Before The Remake Movies, 14 Horror Films Adapted From A Book?

Horror movie remakes have become a prevalent trend, often drawing inspiration from European, Japanese and Asian cinema. Many of your favourite horror remake movies may feel hauntingly familiar for that reason but what was the actual source.

For many of the original films, the source was a novel.

Hollywood is renowned for browsing through world cinema titles for that next blood-curdling gem. Adaptations tend to get greenlit more than most when producers dig for ideas. Perhaps the logic is that the adaptation pulls an established interest in the story, a growing market, a built-in ready to go audience.

This is important particularly if another production resulted in a loss and less of a risk is needed. Also, buying the rights to remake a film, based on a book or not, is likely to be cheaper than buying full rights to a new book.

Another reason is connecting an updated US version of the film with modern audiences. These audiences prefer to avoid subtitled films and feel more comfortable away from a cultural disconnect.

And it’s therefore about the money. Big shocker. Horror remakes bring floods of audiences to cinemas. It’s a cash cow that producers cannot easily ignore.

And a horror movie remake done well is worth a terrifying night in. And cinema audiences know it.

So, which ones started as a book?

Let’s take a look at 14 of these spine-chilling remake movies connections. And which of them were based on a novel i.e. started as adaptations. Which of these remakes thrilled and terrified you?

Peel back the layers of rebooted renowned scares. Let’s get started!

The Ring (2002)

This remake of the Japanese movie “Ringu” focuses on a videotape showing grotesque imagery and if you watch it, you’re dead 7 days later after a phone call with a soft eerie voice says, 7 days. Starring Naomi Watts as a journalist racing against time to stop the curse and find the tape’s origins.

Remake of: Ringu

Year made: 2002

Directed by Hideo Nakata, “Ringu” was released in 1998 and based on the book “Ring” by Koji Suzuki.

The Ring Two (2005)

In “The Ring Two” (2005), investigative reporter Rachel Keller moves to a new town with her son after escaping the curses of the deadly video tape. However, a vengeful ghost haunting a new cursed video threatens Rachel and her son’s lives once again.

Remake of: Asian film (Japanese)

Original Movie Title: “Ringu 2”

Year Made: 1999

Director: Hideo Nakata

Based on a Book: Yes, “Spiral” by Koji Suzuki

Rosemary’s Baby (2014)

In the 2014 television miniseries “Rosemary’s Baby,” young couple Guy and Rosemary move into a luxurious Paris apartment, where they befriend a mysterious couple with a dark secret. As Rosemary becomes pregnant, she becomes increasingly suspicious that her neighbours may be part of a satanic cult with ambitions for her baby.

Remake Year: A television miniseries adaptation was made in 2014.

Year made: 1968

Director of the Remake: Agnieszka Holland

Based on a Book: Yes, the original film is based on the chilling novel “Rosemary’s Baby” (1967) by Ira Levin.

Candyman (2021)

In “Candyman” (2021), visual artist Anthony McCoy becomes obsessed with the urban legend of Candyman, who is summoned by saying his name in the mirror. As he investigates the myth and creates art inspired by it, he uncovers a dark history linked to his own past and puts his life in danger.

Has there been a remake? Yes.

Year Made: 1992

Director of the Remake: Nia DaCosta

Based on a Book: The original film is based on Clive Barker’s short story “The Forbidden” (1985).

American Psycho (2000)

Has there been a remake of the latest one? No, but there was a direct-to-video sequel called “American Psycho 2” (2002).

Based on a Book: Yes! The original film is based on the darkly satirical novel “American Psycho” (1991) by Bret Easton Ellis.

Let Me In (2010)

In “Let Me In” (2010), a bullied young boy named Owen forms a unique friendship with a strange girl named Abby, who is secretly a vampire. As their bond grows, Owen discovers the horrific truth behind Abby’s condition while facing the consequences of their forbidden relationship.

Remake of: European film (Swedish)

Original Movie Title: “Let the Right One In”

Year Made: 2008

Director: Tomas Alfredson

Based on a Book: Yes, “Let the Right One In” by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Dark Water (2005)

In “Dark Water” (2005), a single mother named Dahlia moves into a run-down apartment building with her daughter Cecilia. Strange events begin to occur, including a dripping water stain on the ceiling that seems to have a sinister connection to the building’s dark past, leading to terrifying consequences for the family.

