I was so excited when I was offered the opportunity to see and review this movie! And the really funny part - I was in the process of listening to the audio book!
You need to understand - I have been suggestion this book, as well as all of Downing Hahn's books - forever! Whenever I have a student who wants a creepy book I go straight to her. So the idea that one of her long-loved books was becoming a movie was fantastic!
Ok about the movie.
Like the book, the film revolves around a blended family’s encounter with the ghost of a mysterious little girl as they move from the city to a converted church in the country. Heather (Isabelle Nélisse), the youngest child, rattles their much hoped for quiet country life by forging a dangerous relationship with the ghost. Her elder stepsister Molly (Sophie Nélisse), terrified of ghosts and battling her own teen troubles, is faced with overcoming her fears as she attempts to rescue her misled stepsister. WAIT TILL HELEN COMES is the first feature film by the best-selling and award-winning young adult novelist, Downing-Hahn, who also makes a guest appearance in the film. First published in 1986 – and never out of print - the novel is now in its 20th Printing at HMH Publishing, and appears on numerous US schools recommended reading lists.
WAIT TILL HELEN COMES is a throwback to the days of sitting around a campfire and telling spooky ghost stories – and the thrill that came with that. Like their older peers, tweens love a good scary movie, but most are not ready for PG-13 and R-rated movies. In WAIT TILL HELEN COMES, tweens get to be a part of this popular genre, while parents can feel comfortable letting their kids dim the lights, hide under the blankets and watch a bona fide ghost story!
WAIT TILL HELEN COMES is distributed by TriCoast Entertainment and premieres January 10, 2017 on iTunes, Amazon, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox, Hoopla, Vudu and Vimeo on Demand and Flix Fling.
I really enjoyed this take on the story! Is it different from the book? Yes. Did I mind? No! You need to know that I'm not a purest when it comes to book to movie adaptions. I get that things need to be changed, and a vast majority of the time I'm perfectly ok with that. And this was one of those times! What the story did keep was just the right amount of creep factor! I loved that they managed to take a book perfect at scaring the tween set and keep it the same level of creepy. There are definitely points I was like "Molly no don't go in there!", but it never got to a point where I really scared more. It really was the right level for the young middle school group.
The acting was well done. It took me a minute to realize that girl playing Molly was in The Book Thief. She pretty much carried the movie and did a good job with it. She was moody, smart, determined and very believable. But I do have to say that the actress playing Heather did a great job as well! Her role was smaller than what you would've expected (one of the changed), but she did a really nice job with it. I actually liked her character where in the book she annoyed me a bit. The adults did a nice job as well. Their roles were kept at a minimum was well which I think was a wise choice. Kids don't usually want to watch a movie made out of a book they enjoyed and then have it over-powered by adults.
Over-all I enjoyed the movie. It was well-made, true to the book (at least in the ways that mattered to me) and creepy. If it had been out when I was 12 I would've loved it completely!
If you've read the book I encourage you to check it out!