Iain Banks: The Wasp Factory
The Book: It’s dark. It’s really dark.
Frank is a very troubled young man. Living an isolated existence on a Scottish island with only his father for company, his life is an endless cycle of pagan ritual and animal sacrifice.
His older brother, Eric, has escaped from an insane asylum and is on the way home.
Oh yeah, and, by the by (cos that’s how it’s revealed in the book), Frank has previously murdered three children. In case you're interested.
The Movie: Only M. Night Shyamalan could deliver the book’s final plot twist with enough gravity and clout.
Because, although Frank has lived his whole life believing that he has been disfigured as a result of a penis-devouring dog (not a euphemism), he finds out that he’s actually a girl, and that his father has been feeding him testosterone as a sort of experiment.
The whole film is shot within a small window of the colour spectrum (blue and darker blue). It’s a psychological horror, with a healthy dose of gore and apocalyptic dread.
Frank: “That's my score to date. Three. I haven't killed anybody for years, and don't intend to ever again. It was just a stage I was going through.”
Next: Thief Of Time