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There's Someone Inside Your House Film Vs Book Differences, Including Killer

The recent Netflix release There’s Someone Inside Your House changes a lot of details from its novel source material including the slasher’s killer identity, but what are the key differences and which version works better? There's Someone Inside Your House is the latest horror to come from streaming service Netflix, and sees a group of high-schoolers stalked by a killer who knows all their secrets and is eager to share them. The movie is loosely based on the novel by Stephanie Perkins but makes many key changes to the story.

One thing that both versions share in common is the basic plot outline. Protagonist Makani is a classic horror movie final girl, a new arrival with a dark past who wants to put her troubles behind her and forget her mysterious secret. However, when her classmates start turning up dead, Makani and her small groups of friends are left hoping their secrets are not the next to be revealed.

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Outside of this premise, There's Someone Inside Your House makes a lot of changes to the source novel. For one thing, the killer in Netflix’s movie reveals the secrets of their victims to the world, whereas the villain of the novel has a completely different motive. For another, the nature of Makani’s past is more dramatic in the movie, and one important death scene from the novel is missing in the adaptation. Finally, the movie adds a new major plot twist that changes the identity of the killer, switching the villain from a little-seen side character to a pivotal figure from the story (who is innocent in the book).

Makani’s backstory is significantly more traumatic in the Netflix adaptation, where the movie hints at a gruesome incident involving a fire. Eventually, the third act reveals that, during a hazing ritual, a drunken Makani accidentally pushed her former friend Jasmine into a bonfire, badly burning the girl. This resulted in a court case, worsened the straining marriage of Makani's parents and led to her moving across the country and living with her grandmother. In the novel, Makani cuts off Jasmine’s ponytail during the hazing - a much less dramatic secret to be hiding. Like Netflix’s Fear Street adaptations, this is a case of the streaming service adding in some violence to make the horror more impactful, and it works better than the novel’s surprisingly mild, anti-climactic reveal of Makani’s supposedly shocking secret.

Of Makani’s group of friends, Alex, Darby, Ollie, and Caleb survive the movie, while Zach and Rodrigo are dead before the end credits. The novel also kills Rodrigo, but his book death does not take place at a packed house party but in his home. This clues the characters to the fact the killer has intimate knowledge of their lives, something not really explored in the film adaptation. Like Netflix’s earlier horror adaptation, No One Gets Out Alive, the book ending of There's Someone Inside Your House is changed significantly. Where the novel version kills off Alex shortly before the climax the movie lets her live, although both versions of the story leave love interest Ollie badly wounded (yet still alive) by the end.

The novel’s killer is revealed to be minor character David, a friend of Rodrigo’s who is targeting victims based on their future promise. The bitter David feels he will never be able to leave the small-town setting of the book and wants to ensure none of his fellow seniors will either, resulting in his killing spree picking off the most talented members of his graduating class. This bears little resemblance to the killer in Netflix’s There's Someone Inside Your House, Zach. As with the villain of the Fear Street trilogy, Zach is a wealthy child of privilege who is heir to a family fortune and has inherited his business tycoon father’s mean streak. The remorseless Zach offs characters because he believes their secrets make them hypocrites. This is a motive only found in the film and one that makes sense in the case of the school’s seemingly sweet valedictorian, who hides white supremacist tendencies but does not add up for many of his other targets, such as the comparatively harmless Rodrigo.

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The killer in the movie version of There's Someone Inside Your House 3D prints masks of each victim’s face so the last thing that they see is themselves, and posts their incriminating secrets on social media for all to see after their demise. There’s an element of dark horror-comedy to this that is absent in the original novel, where the title gives away the killer’s modus operandi. In the book, the killer hides inside the houses of each victim, occasionally moving things around to mess with them, which eventually tips the heroes off to him being a local with intimate knowledge of the town. This is absent in the film, where the killer’s obsession with what he sees as hypocrisy becomes his raison d’etre and the new motive means a more dramatic way of killing his victims.

Both the movie and book versions of There's Someone Inside Your House features a climax set in a small-town festival taking place at a cornfield, but there are a few key differences between the two iterations. The slasher villain is unmasked far earlier in the novel, with the lead characters and the police knowing David is the killer and being hot on his trail before he arrives at the festival. David’s last stand before the festival also costs Alex her life in the novel, whereas in the movie Alex, Darby, Makani, and Ollie all race to the cornfield to save Zach, having no idea he is the killer until he reveals it. That said, both the novel and movie version of There's Someone Inside Your House end with protagonist Makani killing the villain and saving her love interest Ollie, so the two texts are not completely dissimilar despite some significant changes.

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