October 17 – The Sentinel – Book Vs. Film – Which Medium Wins? (Thirty-One Days of Halloween)

I’m guessing that many have not heard of this book or its corresponding film. It’s definitely a slice of horror that remains under the radar. It’s an interesting story. An apartment complex in New York serves as a portal to Hell. A sentinel must guard the gates at all time. Who is this sentinel and how does one get this job? Ah but that is the key to the story.

The cast of this 1977 film is great. It features Burgess Meredith, Ava Gardner, John Carradine, Sylvia Miles, Beverly D’Angelo, Eli Wallach, and bit roles for such unknowns as Jeff Goldblum and Christopher Walken. This is only the supporting cast and they save the film because the main two actors kind of suck if you ask me. Some of the plot is convoluted and will only make sense if one refers to the book.

Jeffery Konitz’s novel The Sentinel is far superior to the film. Thick in plot and mystery, it puts forth a suspenseful page-turner. The movie just can’t compete. For a detailed comparison, read my article The Sentinel Book and Movie

Winner: BOOK

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