As I sit here writing this book versus movie of “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn I need to be honest with you, I did not finish the book. I only read one third of it.
And so this is where I will begin my review. The reason behind me not finishing the book is how it was written.
I first discovered Flynn’s work when I started reading “Gone Girl.” I had similar problems with how that was written because Flynn separates the book into chapters told by different characters.
Let me explain. With “Dark Places,” the story is told by the main character, Libby Day both past and present, her mom Patty Day and her brother Ben Day. “Gone Girl” was similarly separated.
This breaks up the story too much for me and made it a bit difficult to follow along.
On the flip side, another book by Flynn called “Sharp Objects” was not separated and I finished it in a week. I would have reviewed that but it has not been made into a movie. However, it is in the works to become a TV show.
The story behind “Dark Places” is intriguing. I would classify it as a murder mystery and I love a good murder mystery.
Without giving anything away, “Dark Places” focuses on Libby Day who is the lone survivor of a mass killing where her mom and two sisters were murdered. And her brother, Ben, was convicted of the murders.
Libby has been living off estate money and donations for a good 20 years or so but when the money starts to run out, she must do something.
She meets with a group called the Kill Club who is full of members obsessed with notorious crimes. The club wants Libby to come speak and they want her to look into the killings. They also work to convince Libby that her brother was not the killer although she testified as a 7 year old that he was. Their goal is to free Ben.
From the portion of the book I read, the movie follows along quite well. I’m sure there are some minor details that were either left out or added for theatrical reasons but for the most part it captured the story behind “Dark Places.”
With that said though, the movie was not that great.
Aside from big names who star in it including Charlize Theron as Libby, many did not know about the movie. It was released in summer 2015 to only 151 theaters and only brought in $86,000 at the box office versus the $38 million “Gone Girl” made in its first weekend at more than 3,000 theaters, according to an article in the Washington Post.
So why did Gillian Flynn’s “Dark Places” barely make an impact?”
From my research, it appears it was not an easy road for “Dark Places” to get to the big screen.
Apart from behind the scene struggles, the movie also follows the same hard to follow structure the book does. It spends time telling the story in the past and flashing forward to the present.
At times, the movie was slow and tended to drag on. I’m not sure if it was because I watched the movie late on a Friday or if it was the movie itself but I caught myself falling asleep through it.
The only plus I found when watching the movie is that it was less than two hours long.
I have enjoyed the story “Dark Places” tells and I do believe I will finish reading the book but out of the two, book or movie, I would suggest the book.
And after doing this comparison, I am excited for “Sharp Objects” to be told either as a TV show or movie. That is definitely a book worth reading.