I've said it before and I will say it again, books reign supreme in the story telling department. Unless, that is, the author himself makes the movie come to life.
Recently the trailer for 'A Good Marriage' was released, and it made this horror-phile's heart skip a beat. Not because it looked incredibly awesome (which it does), or because it's a great short story (which it is), but mainly because the master of Horror penned the screenplay himself!
That's right folks, Stephen King not only wrote the final short story in the collection of 'Full Dark No Stars', but the screenplay as well. That fact alone is why my spidey sense is tingling in excitment, because I know it will be one hell of a film.
To date, more of King's novels and stories have been turned into films more than anyone else, and frankly there is a reason for that. His books are pure magic. I started with Pet Semetary in eighth grade, and over the last (um, lets say 20-something years) I have pretty much read everything by him I could get my hands on. Except Salem's Lot... even by Stephen King I cannot stomach a vampire novel.
When you look back over all the movies that have been made since Carrie and The Shining hit the big screens back in the late 70s and early 80s, there are a few standouts that leave you not only wanting more, but making a beeline to the nearest book store to read the story in its original form.
The funny part? MOST of those incredible adaptations stem from short stories. Just take a look:
Stand by Me
'The Body' (published in Different Seasons)
The Shawshank Redepmtion
'Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption' (also published in Different Seasons)
The Green Mile
'The Green Mile' published in a series of books barely larger than one of his short stories.
Of course, some of the book adaptations were great, but they don't exactly hold to the test of time. Carrie was great for back in the day, and even watching today holds a bit of nostalgic charm. The Shining, however, does not. No offence to Jack and Olive Oil, but what Stanley Kubrick did to that story was down right dreadful.
Now, as we sit and wait for The Stand to get a reboot, and all the talk about will they or won't they make a Dark Tower film, I say, just stick to the shorts, because really, they will make the absolute best films.
If you'll excuse me, I know have an overwhelming urge to watch Shawshank, again, for like the one billionth time.