We’d like to acknowledge this article on Word and Film for inspiring this post.
Our community seems to really like horror. As a reference librarian here, I get more requests for horror films than any other single genre.
To tantalize all you horror fans out there, here are some suggestions for great horror movies that are based off books. If you’ve seen the movie, think about checking out the book!
- Nosferatu (1922)
We’ve done a review of this one, so you know it’s good. Don’t let the fact that this is a silent movie make you think it’s not worth watching. The director wasn’t able to call the movie Dracula due to licensing issues at the time, but this movie most certainly drew inspiration from Bram Stoker’s famous novel Dracula.
As works in the public domain, Nosferatu and Dracula are available for free online.
View or download Nosferatu on Archive.org.
Dracula by Bram Stoker is available as an ebook on Gutenberg.org.
Of course, we have these in the library system, too!
Check the PPLC Catalog for Nosferatu (1922).
Check the PPLC Catalog for Dracula by Bram Stoker.
- The Haunting (1963)
Based off The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, this is considered one of the best haunted house movies of all time.
Check the PPLC Catalog for The Haunting (1963).
Check the PPLC Catalog for The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.
- Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Ruth Gordon gave an Oscar-winning performance for Best Supporting Actress in this terrifying adaptation of the book of the same name by Ira Levin. There’s also a sequel to the book called Son of Rosemary.
Check the PPLC Catalog for Rosemary’s Baby (1968).
Check the PPLC Catalog for Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin.
- The Exorcist (1973)
If you’re a horror fan, you’ve probably seen this one. But maybe you haven’t read the book of the same name by William Peter Blatty. Some trivia: the film is the first horror film to win an Oscar for Best Picture.
Check the PPLC Catalog for The Exorcist (1973).
Check the PPLC Catalog for The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty.
- The Shining (1980)
Stephen King, master of written horror, and Stanley Kubrick, master of film horror, made their respective works into instant classics.
Check the PPLC Catalog for The Shining (1980).
Check the PPLC Catalog for The Shining by Stephen King.
You might also be interested to know that King wrote a sequel to The Shining called Doctor Sleep that features a grown-up Danny.
- Let the Right One In (2008)
If Twilight ruined vampires for you, Let the Right One In will repair the damage. The film is based off a novel of the same name by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist.
Check the PPLC Catalog for Let the Right One In (2008).
Check the PPLC Catalog for Let the Right One In (aka Let Me In) by John Ajvide Lindqvist.
Did we miss your favorite? Please tell us in the comments.