Don’t get me wrong my horror fan friends, I’m not ready to start spitting out any horror fan blasphemy. We all know that Stephen King is the master of modern day horror and I love many of the films based on his horror classics. That being said, if you haven’t been reading Dean Koontz for the last 40 years then you’ve been missing out.
In my opinion Dean Koontz is the most intense and consistently thrilling author I’ve ever come across. I would equate his better works to the films of the Italian giallo masters. Anyone who loves both authors knows that comparing the two is apples and oranges. The difference between Koontz and King (besides about 300 fewer pages of description per novel) is that King writes mostly wild and unbound imaginative horror where Koontz mostly writes about the good and evil in the hearts of men… and yes, psychopaths, tons and tons of the best psychopaths ever. Even though a few of Koontz works have made it onto film (Servants of Twilight, Watchers, Phantoms, Hideaway) he’s been vastly overlooked over the years and most of his best novels haven’t made it to the big screen. Below are ten out the 70 Koontz books that I have read, some mind blowing works of thrilling literature that I think would make some truly awesome films.
1. By the Light of the Moon (2002)
Dylan O'Connor is attacked by a mysterious doctor, injected with a strange substance, and told he is now a carrier of something that will either kill him or transform his life. He is told he must flee before the doctor's enemies hunt him down. No one can help him, the doctor says, not even the police. Soon, Dylan and his brother Shep meet Jillian Jackson, who is also a carrier. Now the three are on the run together, but with no idea whom they're running from--or why. What this unfathomable power is, how they can use it to stop the evil erupting all around them, and why they have been chosen are only parts of a puzzle that reaches back into the tragic past and the dark secrets they all share: secrets of madness, pain, and untimely death. Perhaps the answer lies in the eerie, enigmatic messages that Shep, with precious time running out, begins to repeat, about an entity who does his work “by the light of the moon.”
2. Cold Fire (1991)
A deeply mysterious man rushes to faraway places and somehow manages to save people from the brink of death. When confronted by a sharp reporter, he admits to having a gift and feels he must save people. At the same time he also sees something far worse. Something dark and sinister that is coming and that is at the root of his gift that he (and the reporter) must somehow confront and destroy--before it destroys them.
3. Fear Nothing (1998)
Christopher Snow is different from all the other residents of Moonlight Bay, different from anyone else you've ever met. Christopher Snow has made a strange peace with a rare genetic disorder shared by 1,000 other Americans--a disorder that leaves him extremely vulnerable to the light. Christopher knows the night as no one else ever will or can. But his freedom is suddenly, tragically, infringed upon, after he witnesses a murder in the night that only he can solve.
4. Lightning (1988)
A storm struck on the night Laura Shane was born, and there was a strangeness about the weather that people would remember for years. Through every part of her life, a guardian angel is present saving a woman's life or simply protecting her from harm. Was he the guardian angel he seemed? The devil in disguise? Or the master of a haunting destiny beyond time and space? Now, as an adult with a young son, she finally learns the identity and dark secrets of the guardian angel-man and why he must keep her alive.
5. Night Chills (1976)
Night chills plague a small town. The inhabitants seem to have gone crazy, performing unspeakable acts of horror on themselves as a result of the chills. Incredibly, the origins of this plague comes from scientists, for it is an experiment of the human mind. Now, the whole truth is coming out and the truth is much more frightening than anything you could have ever imagined.
6. Relentless (2009)
Cubby Grenwich is a best-selling novelist. Cubby has been married for years to a author/illustrator, and they have a young son named Milo (nicknamed Spooky) and a dog named Lassie. They lead an unremarkable, unstressful life, until the day a reviewer gives a "snarky, ugly, nasty review" of Cubby's new book. Cubby eventually discovers that the reviewer is the "psychopath of all psychopaths" ... and then he meets the reviewer's mother.
7. The Bad Place (1990)
Frank Pollard is afraid to fall asleep. Every morning he awakens, he discovers something strange - like blood on his hands. A bizarre mystery that tortures his soul. Detective team Bobby and Julie Dakota agree to investigate where Frank goes when he sleeps. They encounter an ominous figure stalking Frank and ultimately learn that bad places exist in the world of the living; places so steeped in evil that, in contrast, death seems almost a relief. But only one person - a young man with Down's syndrome - can imagine where their journeys might end: that terrible place from which no one ever returns...The Bad Place.
8. The Face Of Fear (1977)
Graham Harris is a former mountain-climbing enthusiast and a clairvoyant. While on a television program, he psychically 'sees' the latest murder of the Butcher, a serial killer. Now the Butcher targets Harris and his girlfriend Connie Davis as his next victims. While New York detective Ira Preduski tries to uncover the Butcher's identity, Harris and Davis must escape from the killer, who has trapped them in a 40 story skyscraper.
9. The Vision (1977)
Mary Bergen is a clairvoyant, able to foresee murders that will happen in the near future, but unable to prevent them from taking place. But, now she is up against a power stronger than her own, a power that is taking over her and trying to kill her before she can identify it.
10. Velocity (2005)
Bill Wile is an easygoing, hardworking guy who leads a quiet, ordinary life. But that is about to change. One evening, after his usual eight-hour bartending shift, he finds a typewritten note under the windshield wiper of his car. If you don't take this note to the police and get them involved, I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher. If you do take this note to the police, I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work. You have four hours to decide. The choice is yours. Suddenly Bill's average, seemingly innocuous life takes on the dimensions and speed of an accelerating nightmare.
Well my horror fan friends that's it for now. Tell me your favorite Koontz book that should be made into a movie.