(Welcome to Now Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.)
Matt: As an uncivilized swine who barely has enough time to keep up with weekly cinema releases, let other mediums of storytelling, Chris has informed me that some of my favorite horror films are actually based on written literature. I didn’t believe him at first, but some quick researching proves he’s actually right! Who knew books could be good for something besides kindling for campfires? In any case, in honor of some little movie called Drowsy Physician or something, here are a few rad horror movies based on authored horror you can stream right now!
Chris: Happy Doctor Sleep month! Yes, it’s time for yet another Stephen King adaptation – this time adapted from his sequel to The Shining. In honor of this particular literary horror adaptation, Matt and I are turning to the wild world of horror books for this week’s Now Scream This! Too lazy to read a book? Don’t worry! There are movies!
John Dies At The End
Now Streaming on Vudu
Matt: David Wong’s John Dies At The End was adapted by Don Coscarelli of Phantasm fame, and quite well if you ask my opinion. Not everyone can wrangle alternate-reality invasions laced with stoner humor, doped-up by a fake street drug dubbed “Soy Sauce.” This title actually landed in my “100 Best Horror Movies Of The Decade” series posted right here on /Film, as lead actors Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes sell their psychotropic freakout as an evil-fighting buddy tandem. Meat monsters, doomsday cults, Paul Giamatti – John Dies At The End has it all!
Chris: I’ve never read the John Dies at the End book, but I have seen the film, and it sure is wacky!
Now Streaming on Netflix
Matt: Clive Barker’s works have long disturbed horror movie audiences, with Bernard Rose’s Candyman adaptation ranking high in terms of quality. In a time when representation wasn’t the greatest for slasher cinema, Tony Todd carved his face on the Mount Rushmore of horror icons as the Chicago hook-hand slayer. Personally, it took until this Halloween season to check Candyman off my blind spot list. Why, dear readers, did it take twenty-seven years to right such a wrong (besides obvious reasons first about my age upon release and then being BUSY BUSY BUSY). Doesn’t matter – enlightenment prevails. A magnificent cultural horror swing that’s gory, mesmeric, and makes Bloody Mary look like a punk.
Chris: The Candyman short story is vastly different than the film, and I’d go so far as to say the film is better. Sorry, Clive Barker!
The Midnight Meat Train
Now Streaming on Hulu/Amazon Prime
Matt: No, not *that* The Midnight Meat Train I mistakenly flipped to on Cinemax one night past 2AM. The other one. Adapted by Ryuhei Kitamura, based on a Clive Barker story, starring Bradley Cooper and Vinnie Jones. A grimy look at a city’s underbelly where a murderer slaughters subway train passengers, only to reveal an even more insidious motivation. It’s brutal, drenched in vile butcher’s remnants, and a slick piece of conspiracy horror from the perspective of a paranoid photographer. Definitely still for the after 2AM crowd, based on stomach-churning reasons and super mature content.
Chris: Wow, two Clive Barker adaptations in one list? Crazy! Once again, I’m going to say I think this movie adaptation is better than the story it’s based on. It’s just fun. Bradley Cooper! In a movie called Midnight Meat Train! How can you resist?
Now Streaming on Netflix
Matt: Mike Flanagan did what some thought would be impossible: adapt the Stephen King story Gerald’s Game. Kinky bedroom rape-fantasy “enjoyment” gone horribly awry. Carla Gugino’s work as a woman bound to her bedpost shines while the vision of her now-deceased lover, played by Bruce Greenwood, pays continual visits (in addition to other unwanted guests). Shades of single-setting tension and unsightly torments plague Gugino’s performance, then Flanagan pays off with his “sliding of the glove” effect. It’s all fun and games until your lover dies of a heart attack and leaves you handcuffed, stranded with no key. Someone *has* to have said that, right?
Chris: Directors avoided adapting Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game for years, simply because the book is so un-cinematic. But Mike Flanagan actually found a way to make it work.
Now Streaming on Shudder
Matt: Everyone’s lives can use a little more Takashi Miike, especially horror fans who’ve yet to behold his adaptation of Ryu Murakami’s Audition. Eihi Shiina stars as a romantic who desires to be loved by only one man, and Ryo Ishibashi plays the poor widowed bastard who becomes her latest fixation. A movie that zigs, zags, and pulls morbid tricks out of an unassuming sack. Cinematic historians have read the film as both feminist and misogynistic, the former stemming from a particularly gruesome torture scene. In any case, it’s an exquisite, divisive gaze into violent obsessions, as the apple of one’s eye rots from the inside outward.
Chris: The perfect date movie.
Continue Reading Now Scream This >>
The post Now Scream This: The Best Streaming Horror Movies Based on Books appeared first on /Film.