It’s been proven countless times; that adapting shock novels make for horrifying movies. Think, The Shining, Amityville Frightent, A Clockwork Orange, all incredibly scary books that made for even better films. But, have you ever wondered what horror novels are out there that could potentially be adapted for the big screen? Or at least should be given a chance? Well, today on Best 5 Scary Videos, I’m going to be counting down our list of the Best 5 Scary Books That Should Be Turned Into Horror Movies. Before we begin, be sure to stick around until the end of the video where I’ll be responding to some of your comments.
5 A Head Full of Ghosts:
Paul Tremblay Published in 2015, A Head Full of Ghosts is a frightening novel that involves an American family under strain when their fourteen-year-old daughter Marjorie, exhibits signs of mental illness — with the story being told from the point of view of Marjorie’s eight-year-old sister Merry. Now, we learn quite quickly that it is not a mental illness but is instead a demonic possession — well, we think anyway. With the family short on money, they agree to let a film crew into their home to shoot a reality show called The Possession about Majorie and her upcoming exorcism.
However, the show does nothing but tear the family further apart, and during this time, Marjorie drops a bombshell on her sister Merry, that turns everything on its head. 15 years after the events, Merry recounts her tale in an interview, and dark secrets surface, secrets that are absolutely terrifying. Any horror told through the eyes of a young child is haunting — add possession into the mix, and a forced reality show, well, now we have all the elements for a perfect horror novel. Now, unlike the rest of our number, FocusFeatures has optioned the rights to A Head Full of Ghosts, so here’s hoping we see this story come to life on the big screen very, very soon.
4 The Fisherman:
John Langan First published in 2016, The Fisherman takes place in Upstate New York, in the woods around Woodstock, where Dutchman’s creek flows out of the Ashokan Reservoir, offering the promise of fine fishing, and of something more, something far too absurd to be true. When Abe and Dan become fast friends after discovering their shared passion for fishing, they begin to hear rumors of the creek, and what might be found there. They find themselves drawn into the tale, and head toward Dutchman’s creek, where long-buried secrets and a mysterious figure known as Der Fisher is said to remain. Now, The Fisherman is one of the best horror novels, of now just 2016, but the last decade. Now, sadly this book will likely not be turned into a movie, simply because John Langan took full advantage of the freedom of writing — with the narrative being wrapped in a narrative, filled to the brim with giant monsters and dark magic. Resembling the work of HP Lovecraft, specifically.
At the Mountains of Madness, which would be surprisingly easier to shoot, and that’s saying a lot. Now, The Fisherman, though filled with horrifying elements, is about the loss itself, and two men struggling to deal with their issues of loss, and learning to carry on in the face of insurmountable grief. The Fisherman is cosmic horror, unlike anything that has been penned before — with its mind-bending and heartbreaking tale of love, loss, and boundless horrors. Making it the perfect addition to any horror lovers bookshelf. However, as I said, it’s a comic horror, and at times even more intense than the works of HP Lovecraft. With the right director, and all the money in the world, perhaps one day it will be brought to life — I have my doubts though.
Chuck Palahniuk From the off, I should say that I read this novel when I was way, way too young, and I do not recommend, because some of the chapters and short stories in this book will linger in your mind for quite some time. One story, in particular, I have never forgotten. You have been warned. First published in 2005, Haunted has a plot that has a frame story for a series of 23 short stories, most preceded by a free-verse poem. With each story being followed by a chapter of the main narrative. Yeah, it’s confusing, and perhaps why the book has never been turned into a movie, but I still have hope. Anyway, the main story centers on a group of seventeen people who have decided to participate in a writers’ retreat after seeing it posted on a bulletin board of a cafe in Oregon.
Now, I won’t spoil this book for you, that would just be rude. However, I will say, after some things go down, the 17 individuals become trapped in the home — and in turn, begin to believe that an increase in their suffering will provide better stories for when they’re eventually rescued. So, without the gory details, some of the characters begin to engage in self-mutilation and cannibalism, all for a more interesting story. Now, it’s no surprise this novel has not been turned into a movie, the description alone is enough to make some people cringe, but I still have hope that one day, the likes of Eli Roth will nab the rights and bring something wonderfully gory to the big screen.
2 The Troop:
Nick Cutter The Troop is perhaps one of my favorite horror novels of all time, and that’s a bold statement, especially coming from me. But it’s the truth. Published in 2014, this horror novel follows Scoutmaster Tim Riggs, and his troop of boys, who once a year heading into the Canadian wilderness for a three-day camping trip — a comfortable reliable tradition that, of course, makes for a perfect horror story. On the first night of their trip, an unexpected intruder stumbles into their camp. He’s shockingly thin, pale, and worse, voraciously hungry — in turn exposing Tim and the boys to something far more terrifying than any ghost story. A bioengineered nightmare. A nightmare that spreads through the camp faster than fear itself. Now, I will not ruin this book for you, because, as I said, this is one of my favorite horror books of all time. All you need to know is that the camp intruder– the human carrier of this virus, unleashes something truly disturbing onto the camp, something will haunt my nightmares for years to come.
It’s disturbingly visceral, at times, painfully descriptive, and terribly sad all at the same time. It shows us the extremes young boys will go when met by something beyond any of their comprehension. Now, if you don’t want to take my word for it, the book even comes with Stephen King’s stamp of approval, I quote, “The Troop scared the hell out of me, and I couldn’t put it down.” In the acknowledgments of the book, Cuttereven credits King’s novel, Carrie, as an inspiration for the structure of his book. So, you know you’re in for a horrifying treat from the get-go. And, what makes it one of the greatest of its time — it will never, ever be predictable, and deserves to be made into a horror flick that we can experience visually.
1 Wylding Hall:
Elizabeth Hand Published in 2015, Wylding Hall is a terrifying horror that follows a British acid-folk band that hole themselves up in Wylding Hall, an ancient country home with incredibly dark secrets. It is in this terrifying English estate that the band create their album that will garner them all the success, but at what cost? Julian Blake, the lead singer of the band, disappears from within the mansion and is never seen or heard from again. So, years later, the surviving members of the group, as well as a psychic, a photographer, and the band’s manager — meet a young documentary filmmaker in order to tell their own versions of what went down in Wylding Hall, and, what really happened to Julian Blake. Of course, through the process of filming, dark secrets emerge about each member and their loved ones — making you question all of the characters you thought you could trust. Now, although this story may resemble the comfortably familiar haunted house story, that is not the case.
The book is framed as a set of interviews, something drastically unique to the classic haunted house structure. However, the interviews don’t go as expected. What we expect is differing events — unique versions from the different band members. But, that is not the case. Each interview remains unswervingly consistent, with each person describing a ghostly young woman who was lured into the open by Julian’sperformance of a haunting folk song. Now, there are of course some gothic trappings– secret passageways, icy sensations, and constant uneasiness all housed within a crumbling estate. This book is truly terrifying, take my word for it. And, seeing it on the big screen would quite easily rival the fear I felt in The Woman in Black, and the horrifying horror show, The Haunting of Hill House.