Horror’s Best Film Adaptations of Books

As a lover of literature and film, I have a fascination with novels adapted to the silver screen. It is really hit or miss and quite often, literature peeps like me are often disappointed with the films. These, however, are the best film adaptations of horror stories ever made.

1. The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty wrote a masterpiece and what may be the most terrifying novel ever written and William Friedkin pushed the limits on filming and turned this into one of the scariest movies ever made.

2. Psycho – Robert Bloch’s Psycho captivated a nation when it appeared in 1959. This classic was inspired by the real-life story of Ed Gein, a psychotic murderer who led a dual life. Alfred Hitchcock’s direction and cinematography was brilliant for this

3. Dracula – Bran Stoker’s novel has been adapted and had more movies made from the manuscript than any other works in horror. The 1992 version with Gary Oldman is my favorite and was very impressive and stayed true to the story.

4. The Shining – Stephen King has said that he wasn’t happy with this film but I believe it was excellent. Perhaps it made Jack Nicholson’s character appear crazy from the outset but the movie was fantastic.

5. Frankenstein – Mary Shelly’s story of the tormented monster has been made numerous times and each has amazing qualities because of the monster. Perhaps the best was Hammer Films’ 1935 Curse of Frankenstein.

6. Carrie – Stephen Kings novel was fantastic as it painted a horror story with words and the film (1976) directed by Brian de Palma has been called the greatest horror movie ever made by many.

7. Misery – I remember reading the book and how terrifying it was as I imagined being in Paul Sheldon’s place and yelling at him “hurry, hurry,” as The crazed Annie was returning to the house and he was out of his room. The 1990 film captured the same skin crawling suspense and the sledge hammer scene is one of the scariest in the King adaptations.

8. The Amityville Horror – the book was absolutely terrifying and the scene in the book that still gives me chills was Lutz looking up at the window from the boathouse and seeing “Jodie” the pig’s glowing eyes looking down at him. The film was scary and the Defeo murders were disturbing to see portrayed.

9. Hellraiser – based on a live Barker’s Hellbound Heart, this was one that hit money as the movie was just as horrifying as the original story in print.

10. It – another Stephen King, I have to say I was always disappointed with the book’s ending. The rest of it was scary as hell. The most recent adaptations part I and II surpass the made for TV mini series in creepiness and terror. The casting for both the kids and adults was incredible. Real clowns will forever hate King for this writing.

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