A common debate amongst fans is if the book or the film is better. As a genre defined and started by gothic literature, horror is no exception to this question. Both mediums can keep readers at the edge of their seats; books do this with detailed explanations that paint a picture while movies do this with suspenseful music and build-up within the plot.
There are over a dozen horror movies inspired by literature. In fact, most of the classic monster movies are inspired by gothic literature. Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein are two of the most well-known. Stephen King’s works also immediately come to mind: Carrie, The Shining, It, Misery, 1922, Pet Sematary, and many more.
The media can’t seem to get enough of horror book adaptations. In fact, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and The Turn of the Screw by Henry James were adapted for Netflix for The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor respectively. As someone who has enjoyed many of these adaptations, I was curious to see what horror movies coming out this year had book counterparts.
If you’re the type of person who prefers to read the book or wants to compare, here are three new horror movie releases that are based on stories.
New horror movie releases: The Woman in the Window
The Woman in the Window is a psychological thriller directed by Joe Wright with the same premise as the 2018 book of the same name by A.J. Finn. It follows Anna Fox (Amy Adams), a recently divorced child psychologist who has severe agoraphobia. From her window, she watches over her neighbors, specifically the Russell family that just moved in. Despite seeming perfect, Anna is told the father, Alistair, is abusive. After she witnesses a murder in their home, things only get more complicated.
The film also stars Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, Fred Hechinger, Wyatt Russell, Brian Tyree Henry, Julianne Moore, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jeanine Serralles, Tracy Letts, and Mariah Bozeman.
Amy Adams told Parade:
“I was not sure I wanted to dive into that dark of a place. Playing Anna taught me how far it could go. There were a lot of times where it got a little too close. I had a lot of anxiety in my 20s.”
Sarah Delima of The Guardian says, “Where the movie rushes over its many side characters, the novel explores each role with more depth and nuance.”
Fans called the movie intense.
just saw The Woman In the Window AND IT WAS INTENSE!
ugh why amy adams got no oscar for thisssssss
— Untari Sabdiana (@anaidbasiratnu) June 29, 2021
Morgan preferred the book to the movie.
Hunting Party is good too!! I read it right after I finished The Guest List
— K (@ksparky13) June 28, 2021
One fan said the cinematography makes the film worth watching.
Everything I keep watching gets horrible reviews but I thoroughly enjoy them???? Everyone is so overly critical these days wtf 😳
— hot girl graduate 🎓🤸🏼♀️✨ (@droskeet) June 29, 2021
Alexis expressed wanting to talk to other fans about it because it’s that good!
has anyone watched the woman in the window it’s so good and i wanna scream abt it
— alexis (@Ioviekwan) June 29, 2021
The Woman in the Window was released on May 14, 2021, on Netflix.
New horror movie releases: Antlers
Antlers is a supernatural horror film directed by Scott Hooper. It is adapted from Nick Antosca’s short story, The Quiet Boy, which can be read on Guernica. The story follows Julia Meadows (Keri Russell), a small-town teacher in Oregon, and her brother, Paul (Jesse Plemons), the local sheriff. The two are concerned about one of Julia’s students, Lucas (Jeremy T. Thomas), who is keeping a supernatural creature hidden in his house.
The film also stars Katelyn Peterson, Graham Greene, Scott Haze, Rory Cochrane, Amy Madigan, Cody Davis, Sawyer Jones, and Jake T. Roberts.
Gabe said they were most excited about this film this year!
What are your top 5 most anticipated movies for the rest of this year?
2. Halloween Kills
4. Nightmare Alley
5. Malignant https://t.co/Jy5XR7LMAa
— Gabe Gonzalez (@ALatinxHorror) June 27, 2021
Sarah said she was looking forward to the film.
Now that movies are coming out again, what are you most excited for?
Me, I’m hype for Halloween Kills and Matrix 4.
— Ashley Lynch™ ✂️🎬 (@ashleylynch) June 26, 2021
Many fans expressed being impatient for the release after the release was pushed back multiple times.
It’s sad antlers was my most anticipated horror movie last year and I completely forgot about it till now because it got pushed back so much https://t.co/xa7M7MxcDF
— Cody ⚰️ (@Deescender) June 20, 2021
Emerson says that no film will rank higher than this one to them.
I did not think Suicide Squad would end up in my most hype movies for this year but look where we are. Nothing is gonna be ranked higher than Antlers though
— Emerson “Emmy” Herzog (@HerzogEmerson) June 22, 2021
Antlers will be released in movie theaters on October 29, 2021.
New horror movie releases: Nightmare Alley
— J. Miles Dale (@milofx1) January 21, 2020
Nightmare Alley is a psychological thriller, directed by Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel Nightmare Alley by William Lindsay Gresham. The story follows an ambitious carny with a knack for manipulation (Bradley Cooper) and a dangerous psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett), who team up.
Little other information about the plot of the film has been released, but the film also stars Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, Rooney Mara, Holt McCallany, Clifton Collins Jr., Tim Blake Nelson, Mary Steenburgen, and David Strathairn.
At the Tribeca Film Festival (see highlights of the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival here), Bradley Cooper described filming the movie for the past two and a half years as “a unique experience, going through the pandemic, taking six months off and revisiting it. [The cast and crew] not only became lifelong friends, but it was an artistic experience.”
Fans expressed their excitement for the trailer dropping.
hello, drop random dates under this tweet of when you think we’ll get the nightmare alley teaser/trailer. whoever’s closest is gonna win a free therapy session paid by cate blanchett. i’ll start:
— may 🍂 (@carolaird) June 29, 2021
Some fans are reading the book now!
My copy of #NightmareAlley arrived today. No idea why my nearly two year old niece decided to start dancing with it after grabbing the case, but I’m happy that she’s happy.
— 24panelspersecond (@24panels) June 28, 2021
Other fans of the story are reading the book and watching the 1947 film.
Last night I finished reading Gresham’s NIGHTMARE ALLEY & plunged directly into the @Criterion Blu-ray of the 1947 film. Both haunting, but the book is far more brutal & uncompromising. Excited to see how dark the @RealGDT / @SunsetGunShot
version will go. https://t.co/hUmmXCHnSK
— William D’Annucci (@CountBillStein) June 27, 2021
Paola is hoping for a press tour.
Now every time I see pictures of Cate and Rooney I wonder if we’ll get a press tour for Nightmare Alley. I hope we do.
— Paola (@Jailbirdss) June 27, 2021
Nightmare Alley will be released in movie theaters on December 3, 2021.
I am incredibly excited about these upcoming movie releases and hope to read the literature that inspired them first. If you have read the stories, what are you hoping for in the movie adaptions? Do you intend to read before watching? Let us know in the comments!
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