Never read the book either, but I thought the movie was excellent. With all the bitching I've heard about the religious overtones, I thought he was going to be a bible shouter or something. Instead, it was very subtle and only brought forth near the end. While all the atheists and agnostics complain every time God is so much as mentioned in any given movie, you can't sidestep the fact that lots of people, especially those in times of great stress and trouble as is depicted here, turn to God to explain what others could call coincidences. That's all they did here. There were no halos of light with a booming voice or bloody notes on the wall from the creator, just people coping with a situation how people tend to cope.
So, yeah, I appreciated the way the whole story played out. Superbly acted by both Smith and his canine companion. And yeah, the CG humans were sorta unrealistic looking, but somehow, it worked for me. Really stripped away their humanity to where you saw them exactly as they were.
It was incredibly well paced and for the first half, they employed the underused effect of "scare you with what you don't see" that has seemed to have lost favor with horror movies of late. This effect is used so well that when the sh*t hits the fan in the last half, you've already built up this image in your mind that is given horrendous life as if ripped from the depths of your imagination.
It isn't gory or a bloodbath. Instead, it's just a really intense, well acted, well paced, intriguing story. So even though it supposedly doesn't follow the book, as an unbiased observer, I give it high marks.
And Shepherds we shall be
For thee, my Lord, for thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand
Our feet may swiftly carry out Thy commands.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
And teeming with souls shall it ever be.
In Nomeni Patri Et Fili Spiritus Sancti.
OMG Jedi Knight 4!!!