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Horror Film Franchise Based On A Short Story By Clive Barker

Horror Film Franchise Based On A Short Story By Clive Barker: Every Story From Clive Barker’s Blood Books That Was Made Into A Film Books of Blood on Hulu isn’t the first adaptation of Clive Barker’s six-volume collection; here’s a list of every film based on his short stories. Books of Blood, Hulu’s new anthology horror film, may have exposed new audiences to horror author Clive Barker’s work!

Horror Film Franchise Based On A Short Story By Clive Barker

But it is far from the first adaptation of the author’s huge six-volume collection of short stories. Individual stories have been adapted on-screen at least five times, not to mention a previous Books of Blood film and appearances on television. Books of Blood shares the same name as the written anthology because it follows the frame narrative for the entire series, but individual stories have been adapted on-screen at least five times.

Barker has created stage plays, screenplays, and video game scripts in addition to books and short tales, making him horror’s foremost Renaissance man. He’s also worked as a director a number of times, most famously for the horror classic Hellraiser, which is based on his own novella The Hellbound Heart. Barker’s popularity in the horror film industry also allowed him to create Gods and Monsters, the Academy Award-winning James Whale biopic. Aside from that, Barker is a talented visual artist who has designed his own line of Halloween costumes and illustrated his own book covers and sketchbook collections.

Clive Barker’s outstanding body of work has earned him comparisons to current horror masters such as Stephen King, who once dubbed him “the future of horror.” The author’s distinct and identifiable style, which combines the fanciful with the horrific, has earned him a fan favorite among genre fans, and his prolific work has gathered a wealth of material for filmmakers to pull upon. The adaptations of Barker’s Books of Blood stories that follow are only a small part of Barker’s entire work, but they are excellent examples of his darkly inventive imagination.

Rawhead Rex

The first of Clive Barker’s Books of Blood stories to be adapted for the big screen was released in 1986, and it wasn’t exactly a hit. The screenplay was written by Barker himself, however, he has voiced unhappiness with the final film, particularly with the cheap special effects and generic monster design. The plot of Rawhead Rex is about a monster running rampant in the Irish countryside, but Barker’s image of the beast featured a satirically sexual undertone in its portrayal of the creature in the original edition.

Barker ties the success of Hellraiser to his unpleasant experiences with Rawhead Rex and his subsequent resolve to take more creative control over his filmmaking ventures in the documentary The Art of Horror. Yattering Tales From The Darkside And Jack Barker’s contribution to George A. Romero’s television series, Tales from the Dark Side, a horror anthology show akin to The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, is a one-of-a-kind chapter in Books of Blood because of its blatantly comic tone. The story follows the Yattering, a demon that tries to drive a salesperson insane, only to have the tables turned on him by his victim’s good-natured attitude toward the unpleasant circumstances. Barker wrote the episode himself, infusing it with the same surreal humor that he used in the original.

Horror Film Franchise Based On A Short Story By Clive Barker
Horror Film Franchise Based On A Short Story By Clive Barker


Candyman, by far the most well-known and beloved of the Books of Blood film adaptations, deviates significantly from the short tale on which it is based, “The Forbidden.” The film, released in 1992, is about the infamously poor and crime-ridden Cabrini-Green public housing developments in Chicago, as well as the corrosive effects of racism on generational trauma. Barker initially set his novel in the post-industrial, decaying slums of Liverpool, scathingly criticizing the British class system’s notoriously repressive culture. Despite these discrepancies, Barker has professed his admiration for the writer and director Bernard Rose’s adaptation of the source material, telling Fangoria magazine in an interview in October 1992 that the film caught the “underlying psychology” of his work.

Illusions’ Lord

The 1995 film Lord of Illusions was a failed attempt to adapt Clive Barker’s story-hopping occult investigator Henry D’Amour for the big screen. D’Amour has appeared in several of Barker’s other writings, including as the principal character in The Scarlet Gospels, the sequel novel to The Hellbound Heart, but the film’s lackluster response has prevented any further adaptations of the hard-boiled supernatural investigator.

The problems with Lord of Illusions can be ascribed in part to Barker’s decision to change key tale aspects from the short story “The Last Illusion,” such as D’Amour’s past and the invention of a completely new opponent. Since the release of the unrated director’s cut, fans have revisited the picture, with some hailing it as one of the most undervalued horror films of the 1990s.


Clive Barker is well known for creating horrific on-screen monsters such as the Candyman and Pinhead from the Hellraiser franchise. While their works are noteworthy, Barker’s oeuvre is significantly more extensive than that of those two horror giants. With both of those characters about to return to the big screen in impending Hollywood reboots, now is the ideal time to become acquainted with Barker’s stunning, eerie, and singular writing skill. These are seven of my favorite Barker books, which serve as excellent introductions to some of the author’s most well-known and memorable works.

Fantasy Aficionados of all Age

I’m going to start with an unusual pick because The Thief of Always is technically a children’s fable, but it’s a fantastic read for dark fantasy aficionados of all ages. Harvey is bored with his life and wishes for something more exciting, as do all children. So he can’t believe his luck when he encounters the amazing Mr. Hood and his incredible Holiday House. It seems too good to be true, filled to the brim with goodies, amusement, and dreams coming true every day. Harvey quickly recognizes that it is. Barker creates a terrible universe that is both magical and horrifying, engulfing and delighting you without allowing you to take a breath.

The plot that would become Hellraiser was based on this shocking novella about lust, passion, avarice, and hell. If you’ve seen Barker’s directorial debut, you’ll already be familiar with the plot: Frank is a hedonist on a quest to reach new heights of pleasure. His research leads him to the Lemarchand Configuration, a mysterious puzzle box that houses the Cenobites, creatures whose sadomasochistic urges have rendered them unable to distinguish between pleasure and pain. Frank barely makes it out alive, dragging his sister-in-law into a terrifying and bizarre plan to assist him to revert to his physical form. The Hellbound Heart is a must-read for anyone who wants to see Barker at his best and most cruel.


Barker became an overnight phenomenon after the release of the first volume, and Stephen King lauded him as “the future of horror.”Both the British and World Fantasy Awards were given to the book. “For those of you who wonder how far an author can go, you need look no further,” Neil Gaiman wrote in his review of Books of Blood for Imagine magazine, “as hands strive to conquer the world, frogs succeed (kind of), and there’s something terrible behind every door.”

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