Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

That's Not What It Was About: Horrorstor

So, Deadline reported on the upcoming TV adaptation for the novel Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix. The property is being adapted by Josh Schwartz who created The O.C.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen one single episode of The O.C. Probably because at that point in my life, I had already had my fill of hour long teen dramas that take place in California. Schwartz also brought the following shows into the world:

  • Gossip Girl (I probably watched 2 episodes of this show. XOXO.)
  • Hart of Dixie (Did I try to watch an episode of this? I don’t recall. I think I found it offensive to my delicate sensibilities.)
  • The Carrie Bradshaw Diaries (I never watched Sex in the City nor this show. #NotAllTheGays)
  • Chuck (Hey! A show I watched and liked!!!)

This is the description, from the Deadline report, of what the Horrorstor TV show will be about:

Horrorstör centers on 26-year-old Amy. Newly sober, she lands a job at ORSK, the U.S. Flagship of the European furniture superstore. It feels like just the opportunity she’s needed to get her life back on track, but as Amy comes to discover, the store actually preys upon its customers’ desires to a supernatural degree, selling products that make their wishes and fantasies come true in unexpected and insidious ways.

This is the description, from Quirk Books (publisher), of what the novel Horrorstor is about:

Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Columbus, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring wardrobes, shattered Brooka glassware, and vandalized Liripip sofa beds—clearly, someone or something is up to no good. To unravel the mystery, five young employees volunteer for a long dusk-till-dawn shift—and they encounter horrors that defy imagination.


This is an edited version, by someone who finished reading the book less than a week ago, of the Deadline description for the Horrorstor TV show to better match the novel’s main character and plot (bold = my additions):

Horrorstör centers on 26-year-old Amy. Newly sober, She lands recently transferred to a job at the Cleveland, Ohio branch of ORSK, the U.S. Flagship of the a European furniture superstore. It feels like just the opportunity The pay raise she received with her transfer is what she’s needed hoped would help her to get her life back on track, but as Amy comes to discover, the this new store actually preys upon its customers’ people’s desires to a supernatural degree., selling products that make their wishes and fantasies come true in unexpected and insidious ways.


So yeah, there are definite differences. The main change they seem to be making is how the supernatural element of the store works and affects people in the store. We don’t have many details about what the TV show’s supernatural angle will be but I hope it isn’t some sort of large scale, mass produced “cursed objects” that affect folks that bought them!

In the book, Amy isn’t newly sober (or sober at all). I hope this new facet to her TV character doesn’t change the characterization of her book’s counterpart where she was a self-centered and sarcastic person. I really enjoyed that she wasn’t 100% likable. The world of TV needs more Selena Meyers and Amy Jellicoes (the main character from Enlightened, similarity in first names and disillusionment with corporations are probably just a coincidence).


The location for the TV show will be the Orsk flagship store. In the book, the Orsk store in question is located in Cleveland, OH and is only a one-hour drive from the next closest Orsk. Orsk is obviously a parody of Ikea (though Ikea exists in the novel’s universe and Orsk is Ikea’s low-end cousin) but I wonder if the TV show will be set on the outskirts of Cleveland. The fact that the Orsk in the novel isn’t a highly trafficked, one of a kind in the area store actually helps with certain aspects of the plot. By making the TV show’s Orsk the flagship (and I’m going to bet only US) store then it will be a much more visible setting. This could significantly change the fundamental plot of the story for the TV show. This makes sense if you want a TV show that lasts more than one season because it provides you with the ability to introduce more canon fodder characters to kill explore how the supernatural elements affect them.


Deadline also describes the show as a dramedy in the title of their article. There are certainly aspects of both drama and comedy in the novel, which Deadline describes as a supernatural mystery in the actual article. Perhaps it’s easier to sell a show as a dramedy first and as a supernatural mystery second. But the novel is a supernatural mystery first, a comedy second, and a drama last. The comedy of the novel is rooted in satirizing the various ways in which corporations that want you to have an “in-store experience” fuck with the minds of their customers and employees in order to feed their bottom line. The satire about corporate America ties directly into the ways the supernatural forces at play create an even more horrifying experience for the book’s characters.

I do hope that the TV show adaptation doesn’t end up lack-ing what made the novel fun to read. I also hope that Hendrix, a guy who wrote recaps of the first two seasons of Under the Dome and calls it “The worst TV show ever made”, will have (or has had) some hand in helping to adapt his property for TV.


Did you read the novel? Will you watch the show? Have you ever had a horrifying experience at Ikea? Meet me in the comments and we can chat about it while we nosh on a plate of sillmacka.

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