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The Most Horrifying Movies Inspired By H.P. Lovecraft

Updated January 24, 2020 712 votes 81 voters 2.2k views31 items

List RulesVote up your favorite films that have been inspired by H. P. Lovecraft's mythos.

It would be impossible to underestimate the impact author H.P. Lovecraft has had on movies. His stories have been inspiring feature films for decades, and they continue to do so. The tales of horror he wrote were so vivid and so horrific that they have had an indelible impact not only on other writers but on motion picture directors, as well.

Some movies based on Lovecraft short stories include beloved horror classics, such as Re-Animator and From Beyond, both of which were directed by mega-fan Stuart Gordon. Other Lovecraft inspired movies don't have their origin in any particular story he wrote but from the overall tone and style of his work. John Carpenter's The Thing, for example, is technically a remake of 1951's The Thing from Another World, although a few of its story elements are clearly drawn from Lovecraft's 1931 tale At the Mountains of Madness. Plenty of other H.P. Lovecraft adaptations of various types exist and we have them listed below, you might even be surprised to find that there have been several adaptations of "The Colour Out of Space." This list is also a great resource if you are looking for movies like Color Out of Space (2020).

But which of these Lovecraftian adaptations is the best? You get to help decide with your votes. Vote up the ones you think are the best, and don't forget to check back later on to see how your selections are faring.

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  • The Thing is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Horrifying Movies Inspired By H.P. Lovecraft
    Photo: Universal Pictures

    Partly inspired by: At the Mountains of Madness (1931)

    The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a parasitic extraterrestrial lifeform that assimilates other organisms and in turn imitates them. The Thing infiltrates an Antarctic research station, taking the appearance of the researchers that it absorbs, and paranoia develops within the group. The film is based on John W. Campbell, Jr.'s novella Who Goes There?, which was more loosely adapted by Howard Hawks and Christian Nyby as the 1951 film The Thing from Another World. Carpenter considers The Thing to be the first part of his Apocalypse Trilogy,... more on Wikipedia
    • Actors: Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter, Adrienne Barbeau, Wilford Brimley
    • Released: 1982
    • Directed by: John Carpenter
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  • In the Mouth of Madness is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Horrifying Movies Inspired By H.P. Lovecraft
    Photo: Universal Pictures

    Inspired by: Lovecraft's overall body of work

    In the Mouth of Madness is a 1995 American Lovecraftian horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter and written by Michael De Luca. It stars Sam Neill, Julie Carmen, Jürgen Prochnow, David Warner and Charlton Heston. The film is the third installment in what Carpenter calls his Apocalypse Trilogy, preceded by The Thing and Prince of Darkness.... more on Wikipedia
    • Actors: Sam Neill, Julie Carmen, Jürgen Prochnow, Charlton Heston
    • Released: 1994
    • Directed by: John Carpenter
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  • Re-Animator is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Horrifying Movies Inspired By H.P. Lovecraft
    Photo: Empire Pictures

    Based on: Herbert West–Reanimator (1922)

    Re-Animator is a 1985 American science fiction horror comedy film loosely based on the H. P. Lovecraft episodic novella "Herbert West–Reanimator." Directed by Stuart Gordon, it was the first film in the Re-Animator series. The film has since become a cult film, driven by fans of Jeffrey Combs and Lovecraft, extreme gore, and the combination of horror and comedy.... more on Wikipedia
    • Actors: Barbara Crampton, Jeffrey Combs, David Gale, James Ellis, Bruce Abbott
    • Released: 1985
    • Directed by: Stuart Gordon
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  • From Beyond is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Horrifying Movies Inspired By H.P. Lovecraft
    Photo: Empire Pictures

    Based on: From Beyond (first published in 1934)

    From Beyond is a 1986 American science fiction-body horror film directed by Stuart Gordon, loosely based on the short story of the same name by H. P. Lovecraft. It was written by Dennis Paoli, Gordon and Brian Yuzna, and stars Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ken Foree and Ted Sorel. From Beyond centers on a pair of scientists attempting to stimulate the pineal gland with a device called The Resonator. An unforeseen result of their experiments is the ability to perceive creatures from another dimension that proceed to drag the head scientist into their world, returning him as a grotesque shape-changing monster that preys upon the others at the laboratory.... more on Wikipedia
    • Actors: Barbara Crampton, Jeffrey Combs, Ken Foree, Bunny Summers, Ted Sorel
    • Released: 1986
    • Directed by: Stuart Gordon
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