Film vs Novel – Hideaway

Psychically connected to a deranged killer… it certainly would have me wanting to hide away.

Hideaway Film vs Novel by Casey Carlisle
With another comparison from my favourite horror/suspense author Dean Koontz I’m taking a trip back nearly twenty years. His books, along with those written by Piers Anthony are what got me hooked to reading in earnest – and the first book-to-screen adaptations I’d seen. So, how does the 1995 film stack up against the novel?

I found the book much more menacing – where we had glimpses into the antagonists thoughts and his truly insane motives, where the film lacked that aspect. The novel spooked me, where the film did not. Additionally, the novel had another level to the storyline (which I won’t mention – spoilers) that didn’t work so much in the film. Yes it was dark, but lacked the struggle through the storyline to truly give you pay off to make your skin crawl.

In a period where horror movies were being churned out Stock, Aitken and Waterman-style, Hideaway wasn’t anything different and certainly did nothing to stand out of the crowd. Dean Koontz attempted to have his name removed from the credits because he was so disappointed in the film, and Dennis Quaid had his omitted from the project as head of the production company.

Hideaway pic 01 by Casey CarlisleAs a die hard Dean Koontz fan, I was able to forgive the shortcomings of the movie. The characters weren’t developed as much as their written counterparts. However having a stellar cast for the movie redeemed it from a ‘b-grade’ rating. Jeff Goldblum certainly added to the film experience, as did Alicia Silverstone. While the film remained true to the novel, it simply lacked depth. Characters were two-dimensional and typecast, and thus lost the spookiness from the book.

At the time of it’s release, I enjoyed the movie – though if it were re-made today with all the special effects and a love for darker stories and anti-heroes, I feel Hideaway would fare much better and finally do the novel some justice. There is some chatter of a television series based on Hideaway, which would be great to see executed, but I won’t hold my breath.

When I see movies that include mystics, fortune tellers or psychics, most of the time I cringe. They always come off as spoony and lose all the mystique that you get from reading the novel – and the tarot card reader in Hideaway was no exception. However, Hatch (played by Jeff Goldblum) managed to keep some integrity.

While the movie is entertaining, it fails to reach the intensity of the novel, so it’s another win for the written word from me!

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle
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