Book vs. Movie: The Turning/Turn of the Screw

Hello, my darling readers!
Today I bring you my thoughts on the latest adaptation of Henry James’ Turn of the Screw that I watched. I was curious to see how this one would turn out, so let’s find out whether it was a hit or a miss!

The Plot (as found on RT):

Kate Mandell takes a job as a nanny for two young orphans at an isolated Gothic mansion in the Maine countryside. She soon learns that the children — Miles and Flora — are emotionally distant and unstable. When strange events start to plague Kate and the siblings, she begins to suspect that the estate’s dark corridors are home to a malevolent entity.

Book vs. Movie:

A while ago I wrote a book vs. TV show posts when Netflix dropped The Haunting of Bly Manor. After I was really excited by the show I read Henry James’ novella, and boy how I hated that little piece of writing. I had *a lot* of issues with the story per se and James’ writing style, I’d recommend checking out the post linked above as I don’t want to go into to much detail here again. Let me just say I disliked the story because it didn’t make much sense. There were too many questions that never got answered or explained. The characters were annoying at best and I honestly couldn’t be bothered to care for a single one of them. The novella has it’s flaw but as Netflix has shown us, it does give building blocks for a potentially intriguing adaptation.

I didn’t expect that much from The Turning but I hoped it would also mark an improvement in comparison to the original story. Turns out, it’s just almost as bad.
Where to begin? So, the story is updated a bit, transferring it into 1994. It’s rather easy to pinpoint the exact point in time the story is set in, as they established the year in the laziest way possible. In the first minutes we see a TV report on Kurt Cobain’s suicide. It’s like they wanted to add a cart somewhere saying ‘1994’ but also wanted to be a teeny-tiny bit less obvious about it. The 90s vibe is mostly established through clothing that Kate wears and by a poster in Miles’ room. Apart from that it could have been set last year had they given the phone a more modern look. Especially the language threw me off at times. For example, was ‘cool’ a thing that people already said a lot in 1994? I always thought that’s more of an early 2000s thing? The soundtrack was one of the few things I liked about the film, but while they tried for a grunge aesthtic overall, the music didn’t exactly mirror that. I feel like some of the songs also sounded a lot more modern than the time they were going for here. Honestly, if they hadn’t shoved the year this is supposed to take place in in our faces at the beginning of the film, I wouldn’t even have cared. Because, believe me, this is the least of our problems here.

Remember when I said the original story didn’t make much sense? Well, neither does the adaptation. Why are the ghosts there? What’s the idea? How/why are they trapped? Why only those two? What the heck is Mrs. Grose problem? What is up with Kate’s mum? What on earth was that ending? Or rather complete lack thereof?

I am willing to believe that to a certain degree this is to blame on the re-writing process the script went through. Apparently, the first rewrite changed the script so much that it was entirely different from the original idea and the director was replaced. I’m curious how the movie had turned out had they gone with that script instead…
The film mostly relies on jump scares and while some scenes are intriguing, everything feels disconnected, almost as if there were parts missing in-between.

It doesn’t help that again the characters are supremely annoying and you simply don’t care for any of them. The little girls seems decent at first but it soon turns out that both she and her brother are little monsters. Again, there is one scene almost at the end where I had hope that we’d get some depth on Miles but no such luck. Mackenzie Davis is beyond bland in this and it’s like she isn’t even trying.

What a disappointment this film was. I already hated the novella and this movie certainly is not an improvement on any of it. The only good thing is that watching the adaptation takes less time than reading the thing. But honestly yeet both out the window and just watch The Haunting of Bly Manor instead.

Did you prefer the book or the movie? Let me know in the comments!

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Book vs. TV Show: Shadow and Bone

Hello, lovelies!
Earlier this year it finally happened! Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels were finally adapted into a TV show and Netflix released the episodes. I was insanely excited about this, so let’s see whether it lives up to all the hype!

The Plot (according to RT):

Based on Leigh Bardugo’s worldwide bestselling Grishaverse novels, Shadow and Bone finds us in a war-torn world where lowly soldier and orphan Alina Starkov has just unleashed an extraordinary power that could be the key to setting her country free. With the monstrous threat of the Shadow Fold looming, Alina is torn from everything she knows to train as part of an elite army of magical soldiers known as Grisha. But as she struggles to hone her power, she finds that allies and enemies can be one and the same and that nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. There are dangerous forces at play, including a crew of charismatic criminals, and it will take more than magic to survive.

Shadow and Bone on RT and Goodreads

Book vs. TV Show:

So, let me say right away, this is a pretty good adaptation! I really enjoyed watching what we got so far but there a still a few things I need to criticize. But let’s start with the things I did like!

The casting is spot-on. Literally every character has found a perfect actor or actress to portray them. I honestly don’t know how they managed to pull this off but I couldn’t be happier about it. This was actually one of the main things I was concerned about for the adaptation as the casting can really make or break how it turns out. So, I’m very glad that they really nailed it.

