So, Kevin had a crack at this a couple of years ago, and it only seems right I should take a swing at the horror novels I would like to see hit the big screen. Aside from my own horror stories, of course (hi, buy Misandry or Lagrasse! Or both!). To the list!
- Popular Hits of the Showa Era – Ryu Murukami
Ryu Murukami’s novels have already served as the basis for a couple of horror movies – the iconic Audition and the more recent Piercing – but I think this, one of his earlier works, is just begging for a fun, ridiculous adaptation. Popular Hits follows two groups at the opposite ends of a single generation of music, one a crew of middle-aged spinster women, the other a gang of ne’er-do-well twenty-something men with a penchant for street harassment and karaoke. After an ugly encounter between two members of each of the gangs, they declare war on each other, and lead an insanely violent, utterly twisted, and constantly escalating campaign of terror against each other over the course of the rest of the book. Popular Hits is begging for an unbridled splatterpunk adaptation that really captures the gleefully anarchic chaos and odd supernatural elements of Murukami’s cult hit.
2. Naomi’s Room by Johnathan Aycliffe
Naomi’s Room is one of those books that I’m just stunned hasn’t had a movie adaptation yet; an eerie British-set family horror nightmare that weaves together the mythos of Jack the Ripper with a 1970s family desperately trying to find their missing daughter. It seems to hit so many of the big horror tropes that are popular right now – vintage, British, haunted house, all about that Inherited Trauma – and the story goes to some genuinely harrowing and unforgettable places that I’d love to see a good director (looking at you, Mike Flanagan) bring to life.
3. Harbour by John Ajvide Lindqvist
From the author behind the unbelievable Let the Right One In, Harbour is a small-town horror in the vein of Midnight Mass that takes its time unfolding deep characters to deliver a genuinely unsettling community-wide nightmare. In the right hands, and especially with the right actors to bring the characters to life, the scares could translate brilliantly from page to screen. Not to mention that the lonely Swedish archipelago it’s set on would be just the greatest invitation from some absurdly beautiful cinematography.
By Lou MacGregor
(header image via The New Yorker)