Remake of: Asian film (Japanese)

Original Movie Title: “Honogurai Mizu no Soko Kara”

Year Made: 2002

Director: Hideo Nakata

Based on a Book: Yes, “Dark Water” by Koji Suzuki

Hellraiser (2022)

A young woman must confront the sadistic, supernatural forces behind an enigmatic puzzle box responsible for her brother’s disappearance.

Has there been a remake? Yes.

Year made: 1987

Remake Year: 2022.

Director of the Remake: David Bruckner.

Based on a Book: Yes! The Hellbound Heart (1986) by Clive Barker.

The Thing (1982)

In “The Thing” (1982), a group of researchers in Antarctica encounter a shape-shifting alien life form that can imitate any living being. As paranoia and distrust consume the group, they must unravel the mystery of who is human and who is the deadly creature before it infects them all.

Has there been a remake? No, but it is actually a remake itself! It’s a remake of the 1951 film “The Thing from Another World.”

Based on a Book: Based on the novella “Who Goes There?” (1938) by John W. Campbell Jr.

The Evil Dead (2013)

In “The Evil Dead” (2013), a group of friends gather in a remote cabin for a weekend getaway. Unbeknownst to them, the book they discover in the cabin’s basement unleashes a demonic force that possesses them one by one, leading to a terrifying battle for survival against the evil entities.

Director of the Remake: The remake was skillfully crafted by Fede Alvarez, who didn’t hold back on the scares.

Based on a Book: While the original film wasn’t based on a book, the director of “The Evil Dead,” Sam Raimi, actually wrote a novelization of the film in 1981. How cool is that?

Frankenstein (1931)

In “Frankenstein” (1931), Dr. Henry Frankenstein conducts gruesome experiments to create life from dead bodies. When he succeeds in bringing a creature to life, he is horrified by its monstrous nature and the havoc it wreaks. The film explores themes of hubris, morality, and the consequences of playing God.

Has there been a remake? Yes.

Remake Year: There have been numerous adaptations and retellings, but the most notable is “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” (1994).

Director of the Remake: Kenneth Branagh.

Based on a Book: Yes, the original film is based on “Frankenstein” (1818) by Mary Shelley.

The Shining (1980)

In “The Shining” (1980), a writer takes a job as a caretaker of a hotel during its off-season months, bringing his wife and young son with him. As the winter drags on, the hotel’s haunted past and the writer’s own descent into madness consume them all in a terrifying struggle for survival.

Has there been a remake? Sort of. There was a television miniseries adaptation called “Stephen King’s The Shining” (1997).

Remake Year: 1997

Director of the Remake: For the miniseries: Mick Garris

Based on a Book: Yes, the original film is based on “The Shining” (1977) by Stephen King.

Dracula (1931)

In “Dracula” (1931), Count Dracula moves from Transylvania to London, where he preys on innocent victims. A group of determined individuals, led by Professor Van Helsing, must unite to stop the vampire’s reign of terror before he can claim more souls and bring darkness upon the city.

Has there been a remake? Yes, several.

Remake Year: There have been countless adaptations, but notable ones include “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992) and “Dracula” (2020).

Director of the Remake: Francis Ford Coppola (1992), Karyn Kusama (2020)

Based on a Book: Yes, the original film is based on “Dracula” (1897) by Bram Stoker.

Psycho (1960)

In “Psycho” (1960), Marion Crane steals money from her employer and finds herself at the secluded Bates Motel, run by the mysterious Norman Bates. As Marion’s disappearance unravels, a shocking twist unfolds, revealing the horrifying truth behind Norman’s identity and the depths of his disturbed mind.

Has there been a remake? Yes.

Remake Year: “Psycho” (1998).

Director of the Remake: Gus Van Sant.

Based on a Book: Yes, the original film is based on “Psycho” (1959) by Robert Bloch.

The Vanishing (1993)

In “The Vanishing” (1993), a couple on vacation stops at a gas station, where the girlfriend mysteriously disappears. Years later, the boyfriend becomes obsessed with finding answers and discovers the horrifying truth behind her disappearance, leading to a tense and haunting game of cat-and-mouse with the perpetrator.

Remake of: European film (Dutch)

Original Movie Title: “Spoorloos”

Year Made: 1988

Director: George Sluizer

Based on a Book: Yes, “The Golden Egg” by Tim KrabbĂ©

Lots of remake movies, whether remade once or twice, started their story telling journeys as books. Have you found films that were remakes and also novel adaptations? Do share your findings.


Author: remakeorama