Customization can be a difficult art form. Often creators have to work a hard line between staying loyal to the content and updating it to fit a new medium.
Turning a short story into a longer medium requires the artist to expand on a beloved existing work and get people to enjoy it.
From The Thing to the Fly Candyman to The Black Phone, many of the biggest names in horror were adapted from short story novels or novels. A low word count can often make for perfect source material when making a horror film with few imagery. Making something new out of good bones can be a fine piece of art.
Lovecraft gets two but clearly the full list can be easily underestimated by Lovecraft Variations. Although the title is a bit misleading, it is a loose adaptation of the 2006 film The Shadow Over Insmouth.
Director Daniel Gildark and writer Grant Cogswell cleverly use the story’s symbolic horror as a more personal metaphor for the identification and judgment of sexuality.
Gay Professor Russ returns to his hometown and finds that his father has made a new identity as a cult leader. The feeling of being somewhere is translated with awkward editing choices and a strange sense of unease for the audience. It is not a perfect film but it is very unique and personal which can be ignored.
Not to be confused with the iconic comic book character of Karl Urban, this 2009 horror film takes a unique spin on the Clive Barker short story.
Fear came at the end of the story of the torture horror boom brought into existence by films like Saw and Hostel. Where those movies got their kicks with gory gore and unnecessarily complicated story.
Dread tackles torture with a more cerebral edge and a refreshingly simple concept. A deeply troubled college student named Quaid convinces his partner Stephen to work together on a unique school project.
Quaid’s pitch is to interview students about their deep fear of trying to quietly weaponize those deeply personal horrors against innocent people. Fear is troubling on a personal level.
Viewers can’t imagine their own worst nightmare, which was done with supernatural glee. Despite the small budget and short release, Dread is a compelling horror film from many angles.
The greats Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff shared the billing in eight films between 1936 and 1945. It was one of Lugosi’s last and final major studio facilities.
This strange period horror drama is adapted from the work of Robert Louis Stevenson starring Treasure Island and Dr. Best known for novels including The Strange Case of Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Stevenson’s The Body Snatcher is based on the true story of Burke and Hare. The film follows a surgeon who needs dead bodies for a medical experiment, a task he assigns to a cabbie and his assistant.
As the bodies pile up, questions arise that how the cab driver is getting so many fresh dead bodies. The film, which released in 1945, certainly has some vintage sensibilities, but those who love the classics will be thrilled to see two icons from the Universal Monsters era come together for the last time.
Sometimes a filmmaker has a direct line to a writer which makes them one of the definitive voices in adapting their work. Frank Darabont is that voice for Stephen King but Stuart Gordon may be the first to actually join HP.
Lovecraft. The father of cosmic horror created Herbert West Rainimator in 1922, which led to the lucrative horror-comedy adaptation in 1985. Jeffrey Combs starred as a medical student named Herbert West.
Who creates a serum that can bring the dead back to life. Through an immoral experiment, he and his fellow students find themselves in conflict with a professor who wants to steal the serum for himself.
This is a strange film with a deeply unpleasant scene hidden in it. Its themes are clear, its adaptation takes quirky elements with a healthy comic edge and is a brilliant take on Lovecraft’s cosmic horror.
There is something for everyone in the brilliant work of Stephen King. Most films based on short stories come from a handful of writers, the most consistent of which is Stephen King. Although the heavy circulation of cinema based on their work does not always follow the source material.
They do come in a variety of vocal productions and quality levels. 1408 is based on King’s short story of the same name from 1999 and is a strong adaptation.
It follows John Cusack as Mike Enslin, a dysfunctional writer who descends into madness in a haunted hotel room. Of course King wrote another story with that basic premise that is much better than 1408 but the 2008 adaptation deserves to be more shaded.