‘Dark Places’ Movie- A spot-on adaptation

28 Sep
Poster via IndieWire Blog

Poster via IndieWire Blog

My eAudio came in the same week I saw a movie advert for this on Goodreads. It was like fate. And then my friend Nicole texted me and wanted to see it. Double fate. So I rushed through the audio (with thanks to Bout of Books) and saw the movie a few days later. Win.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Sticking to the Book. I think the screenwriters did a really good job of sticking to the book. As I listened to it on audio, I had odd deja vu of having heard the lines already. There were parts taken out, yes, but for the most part, I felt like I was watching the book play out on screen.

Ben as an adult. In the book, he seemed to ‘soft’ to have been in jail almost 25 years. He seemed young and naive still, which is the opposite of how I would imagine someone in jail for that long. In the movie, his anger came across really well and he looked rough and like someone I believed had been in jail for a long time.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

The cross. This made the connection between Diondra and the Day’s a lot more visual. It wasn’t a big thing that was over-shown at the beginning but I remembered it when it came up again at the end. It was better for the movie.

Taking out Michelle’s diaries. This ties into the point above here. Michelle’s diaries were very ingrained in her personality and there’s not enough time in a movie to engrain that in the plot. It was set up well, slowly and fundamentally, and it couldn’t be done in the movie. I’m glad the screenwriters didn’t try.

No ‘Free Day’ organization. If there’s a scene that was going to be taken out, I’m glad it was this one. I don’t think it did much for the plot. It cast more doubt on Runner, but in the end, that wasn’t needed. It did give Libby the motivation to track him down, but I think he was next on her list anyway. And it made me really dislike most of the women in the story, something Flynn has a habit of doing.

No gross images. There were references in the book to pictures of Libby’s sisters from the crime scene and talk about mangled corpses and brain matter. The movie didn’t show these and I’m really glad it was taken out. That wasn’t something I needed to see. Having someone read me passages about it was bad enough.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

A lot of Runner’s backstory. In the book, he was a likely suspect and a lot of people in the Kill Club thought he was guilty. We didn’t get a lot of that with the movie. Runner was a shady guy to be sure, but a lot of the foreshadowing before Libby met him was toned down. I understand that the movie needed to be compressed, but I thought this lost a viable scapegoat for the Free Day Society’s anger.

Things That Changed Too Much

Krissy Kates. It wasn’t enough. Lyle thought Lou Kates did it and in the book, that seemed like a logical choice because of how big the Krissy Kates thing was the day of the murders. The scenes of Ben going to clean the school in the morning were cut. So he wasn’t acting suspiciously around the locker room and no teacher saw him sneaking around and being aroused near Krissy’s classroom. Those things would be very damning and would point to Krissy being molested like she claimed and would fuel Lou’s anger. But it was all gone and I felt that Krissy’s plot was a weak point of the movie.

Reader, I’m dying to know what you think. What did you think of the Dark Places movie? Do you think Sharp Objects will be made into a film? Was there anything else you would add to my lists?

Until next time, write on.

2 Responses to “‘Dark Places’ Movie- A spot-on adaptation”

  1. laurelrainsnow September 28, 2015 at 11:48 AM #

    I read Dark Places in 2013, so by the time I saw the movie this year, the details were blurred enough that I could just go with the flow as the images filled the screen. Even as I reread the review I wrote, I am satisfied with how the story was portrayed on screen. Thanks for sharing.


    • Sam September 28, 2015 at 5:16 PM #

      Glad you agree. I’m always scared of movie adaptations but this one was quite good. Theron was a good casting choice for Libby b


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