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10 Best Horror Movies Based on Books

Horror at the cinema

Estimated reading time — 4 minutes

If you’re a horror buff, nothing can be more rewarding than reading a book and then seeing a movie based on it or vice versa. Watching the movie after reading the book allows you to see the characters come to life and the opposite enables you to gain more knowledge about the film.

To enjoy this experience, we’ve compiled a list of ten of the best horror movies based on books to ever hit the screens. 


Candyman, a movie released in 1992, is about Helen Lyle, who writes a thesis that claims citizens of Cabrini-Green use an urban legend as a coping mechanism. She then gets claimed by the legend. Candyman is based on a short story called The Forbidden by Clive Barker. One of the upcoming horror movies this year includes a remake of the 1992 Candyman film.

Bird Box

Bird Box is a movie about a mother who’s trying to get her children to safety amid an apocalypse caused by beings that become your biggest fear. The Bird Box movie is based on a novel by Josh Malerman, which has the same title. A major difference in the film is how Marie dies.

American Psycho

American Psycho is a 2000 movie based on events set in the 1980s about an unseemly materialistic investment broker called Patrick Bateman, who’s a serial killer. The movie is based on the 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis, also called American Psycho, but the movie doesn’t reveal Patrick Bateman’s music obsession like the book.


Dreamcatcher is the perfect movie for people who like both horror and sci-fi. The main characters in this film gain telepathic abilities after rescuing a boy called Duddits from bullies, which helps them try to survive an alien invasion. Dreamcatcher is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name and does a good job at capturing the essence of the 620-page work.

I Know What You Did Last Summer

I Know What You Did Last Summer is about four teenagers who get involved in a car accident and kill someone in the process. They then get stalked and killed by a vengeance-seeking entity. There’s also a sequel to this movie called I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.

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The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs is about Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee who hunts a serial killer called Buffalo Bill. She hunts him with the help of an incarcerated serial killer who isn’t cooperative. The Silence of the Lambs is also the name of the book this movie is based on, which was written by Thomas Harris.

The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man is about Cecilia Kass, who escapes an abusive relationship with an optics engineer who fakes his death and torments her while people think she’s crazy. Another remarkable thing about The Invisible Man movie is how well it adapted a book from 1897 with the same title to fit the modern timeline it’s set in.

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It is a movie that has inspired many memes since its release in 2017 follows a story about a group of kids who are outcasts. These kids, in addition to being bullied, have to deal with a murderous clown who knows how to play to their fears. The movie is based on the 1986 Stephen King novel, also called It. However, there are big differences between the characters in the book and those in the film.

Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary is about a family that learns about a cemetery that can bring back the dead when they see their cat returning home after being buried. However, they also learn that whatever is buried there is never the same again after resurrection. Pet Sematary is based on the 1983 Stephen King of the same name, which was nominated for a World Fantasy Award for Best Novel three years after its release.


I Am Legend

I Am Legend stars Will Smith, where he plays the role of an Army virologist called Robert Neville, who tries to save humanity from a virus. The virus turns victims into vampire-like creatures called Darkseekers, who Robert Neville has to fight constantly whilst trying to find a cure. The 1954 Richard Matheson novel called I Am Legend is the inspiration behind the film even though there are stark differences between the two.


There are more movies than you’d expect to be based on books, especially in the horror genre, which has received many adaptions over the years. However, keeping your mind open and not expecting the movie to be exactly like the book can help you enjoy the film storylines best as they’re great. Also, if you don’t find enough time to recharge your batteries with a great book-based horror movie, we hope you now have a solution.

Author Bio: 

Paul Calderon is an independent writer for some of the best news websites and also helps students do their assignments when they are unable to meet deadlines or lack the requisite skills. He’s a brilliant writer and plans to launch a writing website soon. In his free time, he loves playing lawn tennis, reading spy novels and watching NFL and NBA.

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