Famous Novels that Became Horror Movies

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List of HorrorBooks that Became Famous Horror Movies

How Many Horror Movies Started As Books?

Many horror movies begin as novels or short stories of some kind. Some of them are more popular than others. There are horror movies which are nearly word-for-word scripted by the books. There are also movies that are only loosely based upon a true story. Whether it was loosely inspired, or a full-on contribution, novels which become horror movies have done pretty well in terms of creating a cult following and earning box office dollars. Most of the time, the books are even worth reading on their own!

Popular Books that Became Horror Movies

These are the most popular novels that became horror movies. Because it is impossible to rank these movies in terms of actual popularity, they are listed alphabetically.

1408 – Inspired by Stephen King

1408 is a very creative haunted house story. It stars John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. Cusack plays a depressed, alcohol horror novelist reviewing haunted hotels. 1408 is a special room in New York’s Dolphin Hotel. The writer stays in the hotel room despite the many warnings from Jackson’s character, the hotel manager. The write, and the audience, battles the psychological thriller throughout the night until the room permanently consumes the protagonist.

30 Days of Night – Inspired by Steve Niles

30 Days of Night is one of the best vampire movies ever made. The vampires have an “understood backstory,” which explains them in an almost gypsie-like fashion. They travel to feed, visiting towns which experience authentic darkness for a month or longer. Although they have the typical vampire power to convert a human into a blood sucker, they typically prefer to violently kill their victims and

American Psycho – Inspired by Bret Easton Ellis

Christian Bale is an incredible actor who fully immerses himself into a role. American Psycho is a display of talent that exceeds the expectation of even a Bale performance! This movie became an instant cult classic, but still spawns from one of the most elegantly composed orchestras ever to grace paper.

The Amityville Horror – Inspired by Jay Anson

The Amityville Horror is a well-respected haunted house horror classic. The film focuses on the weakness of unsuspecting residence to fall to spiritual possession. The patriarch of the family is always possessed and forced to adhere to the murderous ways of the spirit who controls the house. The spirit encourages the possessed to kill their entire family.

Cabal – Inspired by Clive Barker

This movie was written about nightmarish city-dwelling monsters, a psychiatrist-serial killer, and overall horror despair.

Candyman – Inspired by Clive Barker

Candyman (1992) is about a knife-wielding (hook handed) killer who can be summoned by repeating his name five times in front of a mirror. It is a demonic possession-thriller that is the fear of any human being who has ever heard an urban legend involving a mirror. Clive Barker is responsible for this masterpiece.

Candyman horror movie monster looking in a mirror

Carrie – Inspired by Stephen King

Carrie (1976) and the remake (2013) are really popular horror classics. They were given a humble entrance to the horror scene by an early Stephen King. Carrie has always done very well, drawing so much positive feedback and a significant cult following.

Children of the Corn – Inspired by Stephen King

Out of all of the books Stephen King has written which have inspired movies, Children of the Corn (1984) is one of the most disturbing stories. The town which engulfs the protagonists is a small town, but only children live there. Though, they are all followers of a super sinister preacher. The couple realizes they are the feature on the children’s sacrificial menu and they run for their lives.

Christine – Inspired by Stephen King

Christine is a scary movie about a car that takes on a life of its own. Unfortunately this vehicle has the personality of a murderer. It was a really popular movie in 1983 and has remained relevant even today. Christine got its start in another Stephen King book.

Cujo – Inspired by Stephen King

The 1981 terror known as Cujo showcases a horrifying experience of being hunted by a rabid St. Bernard. While many people would not find a dog particularly scary nor horror-worthy, Stephen King painted an excellent storyline for the insane canine killer.

The Dead Zone – Inspired by Stephen King

Christopher Walken plays a patient who awakens from a coma to find many years have eluded him. He also finds himself some new psychic abilities to play with.

The Devil’s Advocate – Inspired by Andrew Neiderman

The Devil’s Advocate is often considered one of the most perverse horror flicks to hit the big screen, even including some suggestive incest. Ultimately, it still built a very powerful cult following and performed very well at the box office. Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino pulled in the bacon and provided viewers a great rendition of Neiderman’s novel.

