Dream Casting: Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

I posted in the beginning of July about a book I was very excited to read. I went to ALA in Las Vegas and came home with Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz tucked underneath my arm. I have read this author several times before and she never disappoints. In case you forgot, here is what Welcome to the Dark House is all about.

Welcome to the Dark House

What’s your worst nightmare?

For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.

And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.

Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.

Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.

By the time Ivy and Parker realize what’s really at stake, it’s too late to wake up and run.



Currently, I’m on page 244 of 350 and I LOVE IT. SERIOUSLY. I will definitely be reviewing this next week but for now, I thought it would be fun to dream cast. Dream casting a novel is where you take the main characters, and select actors and actresses for those roles, should you were the person in charge of casting these roles for a Hollywood adaptation.

This book is told in alternating perspectives from multiple perspectives, which I love. There are six main characters and I threw in a seventh for fun.

Ivy Jensen played by Nina Dobrev

Nina Dobrev

About Ivy – 18 YO whose family was ruthlessly killed by a killer. Her life is spared but she lives with the idea that he’s watching and is only waiting to come back and finish the job. She lives with hippie foster parents now, with a new identity. She takes care of her multitude of siblings. She used to be April. Now she’s Ivy. She enters the Nightmares Be Gone Contest, not as a fan of the director, but just out of sheer hope to share her nightmare and rid herself of it, since her shrink hasn’t been helping. Ivy is a huge cooking fan. Parker describes her as “dark brown eyes, angled cheeks, pale full lips, pointed chin…way too beautiful to be real” (Stolarz 64). She lives in Boston. Rooming with Taylor.


Natalie Sorrento played by Mia Wasikowska

Mia Wasikowska

About Natalie – Lives a mundane life. Mother had an affair with a married older man and her and her twin brother Harris are the result. She really loves the director and has tattoos in his honor all over her body. She dresses alternatively to showcase her individuality. Her parents don’t appreciate it or get her. She wears a wig, and I can’t tell you why. You’ll have to read. Frankie describes her as “black hair, dark clothing. Way too Goth for my taste, but you can tell that she’d be totally hot with her full lips and slanted blue eyes” (Stolarz 78). Shayla describes her as having, “… a model’s facial bone structure: angular cheeks, a pinched nose, a high forehead, and perfectly pointed chin. Plus her lips look naturally full” (Stolarz 83). Rooming with Shayla.


Shayla Belmont played by Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union

About Shayla – A big city girl. Seems wealthy and close to her parents, at least her mother. We meet her when she lands at the airport and the first person she calls is her mom. She accepts the trip as part of the Shayla Belmont “make the most of every moment” mission to have a fun and fulfilling life. She comes off to me as a bored rich kid. Frankie describes her as, “…really cute with insanely bright golden-brown eyes…framed behind a pair of square black glasses. She thinks Parker is attractive. Used to be a dancer, but was told she didn’t have the right body type for it since she’s curvy, so she stopped taking ballet. Rooming with Natalie, who she considers a buzz kill.


Garth Vader played by young Benji Madden

Young Benji Madden

About Garth- Huge horror fan. Huge fan of the director Justin Blake and knows all the facts about the movies and the director. Not wealthy, mentions he sleeps in a mattress on the floor in a tiny apartment at home. He likes to sketch and draw. Dresses in grays and blacks, has wavy dark hair help back with a bandana, and a pierced eyebrow, lip, and nose. He has an uncanny smelling ability where he can guess your blood type. Love that character quirk. Carries around squirrel bones as a good luck charm. Frankie describes him as tall and scrawny (Stolarz 81). From Delaware.


Parker Bradley played by Chris Hemsworth

Chris Hemsworth

About Parker – Huge film buff. Seems like he wants to be a director himself, as when as meet him he’s live scripting everything that’s happening to him in real life. He came across the contest while doing research for his film class. He lives in San Diego. Thinks Ivy is attractive. Shayla describes him as a “holy hunk of hotness with his broad shoulders, tousled blond hair, chiseled features, and sea glass-worthy blue eyes” (Stolarz 85).


Rupert Grint as Frankie Rice

Rupert GrintAbout Frankie – Seems like a nice guy. When we first meet him he mentions he spent 10 minutes helping an elderly man pick up his spilled medicine after everyone else just left. Thinks Shayla is hot. Lives with his mechanic father and sounds like he’s given a large amount of responsibility with the business. Loves music and playing guitar. He may not be as tall as Garth, but he’s muscular, or at least describes himself as twice as thick. I couldn’t really find much more about what he looked like, so I kind of went with the only other description about him, where he references himself being pale and Irish. Rooming with Garth.


Taylor played by Amber Heard

Amber Heard

Taylor – She is instantly an enigma. When the others arrive, she’s out on a walk and so far, we haven’t heard back from her. Ivy finds her cell phone but there’s no sign that Taylor is actually okay…or not okay. Natalie (who flew with her) describes her as “…dark blond hair…wide green eyes…pinched nose… perfectly pouty lips. Perfectly balanced features” (Stolarz 71). Rooming with Ivy.


Bette White as Midge Sarko

Bette White

About Midge – Actress / host who is dressed up like one of the director Justin Blake’s most villainous characters. She is a chambermaid from Hotel 9. This character kills her guests with household items (such as a soap scum remover or a plunger, etc.) She dons a maid outfit, a black dress with a frilly apron and ribbons in her hair. She is older, with white hair.


Have you read Welcome to the Dark House? Are you reading it now? Who did you picture playing the roles of each character?

I can’t wait to finish this book and tell you how it went. Let me know what you think in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you.


Keep calm and scream on,

Jolene - Midnight Society Signatures

  • kenz1313
    January 24, 2016

    i really dont think natilie would look like that i pictured her more gothic and emo like black mascara and black eye shadow i really think that she was the best character in “Welcome To The Dark House” (i loved her death it reminds me of,well..me)

  • Jackson
    January 20, 2017

    I don’t see that person playing Natalie Sorrento. Natalie Wood would’ve been a great choice if she was still alive. Plus the name, obviously. I think Mila Kunis or Natalie Portman would be a good choice

  • Charley
    January 28, 2018

    This is terrible the actors you picked don’t fit the characters whatsoever this is not good at all, you need to stop, obviously you didn’t read deep enough into the books to understand the characters.

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