Two popcorn buckets over a red background. Movie stubs sitting over the popcorn.

The blog hop topic this week is my “favorite movie made from a book”. It would have been so much easier to write about favorite books that had been ruined by being made into a movie. I’m not generally a fan.

One of my earliest favorite movies is The Haunting (1963) based on The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. It was a faithful adaptation as far as the technology of the day allowed. Now, 54 years later, I still consider it the scariest movie I’ve ever seen. I was thrilled when it was available on Amazon a few years ago.

Another favorite of my youth was the Conan series by Robert E. Howard, which appeared in the 1930’s. Three movies have been made from it. I liked them all but have to admit the one with Jason Momoa as Conan is my favorite because, of course, Jason.

The movies from Salem’s Lot and The Shining by Stephen King were also fairly effective. Usually, however, movies from books fail (in my opinion) because they choose actors who don’t quite fit or change important factors. One example is a television show made from an urban fantasy series by Tanya Huff. The TV version turned my favorite male character into a very irritating young woman, and “updated” the vampire’s career from romance novelist to graphic artist. The same is true for the Janet Evanovich movie based on her Stephanie Plum series. I don’t know who those people were, but they were definitely not Stephanie, Morelli and Ranger.

The takeaway on this is that if you make a movie based on a vastly popular book, perhaps you need to put some thought into why it’s so popular before you consider any changes.