We’re not just talking about adaptations, we’re talking about films or short films that have been written, in some form or another, by an author. It might be an adaptation, it might be the author wrote the screenplay, or it might be that they came up with the initial idea.
Whatever the author did, these five films will either make you jump for joy or leap from fear.
With the DVD available October 22nd, it’s just in time for Halloween and for us to pop in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark!
Originally published in 1981, these stories had us scuttling under our beds into the gaping jaws of a beast, had us hiding under the covers only to realize that we were trapped in its grasp, and had us crying until we realized that it heard our tears.
Alvin Schwartz, the author of the book series, drew heavily on folklore and urban legends. That keen eye combined with Stephen Gammell’s terrifying images made this story more than just a creature feature.
Then came the adaptation, and those horrifying creatures came at us in three dimensions.
In 2003 Neil Gaiman’s Coraline was published. A novella, this crazy novel follows young Coraline, a little girl who, after moving into a new house with her parents, is given a mysterious note telling her not to go through the door. Naturally, she does.
Compared to Alice in Wonderland, this story is full of scares and trippy imagery that’ll make your head spin. It’s also just a great story, as evident by its 2003 win of the Hugo Award for Best Novella.
Naturally, the novella got an adaptation with the screenplay written by one Henry Selick, director of The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach, who went on to direct this stop-motion masterpiece.
Now I know what you’re thinking, Tim Burton making the Nightmare Before Christmas and then saying it’s based on a poem he wrote shouldn’t count! Well, he didn’t ‘make’ Nightmare Before Christmas. It has his name on the poster because he wrote the story and character via the poem, but the film was directed by Henry Selick, director of James and the Giant Peach and Coraline.
So watch this movie about a skull man who forces his midlife crisis onto others in the name of cultural appropriation.
1983 was the year when Stephen King’s Cycle of the Werewolf hit shelves. Don’t underestimate this relatively short novel, it’s packed to the brim with scares. A mystery novel, we follow Marty, a 10-year-old in a wheelchair as we try to figure out who this mystery werewolf is before he strikes again.
Two years later in 1985 we got an adaptation of the novel. Unlike the previous entry, Stephen King took an extra step and actually wrote this screenplay. If you plan to watch it hold onto your eyeballs, because it’s so eye rolling it’s cheesy fun.
Talk about a scary movie brought to us by an author! Who could top that?
Not an adaptation, but an original story for the screen written by Dr. Seuss himself.
This 1977 special won an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program. A prequel to How The Grinch Stole Christmas, this 25 minute short follows young Euchariah as he encounters the Grinch, who plans to release the horrors Paraphernalia Wagon upon Whoville.
Whether you plan to take on the night or hang at home with some horrifyingly good reads, here are 13 magically inspired quotes to put you in the best of spirits for this wicked holiday.
A well-composed book is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter in any other way.
― Caroline Gordon, American Novelist and Literary Critic
Image via weheartit
Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?
Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.
― Nora Roberts, American Romance Author
I address you all tonight for who you truly are: wizards, mermaids, travelers, adventurers, and magicians. You are the true dreamers.
What is the point of having Halloween specials on a show where weird, spooky and strange things happen every episode? Now they happen in costume.
The most important takeaway from Riverdale this week is that Toni is the best girlfriend in the world. Imagine finding out your girlfriend was keeping her dead brother out on display in the basement of the house you two share and still loving her? That’s how you know it’s real.
Image via TV Insider
Even after Toni convinces Cheryl to bury Jason again, her horrors are not over. A doll begins to terrorize Thistlehouse. Toni believes that Nana Rose and Cheryl are playing a prank on her—if Jason comes back, the haunting of his ghost through the ghost will stop. Luckily, Toni and Cheryl get all dressed up in their Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn costumes…just to host a seance with Jason. Nana Rose then informs the girls that the ghost is not Jason but a third child that Cheryl absorbed while in the womb. When the hauntings continue after Toni and Cheryl dig up Jason’s re-buried corpse, they think she may be right. I guess this doll of babies past will be sticking around.
Image via Elite Daily
One thing Riverdale has always done right is their incorporating of classic horror tropes. Betty all alone on Halloween, Jelllybean playing silly pranks. Phone calls claiming to be the Black Hood. Loud knocks on the door. With Betty dressed as a character from the original Halloween, every small sound and every ring of the phone leaves you wondering.
Apparently, the phone calls were from Polly in the mental hospital, but she doesn’t really give much of an explanation over the phone. Either way, with small children dressing up as the Gargoyle King and the Black Hood, I don’t think Halloween is Betty’s holiday.
While Betty stirs at home twitching at every noise, Jughead was busy getting buried alive as some sort of Stonewall Prep initiation ceremony—you know, the kind that happens at every school. It seems as though the students want Jughead gone. Probably because his literary genius is so threatening and they’re afraid he’ll write a better sonnet. Sometimes a prep school brat’s love of Edgar Allan Poe goes a little too far and you just have to trap someone in a coffin. We’ve all been there.
Jughead also learns about the “Stonewall Four,” where four students from Stonewall vanished out of thin air one right after each other. Of course, Jughead doesn’t vanish. In typical Moose fashion, he is in one episode, gets my hopes up about a “Mevin” reunion, and then disappears. Yes, Moose joins the vanished lot, now named the “Stonewall Five” because Kevin (and myself) are not allowed to be happy ever again.
