Book vs Movie: No Exit

Book vs Adaptation No Exit

I hope everyone is enjoying their Friday evening! This afternoon I finished reading the novel “No Exit,” by Taylor Adams and I also watched the movie version of it today with my grandfather. This will be my second Book vs Adaptation review. Like the last one I’ll compare and contrast how the movie stuck to the book and how it differed. Is the book like most books, better than the films? Or did the film do a better job? Keep in mind this review will definitely have spoilers. So you’ve been warned.


Compare and Contrast

There movie follows the book close enough but there were also significant changes and stuff that was left out. One example is they kept the overall plot the same, Darby is stuck in the snow storm while on her way to visit her dying mother. Darby sees Jay trapped in the van and her mission is to rescue her.


A huge difference is, in the novel Darby is a college student majoring in art, in the movie Darby is a recovering drug addict. Darby actually leaves the rehab center on her way to visit her mother.


One minor difference is Darby’s mother in the novel has pancreatic cancer and is undergoing surgery, in the movie Darby’s mother has a brain aneurysm. What is kept the same is in both versions Darby’s mother ends up dying. What’s also kept the same is Ashley tells Darby this by reading the text Darby’s sister Devon sent while holding her at gun point.


In the novel Sandi and Ed are cousins, in the movie they are an interracial couple. Sandy is also involved with Lars and Ashley kidnapping Jay. One difference is in the book Sandi’s connection to Jay is she’s a bus driver and in the movie Sandi is the maid. In both versions Sandi thought it was just a ransom and kidnapping plot not knowing that the brothers were going to bring Jay to Uncle Kenny for trafficking purposes. In the book Sandi wanted to use some of the ransom money to open up a women’s shelter and get out of debt. In the movie it was mainly to help her and Ed get out of debt. In both versions Ed had no knowledge of Sandi being involved in the heinous act.


In both versions Sandi and Ed are killed by Ashley. While both the novel and the movie were gruesome the movie was less violent.


One example of the movie being less violent was Jay caused Ashley to accidently shoot Lars in the head with the nail gun. In the novel, Darby kills Lars by fracturing his cheek and slitting his throat. In the novel Darby loses some fingers after her hand was shut in this metal hinge door thing.


In the novel Darby was somehow able to give Jay an address of where Ashley and Lars’s Uncle Kenny lives also toward the end Uncle Kenny was emailing his nephews not knowing everything that happened and it was unsent after he wrote Someone is at the door hinting that the police came to arrest him for the trafficking activity. The movie left that entire part out.


Who kills Ashley in the end in both versions is different. In the book Jay is the one who shoots Ashley with the nail gun. In the movie Darby shoots Ashley with the gun.


The epilogue in the novel and the ending in the book both indicate that Darby is alive after all. At first I was confused about how it ended but then I re-read it and Darby, Jay and her parents were at Darby’s mothers grave. We all thought Darby was dead but she wasn’t which I was happy about. In the end of the movie Darby is alive, clean after 46 days in rehab and processing everything that happened. Devon visits her and that’s where it ends.


What worked and what didn’t work

Worked: Sandi being the maid made more sense than being the bus driver. Sandi had more access and Jay and her family trusted her more. Jay was about to black mail her having her do a dance or else she would tell her parents that she caught Sandi taking pot. Sandi being the bus driver in the book didn’t make sense because how could she know Jay’s entire schedule and when the kidnappers could take her?


Didn’t Work: What didn’t work was having Darby being a drug addict instead of being a college student. Darby being a drug addict took away from the story and didn’t make much sense. While it was true Darby and her mother had a strained relationship, it was due to stuff they’ve said to one another. Darby felt like her older sister Devon was the favorite. Though Darby wished she could take back every mean thing she said to her mother.


Worked: The movie wasn’t as gruesome as the book which I think worked out in its favor.


Didn’t Work: Making Sandi and Ed a married couple didn’t cut it for me. I preferred the two being cousins.


Didn’t Work: The ending in the movie didn’t make much sense to me. Darby is back in rehab and it’s hinted she and Jay are still in contact. I don’t know anything about being in rehab, but I don’t think you’re supposed to have too much contact outside of the rehab center. I also doubt as thankful as Jay’s parents are that they would want Jay sending drawings and talking to Darby while she’s in rehab. I also wish we would have at least seen a conversation between Darby and Devon and Devon at least acknowledging that Darby did a good thing. The ending in the book was better in my opinion.



So was the book better than the movie? Or was the movie better than the book? There were things the book did better than the movie and things the movie did that were better than the book. It’s a bit of a mixed bag. Both had things that made sense and both had things that didn’t make sense. The movie I will give credit for being more fast paced and not dragging in areas I also like that it wasn’t as violent as the book was. So once again there is no real winner. While the movie is close ish to the book both are enjoyed as their own separate thing. While the book isn’t the best mystery thriller of all time it’s something to check out at least once. The movie is great for a Friday and Saturday night when there isn’t anything on t.v. to watch.