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DAY FOUR: The Ultimate Halloween Movie Hit List, guest post by Lucy from The Reading Date

popcornHappy Freaky Friday everyone! Today it’s over to Lucy from The Reading Date for a guest post. Our first name is not all we share – Lucy has some great taste in books, and movies too. So without further ado…


Thanks to Lucy for inviting me to take part in Lil’ Bookshop of Horrors! I’m delighted to share a list of scary book-to-movie adaptations.

Scary movies and books are some of my favorite parts of Halloween. And there are a surprising number of horror book adaptations. Some are very well known, like movies/books from the horror master Stephen King, but others are more under the radar and worth adding to your Netflix queue.

conjuringThe Conjuring – I saw a movie panel for The Conjuring at WonderCon and just the trailer scared the heck out of me! The legend goes that this movie got an R rating just because it’s so scary, even though the director set out to make a PG-13 movie to make it more accessible. This movie is based on a true story (those are the scariest!) about a haunted house and paranormal investigators so if you want to know more, pick up House of Darkness House of Light by Andrea Perron. The Conjuring is available on DVD October 22.

poster_lettherightonein1Let the Right One In – I’ve only seen the original Swedish film, based on the novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist, about a bullied kid befriended by a tweenage vampire. I remember this movie came out within a month of the first Twilight film, and all the movie critics were saying this was the vampire movie to go see. I love them both, what can I say, but Let the Right One In is certainly a chilling choice for those who like their vampires scary. Both the Swedish film and the US remake Let Me In (starring Chloe Grace Moretz) are available now on home video.

CarrieCarrie is Stephen King’s first novel, and the remake of the movie is in theaters now, and I can’t wait to see it! The revenge story involving a misfit teen with unexpected powers is still relevant today. The cast looks outstanding and I’m glad this movie is getting an update. But, the original Carrie movie is a cult classic as far as I’m concerned. So, I think it’s worth a rewatch to compare/contrast with the remake. The original Carrie is on Netflix streaming now, and the remake hit theaters Oct. 22.

Mia Farrow in "Rosemary´s Baby"Rosemary’s Baby – The Roman Polanski film is based on the book by Ira Levin and is an older one but I think it holds up well. It’s about a woman (Mia Farrow) pregnant with a demon baby. The movie is filmed in New York’s Dakota building, and Farrow has the cutest pixie cut and style in the movie. Polanski directs some great psychological thrillers, and Rosemary’s Baby is a good one to start with.

The Ring – I was surprised to learn that the chilling The Ring (everyone who watches a videotape is doomed to die) was based on a book. The book by Koji Suzuki launched Japan’s Ringu, Korea’s The Ring Virus, and the US remake The Ring – all are available on home video. This one scared me a lot and I haven’t rewatched it yet, though I’m curious about the other versions of the film.

warm bodiesWarm Bodies – I can recommend both the movie and the Isaac Marion book it’s based on. It’s about a zombie who retains a shred of his human self and falls in love. The book is a little darker and scarier, while the Jonathan Levine movie is my kind of scary with lots of laughs. Warm Bodies is the zombie take on Romeo & Juliet so it’s doubly literary!

coraline_othermomCoraline – Neil Gaiman’s middle grade book about a young girl who discovers a slightly malevolent secret world is skillfully adapted as a horror film for all ages.  Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) uses his trademark stop-motion animation to create a gorgeous film that’s spooky and entertaining. I saw it in all its 3D glory in the theater now I’m curious to see how it holds up on home video.

World War Z – Brad Pitt’s biggest hit is based on the novel by Max Brooks, a realistic look at a zombie invasion and the race to find a solution. I saw the charismatic, outspoken Brooks speak at a panel at Comic Con, where he said he wanted to hate the movie but he couldn’t. This zombie book adaptation is nothing like the source material but entertaining nonetheless.

i_know_what_you_did_last_summerI Know What You Did Last Summer – Lois Duncan’s book was one of my favorites growing up, back before YA was a thing. It’s about a group of teens involved in dark deeds and a shadowy villain taking revenge on them. The book spawned a film franchise starting with the 1997 movie of the same name starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Ryan Philippe. Fans of The Vampire Diaries take note that the screenplay was written by the TV showrunner and Scream writer Kevin Williamson.

Twilight – I will always have a soft spot for Stephanie Meyer’s book about an eternally teenaged vampire and the human girl who falls for him, and the Catherine Hardwicke movie. In fact, I think Hardwicke’s film is the most successful film of the franchise and most in the spirit of the book. I’m sure this will be the most contentious choice on the list, but I think it’s romantic, dangerous, and funny, both intentionally and unintentionally.

Other spooky book adaptations to check out:

The Shining


The Tenant

Battle Royale

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Killer

Flowers in the Attic

What are your favorite Halloween book adaptations?

Wow, thanks for the list, Lucy – some of my all time favourite movies are on there!

Leave a comment


  1. Tammy Sparks

     /  October 25, 2013

    Awesome list, Lucy! I need to rewatch Rosemary’s Baby since you mentioned it:)

  2. Thanks, Tammy! Rosemary’s Baby is a classic.

    Thanks for having me on your blog today, Lucy 🙂 I love the pictures you chose to feature!

  3. Coraline is totally a creepy book! The movie is much more time and I still love it but the book is much scarier. I was just talking about the Shining recently, too, and think I need to read it. Both the American versions of Let The Right One In are good. I think the Swedish film is a little better though the American version is strong. I think it suffered though because it came out really soon after the original and the original was so good it just didn’t seem to need a remake. And I still want to see the new Carrie!

    • I’ve not seen the American version of Let the Right one in, but I do love the Swedish version and apparently the book is very good but even darker, if that’s possible! Thanks for stopping by 🙂


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