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Book vs. Movie: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Hello, my darling readers!
I’ve talked about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood a while ago – naturally I had to see the film the moment it came out. But guess what, Tarantino decided we aso need a book version of the story. So, let’s see how that turned out!

The Plot (as found on Goodreads):

RICK DALTON – Once he had his own TV series, but now Rick’s a washed-up villain-of-the week drowning his sorrows in whiskey sours. Will a phone call from Rome save his fate or seal it?

CLIFF BOOTH – Rick’s stunt double, and the most infamous man on any movie set because he’s the only one there who might have gotten away with murder. . . .

SHARON TATE – She left Texas to chase a movie-star dream, and found it. Sharon’s salad days are now spent on Cielo Drive, high in the Hollywood Hills.

CHARLES MANSON – The ex-con’s got a bunch of zonked-out hippies thinking he’s their spiritual leader, but he’d trade it all to be a rock ‘n’ roll star.


Hemlock Grove on Goodreads

Book vs. Movie:

I’m gonna keep my thought on the film short, as I have a full-lenght review over here. I enjoyed it a lot (I’ve seen it multiple times) but I completely understand why it doesn’t work at all for some people. Tarantino gave us a film that captures the zeitgeist of the late 60s. If you know a thing or two about Hollywood in that time you’re going to have a field day spotting all the little hints and references. But if you are not familar with that period and it’s MVPs, you’re going to be very bored. The action doesn’t pick up until the last half hour. But it’s a three hour movie so it takes a long time for it to get exciting.

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Book vs. Movie: Pride and Prejuidice

Hello, my darling readers!
Can you believe that I had never read a single Jane Austen book until very recently? I had also never seen any of the Pride and Prejudice adaptations out there, even though I can across *a lot* of content about them on tumblr. So, I figured it’s high time to give both the novel and its adaptations a shot! Today we’re going to talk about the Keira Knightly movie in comparison to Jane Austen’s book!

The Plot (according to Rotten Tomatoes):

In this adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel, Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) lives with her mother, father and sisters in the English countryside. As the eldest, she faces mounting pressure from her parents to marry. When the outspoken Elizabeth is introduced to the handsome and upper-class Mr. Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen), sparks fly. Although there is obvious chemistry between the two, Darcy’s overly reserved nature threatens the fledgling relationship.

Book vs. Movie:

Let’s start with the book, shall we?
As I mentioned above, this was the first Jane Austen novel I ever picked up. I was hesitant for so long to actually read any of her work because I was sure it just isn’t for me. Pride and Prejudice is often branded as *the* romance novel and that’s not the content I ususally (read: ever) go for. But I kept seing so much content about the novel as well as the movie on tumblr that I got curious. After all it is considered a literally classic and I’ve been meaning to catch up on those anyways!

So there I was, finally reading P&P. And guess what? I loved it! To be frank, I still don’t care much about the romance part of the story, but the characters are amazing. Both Lizzie and Darcy are extremely relatable, for completely different reasons. The story feature so many iconic and hilarious moments, as well as amazing quotes! Nobody was more surprised than I was with how delighted I am with this book!

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Book vs. Movie: Rebecca (2020)

Hello, my darling readers!
I recently wrote a post talking about how the Alfred Hitchcock movie Rebecca compares to the Daphne du Maurier book it’s based on. Well, it just so happens that somebody at Netflix thought that what we desperately need is another adaptation of this novel, so here we are. Let’s talk about the 2020 version!

The Plot (according to Goodreads):

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .

The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives–presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

Book vs. Movie:

Ooof, there are a lot of things wrong with this adaptation. It doesn’t work and I can clearly spot why. While they try to keep close to the story, the changed some little yet integral aspects that just take the wind out of this film’s sails. I won’t do another full review on the book since I already did that in the other post I wrote, but I want to highly several of those tiny yet important moments very the story deviates.

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Book vs. Movie: Rebecca (1940)

Hello, my darling readers!
Welcome to a book vs. movie posts I’ve been excited about for a long time. While I had previously seen the film, The book had been sitting on my tbr pile for an extremely long time!

The Plot (as found on RT):

Story of a young woman who marries a fascinating widower only to find out that she must live in the shadow of his former wife, Rebecca, who died mysteriously several years earlier. The young wife must come to grips with the terrible secret of her handsome, cold husband, Max De Winter (Laurence Olivier). She must also deal with the jealous, obsessed Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson), the housekeeper, who will not accept her as the mistress of the house.

Book vs. Movie:

I’m often a little hesitant to read old(er) books as they have a tendency to not hold up. For example, Murder on the Orient Express was so rassist, I kept cringing with every other page. This novel was written a hot minute ago, so I feared it might fall to the same fate. However, it turned out that Rebecca is still highly relevant. Sure, it’s set in a different time, but it’s still works today.

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