Tag: Classics

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! This is one of my favorite times of year: Everyone is happy, dressed up, and high on candy. We also had corn mazes, haunted houses, and cooler weather.  (Well not the cooler weather this year…)  Today Kim reviews The Exorcist and gives a video movie comparison! 

The Exorcist
Author: William Peter Blatty
Published: 1971
385 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Originally published in 1971, The Exorcist is now a major television series on FOX. It remains one of the most controversial novels ever written and went on to become a literary phenomenon: It spent fifty-seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, seventeen consecutively at number one. Inspired by a true story of a child’s demonic possession in the 1940s, William Peter Blatty created an iconic novel that focuses on Regan, the eleven-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C. A small group of overwhelmed yet determined individuals must rescue Regan from her unspeakable fate, and the drama that ensues is gripping and unfailingly terrifying.

Two years after its publication, The Exorcist was, of course, turned into a wildly popular motion picture, garnering ten Academy Award nominations. On opening day of the film, lines of the novel’s fans stretched around city blocks. In Chicago, frustrated moviegoers used a battering ram to gain entry through the double side doors of a theater. In Kansas City, police used tear gas to disperse an impatient crowd who tried to force their way into a cinema. The three major television networks carried footage of these events; CBS’s Walter Cronkite devoted almost ten minutes to the story. The Exorcist was, and is, more than just a novel and a film: it is a true landmark.

Purposefully raw and profane, The Exorcist still has the extraordinary ability to disturb readers and cause them to forget that it is “just a story.” The Exorcist remains an unforgettable reading experience and will continue to shock and frighten a new generation of readers.

Kim’s Review:

The perfect scary story for all horror fans! There aren’t too many that I can say that about, but with The Exorcist, I have no doubts. It is classic horror at its finest. I first listened to this book on audio back when I was working at the car dealership and I had to stop my work, take my headphones off, and check to make sure that the sun was still shining and I wasn’t alone in the office! It was that creepy! The movie is almost as good and will go down in history as one of the most classic and terrifying horror movies of all time. My mom has always said that we were never allowed to watch it and when she saw it in the theater when it first came out, she had nightmares and never really recovered from it. She’s avoided pretty much all horror ever since.

I wanted to read the physical book for a while and when I saw it at Barnes and Noble, the mood hit me and I started reading. Strangely enough, it’s an incredibly easy book to read. I read it in less than 48 hours and I lost a couple hours in between. I was absolutely engrossed. There is so much implied horror and that seems to be the scariest element within the story. The church desecration and terror of Merrin at the archeological dig in the Middle East are fascinating and terrifying. But the characterization of Regan while she is possessed and strapped to her bed is easily the most intense in the book. The little girl who is wasting away and sitting in her own vomit and excrement is one of the most powerful scenes I’ve ever read.

Father Karras might just be one of my favorite characters in literature. He’s comforting, sympathetic, empathetic, and likable all at once. Overall, The Exorcist is a book I believe every adult should read, even those who aren’t necessarily horror fans. This is also the perfect book to introduce the horror genre to those who have never tried it. I absolutely recommend it and the movie!


Kim’s Movie Comparison:

Purchase Links:
Novel
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Movie
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Whatever you do, have fun and be safe tonight! Me, I’ll be watching a scary movie after work!

Short Story Sunday: A Double Review of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery and Movie Comparison

Today Kim and I bring you a double review of Shirley Jackson’s classic short story The Lottery, and I also give a film comparison of the 1996 TV movie.

Author: Shirley Jackson
Published: June 26, 1948
Short Story

Short Story Description:

Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a memorable and terrifying masterpiece, fueled by a tension that creeps up on you slowly without any clear indication of why. This is just a townful of people, after all, choosing their numbers for the annual lottery. What’s there to be scared of?

Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Kim’s Review:

I love Shirley Jackson so much; she keeps getting better and better the more I read. The Lottery is one that sits quietly in anthologies and literature textbooks. We’ve all read it,  back in high school where we complained about the required reading. It wasn’t until I read it again as an adult that I really understood its value and potency. Everything about this story is unassuming, until you reach the end, when all hell breaks loose, but calmly and simply. And that’s how Jackson gets her readers. A little bit of discomfort here, a little bit of creepy there, but then when you see the bigger picture …mind blown. The Lottery is an extra layer of brilliance since the terror is hidden until Jackson is ready. You don’t see the problem until the end. And then, the goosebumps raise on your skin and the story sticks with you for days. Genius in every way!

Jessica’s Rating: 4 Stars
Jessica’s Review:

I read this one back in high school and really enjoyed the story.  As an adult I still enjoy it. What does that say about me???? LOL.  The Lottery is a classic short story and Shirley Jackson has influenced so many authors today. Not popular at the time it was written, The Lottery shows the mob mentality and how ‘tradition’ keeps going despite not knowing where it started and why it continues.  This short story moves at a quick pace and there are signs showing what is to come, but until you reach the end you don’t see it for what it is. 

This is one lottery you don’t want to win! I also realize that I need to read more by Shirley Jackson….


1996 TV Movie Comparison

Jessica’s Rating: 4 Stars

**I was unable to find a trailer of the movie, which is understandable as it was a tv movie.  I was able to find the movie poster**

I watched the tv movie version from 1996. I watched this as a teen and remember enjoying it and also enjoyed it as an adult. This version stars Dan Cortese (I have no idea who he is), Keri Russell (Felicity) , and William Daniels( Mr. Feeny!!!) Again, what does it say that I enjoyed this film?!?!?  I can’t help it that I enjoy dark situations that could actually happen! 

You can’t really compare this film to the short story: It takes Shirley Jackson’s story and brings it to present day (in 1996) and builds upon the story.  Jason Smith’s dad just passed away and there is a mystery to his mom’s death when he was a child. Jason’s father wanted his ashes poured over his wife’s grave, thus begins Jason’s journey to Small Town America (New Hope) and a journey he never expected, including a romance with a small town girl torn between family and tradition and an altogether possible different life. 

Despite the cheesiness of the Lifetime-esque movie, it still has aged relatively well and does the Shirley Jackson short story proud. 

Purchase Links:
short story

Amazon US
Amazon UK

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The Haunting of Hill House: Book Review and TV Series Comparison

Today Kim is bringing you a book review/Netflix TV show comparison of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson!  This classic was first released 60 years ago this week!

Author: Shirley Jackson
Published: October 16, 1959
260 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

Kim’s Review:
Ivan and I are weird horror freaks, that’s just the way we are. So when we find something scary, we run with it. Ivan’s brother suggested we watch The Haunting of Hill House tv show on Netflix so we did and it was amazing! Believe it or not, we did not consider it to be horror. There were definitely some scary elements, but it was mostly drama/mystery/thriller. I fell in love with Hill House and all the characters. Naturally, I wanted to read the book and see how it compared. Now, don’t get mad . . . Are you ready? I actually preferred the tv show over the book. I said DON’T get mad! Hear me out. Y’all know that I am not the deepest person in the world. Sometimes, in order for me to get things, you gotta spell it out pretty clearly. Shirley Jackson is definitely good at the horror element, it’s just that she is far more implied; whereas the tv show is more explicit in its horror.

I still love the book so much. Jackson managed to build up the tension so well that my shoulders kept creeping up towards my ears. I just kept waiting for the snap. My one real issue with the story is that I feel that the ending was a little anticlimactic, while I was reading it. Once I sat and considered for a while after, I liked it better. It also left a lot of questions, definitely on purpose and very well, but y’all know me, I like lots of answers and getting all the information and learning everything I possibly can.

Dang, this totally sounds like a negative review, but I promise it isn’t! I really enjoyed the book and I want to read it again later to see what I missed. The story itself was creepy and fascinating and the characters were all interesting and likable. Hill House is scary and you feel the “offness” on every page. I absolutely recommend it even to younger readers. A classic, chilling story that should satisfy most readers.


Netflix Comparison:

Kim’s Video Comparison:

 

Purchase Links:
Novel

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Season One of the TV Show:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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