The Turn of The Screw: Novella vs Movie

So I recently finished the novella of The Turn of the Screw. My IRL book club chose Horror as our genre pick for this wpid-wp-1436966528200.jpegquarter. I enjoy horror from time to time but I have never actually sat down and read more than one or two horror books at a time. The idea of scaring someone through a written story though has always fascinated me, it’s a skill that I will probably never master. I love Stephen King’s early work (Salem’s Lot is still one of the scariest things I’ve ever read), creepy pasta, etc. So when we picked Horror I decided to try a little bit of everything Horror. A classic, a pop culture horror, short stories, YA horror, MG & children’s horror, etc.
TotS was my classic horror pick as its short and has creepy kids, something that gets me every time. I enjoyed it on a number of levels. I enjoyed the return to a classic style of prose and the classical world of the story. It was creepy but not overly scary and something different. It didn’t blow my mind but I had a good time with it. So I thought my husband, our roommate and I could watch one of the many adaptations. We like to watch the occasional scary movie as a group and then turn on all the lights in the house like children. I picked the BBC version. It was a poor choice.
image       The saying holds very true here: “The book was better than the movie”. I strongly disliked the movie. The acting and score were the best parts. I just did not enjoy the way it was written for screen. It took place in an entirely different era, the narrator’s situation outside the story was entirely different, characters I enjoyed and who had strong roles previously were rewritten, and the subtle Gothic themes that the story captured so well were almost nonexsistant for me.
I think my biggest problem was the unnecessary overtly sexual tones and themes inserted. Sex scenes for no reasons and a twist to the spirits that took their haunting from a ‘Creepy and weird obsession’ to a haunting that was very sexual in nature. Perhaps I missed that entirely from the novella, maybe I’m crazy, but I felt it was a weird and uncomfortable shift. The movie wasn’t spooky any more, it was awkward and uncomfortable.
I just simply did not like how it became a story of sexual corruption and abuse instead of a haunting. Maybe I missed something but I’m extremely dissatisfied.
Overall if you have read the story and enjoyed I do not recommend the BBC adaptation. If you enjoyed the BBC adaptation you may not like the story. Has anyone else read and seen them? If so let me know, am I crazy?

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