Dracula – Inspired by Bram Stoker

Dracula (1992) is one of the most infamous, instant classics to ever grace the horror genre. This is one of the better historical-period horror movies.

Dreamcatcher – Inspired by Stephen King

Dreamcatcher (2001) is about an alien invasion and was written in cursive while King recovered from a car accident. It was also his 36th novel.

The Exorcist – Inspired by William Peter Blatty

The Exorcist (1973) may be one of the older movies on this list, however, it was scary then and it is still scary today! Blatty did an excellent job with cementing terror through time.

Firestarter – Inspired by Stephen King

Firestarter (1984) is about a couple whom submitted themselves to medical testing and give birth to a daughter with a special ability. The little girl (played by Drew Barrymore) can start fires with her mind.

Frankenstein – Inspired by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Frankenstein (1931) is one of the most classic horror movies of all time. It is also the oldest movie on this list.

Hannibal – Inspired by Thomas Harris

Hannibal (2001) is the sequel to The Silence of the Lambs. The story tracks Dr. Hannibal Lecter after he escaped custody in Europe. Julianne Moore joins Anthony Hopkins to put author Thomas Harris’ sequel to life on the big screen.

The Haunting of Hill House – Inspired by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House is actually a novel which inspired multiple horror movies. The two most notable movies which based their storyline most closely to the book include The Haunting (1999) and House on Haunted Hill (1999). Jackson was truly a wicked good writer and a creative soul!

Hellraiser – Inspired by Clive Barker

Hellraiser (1987) was created after the Clive Barker novel The Hellbound Heart. It’s a creepy film about a man who opens a portal to hell. The demons released are insanely disturbing. So is the reincarnation of a dead man who requires fresh blood to reconstruct his being.

I Know What You Did Last Summer – Inspired by Lois Duncan

I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) rustled together an all-star cast including: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Freddie Prinze Jr.). The partying high school graduates accidentally hit a pedestrian with their car, creating a wild train of paranoia and suspense worthy of the horror industry. The original story is credited to Lois Duncan.

Interview With the Vampire – Inspired by Anne Rice

Interview With the Vampire (1994) is a period horror set in the 18th century. Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt put on an amazing show, all of which is being recorded by biographer Christian Slater.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers – Inspired by Jack Finney

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) is another one of the older horror movies. Still, very thrilling and about a nearly unstoppable alien invasion.

IT – Inspired by Stephen King

The original IT from 1990 is technically a TV mini-series. It is an extreme psychological terror flick. However, the movie adaptation of 2017 takes Pennywise and evil to an entirely new level. The gore, blood, and killings are truly horrifying. The cinematic value is extremely well-done and the mental depravity is unruly.

Jaws – Inspired by Peter Benchley

Jaws (1975) was directed by Steven Spielberg and brought to life one of the most intimidating beasts of the sea: a mammoth-sized shark that haunts unsuspecting water-dwelling beach-goers and boat-riders. Before Jaws became an instant cult franchise classic, the original material came from the clever mind of Peter Benchley.

The Midnight Meat Train – Inspired by Clive Barker

The Midnight Meat Train (2008) is an interesting horror movie about photographer down on his luck who follows an organization onto one of the most bloodiest subway rides ever seen.

Misery – Inspired by Stephen King

Misery (1990) is another Stephen King inspired film to make the list. This movie highlights realistic horror. A nurse rescues a writer after a serious car accident and is revealed to be an obsessive lunatic.

The Mist – Inspired by Stephen King

The Mist (2007) is about a destructive storm that forces a family into town for supplies. Terror in the form of a mist surrounds the family when they enter a grocery store and they are forced to hole up. The true terror, however, was yet to come from the fog!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Inspired by Seth Grahame-Smith

Grahame-Smith made this movie into a much more cinematic thriller than many of the other movies in the general genre. Still, the 2016 action-thriller still makes the list due to its obvious horror-oriented theme.

