Graveyard Shift The Best Horror Movies Based on Books  

Ranker Film
565 votes 55 voters 26 items

List Rules Only horror movies based on or inspired by literature.

Some of the best horror movies based on books are those where the director that can take the words off the page from the author and turn them into some of the most memorable and visually horrifying scenes in film history. Scary movies based on horror fiction have been around since the days of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi and have been making moviegoers scream in terror and delight ever since! The reason for the success of horror movies adapted from books is due to the reader’s yearning to see if the film matches up or surpasses their own imagination while they were reading the book. New movies based on horror novels have been huge hits at the box office as of late and thus we are likely to see even more of them terrorizing us in theaters in the coming years.

Share this list with your friends and rank the best horror movies based on books any way you want! Cue the jump scare! Don't see a horror movie adaptation that you love? Feel free to add it to the list and check back to find out how others rank your selections.

 

list ordered by
1
30 8
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak
The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more
2
23 4
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider
Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The prototypical summer blockbuster, its release is regarded as a ...more
3
24 6
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby
Pet Sematary is a 1989 American horror film adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name. Directed by Mary Lambert and written by King. Andrew Hubatsek was cast for Zelda's role. Author ...more
4
26 8
It is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
It Bill Skarsgård, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis

It is a 2017 horror film directed by Andy Muschietti and based on the Stephen King novel. In 1989, a group known as the Losers Club take on a monster known to them as Pennywise that is terrorizing the town of Derry. 

5
26 9
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair
The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel of the same name. The book, inspired by the 1949 ...more
6
16 3
Red Dragon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton
Red Dragon is a 2002 American psychological thriller film based on Thomas Harris' novel of the same name. It is a prequel to The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. The novel was originally ...more
7
22 9
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers
The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, ...more
8
19 9
The Mist is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden
The Mist is a 2007 American science fiction horror film based on the 1980 novella of the same name by Stephen King. The film was written and directed by Frank Darabont, who had previously ...more
9
12 3
Cujo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Ed Lauter
Cujo is a 1983 American psychological horror/thriller film based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. It was directed by Lewis Teague, and written by Don Carlos Dunaway and Lauren Currier.
10
18 9
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
John Travolta, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie
Carrie is a 1976 American supernatural horror film based on Stephen King's first major 1974 novel of the same name. The film was directed by Brian De Palma and written by Lawrence D. Cohen. The ...more
11
18 9
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins
Psycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane, who ends up at a secluded motel after taking money from ...more
12
13 5
1408 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack, Kate Walsh
1408 is a 2007 American psychological horror film based on the Stephen King 1999 short story of the same name directed by Swedish director Mikael Håfström. The movie stars John ...more
13
16 8
The Birds is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Alfred Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette
The Birds is a 1963 suspense/horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, loosely based on the 1952 story "The Birds" by Daphne du Maurier. It depicts Bodega Bay, California, which is, ...more
14
8 1
Manhunter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Brian Cox, Garcelle Beauvais, Joan Allen
Manhunter is a 1986 American thriller film based on Thomas Harris' novel Red Dragon. Written and directed by Michael Mann, it stars William Petersen as Will Graham and features Brian Cox as ...more
15
9 2
Thinner is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Stephen King, Kari Wührer, Josh Lucas
Thinner is a 1996 American body horror film directed by Tom Holland and written by Michael McDowell with the screenplay by Tom Holland. The film is based on the Stephen King novel of the same ...more
16
13 7
Interview with the Vampire: Th... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst
Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles is a 1994 American romantic horror film directed by Neil Jordan, based on the 1976 novel Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice, and starring ...more
17
14 8
Bram Stoker's Dracula is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Monica Bellucci, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder
Bram Stoker's Dracula is a 1992 American horror film directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the 1897 Gothic horror novel by Bram Stoker. Count Dracula (Gary Oldman), a ...more
18
11 6
Children of the Corn is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R. G. Armstrong
Children of the Corn is a 1984 supernatural horror film based upon the 1977 short story of the same name by Stephen King. Directed by Fritz Kiersch, the film stars Peter Horton and Linda ...more
19
12 9
The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger
The Amityville Horror is a 1979 American supernatural horror film, directed by Stuart Rosenberg, based on Jay Anson's bestselling 1977 novel of the same name. It is the first film in the ...more
20
11 8
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Bela Lugosi, Tod Browning, Carla Laemmle
Dracula is a 1931 vampire-horror film directed by Tod Browning and starring Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula. The film was produced by Universal and is based on the 1924 stage play Dracula by ...more
21
9 6
Christine is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Kelly Preston, Alexandra Paul, John Madden
Christine is a 1983 American horror thriller film directed by John Carpenter and starring Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul and Harry Dean Stanton. It was written by Bill Phillips and ...more
22
9 7
Hellraiser is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Doug Bradley, Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence
Hellraiser is a 1987 British horror film written and directed by Clive Barker, based upon his own novella The Hellbound Heart. The film spawned a series of sequels.
23
9 7
Let the Right One In is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Lina Leandersson, Tom Ljungman, Philip Hersh
Let the Right One In is a 2008 Swedish romantic horror film directed by Tomas Alfredson. A 12-year-old boy (Kåre Hedebrant) develops a friendship with a vampire child (Lina Leandersson) in ...more
24
9 8
Dreamcatcher is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Morgan Freeman, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis
Dreamcatcher is a 2003 science fiction horror film adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name. It was directed by Lawrence Kasdan, and co-written by Kasdan and screenwriter William ...more
25
8 9
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Horror Movies Based on Books
Boris Karloff, John Boles, Colin Clive
Frankenstein is a 1931 horror monster film from Universal Pictures directed by James Whale and adapted from the play by Peggy Webling, which in turn is based on the novel of the same name by ...more