The Ice House

Book vs. Movie

The Ice House (book)The Ice House (movie)

This was one of the first mystery novels that I ever read (excluding Nancy Drew, of course).  Yes, there is a puzzle to solve but in the book, there is more suspense than anything else.  It keeps you guessing and there is that twist at the end, just as in the movie.  In the film, however, a lot more happens and there are also more characters involved.  In fact, I didn’t think there could be much to the BBC production because I specifically remembered the interrogation that the main suspects go through.  It was mostly dialogue, rather than action.  When I realized the film was in two parts and lasting 3 hours, I didn’t know how they could drag the story out.  The answer is to learn more about each of the women and even some background information on detective McLoughlin.  The townsfolk become potential suspects and Phoebe’s daughter and son even make an appearance.  You will have to forgive my foggy memory, but as I recall in the novel, Phoebe’s children were hardly mentioned, let alone seen.  Another big difference between the book and film is the fact that originally, the three women are supposed to be sisters (one still labeled a lesbian), whereas in the film, they are three friends living together and accused of sleeping with each other.  The main point is that both end basically in the same way, but there are definitely differences before it gets to the conclusion—including how (in the film) one of the women gets attacked as a diversion from the main case (the unidentified rotting corpse in the ice house).  They are both good but I have to say that if they would have made a production from the novel word by word only, it would have been a boring movie.

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