Some of the most popular films over the past generations have been made from popular books. “The Fault in our Stars,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “The Hunger Games,” “Divergent” and “The Godfather” are just a few astronomically successful films based off novels. These films and more curated successful box office sales and some even made it to the Oscar’s.
A book with a tantalizing tale of adventures, spine tingling horror, or heart breaking romances can set the stage for the perfect film. Unfortunately, not all great books are turned into movies, even if they deserve to be.
Here are six books that need to be turned into movies as soon as possible:
1. “Harvest Home” By Thomas Tryon
In 1973, Thomas Tryon, an American actor turned novelist, released “Harvest Home.” After the acclaimed success of “The Other,” it was no surprise that his second book would gain success as well. “Harvest Home” provides the perfect foundation for a intense horror film.
“Harvest Home” centers around a family of three who recently moved to Cornwall Coombe, a town untouched by any sort of modernization of the times. Colonial homes, a large, white church, and a large common attracted Ned and Beth Constantine as well as their daughter to the town. It appeared to be a perfect place to raise the family.
Now, this was no safe haven. Cornwall Coombe quickly turned into a center of horror for the family. Once there, it was impossible for the family to get out. There are secrets, dark woods to be avoided at night and haunting traditions. “Harvest Home” has striking similarities to “Midsommar”, a film that gained massive success in 2019 that depicted a eerie Swedish cult. “Harvest Home” could easily build off the success of that 2019 cultish horror novel, while telling a different tale of old America in a modern world.
2. “In a Dark Dark Wood” by Ruth Ware
“In the dark, dark wood, there was a dark, dark house. And in the dark, dark house, there was a dark, dark room. And in the dark, dark room, there was a dark, dark cupboard.” This nursery rhyme is one that sends shivers down the spine, and was used by Ruth Ware to send that same shiver with her book. “In a Dark Dark Wood,” titled after that nursery rhyme, is a bone chilling page turner, that is nearly impossible to put down until it is finished.
The story centers around Nora, a writer who lives alone in her apartment in London. One afternoon she receives an email regarding a childhood’s best friend’s hen day. This friend, Clare, is one she hasn’t spoken to in 10 years ever since she left school and never looked back. Why was she invited? After 10 years of nothing, why would she possibly be invited to such a monumental day?
Soon, the reader realizes her purpose for attending is not as innocent as one may think. The weekend, meant for celebration of love, turns into an earth shattering event that no one could see coming. Ware creates a story that would fit perfectly on the silver screen, and would leave viewers in a trance of suspense until the credits rolled down.
3. “Sunshine” by Norma Klein
Tragedy is a real aspect of many lives. However, those trying times can be turned into pieces of inspiration, to help others understand the pain that some have to go through. A perfect example of a novel that could be turned into a masterpiece of a film is “Sunshine.” The book was published in 1974, is based on the true story of young mother with terminal cancer. The story, pulled from the real mother’s tape recorded diary she created to share her journey with her husband and baby upon her passing, depicts grief, love, pain and moving on.
Made into a made for tv film back in the 70’s, Klein’s novel is deserving of motion picture deal. Not only is it based on a real mothers struggle with terminal cancer, it will take the audience into the mind of a parent, and how she spreads sunshine and light everyday, despite the circumstances. It is a beautifully heartbreaking story that deserves to be on the big screen.
4. “The Cellar” by Natasha Preston
The best kind of films are those that keep you on the edge of your seat. The adrenaline should be coursing through your veins as you anxiously wait for the ending. Finally, when that conclusion comes, it feels like you were just on a roller caster with a never ending drop.
It can be difficult to find this feeling with books, but Natasha Preston’s “The Cellar,” does exactly that. “The Cellar” follows a 16 year old girl, Summer Robinson, who is plucked from a world of innocence and security. Robinson appears to have vanished in thin air, and her case begins to run cold.
However, Summer Robinson is being held captive in a basement with other girls. Her kidnapper, Colin is developed into a sick man who considers the girls to be more than family; they are his precious flowers. The reader follows Robinson through her months in captivity, and painstakingly prays for someone to rescue her and the other “flowers.” Will the girls make it out alive? Or will some perish once their stems are cut?
This tale is stock full of tantalizing suspense that leaves readers at the edge of their seats. Like the other books, this one is perfect for the suspenseful movie genre.
5. “Jackaby” by William Ritter
As mentioned earlier, real life tragedies can be moving to watch or read. But sometimes, as much as you may want to cry while watching a movie, comedy is just as needed. With a touch off mystery, magic and a British detective in 1800’s England, “Jackaby” is perfect for that comic relief.
Abigail Rook meets Jackaby while desperately searching for a job in the new city she has moved to. Through the eyes of Rook, we see her adapt to Jackaby’s highly unusual detective techniques. We learn that he has a keen eye for the supernatural, and is able to see the unexplained. The book centers are a particular spree killing. The police believe it is a serial killer and nothing more. Jackaby however has a different idea on not who but what this killer may be. With cheeky humor in a very macabre setting, this book should be highly considered for an adaptation.
6. “Go Ask Alice” by Beatrice Sparks
First published in 1971, this “anonymous” style diary book spread like wildfire. It haunted parents and teenagers alike as they read the downhill spiral of a young girl to drugs. The novel is split up in diary entry format, and written in the voice of a young girl during this time period.
In the book, Alice writes about having a drink laced with LSD at a party. She instantly became hooked to that electrifying feeling. She went from her comfortable lifestyle to somewhere completely different, all because of one bad night. Enter her mind and read the words she left behind as she spirals out of control.
“Go Ask Alice” turned into a series, with other books depicting eating disorders, relationship abuse and a variety of drug addictions. They are intense stories that display the affects of societal pressures on teenagers, and how their lives can be destroyed in an instant.
This book and the others in the series would be perfect for a film. Not as health class propaganda, but as a true depiction of the affects these drugs and eating disorders have on our youth.
Time to get These Books on Film
When looking at these books, it is obvious that these are not the only novels that deserve the recognition of being turned into films. However, these seven represent a diverse type of novels, from horror, to true stories, to macabre humor, to Italian romances. These novels have the groundwork for amazing movies, and deserve to how their stories told through the big screen. Hopefully this is sometime soon.
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