There is this rule in the bookish community that I will always think is bogus and should be broken if you want to break it, and that is that you must always read the book before you watch the movie. I personally think that this is a silly rule because you can consume media in any way that you want to and there is no “right” or “wrong” way to do it (unless you’re stealing, then that’s definitely wrong).
There are many reasons why we watch movies based on books without having read the book like we didn’t know it was based on a book until later, we were too young to read the book when we first watched the movie (which is what happened when I first watched The Princess Diaries), or we may have absolutely no interest in reading the book at all. Which may be sacrilegious to some people, but is perfectly understandable to me. It is not a crime to not want to read the book that a movie is based on. How many people have read the book that Mean Girls is based on? Probably not that many because it’s based on a self-help guide.
Based on Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Although I know the story of Treasure Island, I’ve only seen one adaptation of it and that’s Muppet Treasure Island. Chances are, that’s not the most accurate adaptation, but neither is Treasure Planet, and that’s why I want to watch it. This is one of those Disney movies that came out when I was a small one but passed me by for one reason or another. Or maybe I have seen it and just forgot about it. Who knows.
I am a total sucker for beautiful 2D animation, and from what I’ve seen of this movie, this one is absolutely gorgeous. It really makes me mourn the days of 2D Disney movies because now they focus only on CGI instead. A beautiful drawing never ages, but CGI is always evolving so it will eventually look dated.
Will I read the book?: I already DNFd it a long time ago, I don’t think I’ll try again.
Based on the book by Susanna Kaysen
I’m not the biggest consumer of media that focuses on mental health, but this is a movie that I’ve wanted to watch for a very long time, not just because I love Winona Ryder, but because it’s from an entirely female perspective. I probably haven’t been looking hard enough, but a lot of mental health related things I’ve seen are from male perspectives (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Machinist, and It’s Kind of a Funny Story are a few that spring to mind), and because this movie is based on a memoir written by a woman who experienced being in a women’s mental health ward firsthand, it definitely interests me. Also, Winona. Of course.
Will I read the book?: No. I don’t read non-fiction books.
Based on the book by Stephen King
Do you know who one of the best living actresses is? Kathy Bates. I have yet to see anything that I think Kathy Bates has been terrible in (apart from that weird accent she did in AHS: Freak Show but she still gave an incredible performance) and this is the movie that she won an Oscar for. Legends only.
I’ve actually only seen one movie based on a Stephen King book – the 2017 It movie, which I watched on 12-hour flight in the dark while everyone else was asleep – but this is one that I really want to see because of the fact that Kathy Bates is in it, just like how I want to watch The Shining because of Jack Nicholson.
Will I read the book?: Possibly. I think this is one of the shorter King books, so I may give it a try in the future.
Based on the book by Neil Gaiman
This is one of two movies on this list that I do own on DVD, which means that I will obviously watch it. Eventually. I need to stop saving all of my spooky things for October and embrace the ‘Every Day is Halloween’ spirit.
I’ve seen a lot of high regard for this movie, which makes me want to watch it, but it also means that if I don’t like it I’ll be massively disappointed and also stuck with a DVD that I won’t want anymore. But, I am a sucker for stop-motion animation, which there should be more of these days instead of boring plastic CGI. Yes, I’m bitter.
Will I read the book?: Maybe? I’m not really sure because I don’t read middle grade but I do love dark spooky things.
Based on the book by Koji Suzuki
I’m mentioning both movies here because they’re basically the same, with Ring being the original adaptation and The Ring being the American remake of the original Japanese adaptation. I haven’t seen a lot of Japanese horror movies (unless the original Godzilla counts) because Asian horror, in general, is considered to be a million times scarier than Western horror, but this series is so iconic that I’m willing to give both versions a try. I do think that Japanese ghosts have been tainted by Western internet culture (the surefire way to make an “edgy/spooky” website for attention is to make everything in Japanese and have Japanese style ghosts pop up everywhere), but I want to see where those edgelords got their influences.
Will I read the book?: Yes! I’ve had it on my Kindle wishlist for a long time.
The Invisible Man (1931)
Based on the book by H.G. Wells
I have seen the remake of this movie which I hesitate to call a remake because it’s so different from the original, but I really want to see this version because I absolutely adore the Universal Monsters series. So much that I went to Universal Studios Hollywood at Halloweentime and then didn’t go to Halloween Horror Nights because I’m a baby.
From what I’ve heard, this movie is the Monster movie that is the most accurate book to movie adaptation, which does please me but it’s also a little disappointing because I don’t actually like my movie adaptations to be exactly the same as the book. If every movie adaptation was supposed to be copied and pasted directly from the book, authors would be the only people allowed to adapt books for the screen. And that doesn’t always work (*cough*stephen king*cough*).
Will I read the book?: Yes! This one’s pretty short.
The Silence of the Lambs
Based on the book by Thomas Harris
So far, I’ve read the first Hannibal Lecter book (and really liked it), and also watched some of the Hannibal TV series, but I haven’t watched any of the movies yet. Why? Because this is actually a series where I do want to read the books first. I’m not sure why, but that’s the way I started and I’m not changing that now. I do have The Silence of the Lambs on DVD and I will eventually watch it. But not before I’ve read the book. No matter how incredible Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster are.
Will I read the book?: Yes! I’ve owned the book for years so of course I’ll read it.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
Based on the book by Henry Farrell
I have fallen out of love with classic Hollywood in recent years after learning about how against diversity studio heads were and how they were forced into censorship by Christian fundamentalists (specifically Catholics and Presbyterians). But, there are still a lot of old movies that I do love and even more that I do want to watch, especially those that pushed boundaries at the time. Plus, I have this thing for controversial movies and movies that have been previously banned. It’s like how once you’re told to not do something, you suddenly have an urge to do it.
Will I read the book?: Yes! I’m always looking for an excuse to read more modern Gothic (yes, 1960s counts as modern in terms of literature).
A Scanner Darkly
Based on the book by Philip K. Dick
Two words: Keanu Reeves. I have nothing else to say.
Will I read the book: Meh, probably not. If I ever get into a classic sci-fi mood I’ll probably think about it.
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Based on the book by Gaston Leroux
If you haven’t guessed, I’m not talking about the movie that is based on the musical, which is based on the book. I don’t do musicals and I’ve suffered through having to listen to the songs being played way too loudly in the car all the way through my childhood. No thank you.
But anyway, this movie is a silent movie, and that doesn’t bother me one bit. I love the aesthetics of old horror movies, especially silent horror movies because they can be a million times creepier than a modern full-colour sound movie. Also, the book that this movie is based on is a Gothic novel, which means that it immediately goes on my TBR because if you’ve followed me over from my old blog, you’ll know how much I love Gothic anything.
Will I read the book?: Yes! It was actually on my TBR last year in October but I never got around to reading it. Oops.
talk to me!
Do you always read the book before watching the movie? Are there any movies you want to watch that you haven’t read the book of?