Movies you didn't know were based on books: Halloween edition

When it comes to Halloween, we all love a good scare. And while horror movies often take centre stage during this spooky season, did you know that some of your favourite Halloween flicks were adapted from books?

In this Halloween edition of our movie listicle, we're going to unearth some spine-tingling secrets about movies you didn't know were based on books. So grab your popcorn and let's dive into the world of literary horrors on the silver screen!

In this blog:

The Shining (1980) – Based on Stephen King's The Shining

Stanley Kubrick's cinematic masterpiece, The Shining, is often hailed as one of the greatest horror movies ever made, but its origins lie in the twisted imagination of Stephen King.

King's novel of the same name, published in 1977, is a haunting exploration of isolation and supernatural terror. The film, while iconic, deviates in several ways from the source material, yet both versions are celebrated in their own right.

King's storytelling prowess shines through in the novel, providing a deeper dive into the psychological torment of Jack Torrance and the eerie Overlook Hotel. If you're a fan of the film, give Stephen King's book a try – you may even find the book to be better!

Psycho (1960) – Based on Robert Bloch's Psycho

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho is a legendary thriller, but it may surprise you to learn that it originated from the pages of Robert Bloch's novel.

Published in 1959, Bloch's book served as the dark wellspring for the eerie world of Norman Bates and his infamous Bates Motel. The film's iconic shower scene, in particular, was directly inspired by Bloch's suspenseful storytelling.

While Hitchcock's adaptation became a classic in its own right, Bloch's novel explores the twisted psyche of the Bates family even further than Hitchcock's silver screen adaption does.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – Based on Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs is a bone-chilling crime-thriller that has left audiences trembling for years, but it all began with Thomas Harris's equally chilling novel.

Published in 1988, Harris's book introduces us to the brilliant yet deranged Dr Hannibal Lecter and the determined FBI trainee Clarice Starling. The film, directed by Jonathan Demme, brought these characters to life with unforgettable performances by Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins.

While the movie is celebrated for its suspense and psychological intensity, Harris's novel is notoriously remembered for its unconventional ending. If you enjoy watching the movie, have a read of the original source material and see what you think!

Hellraiser (1987) – Based on Clive Barker's The Hellbound Heart

Pinhead and the Cenobites might haunt your nightmares, but did you know that Hellraiser originated from the twisted imagination of Clive Barker? This iconic horror film is based on Barker's novella, The Hellbound Heart.

In both the book and the movie, Barker weaves a dark and unsettling tale of desire, pain, and the horrifying consequences of crossing into the realm of the Cenobites.

The film is celebrated for its gruesome special effects and chilling atmosphere, but the novella is equally as brilliant, further exploring The Labyrinth (otherwise known as Hell) and the Lament Configuration, making it a must-read for horror aficionados looking to explore the origins of this hellish masterpiece.

The Thing (1982) – Based on John W. Campbell Jr.'s Who Goes There

John Carpenter's The Thing is a staple of sci-fi horror, but it has its roots in a novella by John W. Campbell Jr. titled "Who Goes There?"

Published in 1938, Campbell's story served as the source material for the film's gripping narrative. Both the novella and the movie tell the tale of a research team in the Antarctic who encounter a shape-shifting alien creature capable of imitating any living being, leading to paranoia and mistrust among the group.

Campbell's original work introduces themes of fear, isolation, and the unknown into a compact novella while Carpenter's adaptation brought those themes to life with the help of shocking special effects and makeup.

The Exorcist (1973) – Based on William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist

Regan's terrifying possession in The Exorcist has become an unforgettable image in the world of horror, but did you know that it all began with William Peter Blatty's novel?

Published in 1971, Blatty's book masterfully weaves a tale of demonic possession and the battle between good and evil. The film adaptation, directed by William Friedkin, shocked and horrified audiences with its graphic and intense portrayal of the possession.

While the movie is celebrated for its shocking visuals and unsettling atmosphere, Blatty's novel offers an even bleaker take on faith, doubt, and the supernatural.

Jaws (1975) – Based on Peter Benchley's Jaws

Steven Spielberg's iconic summer thriller, Jaws, is a staple of the horror genre, but its origins can be traced back to Peter Benchley's novel of the same name.

Published in 1974, Benchley's book introduced readers to the terrifying great white shark terrorizing the fictional town of Amity Island. Spielberg's adaptation took Benchley's suspenseful narrative to the big screen with heart-pounding tension and unforgettable shark attacks.

While the film is celebrated for its suspenseful music, thrilling action, and of course, the unbelievably realistic animatronic shark used throughout filming, Benchley's novel has some slightly different character personalities and focuses on the characters' fears and the economic pressures of a small beach town.

The Haunting (1963) – Based on Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House

Before Netflix's series adaptation, Robert Wise's classic horror film The Haunting found its inspiration in Shirley Jackson's novel, The Haunting of Hill House.

Published in 1959, Jackson's book laid the foundation for the film's spine-tingling atmosphere and supernatural occurrences. The story follows a group of individuals invited to a supposedly haunted mansion, where they encounter terrifying and inexplicable events.

Wise's adaptation is celebrated for its eerie ambience and psychological horror, while Jackson's novel delves even deeper into the psychological torment of its characters, creating a lasting legacy in the horror genre.

I Am Legend (2007) – Based on Richard Matheson's I Am Legend

Will Smith's post-apocalyptic thriller I Am Legend was actually based on Richard Matheson's novel from 1954. The novel, also titled I Am Legend, offers a different perspective on the story, showcasing the psychological toll of being the last human survivor in a world overrun by vampires.

The movie is mostly known for Will Smith's compelling performance and its action-packed sequences, but Matheson's exploration of isolation and survival against bloodthirsty creatures makes it a must-read for any fan of the film.

If you're a fan of I Am Legend and are into vampire-themed films, Matheson's book definitely won't disappoint you!

The Ring (2002) – Based on Koji Suzuki's Ringu

You may never look at a videotape the same way again after watching The Ring, but did you know that this terrifying tale originated from a Japanese novel? The movie, directed by Gore Verbinski, is a chilling adaptation of Koji Suzuki's novel Ringu.

Published in 1991, Suzuki's book introduced readers to the cursed videotape and the vengeful spirit of Sadako. The Ring takes this premise and spins it into a hair-raising cinematic experience that became an international sensation.

The film (and the Japanese version, Ringu) is known for its spine-tingling jump scares, whereas Suzuki's novel has a deeper focus on the supernatural mysteries behind the cursed video, making it a must-read for fans of horror looking to explore the origins of this iconic franchise.

Next time you watch these spine-tingling Halloween classics, remember that their roots trace back to the pages of books! Whether you prefer reading the chilling tales or watching them unfold on screen, get your Halloween essentials cheaper when you buy second-hand books and pre-owned DVDs from musicMagpie.