Apophenia in 2020: Books vs. movies in my #allclassicsaugust

Once a year, I take a break from new fiction and read only "classic" literature in the month of August. In All Classics August 2020, I chose horror books that were written before 1990. I then watched the classic horror movies inspired by the books and compared them.

Most of these were #horrorbooks that had been on my list to read and/or watch for ages. Literally decades in some cases. It was satisfying to cross so many off my list, and to compare the classic movie with the classic book.

By biggest takeaway from this exercise would be the realization that the newer the movie adaptation, the further away from the source material (book) it strays. In reading the book and then following it up closely with watching the movie, movies like Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Dead Zone (1983) or The Amityville Horror (1979) tended to follow exactly the storyline of the book. In some cases, dialogue was even pulled directly from the text. While movies like The Woman in Black (2012) and I am Legend (2007) swapped out and changed essential elements of the original story.

I really began to notice this when I read The Haunting of Hill House, then watched both the 1963 and 1999 adaptations which are titled just The Haunting. In fact, you could throw in the Netflix series here to really make a point - in which the storyline of the series has nothing to do with the book except for the builder of the home the family lives in and the types of hauntings the family encounters.

Of course, the brain likes to make connections when there are not necessarily connections to be made (apophenia), so maybe I got this wrong. What do you think? Do you think this is a true movie vs. book trend? Let me know!

Below is the list of books I read for my 2020 #allclassicsaugust. The links will lead you to my Instagram posts, where you can ready my full review of the books. Have any of these been on your to-read list a long time? Do my ratings agree with yours?

#allclassicsaugust 2020 reading list


Rosemary's Baby

The Haunting of Hill House

The Dead Zone


I Am Legend and Other Stories

The Woman in Black

The Hellbound Heart (Hellraiser)




The Amityville Horror

The Castle of Otranto

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