Movies That Should Be Books, Part 1
Whenever a book is adapted to a movie, all its readers flock to the theatre to see if the directors could pull off the text’s awesomeness. I wonder if the same would stand for the opposite. I don’t know about you but I think that there are some movies that should be adapted to books.
But, why? Movies are typically more appealing.
True. Movies do have the advantage of chopping the text down by just showing the imagery. Directors can cut scenes with fewer transitions. Those parts of a story where the author has to describe it to make sense, the movie can just demonstrate and capture our attention better and longer. I get it. However, there are some movies that seem to lend themselves to more detail. I find that movies that could benefit from more background and explanatory sequence are awesomely suited to be written as a book.
I’m not going to lie: I’m not a movie person at all unless it’s a horror movie.
Naturally, you’ll notice that most of the movies on this list are horror movies I’ve found on Netflix. I also love indie movies, so there’s a couple of those. Nevertheless, whenever I discover a great movie, I see it through the eyes of a creator–a writer in my case–and I can usually develop a whole book in my head about it. What would be added, what would be deleted, what would be detailed?
Maybe it’s just me. I don’t have the attention span to pull off writing the books, but I’m sure there’s someone out there who does; I would love to see what you can come up with!
The list below includes links to YouTube trailers for each movie. Just know, I don’t represent or sponsor YouTube and their stances just as they don’t do the same for me. Read more about it here.
Steve Beck’s Thirteen Ghosts (2002)
I remember being in grade school when this came out. My dad immediately bought it on VHS and I watched it with my sister in the dark because we were dumb enough to do so. Yay, childhood.
A state-of-the-art remake of the classic William Castle horror film about a family that inherits a spectacular old house from an eccentric uncle. There’s just one problem: the house seems to have a dangerous agenda all its own. Trapped in their new home by strangely shifting walls, the family encounters powerful and vengeful entities that threaten to annihilate anyone in their path.
The allusions in this movie really drew me in. The supernatural is well-elaborated and each character is depicted with so much vivid imagery. I could only imagine what it would have been like to read this first and try to piece that together in your head before you had the visuals. There are so many flashbacks that can be supplemented to put together for a more extensive backstory for the family past and mother’s death. Not to mention learning more about the book, the uncle, and his awesome sidekick would be greatly appreciated!
Warning: violence, gore, and adult language
Bill Plympton’s Idiots & Angels (2008)
My college ex got me into indie movies on Netflix, like this one. It’s a silent animation completely drawn out, frame-by-frame, by hand, and colored. Yeah, this dude is crazy.
Much to his surprise, an utter misanthrope is transformed into a reluctant do-gooder, when a glorious pair of angelic snow-white wings sprouts up from his back. Now, everyone in town wants a piece of his feathered appendages.
While we get enough of each character to understand their dynamic in relation to our protagonist, each one is obviously rich with so much more potential. You can piece together a little bit about each, but they each have a deep longing that rears its head every once in a while. Each has a dream to be more than what they are, and its exploited to “foil” the main character. I feel like a book would allow us to learn more about and connect better with those who make this story so memorable.
Warning: nudity, violence, and sexual implications
Trevor Beatz’s The Demon Lo (2009)
A huge inspiration for my own novel addressing some of the same themes. This amateur film unfolds in the most interesting way.
Justin’s life changes forever when April, a bizarre and curiously naive woman, is mysteriously kidnapped by demons. Facing singing demons, talking hands, dancing bartenders and human sized rats, Justin’s love is put to the ultimate test.
Another Netflix golden nugget, I found this one in college, too and I fell in love with it. It’s so simple–a small budget for sure; yet, it’s layered with multiple plots and conflicts that challenge the viewer to reconsider how powerful love can be. We get a great background on Lo, himself, but I feel like there should be more about Justin. And, something that the budget didn’t allow the producers to produce is a vivid setting. Don’t get me wrong, I love the makeshift stage and apartment (mimicking the original Dr. Faustus drama); it adds an experimental and raw charm to the movie. However, more imagery to help us fear hell the way the demons try to convince us to be is much easier in book form.
Warning: adult language
Marvin Kren’s Blood Glacier (2013)
I’m a sucker for foreign, horror movies and this one is no exception. I find it hilarious and scientifically interesting rather than “scary”, as it is supposed to be. Nevertheless, my insect/bug fear is stroked as mutated versions of such get bigger and bigger throughout the story.
Scientists discover that a red liquid leaking from a nearby glacier contains organisms that turn living hosts into deadly mutants.
We get an essential gist of how it is possible, but I feel like the fear can be better developed with a story, as well as the scientific explanation. We also get to see the creatures in short, intense bursts, but I would like to “witness” the whole creature with all its changes–something imagery can do. Plus, there’s a fabulous romance sub-plot that I would really like to know more about!
Warning: adult language
I think this is going to be a thing for me. These are only four of many movies I find are suited to be books. I’ve found my new calling!
It’s not your calling.
Okay, maybe it’s not. But it’s definitely something cool I can keep doing! So, to be continued…!
So, what do you think? Any movies you’ve seen that would totally make for an awesome book? Or, even a book series?
Let us know in the comments and on social media. And, don’t forget to get your bi-weekly Writer’s Wisdom by signing up for my newsletter.