From Shelley to Senécal: 10 terrifying adaptations



Halloween and its little monsters are upon us. While many are preparing to embark on a marathon of horror films, the team ofwheretosee.that went to unearth treasures in the abyss of her cinematographic database. Here are ten adaptations of literary works intended for the bravest of moviegoers. 3, 2, 1… Chills!

USA, 1931. Horror drama by James Whale with Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Dwight Frye. A doctor crafts a monster using the limbs of various corpses, then brings it to life by concentrating the electrical forces of lightning during a thunderstorm.

The author’s work Mary Shelley, one of the best-known gothic horror novels first published anonymously in 1818, has been the subject of countless adaptations for theatre, television and film. The version from Universal Studios, which stars Boris Karloff in the role of the monster, remains, even today, the most iconic.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula
United States, 1992.
Fantasy drama by Francis Ford Coppola with Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins. A vampire sets his sights on a young Londoner who looks like his wife who died 400 years ago.

At the end of the 19the century, bram stoker he too signs one of the most celebrated Gothic novels. Dracula knows its share of adaptations on the big screen, which one thinks of the unofficial version Nosferatu, or the dozens of incarnations of the bloodsucker by English actor Christopher Lee. In contrast, the version staged in 1992 by Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather) is undoubtedly the most faithful, but also the most sumptuous.

sleepy hollow
USA, 1999. Tim Burton’s fantasy drama starring Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson. In 1799, a policeman investigates bizarre murders that villagers attribute to a ghost rider.

Although not quite as successful as Shelley and Stoker, American author Washington Irving has come up with a short story, that of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, still told in cottages as Halloween approaches. Tim Burton has brilliantly reappropriated this story to make it an atmospheric film, whose gothic and baroque style perfectly suits his cinematographic universe.

living cemetery
USA, 1989. Fantasy drama by Mary Lambert starring Dale Midkiff, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby. Installed on the outskirts of an old Indian cemetery, a doctor has macabre experiences when he buries his son who died in an accident there.

Impossible to ignore the prolific Stephen King, when it comes to addressing the adaptations of horror novels brought to the big screen. Moreover, we no longer count the number of his works transposed to the cinema. living cemetery may not have the cinematic qualities of Carrie or of shiningbut we have a weakness for the excellent novel Simetierre.

Rosemary’s Baby
United States, 1968. Fantasy drama by Roman Polanski with Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon. A young pregnant woman convinces herself that she is the victim of manifestations of witchcraft.

One year after the release of the best-sellingIra Levin, Roman Polanski made a version for the cinema which remains, even today, one of the most agonizing fantasy dramas. Mia Farrow’s interpretation of Rosemary is striking.

The Exorcist
USA, 1973. William Friedkin’s horror drama starring Jason Miller, Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow. Assisted by a fellow psychiatrist, an old priest tries to exorcise a 12-year-old girl who seems possessed by the devil.

In 1971, the author William Peter Blatty is based on a case of demonic possession he had heard about while attending college. His novel became the feature film we know, considered by many to be the most terrifying film of all time.

United States, 1991. Crime drama by Jonathan Demme with Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn. A young FBI intern is tasked with interrogating a dangerous murderer in order to obtain information from him about another killer wanted by the police.

Whether Thomas Harris brought to life one of the most disturbing serial killers, the psychiatrist and cannibal Hannibal Lecter, the composition of comedian Anthony Hopkins – a role that won him the Oscar for best actor – has all of an anthology performance.

Interview with a Vampire
USA, 1994. Neil Jordan’s horror drama starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst. A vampire tells an interviewer about the events he experienced in the XIXe century with two other vampires, a cynical dandy and a kid.

When Anne Rice learned that Tom Cruise was going to play the vampire Lestat, she saw red. The writer changed her mind, however, after watching the film by Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan. She said afterwards that she found the famous American actor to be exceptional and that his portrayal would be forever remembered.

Let me enter
Sweden, 2008. Fantasy drama by Tomas Alfredson with Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar. A lonely schoolboy, bullied by classmates, befriends a young vampire who helps him find the courage within himself to fight back.

The Swedish novelist John Ajvide Lindqvist managed to reinvent the myth of the vampire in a skilful and original way. Filmmaker Tomas Alfredson did the same with his magnificent adaptation, in which viewers cannot help but feel inhabited by a certain Scandinavian melancholy.

5150, rue des Ormes
Quebec, 2009. Horror drama by Éric Tessier with Marc-André Grondin, Normand D’Amour, Sonia Vachon. Due to an indiscretion, a film student is kidnapped by a vigilante taxi driver, who puts to death individuals of dubious character.

The Quebec author Patrick Senecal, well known for his fantasy and horror novels, has collaborated twice with filmmaker Éric Tessier. Following the success of On the doorstepthe duo tackled the world of Senécal’s very first novel, 5150, rue des Ormes. The film is thus defended by the solid performances of Marc-André Grondin and Normand D’Amour, in a blood-chilling duel.

From Shelley to Senécal: 10 terrifying adaptations