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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

‘Books of Blood’: So Which Clive Barker Stories Does Hulu’s Anthology Film Adapt?

Advertised as being “From the Nightmares of Clive Barker,” Hulu’s upcoming anthology film Books of Blood is inspired by the six volumes of “Books of Blood” short horror fiction collections that Barker penned between 1984 and 1985, but you may be wondering – even after seeing the trailer yesterday – which of Barker’s stories the film is actually adapting.

Over the years, several stories from Barker’s “Books of Blood” have been adapted for the screen, most notably “The Forbidden” (which became Candyman) as well as “Rawhead Rex” and “The Midnight Meat Train.” “The Book of Blood” and “On Jerusalem Street” were turned into feature film Book of Blood in 2009, the same year “Dread” became a feature film as well, and Barker himself adapted “The Yattering and Jack” for the anthology series “Tales from the Darkside” back in the late ’80s. 1997’s Quicksilver Highway adapted “The Body Politic,” and the Barker-directed Lord of Illusions back in 1995 was based on the short story “The Last Illusion.”

But even if Barker’s “Books of Blood” have been mined in various ways over the years, there are still many tales from the books that have yet to make their way onto the screen. Enter Hulu and Brannon Braga (“The Orville”), who had been set to adapt various Barker tales in the form of a “Books of Blood” anthology series. That’s how the project was originally announced, at least, but somewhere along the line the decision was made to instead roll a small handful of stories into one anthology movie, titled Books of Blood and arriving in October.

Hulu’s plot synopsis indicates that the film “follows a journey into uncharted territory through three tales tangled in space and time,” and it’s clear based on the trailer that Braga and the team have once more adapted the short story “The Book of Blood” for inclusion in the anthology film. And that makes sense, as the story was used by Barker as the framing device for the entire “Books of Blood” saga; Hulu’s film, it would seem, is using it in the same way.

The story centers on a psychic researcher who hires a medium to investigate a haunted house. He ultimately becomes the “book of blood,” with words carved into his flesh by ghosts.

Alas, it looks like “The Book of Blood” is the only story from Barker’s collections that was actually adapted for Hulu’s movie. In a chat with Robert Irvine Magazine earlier this year, Brannon Braga noted that the other two stories are brand new originals, not present in the “Books of Blood” collections. The good news? Clive Barker did help conjure the stories up.

Braga explained, “So, the movie, which was written by Adam Simon and me — and based on one original story from Books of Blood and two new stories that Clive and I came up with along with Adam — make up the movie. And the three stories are kind of independent, but they cross pollinate each other. We kind of call it the Pulp Fiction of horror. Terrible comparison because it’s not going to be nearly that movie, but it has that kind of structural vibe.”

The Official Clive Barker Website, meanwhile, teases character details that provide some more insights into the new stories that Braga, Simon and Barker cooked up for the film.

  • Anna Friel as Mary – “A brilliant, beautiful psychologist who has gained fame as a skeptic that debunks all theories or beliefs that are not solely scientifically based. She loses her 7-year-old son to leukemia and then meets Simon who becomes her lover and convinces her that he speaks for her dead child.”
  • Britt Robertson as Jenna – “A hypersensitive girl who suffers from ‘misphonia’ – an abhorrence of sound. As she learns her mother is about to send her back to the ‘Farm,’ she steals her mother’s cash and sets out for Los Angeles.”
  • Rafi Gavron as Simon – “A handsome, charismatic young man who convinces Mary that he is a ‘ghost whisperer’ who speaks for her dead child.”
  • Yul Vazquez as Bennett – “A professional killer whose latest ‘hit’ clues him in on a priceless book that may allow him and his wife to permanently retire. On his search for the tome, his quest leads him straight into supernatural terror.”

Long story short? Hulu’s Books of Blood is a feature anthology film that uses the “Book of Blood” framing device as a means to tell two brand new stories not actually found in Barker’s collections. That would explain why this week’s trailer probably didn’t scream “Clive Barker” to you, but it’s again important to note that Barker was involved in creating the new terror tales.

Why the decision was made to not actually adapt Barker’s many existing “Books of Blood” stories, however, is as curious as the decision to make a film rather than a television series.

Directed by Brannon Braga, Books of Blood premieres on October 7.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/movie/3633002/books-blood-clive-barker-stories-hulus-anthology-film-adapt/

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