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Horror Films: Horror Films and Literature

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Horror Movies Based on Works of Literature

There are many horror films that are based on works of literature.  Some of the most famous monsters, such as Frankenstein and Dracula, were first developed within novels.  Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley in 1818, continues to be a popular horror monster today. Frankenstein the monster is seen in both comedy horrors like Young Frankenstein (1974) and classic horror films like Frankenstein: The Man Who Made a Monster (1931).  Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein in the year 1816 when she was just 18 years old.  The idea was conceived during her stay at Lord Byron's home during the "Year without a Summer."  Attempting to find something exciting to do on a rainy, cold day, Mary, her future husband Percy, and Lord Byron proposed that they all write a gothic ghost novel.  Mary Shelley was the only one of the three to finish the novel.  More than 200 years have passed and her gothic tale is still widely read and continuously adapted for other stories, films, and TV programs.

Some of the most haunting scary movies of today hail from more contemporary authors. One of the most well-known authors of horror fiction is Stephen King.  King has had several novels turned in to movies including: Carrie (1976), The Shining (1980), and  (1990).  Stephen King wrote several short stories for magazines before his first novel, Carrie, was published.  Ever since this first publication he has been churning out books and over 50 of his books have been adapted for movies or TV shows.  Other more modern horror fiction novels that have been adapted for TV or movies include: Hellraiser (1987), Rosemary's Baby (1968), and Innocence (2002).