Just about anyone who follows horror has bemoaned the sorry state of the genre these days. Nearly everything is a remake, either of some 1970s or 1980s classic or of some recent Asian hit. The rare films that aren't remakes are simply lazy copies of whatever worked a year earlier, the current "torture porn" subgenre, for example. And hardly anything screens for the press, which means that even the studios now understand how low things have sunk.

The new film The Ruins likewise isn't screening for the press, but it is based -- of all things -- on an actual book! With pages! It's by Scott B. Smith, who many years ago wrote both the book and screenplay for the excellent A Simple Plan. The new movie inspired me to look up other literary-based horror movies (whether inspired by novels or short stories). Sadly, aside from Stephen King and the upcoming Midnight Meat Train (based on Clive Barker's short story), I couldn't find much good recent work, but there is plenty to choose from ...

categories Cinematical