[#RapplerReads] Did you know that these horror movies were actually based on books?

Julian Cirineo

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

[#RapplerReads] Did you know that these horror movies were actually based on books?
Here’s another way to enjoy your favorite hair-raising flicks

Editor’s note: #RapplerReads is a project by the BrandRap team. We earn a commission every time you shop through the affiliate links below.

People watch horror movies for different reasons. For some, it might be the adrenaline rush you get from watching characters you relate to go through unimaginable circumstances. For others, it’s watching the plot twist and turn, and unfold in unexpected ways. Perhaps it could also be a test of courage.

Horror movies rely so much on the ability of directors, scriptwriters, editors, and the other people behind the scenes. It takes so much creativity from their end to turn a horror movie into something that will truly scare, while watchers just need to suspend their disbelief and enjoy the ride.

And while we think that many films in this genre have done great justice in turning written material into a visual masterpiece, there’s also fun (or dread) to be had by relying on your own imagination. 

Reading a horror novel is a unique experience. When you really lean on the words and play out each chapter as a scene in your own head, or even imagine being in the book yourself, you might end up connecting to the original material even more than when you saw it in the cinema.

So for gut-wrenching, hair raising, “Oh my god, is someone behind me” or “What is that figure in the corner over there?” reads, we’ve listed down horror films that were based on books so you can relive scary scenes, but this time in your own heads.

Tread with caution.

The Ring

If you watched the english adaptation, The Ring, good for you. If you watched the Japanese film, リング (Ringu), yooooo. Okay, props to the Hollywood team for a job well done, but the Japanese version was indubitably better. Who can forget the eerie sounds and scenes that played out when Reiko Asakawa was watching the infamous cursed tape. And when we first saw Sadako, holy moly.

The book series gives you a different experience, though. There’s added context to the scenes, there’s more gore and confusion, and the curse here just seemed more confusing. I also allowed my own imagination to go wild, so I had to take frequent breaks as I leafed through the pages.

The Shining

“Here’s Johnny!”

If you haven’t watched this classic, you’re missing out on some confusing psych thrilling scenes. The Shining doesn’t rely on jumpscares but instead allows the narrative to creep up on you. So is the book!

Jack Nicholson did amazing as he portrayed Jack Torrance slowly being pushed out of his sanity, but the book really dives into the personal demons of the character as he and his family go through the horrors of the Overlook Hotel.

Doctor Sleep

Decades since its prequel, The Shining, was first published, Stephen King followed up the book with Doctor Sleep, which now focused on Jack Torrance’s son Danny. You know, the little kid who rode the tricycle all around Overlook Hotel. The plot follows a similar tone of psych thrillers and creeping horrors, and the movie adaptation does the same. If you want to know what happened to Danny after The Shining, and whether or not he turned out to be just like his father, pick up the book! Then watch the film afterwards, or vice versa.

Smaller and Smaller Circles

Although the novel written by F. H. Batacan is more of a mystery and thriller, it does give you the chills as you read. The plot follows two Jesuit priests realizing a pattern in the disappearances and murders of boys in the slums of Manila. After getting little support from the authorities, they take matters into their hands by following a trail of clues that they piece together through criminal profiling, forensic analysis, and crime scene investigation. It’s deep, it’s dark, it’s downright entertaining.


My exposure to slasher films began with a VHS tape of Nightmare on Elm Street, but it was Hellraiser that really changed the game for me. Like other slasher films in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the film also didn’t hesitate to show blood and some viscera, but they took it to new horrors by mixing pleasure and torture into the plot. Forget about Jason Vorhees or Freddy Kreuger, all must fear Pinhead, the hell priest and head cenobite.

If you haven’t seen any of the Hellraiser films, you can start with the remake by Hulu that just came out! Do watch the older films though, they’re a classic.

And yes, Hellraiser was also originally based on a book entitled The Hellbound Heart.

How about you? Do you have any horror recos for this spooky season? Tag us on social media with your latest book hauls, reviews, and recommendations using the hashtag #RapplerReads! – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Avatar photo


Julian Cirineo

Julian is a senior content producer for Rappler's BrandRap. Before joining the team, he worked for an NGO focused on plastic pollution, and was also a managing editor for a magazine. He started his career as a producer and writer for a TV news network.