Not As Good As The Book

“It’s not as good as the book” is a popular phrase when it comes to movies based on novels, but I’ve got a little problem with that phrase. I get it, really I do. But the problem is, if it’s as fleshed out as the book it probably won’t be a good ‘movie’. Clive Barker’s movies are mostly cult classics. Hellraiser will never be forgotten. But they weren’t necessarily good movies.

They were cool, but not “good” cinema… you know? His books are fucking epic, but the films he directed… just fall short in terms of how they match up to other films. Cinema is a different art form, and though a story might be the same from one form to the next, the medium you’re using should be taken into account. Case in point being The Midnight Meat Train.

To me, that was a proper movie. It will also never be a cult classic, imo.

Movies and books are simply different art forms, and you can approach it in different ways… But there’s such a thing as respecting your medium.  The Avengers franchise Marvel is building? I don’t know about you, but I’m liking it so far. The renaissance television is going through with Breaking Bad, Fargo, Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story, and other shows of the like…

Game of Thrones is a good case in point. So is Dexter.

There are ways to respect a given medium while also doing the story justice.



4 thoughts on “Not As Good As The Book

  1. I’ve had a lot of discussions like this with friends over the years. Personally, I feel that the story has to be different when it goes from one mode of storytelling (prose) to another (movie). No one tells a story the same way between theater, cinema, prose, or comic format. Doing a direct move will result in bad story (take Frank Miller’s “Sin City” for example).

    So I agree that the story can be done justice when it moves to a different means of storytelling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think a lot of the problems arise when the idea of staying true to a story gets mixed up with satying true to the story as it was originally presented. It’s not something I talk about a whole lot with anyone, but I saw a post a while back that got me thinking about it.


    • Yep, same here. And… I don’t think every bac movie is necessarily bad art, just not very good in the cinematic sense… For example, I think it’d be interesting to see a cinematic, well-funded version of Hellraiser.


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