Psycho – Inspired by Robert Bloch

Psycho (1960) is one of the coolest ideas for a horror movie of its time. This is because it focuses on normal, everyday life and embraces a lot of realism. Norman Bates and his mother are in charge of a hotel which they use to terrorize and murder guests.

The Ring – Inspired by Koji Suzuki

The Ring (2002) left many moviegoers in shock and too scarred to ever watch another video cassette again. The movie crafts the idea that a simple videotape could invoke an evil that kills the viewer within 7 days. For a very long time, many people pranked one another, imitating the eerie phone call a viewer would get directly after watching the film. Thank you, Koji Suzuki, for this scary masterpiece!

Rosemary’s Baby – Inspired by Ira Levin

Rosemary’s Baby (1968) is another older flick that made the list. Levin does a wonderful job of painting the most horrifying picture about a mother who decides her baby is from another world.

The Shining – Inspired by Stephen King

The Shining (1980) is one of Jack Nicholson’s finest performances. He was extremely immersive in his acting. The story of psychic premonition and suspense is carefully crafted. Jack’s character is a writer who’s writing dries up and forces him into mania.

The Silence of the Lambs – Inspired by Thomas Harris

No one can deny The Silence of the Lambs (1991) was not one of Anthony Hopkin’s most realistic and disturbing performances. The movie follows a psychiatrist who hunts people and eats them. Yes, eats them. Thomas Harris is the writer who originally found this idea appealing, although, the cult following suggests he is not alone!

Something Wicked This Way Comes – Inspired by Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury is one of the most underrated authors of all time, however, his horror staples made a dent in the genre that will last forever. Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) is about a terrifying carnival owner who preys on people having fun.

A Stir of Echoes – Inspired by Richard Mattheson

A Stir of Echoes (1999) is an incredible mystery-horror flick which follows a blue-collar worker (played by Kevin Bacon) throughout his newly found psychic lifestyle.

Last Words About Horror Novels

Many other books have also evolved into really great horror flicks as well. In fact, it is very rare for a film to draw no inspiration from any written content. Obviously, Stephen King has taken the largest chunk of the pie in terms of “novel to horror movie” genre, however, many other great authors have surfaced too. After all, fear is evolving, and it is only a matter of time before the next horror movie genius is born upon the pages!

Fun Facts About Rose Red (the Movie)

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Rose Red Facts, Trivia and Bloopers

Facts About Stephen King’s Rose Red You Didn’t Know

Technically, Rose Red (2002) is a TV miniseries. With that said, the film is frequently referred to as a movie, and is played nowadays pretty much like a movie. Still, however, the movie is split up into sections which are conveniently broken down for commercial spots. It is a rather long movie running a total of 254 minutes…but each scene is magic in its own right!  Today, Rose Red remains a gem among horror films, especially when it comes to haunted houses.  Without further ado, let’s go over a little Rose Red trivia and get our spook on!