Speaking of Kevin, while his past lover was disappearing, he was getting reprimanded for vandalizing Mr. Honey’s office with Reggie. When you have no friends, these are the types of things that you get roped into. Mr. Honey realizes this. One of the best parts of the episode was Mr. Honey saying that Kevin’s top school is NYU (Violet pride) but quickly shutting him down (because Kevin can never be happy) and saying he will never get in. What a great educator. I’m glad to see Kevin’s storyline is finally picking up again.
Mr. Honey also blames Reggie’s bad behavior on his father’s abuse. To rectify this bold statement, he continues to be a good educator by vandalizing Reggie’s car right back. It’s hard to tell if this man is playfully witty with a good heart or just plain mean. He doesn’t have a great track record so far.
If you’re wondering why I save Veronica and Archie for last, it’s because I care about them the least. See? Full transparency. You won’t find it anywhere else. I have to say, Veronica’s storyline was pretty interesting in this episode. She keeps Pop’s open late for a weary traveler just trying to drive through the night to meet his family. While he finishes his meal, Veronica hears on the news of a serial killer on the loose who matches his description personally. This also mirrors a typical horror scenario. Since Riverdale kids are no strangers to serial killers, she gets away not without burning him alive first. Way to go, Ronnie…I guess.
Image via Elite Daily
Self proclaimed hero Archie Andrews actually gets the suit he so deserved. We get the first mentions of the new CW Archie Comics spinoff, Katy Keene, in this episode when Veronica tells Archie and Munroe she can get costumes for them from her designer friend in New York. These costumes are skin-tight superhero costumes, of course. My hero, Archikins.
Our eighteen-year-old savior throws a Halloween party in the community center he has created in the time since the last episode to keep the kids off the streets for the night. Of course, a dangerous gang shows up who a lot of the kids in town work for. Things get violent, a child is shot, Archie is devastated, since he is personally responsible now for every bad thing that happens in Riverdale. After the fiasco and little Eddie turns out to be okay, Veronica poses an amazing suggestion—”Why don’t we clean up the streets?” I cannot believe no one has thought of this before! Veronica for New York City mayor 2020.
The episode ends once again with that looming plotline of Jughead’s future death. Jughead alludes to him going missing and Betty being the one to find him. Meanwhile, Charles listens in through the device he was using to trace the prank calls Betty got. Very creepy, bro. It then shifts to FP and Betty identifying Jughead’s body. Suddenly, this threat of Jughead’s eventual death seems a lot more real, despite Roberto Acquirre-Sacasa promising Jughead’s vitality before the season started. I trusted you, Roberto. Now I don’t know what to think. Also, Charles has clearly shown himself as a shady character. Can’t Betty have one family member who is stable? Is that too much to ask?
The answer is yes. Everything is too much to ask in Riverdale. We already know this.
Remember when The Cask of the Amontillado memes came back and crushed the scene for no reason? Those were good times, and they’re not gone. In fact, I have cases of Amontillado memes. Right this way, they’re just at the back of my cellar.
Um… Excuse me.
Image via Imgur
Who would lock him up? You’re a monster if you don’t protect him. Look how baby he is! I’m shook. Come to think of it, he definitely shouldn’t be drinking wine either. Let him out, pat him on the head, and get him something dogs like to drink instead. The look on his face is priceless. So polite. Like… pardon? I may have a problem? The little paw too, he just conveys so much with so little space. I don’t care how much he wronged me, I’d just keep bearing those affronts. I would gladly let him kill me.
Why do I Never See That Guy Anymore?
Image via Know Your Meme
Fortunato? Well, I certainly didn’t murder him, if that’s what you mean! Are you asking if I lured him down to the cellar and knocked him out? Don’t be ridiculous! Where would you even get that idea? I certainly didn’t build a wall over him so he’ll die slowly entombed in the earth. You guys have a lot of questions, lol. So specific! Why would I pretend to be his friend, secretly hate him, and then plot to get him drunk and murder him? You’re a riot.
The Internet is GOOD
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People say that phones would ruin classic media, but people are wrong. Can you believe this? Imagine all that nonsense, then Fortunato sobers up a little and realizes he’s got his cellphone. The sheer silliness appeals terribly to the post-absurdist sensibility we’ve got going these days. I also really appreciate the anticlimax. Oh god, he walled him in! Wait, wait, he’s got his cellphone. It’s fine. PEAK COMEDY, I tell you. What did we do before Twitter?
You Know the Look
Image via Twitter
I don’t even know where to go from here, to be perfectly honest. How can something that’s borderline incoherent be so funny? Who gave it the right? Memes have gotten so abstract in the hundred-seventy-three-years since this was published. Why did this become a craze? Were people like ‘you know what’s relevant to the modern world? A sedate story about wine and revenge from over a hundred-fifty-years ago’. It’s a spicy take.
We’ve All Been There
Image via Imgur
Does anybody remember this show? And could you possibly explain to me why every single train had the worst personality ever put to film? I wasn’t rooting for any of those jerks. And what could possibly be the situation pictured here? Are they actually cask-of-the-amontillato-ing a guy? He doesn’t exactly look comfortable with whatever’s going on. These are children’s books, for goodness’ sake. Did they really just go, ‘I know what’s good for this kid’s book! Murder!’ Ahead of their time, I guess?