Many of the best horror films ever made were books first. Which classic horror novels that have been adapted to screen are still must-read today?
Horror is one of the most popular genres in the medium of film, and monsters and madmenhave become just as beloved as action heroes and romantic leads. But like so many motion pictures, many of these frightening features started out on the pages of a book before getting thrown onto the silver screen.
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When it comes to classic horror, sometimes the adaptations can be hit or miss. Many horror novels have been keeping fans of the genre up for centuries, and likewise have received phenomenal adaptations. So whether readers prefer psycho-killers or demonic possessions, there's definitely a few literary counterparts to classic horror films that they should check out first.
It's been called the scariest movie of all time, and it was spawned from arguably one of the most frightening things to ever grace the Best-Seller List.The Exorcisthorrified readers in 1971, and its author, William Peter Blatty, even wrote the screenplay for the film three years later.
It's a must-read,because it's a classic that helped shape horror in both the literary and cinematic worlds. Furthermore, it does still have that chilling reputation.
Itis one of Stephen King's most horrifying works ever put to paper. There are scenes scattered throughout the pages of this terrifying tome that make readers retch to this very day, movie or no movie.
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A word of caution to those who wish to pick up this classic by King, it's extremely long. With over 1000 pages, a great many chapters focusing on otherworldly exposition, so be prepared to spend a great deal of time with it.
If readers only pick up one book by Neil Gaiman in their entire lives, make sure it'sCoraline.The film by Henry Selick is incredible and possibly one of the scariest films ever made for kids, but the book adds so many more twisted elements that just didn't make it onto the screen.
There are very chilling scenes involving Coraline's isolation in the house, a tragically terrifying encounter with the Other Father, and an unnerving atmosphere that just won't quit. But what else canbe expected from a genius like Gaiman?
If the likes ofTwilightleft a bad taste in anyone's mouth,Interview With the Vampireoffers a vampire romance novel with some true bite. Vampires can be intoxicating and vexing creatures, but they are still monsters at the end of the day.
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Lestat is one of the most lovably twisted characters in literature and Louis is one heck of an impressive storyteller. While the film adaptation takes certain liberties, the series by Rice is still an incredible contribution to the genre.
It's the pivotal American haunting, and perhaps the one horror novel even scaredy-cats can handle. Washington Irving's tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman has been beautifully adapted by both Burton and Disney, but the book offers something a little extra special.
It's an easy read, but it's also a dive into history, folklore, humor, and an eerie ambiance. Is there any wonder its thrills have lasted for centuries?
Mary Shelley'sFrankensteinnot only gave birth to the modern science-fiction genre but brought created a new face of horror as well. It might be hammered into audiencesvia high school English classes, but it truly is a complex and thought-provoking story.
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The relationship explored in the book between Victor Frankenstein and the creature he creates is gripping and emotional. It's definitely one of the deeper entries in the horror genre.
BeforeThe Haunting of Bly Manor, The Turning,and many film adaptations of the story, there wasThe Turn of the Screw.One of the most marvelous entries in the Gothic horror genre, it's perfect for those who enjoy classic tropes and imagery with a little extra bloodshed.
The book has murder, possession, and haunted mansions, all archetypes in the genre most fans will be familiar with, but with a more sinister air not seen in most books of this era.
How to even begin withthis iconic '90s series? Even if horror fans haven't read one of these wonderful anthologies, they've probably heard at least a handful of stories penned by Schwartz somewhere.
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The stories featured inScary Stories To Tell in the Darkall come from folklore and urban legends that many readers have heard before, but with a distinctive flavor presented by Schwartz and the illustrator, Stephen Gammel, all of which are perfectly represented in Del Toro's film.
Bram Stoker'sDraculais the quintessential horror novel. It has everything a fan of the genre could possibly want, from Gothic castles to vampires and monster hunters. It might be a bit of a slow burn, but it's still packed with frightening scenes and iconic imagery.
From Dracula appearing at the top of the staircase to the intimidating facade of his castle in Transylvania, the book is a load-bearing pillar of the genre. Definitely not one any fan should miss.
Stephen King once again graces the list with quite possibly one of the most famous haunted house stories in all literature. Compared to the book, Kubrick's interpretation is insanely loose, but it still maintains the overall unsettling nature of the Overlook Hotel.
The scares come slowly but hit hard when they arrive. Reading this book is like sitting on a dynamite keg waiting for the fuse to blow. There are much more than malevolent spirits at work in this macabre masterpiece, that's for sure.
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10 Horror Novels You Must Read Before You Watch The Movie - Screen Rant
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