One thing that I am always on the lookout for is horror movies that are not based on books by Stephen King. Not to knock Stephen King, I’m sure he’s a fine writer whose books I’ve never finished, but it is far too easy to just fall back to his works and movies based on them when there are so many other books out there that have been made into movies. Some of those are classics and some are a little more obscure, but it’s always great to find horror by writers who aren’t Stephen King.
My movie watchlist is just like my TBR in the way that it is constantly expanding and overflowing. As of right now, I currently have two movie jars (one for all genres and one for October) and I’m going to make another one for Sci-Fi Month next month. It’s very obvious that I don’t have any self-control 🙈
The Exorcist (1973)
According to pretty much everyone, not only is The Exorcist considered to be the scariest movie ever made, it is a pretty tough movie to watch even though the full-on horror doesn’t happen until the second half. 13-year-old me would not have even considered wanting to watch this movie. She would have cried at the thought of it because she was such a big baby. 16-year-old me wouldn’t have wanted to watch it either because she was happy just watching the Universal Monsters. 25-year-old me is different and I think I can handle it now. I may read the book first to sort of cushion the blow of the movie because books don’t scare me as much as movies do, but who knows.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)
In a similar vein to Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula (which is my favourite Dracula adaptation), this adaptation is one that is supposed to be more faithful to the book. I’m not sure how faithful you can be when you have Robert De Niro who is from Manhattan and sounds like he never left playing the Monster who was created in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and speaks like a nobleman. But this movie was directed by and stars Kenneth Branagh who is probably one of my favourites and I’ve enjoyed pretty much everything that he’s directed (and that includes Thor, which is saying a lot because I don’t like Marvel movies anymore).
Ring (1998) & The Ring (2002)
At the time of me writing this post, I’m currently reading Ring and I have the original Japanese movie on my watchlist for this month. Even though the two movies are technically the same, I do want to see how they differ from each other and also from the book because I already know that the protagonist is different (in the book they’re a man, in both movies they’re women) and even the cursed videotape is different. One thing that I do find really interesting about the Japanese movie is that it actually has two sequels. One is an adaptation of the book’s sequel Spiral, and the other is an original script that was written after Spiral didn’t do well at the box office.
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Like I’d said in my Autumn TBR post, I’m not a fan of musicals, and I am definitely not a fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom musical. The original book is 100% a Gothic novel and I want to see scary versions of Phantom on screen but most movies are either more heavily focused on romance, in-name-only adaptations, are lost, or are that really gory version starring Robert Englund that I may watch someday after reading the book. But anyway, what draws me into this version is the set design, the makeup, and also the fact that some of the scenes are in colour. There were colour films as early as 1902, but that’s still impressive for 1925.
Interview with the Vampire (1994)
A documentary mini-series about horror I’ve been watching recently credited Anne Rice with “allowing vampires to be queer” and I couldn’t disagree more with that. That doesn’t really have anything to do with this, I just felt like mentioning that. So anyway, Tom Cruise is not one of my favourite actors because once he discovered that action movies are his thing, all of the characters he plays became exactly the same. But because this movie is from when he still did dramas, I’m interested to see how he would play a brooding vampire. I haven’t read the book yet but I may watch the movie first because I just don’t care about what order I do things in that much anymore. Life is short, watch the movie first if you want to.
The Devil’s Advocate (1997)
I had no idea that this movie is based on a book until recently, but I have wanted to watch this movie for a long time. I don’t usually like movies that feature Satan as a character or have Satanic themes in them because it comes off as really cringy to me (hence why I hated American Horror Story: Apocalypse), but this has Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino in it as well as allusions to Inferno and the Faust myth. What’s not to love?
Battle Royale (2000)
Is this a horror movie or is it a really graphic action movie? I don’t know and I don’t think other people are too sure either, but this has been on my list for a very long time, as has the book. I personally don’t think that The Hunger Games is a ripoff of this book/movie because not everyone is as into international cinema and literature as die-hard fans are. Heck, I didn’t start getting into foreign language movies until a few years ago.
This is another movie that I didn’t know was based on a book, but that’s mainly because I’m not well versed in Japanese literature and also because the concept is so out there that I assumed it was thought up by the director since his movies tend to be pretty crazy. I am not the kind of person to seek out extreme horror and it is not a goal of mine to find the most graphic movie ever made so the fact that I want to watch this one is a little strange. But it is on Shudder and I’m curious to see if it’s as graphic as people say.
Odd Thomas (2013)
It has been a long time since I read the first book in the Odd Thomas series and I have the rest of the series waiting for me to read them but I’ve wanted to watch this movie since I found it on Netflix a few years ago. Unfortunately for me, it took me such a long time to watch it that it’s no longer on Netflix in the UK which really sucks. But then again waiting for it to come back will probably be good for me because I am still not over Anton Yelchin’s death and it’s been four years since then.
talk to me!
What horror movie adaptations do you want to watch? Would you read the book first or watch the movie first?