Behind the Scenes Trivia & Fun Facts

  • Although they are divorced today, actors Jimmi Simpson and Melanie Lynskey fell in love and married after meeting on the set of Rose Red.
  • Rose Red is based on Sarah Winchester’s “Winchester Mystery House.”
  • Stephen King was strongly influenced by Shirley Jackson’s book “The Haunting” (also turned into a movie, and remade a few years before Rose Red in 1999.
  • Rose Red was a breakout role for actress Emily Deschanel, who played a psychic-type, Pam Asbury, in the movie.
  • Actress Nancy Travis, who played Professor Joyce Reardon, was actually pregnant during the filming of Rose Red, and can be seen in different weights throughout the film.
  • Rose Red was filmed in only 4 months!
  • Rose Red was made for TV as a miniseries and thus was not permitted to allow curse words in the script. Still, Kevin Bolinger is seen recording the words “BULL SH*T” on his notepad during his ease dropping on Professor Reardon’s slideshow about Rose Red.
  • Stephen King had super high aspirations for Rose Red being the best haunted house horror movie of all time, and ever. He planned it to be as unforgettable as it is, specifically citing the advantages of a miniseries format allowing for a larger audience and more story-telling time.
  • Actor Matt Ross, who played psychic Emery Waterman, is a very strong believer in the supernatural in real life, explaining that his mother has sworn to have seen a ghost (his real life mother, that is!).
  • Due to dance scenes, the cast needed dance lessons and attended Blue Skies Studios in Seattle to learn how to properly accommodate Glenn Miller.
  • A reference to Stephen King’s first novel Carrie is found in Annie, a girl with telekinetic powers and the ability to rain stones.
  • Rose Red was a breakout role for actor Jimmi Simpson.
  • Actor David Dukes, who played Professor Carl Miller (antagonist), died of a heart attack while playing tennis the night before returning to shoot the remainder of his scenes. He was already such a large part of the movie it were impossible to replace him (and would have been in terrible etiquette to do so). Instead, Craig Baxley Jr (a stunt coordinator) completed the scenes involving the zombie version of Professor Miller.
Guests arriving at Rose Red House from Stephen King's Horror Mini Series
  • The film had a promotional and marketing budget of $200,000.
  • The Rose Red script was delayed from finish after Stephen King suffered a car accident and required a little down time to recover.
  • Although Rose Red was released in 2002, the DVD would not be released until 2007.
  • Originally, Stephen King and Steven Spielberg were going to make Rose Red together, however, after a variety of creative differences…King decided to buy the rights to the movie from Spielberg…who wished it would have had more action-based scares.
  • Parallels can be made between Rose Red and an earlier Stephen King’s “The Shining.”
  • Although the original budget for Rose Red was a modest $3 million, which is a somewhat normal amount for such a project at that time…it ended up absorbing an astounding $35 million by the end of it’s shoot!
  • The sounds of hammers and construction throughout the house is based upon the sounds visitors report hearing within the real-life Winchester mansion.
  • There is a prequel to Rose Red, in book format only, entitled “The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red” (2001). This book provides a lot of backstory about Ellen Rimbauer and Rose Red itself which coincides with the movie. Ellen Rimbauer was Steve Rimbauer’s grandmother.
  • Despite being based upon the Winchester Mystery House, Rose Red was shot using the Thornewood Castle in Tacoma, Washington.
Young Girl Holding a Doll From Rose Red Horror Movie

Logical Errors and Goof Ups (Bloopers)

  • Rose Red, as polished as it may be (with a budget of $35 million for a miniseries, it should be), had a number of goof ups and bloopers, as well as logical contradictions. Some of the harder bloopers to spot include:
  • Kevin Bolinger’s graduation date is seemingly weeks away (insinuated by Professor Miller), though the year is supposedly 2001. During his public interrogation of Professor Joyce Reardon he states he is a part of the Class of 2003.
  • Ellen Rimbauer supposedly disappeared at age 70 in 1950, though based upon earlier information, she would have been 64.
  • Annie’s blood stained bandage becomes clean and then soiled again multiple times during perspective changes.
  • The color of the rose on the stained glass window of the tower changes color throughout the film.
  • During Kevin Bollinger’s public interrogation of Professor Reardon, Professor Miller is seen leaving the sound booth above the classroom and then reappears in the booth within the same scene.
  • The phone call from Steve Rimbauer to Professor Miller made from Rose Red is received by Miller’s cell phone within his car…though the movie receives the voicemail on his answering machine in his office.
  • Joyce must have smeared blood on the face of Professor Miller across a number of shots, as Professor Miller’s collar is seen with blood, clean from the blood and with the blood again in a continuity error.
  • Although the “spook hunt” planned for Rose Red is for Memorial Day weekend in late May, college football is seen playing twice in the movie as though it is live. College football season runs from September to January.
  • Although Steve Rimbauer states he will be tearing Rose Red down on the first of July, the end of the movie fast forwards six months and low and behold, Rose Red survived much longer!
  • Emery Waterman’s mother received a credit card bill that references an 11 digit customer service number, (800) 455 – 87653.
  • No one can enter Rose Red’s premises without a gate opener, however, a pizza delivery man seems to be able to get to the front door!
  • The roses placed at the front of Rose Red at the end of the movie change arrangement.