horror and rarely will be found in disagreement with Steve's views, I thought Kubrick's adaption was genius. I still keep the original on heavy rotation in my there's nothing on TV tonight vault. The combination of King, Nicholson, Kubrick, and an isolated, snowed in hotel (with a dash of Scatman Crothers) makes The original Shining a fave.
4) Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton
Hello! Dinosaurs (Jeff Goldblum), Crichton's genius (Jeff Goldblum), Special Fx none of us had imagined possible at the time (Jeff Goldblum), What's not to love and hold dear here...eh-hem (Jeff Goldblum).
3) Jaws, Peter Benchley
I love Jaws so much I recorded it in 2009 on my DVR and it STILL... remains... on my DVR, and with sacred permanence. I'm fairly sure there is a thread of Sheriff Brody in every one of my protagonists. For me this film has little to do with a shark...well wait, what I mean to say is, MY LOVE for this film has little to do with THE shark, but more so the incredible character study of its players. The book is quite different than the movie and equally cherished in my library.
2) The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty
Since both my parents are deceased and there is no risk of anyone calling child protective services, I will admit that I was permitted to see this film when I was about five-years-old. At a drive-in theater in New Jersey, it was the second feature and I'm sure my parents expected me to be asleep by the time the film began...no such luck! I was so fascinated by The Exorcist that a horror lover was born right then and there, in the back of that old Dodge. I will admit that to this day I fear my bed might begin trembling and bouncing violently, but this will forever be a favorite. I didn't read the book until about a decade later.
1) Rosemary's Baby, Ira Levin
I hope this list has conjured memories of your own experiences with great novel-to-film adaptions and perhaps refilled a few Netflix cues; after all, aren't we all over Dancing With The Stars yet?
WISHBONE, #1 Bestselling Horror/Thriller: