Happy Tuesday everyone! Today is a Halloween freebie for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) so I’ve decided to list my favourite horror book to movie adaptations. Buckle in, it’s about to get spooky…
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) based on Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz (1981)
Blurb – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a timeless collection of chillingly scary tales and legends, in which folklorist Alvin Schwartz offers up some of the most alarming tales of horror, dark revenge, and supernatural events of all time.
One sentence review – a fun movie with that Guillermo del Toro magic
Audition (1999) based on Audition by Ryu Murakami (1997)
Blurb – Documentary-maker Aoyama hasn’t dated anyone in the seven years since the death of his beloved wife, Ryoko. Now even his teenage son Shige has suggested he think about remarrying. So when his best friend Yoshikawa comes up with a plan to hold fake film auditions so that Aoyama can choose a new bride, he decides to go along with the idea. Of the thousands who apply, Aoyama only has eyes for Yamasaki Asami, a young, beautiful, delicate and talented ballerina with a turbulent past. But there is more to her than Aoyama, blinded by his infatuation, can see, and by the time he discovers the terrifying truth it may be too late
One sentence review– as harrowing as it is terrifying
Psycho (1960) based on Psycho by Robert Bloch (1959)
Blurb – She was a fugitive, lost in a storm. That was when she saw the sign: motel – vacancy. The sign was unlit, the motel dark. She switched off the engine, and sat thinking, alone and frightened. She had nobody. The stolen money wouldn’t help her, and Sam couldn’t either, because she had taken the wrong turning; she was on a strange road. There was nothing she could do now – she had made her grave and she’d have to lie in it. She froze. Where had that come from? Grave. It was bed, not grave. She shivered in the cold car, surrounded by shadows. Then, without a sound, a dark shape emerged from the blackness and the car door opened.
One sentence review – a cinematic masterpiece
The Woman in Black (1989) based on The Woman in Black (1983)
Blurb – Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the sole inhabitant of Eel Marsh House. The house stands at the end of a causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but it is not until he glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk of the woman in black and her terrible purpose.
One sentence review – I get why they say it ruined Christmas
Ringu (1999) based on Ringu by Koji Suzuki (1991)
Blurb – A mysterious videotape warns that the viewer will die in one week unless a certain, unspecified act is performed. Exactly one week after watching the tape, four teenagers die one after another of heart failure. Asakawa, a hardworking journalist, is intrigued by his niece’s inexplicable death. His investigation leads him from a metropolitan tokyo teeming with modern society’s fears to a rural Japan–a mountain resort, a volcanic island, and a countryside clinic–haunted by the past. His attempt to solve the tape’s mystery before it’s too late–for everyone–assumes an increasingly deadly urgency. Ring is a chillingly told horror story, a masterfully suspenseful mystery, and post-modern trip.
One sentence review – completely and utterly terrifying
The Haunting of Hill House (2018) inspired by The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959)
Blurb – Alone in the world, Eleanor is delighted to take up Dr Montague’s invitation to spend a summer in the mysterious Hill House. Joining them are Theodora, an artistic ‘sensitive’, and Luke, heir to the house. But what begins as a light-hearted experiment is swiftly proven to be a trip into their darkest nightmares, and an investigation that one of their number may not survive.
One sentence review – beautiful and haunting in every way
Dark Water (2002) based on Dark Water by Koji Suzuki (1996)
Blurb – The title story in a collection. Following her divorce, Yoshimi Matsubara lives with her five-year-old daughter Ikuko in a depressing and damp apartment block on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay. But when a child’s red bag keeps turning up in unexpected places, Yoshino’s sanity seems to be threatened, and she soon begins to fear that her daughter’s life is at risk.
One sentence review – properly eerie it will seep under your skin
Misery (1990) based on Misery by Stephen King (1987)
Blurb – Misery Chastain is dead. Paul Sheldon has just killed her – with relief, with joy. Misery has made him rich; she was the heroine of a string of bestsellers. And now he wants to get on to some real writing. That’s when the car accident happens, and he wakes up in pain in a strange bed. But it isn’t hospital. Annie Wilkes has pulled him from the wreck, brought him to her remote mountain home, splinted and set his mangled legs. The good news is that Annie was a nurse and has pain-killing drugs. The bad news is that she has long been Paul’s Number One Fan. And when she finds out what Paul had done to Misery, she doesn’t like it. She doesn’t like it at all. Paul Sheldon used to write for a living. Now he’s writing to stay alive.
One sentence review – two of the strongest horror performances you’ll ever see
Rosemary’s Baby (1968) based on Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin (1967)
Blurb – Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor-husband, Guy, move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and only elderly residents. Neighbours Roman and Minnie Castavet soon come nosing around to welcome them; despite Rosemary’s reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises that she keeps hearing, her husband starts spending time with them. Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Rosemary becomes pregnant, and the Castavets start taking a special interest in her welfare. As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Castavets’ circle is not what it seems…
One sentence review – one of the most disturbing stories ever told
The Shining (1980) based on The Shining by Stephen King (1977)
Blurb – Danny is only five years old, but in the words of old Mr Hallorann he is a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father becomes caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, Danny’s visions grow out of control. As winter closes in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seems to develop a life of its own. It is meant to be empty. So who is the lady in Room 217 and who are the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why do the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive? Somewhere, somehow, there is an evil force in the hotel – and that, too, is beginning to shine . . .
One sentence review – the film is better than the book – I will fight!
So, that’s it from me – what are your favourite horror book to movie adaptations? Drop me a comment below.