I would have to say that this was not at all like the book...I'm 14 and since I read the book I thought it would be fine,seeing as I was sure I'd know what would happen, but as usual the books are always better than the movies. There seemed to be a scary part to every scene. It was way different than the book though...in some good ways and in some bad. I would not recommend this to young children--because if they're like me they'd be scared to tears.
We showed it to the youth group and they loved it. Later we got some feedback from adults that questioned the plot because they had one guy in our group that had tried to commit suicide. I thought it opened up a time of great dialog on this. But....I guess you have to be careful because there will always be someone that questions the materials you are presenting.
Even though I am not a teen I enjoyed the film. The creepiness didn't bother me-I like a little creepiness. This Christian plot can reach people who would be fans of dark scary stories. I also liked seeing Mr. Frank Peretti in the film. He was great in his part. Most importantly, it is possible to have good clean stories on film no matter what Hollywood tries to tells us.