Some people have a hidden darkness inside, and others are just evil in a human suit!
Being a huge fan of Dean Koontz, I find his books comforting in a familiar way, he always has interesting characters, and most of the time it’s easy to visualise a movie created in your minds eye straight from his easy read narration. If I had to rate the book, I’d have given it three out of five kisses. While it was not anything new (with elements of previous stories evident in it’s composition,) left me feeling like I’d read it before. But it is darkly comic and filled with witty banter to keep you grinning from start to end.
The movie, in turn, remained true to the tone set in the novel, although more upbeat and focused more on the irony so that it would have broader appeal. If it had included a lot of the darker aspects in the book – like the backstory of Odd’s parents – I can see how it would have not only interrupted momentum, but killed the delicate tone of the film. So too would the inclusion of Ghost Elvis – in the novel he complimented the narrative well, but if transposed onto the big screen, would have been seen as camp.
A new aspect to Odd’s character, psycometry, was introduced in the film production as a tool for presenting information to the viewer, and this by no means subtracted from the experience. I can see how it replaced the information dumping and internal monologue from the book. It was a very clever way to get the information across without distracting from the fast pace of the story.
The special effects in the movie by far surpassed the visuals I’d dreamt up as I read the book. The addition of one of my favourite actors, Anton Yelchin, had me jumping with joy – he is such delicious goodness! The person I’d imagined from the printed page had been much more clean cut and nondescript, so Yelchin’s interpretation of Odd greatly enhanced my appreciation for ‘Odd Thomas.’
His co-star, Addison Timlin as Stormy was great in the role, however the version I had in my head was a little more sexy–girl-next-door; but that comes down to personal preference on physical attributes and her performance embodied everything that Stormy was in the novel right down to the tenor of the dialogue (and charades) of Odd’s journey to save the town of Pico Mundo.
It’s a pity that the film production was marred with contractual and budgetary problems, delaying it’s release and marketing campaign, leading to straight-to-DVD release in some countries. I felt it deserved more fanfare, the issues surrounding production and release consequently hobbled any chance of the franchise being picked up… This adaptation is one of the better creations in the world of book-to-movie transitions.
I’d have to say that in comparing the value of both the book and the film it’s a strong tie with me. While the movie was a visual feast, the novel delves into the underlying darkness and its insatiable thirst to pollute everything around it.
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