World Book Day is upon us once again, and while I don't want to take anyone away from their books, I thought that it would be nice to have something to suggest to you when you take a break from your reading, or if you don't partake in the occasional book, maybe one of the films below will spark your interest.
Netflix has something for everyone this World Book Day, kids and adults alike, and whether you're into the classics, modern thrillers, horror, or classics for the kids, you'll surely find something that tickles your fancy.
The undisputed king (no pun intended) of horror is well represented by some classic adaptations of his work, as well as some Netflix originals that arrived late last year. Brian De Palma's version of "Carrie" (1976) has never been bettered despite numerous attempts (including a 2002 remake and a sequel in 1999 - which are also both available on Netflix). Rob Reiner's "Misery", which won one of its stars, Kathy Bates, a rare academy award for a performance in a horror film, remains an all-time classic King adaptation. Specific scenes and scenarios have become part of everyday life. Whenever someone says "I'm your number one fan" in a mock-sinister voice, that's Misery.
"Gerald's Game" and "1922" were released straight to Netflix in the shadow of the cinema release of "It" but both are very worthy films in their own right. "Gerald's Game" draws a terrific performance from Carla Gugino who carries the film through all it's unusual, and sometimes horrific, twists and turns. "1922" is more of a dark, introspective drama, about a father who commits a terrible act in what he feels is in the best interest of his son, only to find himself haunted by it. Thomas Jane seems to do his best work in movies based on King books (like "The Mist") and he's fantastic in this too.
From Friday the 2nd of March, when the first adaptation of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" starring Noomi Rapace is added to Netflix, it will mean that all four movie adaptations will be available to stream for the first time. This series is made up of the three original Swedish versions which were all released in 2009 and David Fincher's version which was released in 2011.
This pair of films perfectly captures both sides of what makes Roald Dahl's books so special. One shows his ability to create a sense of wonder, and the other, his irreverent sense of humour. "The BFG", directed by Steven Spielberg, is a big special effects extravaganza but only works if the relationship between Sophie and the BFG is believable, which it is in this film. "Fantastic Mr. Fox" from Wes Anderson is a stop-motion animation film that was a painstaking process for all involved but is a lot of fun even if some of the jokes might go over the kid's heads.
In terms of classics of the past, and some more modern ones, Netflix has you covered as well. Based on Harper Lee's seminal work, the film version of "To Kill a Mockingbird" is a classic in every sense. Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" adaptation pulls together an all-star cast in Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant in a film which earned Emma Thompson an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Another film that was nominated in that category is Stephen Frear's "Philomena", based on the true story of a woman whose son was taken from her in a convent laundry in 1950's Ireland. It features excellent performances from both Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. Lastly, and probably the toughest of the bunch, is the film version of John Boyne's book "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" which tells the story of two boys from completely different walks of life who bond despite being on the opposite sides of a concentration camp fence.
All these films, and more films based on books like "Gone Baby Gone", "Matilda", "The Road", and "Howard's End", are available to stream and download right now on Netflix UK and Ireland.
*Disclaimer: I'm a member of the Netflix Stream Team and for this, I receive a complimentary subscription. All opinions are my own.