Book vs. Movie – We Have Always Lived in the Castle

We Have Always Lived in the Castle
1964

VERSUS

We Have Always Lived in the Castle (film) - Wikipedia
2018

I listened to audiobook of the cult classic by Shirley Jackson last week and watched the movie with Taissa Farmiga, Alexandra Daddario, Crispin Glover, and Sebastian Stan last night on Netflix last night. I always try to be as spoiler free in these comparisons, but make no promises. Read at your own risk.

Story/Plot Merricat, an 18 year old girl, lives with her older sister, Constance, and her Uncle Julian in the big house at the top of the hill. Only Merricat ventures to the village for food and library books, with ridicule thrown at her every step of the way. Uncle Julian is wheelchair bound and sickly and through his ramblings we learn that Constance never leaves the house because she has been ostracized after she was acquitted of killing the rest of her family members six years earlier. One day cousin Charles arrives and the balance in the house shifts. Merricat, who has always practiced spells of protection, must find a way to get rid of Charles. The plot and storyline was virtually the same in both, EXCEPT for two major points near the end. I’m not going to spoil them. My husband didn’t read the book, but watched the movie with me and when I told him what the two differences were said, “Good. Those were the only two interesting parts of the whole movie.” He’s not totally wrong. I think the movie missed the mark by not having more narration by Merricat. Thumbs Up – Book

The Visual I think the movie stayed mostly true to the book, but I did picture it darker and and little more menacing considering the items Merricat was burying around the property for protection. Thumbs Up- Tie

Characters vs Actors Alexandra Daddario’s Constance was spot on. She channeled the vacuousness perfectly. Although, Farmiga did a fine job as Merricat, I don’t think the movie really showcased her because of the lack of narration I mentioned earlier. Being privy to more of Merricat’s thoughts would have benifited this character. There was more emphasis on Connie and Charles in the movie. Crispin Glover as Uncle Julian was fine and Sebastian Stan as Charles was really good, but the two big things they changed in the story did change the character. I’m still undecided if it was better or worse, just different. Thumbs Up – Book

The Ending Well, the two big changes near the end of the movie don’t really change the end. The ends are the same. Thumbs Up- Tie

And the easy winner is… the book!

Other book vs. movie polls you can still vote on: (Good Morning, Midnight/The Midnight Sky) (Before I Go To Sleep) (The Little Prince) (Charlie St. Cloud) (Far From the Madding Crowd(The Girl on the Train) (Tuck Everlasting)  (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (And Then There Were None) (Still Alice) (The Blind Side) (The Fault in Our Stars) (The Hound of the Baskervilles) (Gone Girl) (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)

3 thoughts on “Book vs. Movie – We Have Always Lived in the Castle

  1. Greg says:

    Oh wow I wasn’t familiar with this but now I kind of want to watch the movie (and cool that Sebastian Stan is in it). I’m really curious about this now! 🙂

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