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The Thriller Author Whose Books Are Overdue For An Adaptation

GameRant 8/15/2022 Aya Tsintziras
© Provided by GameRant

Riley Sager is one of the most talented authors working in the thriller genre today. Each book is filled with well-drawn characters, perfectly creepy settings, and best of all, huge twists that lead to awe-inspiring endings. Sager broke onto the scene with his 2017 debut novel Final Girls, followed by The Last Time I Lied in 2018, Lock Every Door in 2019, Home Before Dark in 2020, Survive The Night in 2021, and his latest book, The House Across The Lake, which was published in June 2022.

Sager is as prolific as he is a master at his craft, which begs the question: will his books be adapted for film or TV?

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There are some underrated Stephen King adaptations and if Riley Sager's work made it onto the big or small screen, horror and thriller fans would definitely find a lot to love. The author has had two books optioned for film, but so far, fans are still waiting. In 2017, Final Girls was optioned by Universal Pictures, according to Deadline. And in 2020, Sony & 21 Laps optioned Home Before Dark, as Deadline reported. But there hasn't been news since then, leaving fans of Sager's work to still cross their fingers that they will get to see these incredible characters and scary stories in movie form one day.

Sager's debut Final Girls definitely feels like it would lend itself well to a film. The main character, Quincy Carpenter, is a literal horror final girl as she survived a massacre that killed her friends. As Quincy wonders if she is being targeted again, she works through many emotions, and it's a stunning and well-told story. Sager's second novel, The Last Time I Lied, tells a story in two alternate timelines about one young woman's time at summer camp. This would also make a great film since there are many horror movies set in the summer.

Sager's 2021 book, Survive The Night, feels the most cinematic and definitely deserves a movie deal. The protagonist, Charlie Jordan, is a film student who agrees to be driven home by a stranger. As the story goes on, she wonders if she can trust him or if he's a killer. There are no cliches or easy answers here and the book just might be Sager's best, although all of his books are worth reading.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Daily News, Sager shared that he was fired from his job at the New Jersey Star-Ledger and had a 15-year editing and reporting career before then. Sager told the publication, "It was really hard. Desperation can be a really great motivator, though. That’s how I felt at the time. I had published a few books under my real name and they did nothing, then I was laid off and I literally couldn’t find another job. I was applying to be a writer at like, a pet food trade magazine and I could not get a job. I was so angry and frustrated, but I had this idea for a book. My agent loved it and I just wasn’t going to rest until I got it done and then just see what happened. I just got lucky that ‘Final Girls’ did really blow up.”

Sager's story is hopeful and moving, and he has also made the New York Times Bestsellers list several times, a testament to his talent and way with words. His latest, The House Across The Lake, is a contemporary take on Rear Window as Casey Fletcher spends her days staring out the window of her family's lake house and sees something shocking and scary that she starts to investigate.

Sager's books are so good because he's a master of the plot twist. Sager takes thriller and horror genre tropes and adds so much detail and so many great characters that his books are impossible to put down. All the classic horror movie settings are here, from a seemingly haunted apartment building to a summer camp full of secrets, and Sager always adds something special to keep readers from thinking that they have it all figured out.

In an interview with The Big Thrill, Sager shared that he loves actresses and that this is part of what he thinks about when working on a novel. Sager explained, "The first rule I have when starting a book is that, if I’m fortunate enough to have it turned into a movie or TV show, it must provide a killer lead role for an actress—along with some plum supporting parts for other actresses. That’s always the goal, and it’s never going to change."

Fans of Sager's books are definitely eager to hear more news and details about the adaptations of Final Girls and Home Before Dark, and hopefully, all of his work will be in movie and TV form.

NEXT: 5 Great Horror Movies Based On Books That Aren’t Written By Stephen King

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