There are countless sources of inspiration for horror movies, including mythology and true crime cases. Filmmakers are constantly looking for new subjects to cover and explore people’s worst fears.
Thus, the trend of turning children’s stories into terrifying films that examine their absurdity and delve deeper into adult themes has become popular in recent years. There are plenty of movie adaptations of children’s books for fans to watch on Halloween that will haunt fans’ sleep for days, ranging from Hans Christian Andersen and Brother Grimmfrom well-known fairy tales to more contemporary nursery rhymes.
british author Neil GaimanThe 2002 dark fantasy children’s book Coraline was perhaps intended for young readers, but it was not suitable for all. Although the book was praised for its writing and illustrations, its rather gruesome subject matter immediately gained notoriety.
However, in 2009 the book was adapted into a stop-motion animated dark fantasy horror film which tells the story of the titular girl finding an idealized parallel universe hidden in her new home not realizing that it has a dangerous secret. Coralinewhich stayed too true to its print counterpart, immediately established itself as one of the scariest kids’ movies of all time.
“Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” (2019)
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a collection of three short children’s horror stories written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammel. Schwartz spent over a year researching and writing each book, which was hugely successful, using folklore and urban tales as the basis for his fiction.
The first book in the collection was adapted into a horror movie in 2019 with the same name which heightens the tension of the book series. Based in a small town, four teenagers discover a book of terrifying tales in a spooky mansion, and those tales begin to come to life. The film is aimed at a younger, horror-loving audience and is steeped in symbolism and filled with concepts about innocence lost and the power of stories.
‘Gretel & Hansel’ (2020)
Hansel and Gretel is a German fairy tale compiled by the German Brothers Grimm and was published in 1812 in Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The tale centers on brother and sister Hansel and Gretel, who are left alone in the forest and find themselves in the care of a witch who resides in a house made of gingerbread, cakes, and sweets.
The title of the 2020 film adaptation of the fairy tale has been changed to Gretel and Hansel because the movie focuses more on Gretel, played by Sophie Lillis. The movie has a few changes that make the story even more unsettling while remaining authentic to the original. The film received praise for its chilling cinematography and a talented ensemble, which included Alice Krige and Jessica De Gouw.
“The Curse of Humpty Dumpty” (2021)
Humpty Dumpty is one of the best-known nursery rhyme characters in the English-speaking world and was originally known as the riddle. He is depicted as an anthropomorphic egg with a classic story of him smashing into pieces after falling off the wall.
In 2021, a horror movie inspired by Humpty Dumpty was released under the name The Curse of Humpty Dumpty. The film follows a woman with dementia who returns to her childhood home with a vague memory of an egg-headed doll she owns that has way too many teeth. It should come as no surprise that the doll is haunted and begins to make the woman doubt herself and her reality.
‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey’ (2022)
Winnie-the-Pooh is the fictional anthropomorphic teddy bear created by A. A. Milne and EH Shepard. The first children’s book in the collection came out in 1926 under the name Winnie the Pooh and centered around the titular character and his adventures with his friends, including Christopher Robin, Piglet, Eeyore, Owl, Rabbit, Kanga, and Roo.
Meanwhile, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is an upcoming 2022 horror film about an angry Winnie-the-Pooh who hatefully blames Christopher Robin for abandoning him. The characters in the film have less in common with the work of Milne and Shepard and more in common with something out of a nightmare.
“The Lure” (2015)
the lure is a Polish musical horror film that follows two mermaids who, after emerging from the water, perform in a nightclub. One of them drops her tail when she falls in love with a man. However, she also loses her voice in the process: the Other is voracious and wants to feast on the townspeople.
With a darker twist, the film is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The little Mermaidwhich was first published in 1837. The tale also served as the basis for waltz disneyThe 1989 release of the musical animated feature of the same name.
‘Red Riding Hood’ (2011)
Little Red Riding Hood is a European folk tale about a little girl and a cunning wolf. Its roots can be found in several European folk stories from before the 17th century, the two best-known versions being those of Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm.
Later, in 2011, the film adaptation of the tale was aptly renamed Red Riding Hood and took a more overt turn to horror. The film, which features Amanda Seyfried in the lead role, begins as a standard romantic drama but quickly turns into a horror movie when a werewolf threatens the protagonist. Despite the negative reviews, the movie is nonetheless enjoyable and has some pretty decent scares.
‘Snow White: A Tale of Terror’ (1997)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is popular 19th century German folklore and can be found in Brother Grimm’s Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The princess of the tale, who is called Snow White, must flee the wrath of her stepmother, the queen, and seek refuge in the house of the seven dwarfs.
Although the 1997 film adaptation, Snow White: A Tale of Terror, adheres closely to the original fairy tale, it also includes gruesome murders and betrayals that make it unsuitable for young audiences. The film quickly establishes its gothic setting and terrifying realism before becoming excessively dark.
“The Curse of Sleeping Beauty” (2016)
Sleeping Beauty Where Little heather rose is another well-known fairy tale by Brother Grimm which tells the story of a princess who is cursed by an evil fairy to sleep for eternity: however, she can be awakened by the kiss of a true love.
The film adaptation of the tale, The Curse of Sleeping Beauty, takes a horrifying twist by exploiting the horrifying elements of the original folk tale, such as the idea of endless sleep and being kissed by strangers. Although the film was not well received, it is nevertheless an inventive and enjoyable retelling of a fairy tale with a certain contemporary unease.
Cinderella Where The little glass slipper is a folk tale that has several variations around the world. The most popular version of the story centers on an unhappy young woman who, after the death of her father, now resides with her stepmother and stepsisters. Eventually, she encounters the prince at a royal party she is not allowed to join, and while fleeing, she unwittingly drops one of her glass slippers.
The 2006 Cinderella The South Korean adaptation is not a straight adaptation but has more than enough thematic and story ties to the fairy tale. The film follows a young girl whose mother is a well-known plastic surgeon; then, she discovers grim truths when friends who received treatment from her mother start seeing ghosts and committing suicide. The movie isn’t a standard ghost story, but a slow-burn story with an intriguing plot, and would be a great choice to watch on Halloween.
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