Horror author Dean Koontz may not be quite as notorious as his competitive Stephen King, but he also has innumerable movie modifications of his bestsellers that series from immense to subpar. Despite selling millions of tales in his many decades as a novelist, like Goosebumps founder RL Stine, Dean Koontz has never fairly been able to fully emerge from the shadow of horror colossus King. Carrie builder King has remained the given name in repugnance myth since 1974, but the equally prolific Koontz has actually been writing for longer than his nearest rival.
Koontz’s first tale was published back in 1968, and since then he has churned out dozens of standalone volumes as well as several story streaks. Perhaps part of what induces King the more popular creator in the eyes of the public, despite Koontz sharing his status as a bestseller, is the fact Koontz’s work has not produced as countless blockbuster modifications as Stephen King’s( although King does have some flops to his word like 2003 ’s Dreamcatcher ). However, it may surprise some supporters of Koontz to discover the writer’s work has actually been adapted to the screen numerous experiences, to varying degrees of success.
A television movie adaptation of Intensity starring Scrubs’ John C. McGinley is widely believed to have influenced Alexandre Aja’s unbearably tense Haute Tension, for example. This position proves the favourite columnist has been no slouch when it comes to big-screen modifications either.
Starring Jeremy Sisto of Clueless fame as a serial-killing Satan worshipper, Hideaway is about as successful at conjuring up scares as the beginning of this sentence may imply. Koontz himself disliked this convoluted adjustment of his duty, which is a shame when Jurassic Park’s Jeff Goldblum has some banal merriment playing the movie’s hero. Goldblum is the unfortunate motorist who forges a clairvoyant connection with the aforementioned murderer when he is restored after a car accident, but tragically Hideaway doesn’t obligate much employ of this narcissism. Outside of an early turn from Alicia Silverstone, there’s next to nothing to recommend in this critically dismissed adaptation.
Whispers was largely ascribed with starting Koontz’s vocation as an author after years of producing primarily unread sci-fi fare. Unfortunately, this toothless 1990 movie adaptation fails to capture the novel’s creepy intensity. The narrative of the status of women repeatedly targeted by a presumably dead murderer, Whispers boastings a killer premise and a stellar supporting co-star in Fright Night’s Chris Sarandon. Despite this pedigree, there’s not much to recommend about this forgettable slasher.
Originally entitled Twilight Koontz’s 1984 novel abides no relation to Stephenie Meyer’s infamously cheesy paranormal fantasy saga of the same name. Koontz’s book, faithfully changed as the 1991 movie Servants of Twilight, follows the story of a woman plagued by religion members who believe her child is the son of Satan. If that sounds like over-explored horror territory, that’s because it is. Despite a solid central recital from a perpetually distressed Belinda Bauer, this one is a thrill-free effort that expends the resources novel’s interesting inversion of The Omen’s plot.
1998’s Phantoms pictured Koontz pick up a pen to script this cruelty whodunit, wherein the small town of Snowfield is wiped out by an unnoticed cruelty impel. With an intriguing proposition, an ensemble that includes screen veteran Peter O’Toole, Ben Affleck and Scream standout adept Rose McGowan, and Koontz’s involvement, this one seemed positioned for success. Nonetheless, eliding the novel’s signs to H.P. Lovecraft made away the story’s fear factor extremely, and although it’s not fateful, there’s not much to recommend in the thinly-plotted, overlong Phantoms.
Bizarrely( given how all-American many of Koontz’s tales, reputations, and recurring themes are ), the first movie change of the writer’s work came from France. 1977 ’s The Passengers checks The Track director Serge Leroy relocate the action of Koontz’s simple-but-brutally-effective 1973 story Shattered. The story and its modification both follow a father and his stepson “whos doing” beset by an unhinged driver and must drive for their lives in a passable shoot movie that regrettably fails to match the freeway-set thrills of Steven Spielberg’s classic thriller Duel from 1971.
Based on one of Dean Koontz’s most popular horror novels, the 1988 adjustment of Watchers can’t relatively faithfully recreate the wizard of the source novel’s twisty “a boy and his hyper-intelligent dog” story. However, this fun b-movie from Alligator II director Jon Hess does boast an agreeably goofy’ 80 s movie demon, a charming central recital from late teenages star Corey Haim, and some solid hammy supporting wreak from genre icon Michael Ironside. The movie too spawned a string of STV sequels, with Watcher 4 performing Mark Hamill.
Directed by Performance’s Donald Cammel, Demon Seed may not match that trippy movie’s severity but this tale of a apparently excellent A.I. mansion that soon travels berserk and nets a panic-struck Julie Christie is an undeniably effective sci-fi movie. Memorable enough to earn a charade from The Simpsons’ annual “Treehouse of Horror” Halloween specials( wherein the house is played by Pierce Brosnan ), this solid sci-fi horror mixes the wit of The Stepford Wives with an uncomfortably merciless spin on 2001: A Space Odyssey’s self-aware AI.
Benefitting from a typically exquisite turn by the late, immense Anton Yelchin in the name part, 2013 ’s Odd Thomas is comfortably the very best of Koontz’s screen adjustments so far. Infused with quirky humor and a fast pace, Odd Thomas tells the tale of the titular clairvoyant who can see the dead and vanquish immorality but would rather eke out an existence as a small-town chef instead. A flash of Ash Vs the Evil Dead-style humor sees The Mummy director Stephen Sommers turn this into a stellar Dean Koontz adaptation, while Yelchin’s significant charm carries the action-horror-comedy to success despite some tonal incongruity. Between this, Green Room and the wildly underrated Fright Night remake from 2011, Yelchin’s tragically short-lived job nonetheless managed to leave an indelible score on the history of screen horror.
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