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5 Horror Novels That Deserve Film Adaptations (And 5 That Deserve Better)

Some horror novels are ripe for adaptation (or fixing)...

Penguin

A lot of horror novels are perfectly suited to film, as evidenced by everything from Munich helmer Steven Spielberg’s iconic monster movie blockbuster Jaws to A Clockwork Orange director Stanley Kubrick’s seminal Stephen King adaptation The Shining.

However, not every adaptation manages to do a great novel justice onscreen. As much as viewers want to see their favourite books make it to the multiplex, horror literature is a tricky thing to get right and often what is scary on paper can end up looking laughable at the cineplex.

That’s why this list exists, to introduce you to five superb lesser known horror novels which deserve to make a splash on the big screen, as well as five great horror novels which inept filmmakers did dirty whilst trying to realize them onscreen.

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10. Rawhead Rex - Deserves Better

Empire Pictures

Released a year before Book of Blood Clive Barker decided to adapt his own work with the iconic Hellraiser, Barker’s earliest adapted work Rawhead Rex deserved better than the unintentionally hilarious eighties horror treatment it received.

Set in rural Ireland, the original story concerns a monstrous entity which represented the most aggressive excesses of the human sex drive, and it was an unremittingly bleak and vicious slice of folk horror which deserves a grim, horrifying adaptation.

Give us the original phallus-headed monster Barker envisioned! But, you know, somehow less unintentionally funny than the rubber-suited monster featured in the 1986 film, whose sexual predilections are played down presumably to appease censors... Only for him to still eat children.

A weird middle ground to choose, that.

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Cathal Gunning hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.