In The Bedroom and Killings are both based around the same story, they are however presented very differently. The short story "Killings" jumps around in the story revealing different events at different times, while the movie, In The Bedroom tells a more straightforward story. In The Bedroom shows the viewer exactly what is happening chronologically, "Killings" does not and provides a more effective and suspenseful story for the reader.
Each story starts and reveals the conflict differently; In The Bedroom starts at one of the Strout children's birthday party. Frank Fowler is shown with Natalie Strout being affectionate, and then Richard Strout makes an uninvited appearance which sets off the conflict between the three of them. "Killings" opens on a darker note; it is a funeral setting with Matt Fowler burying his youngest son Frank. Frank had been killed by Strout for "making it with his wife."
The opening of "Killings" is more effective because it launches the reader right into the plot. The fourth line of the story shows the reader what could happen, it says "Matt's older son Steve turned to him and said: I should kill him." In The Bedroom also brings the reader into the plot but it does so slower as it does with most of the events from the story. The film takes longer to get into the plot, it gives insight into the relationship of Frank and Natalie and even after Strout appears the plot isn't clear.
The way Dubus weaves the different killings into the story has more of an impact on the reader than the chronological movie because they aren't expecting it, it keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. In The Bedroom stretches the story more than "Killings" does because it is a two hour movie while "Killings" is only fifteen pages long. The Fowlers only have one child in the film therefore the scenes showing the Fowlers grief make the viewer sympathize with the parents more so than in "Killings."