On the surface, The Book Thief may look like another World War II drama, but its Nazi-era setting hints at the disturbing horrors that are contained deep within. Books in other movies bring the horror out into the open.
By Peter Martin
The Shining (1980)
Jack Nicholson brings his family to the isolated Overlook Hotel so he can get a fresh start and get to work on a novel. Unfortunately, he doesn't make much progress on the book, and his writer's block leads to murderous thoughts.
The Beyond (1981)
In Lucio Fulci's grisly masterpiece of horror and dream logic, a young woman renovates a hotel in Louisiana, never imagining that it's built over a gateway to Hell. The Book of Eibon offers information and the possibility of a way out of her dire situation.
Successful novelist James Caan is ready to kill off his most popular character, but when he crashes his car on a snowy mountain road, his rescuer / caregiver Kathy Bates has other plot twists in mind for his next book.
The Dark Half (1993)
A writer's pseudonym manifests as a fleshly reality in this nightmare from Stephen King, who knew a thing or two about pen names. George A. Romero's film version spreads the threat to anyone who poses a danger; the ultimate responsibility, though, lies with the writer's books.
In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
John Carpenter's apocalyptic tale revolves around best-selling horror novelist Sutter Cane, whose books have a disconcerting effect upon his "less stable readers." In search of the writer, who has disappeared, an investigator discovers the true power of words.
The Prophecy (1995)
The key to understanding the events of this apocalyptic horror movie is a hand-written copy of the Bible. It includes a chapter of the Book of Revelation that has never been seen before, which tells of a war in Heaven, as well as a prophecy about an evil soul with an unearthly power.
The Ninth Gate (1999)
Motivated entirely by greed, rare book dealer Johnny Depp is happy to be hired to find and authenticate a book that is said to have the secret to summoning the Devil. He slowly unravels a mystery that leads to diabolical consequences. Roman Polanski's direction is masterful, and Depp gives one of his signature performances.
John Cusack really wants to believe in the supernatural, but his diligent research turns up nothing but frauds, which he writes about in unpopular books. Then he insists on spending the night in a New York City hotel room where dozens of people have died, none lasting more than an hour. What he experiences challenges everything he believes to be true.
True crime writer Ethan Hawke has never been able to replicate the success of an early best-seller, so he moves his family into a home where multiple murders were committed. He finds a box in the attic with Super-8 movies that depict horrific murders, but that's only the beginning of the extended nightmare for the writer and his family.
Evil Dead (2013)
Inspired by Sam Raimi's shocking original, the new film also takes place in a cabin in the woods, where the cellar contains a copy of the Book of the Dead. Foolishly, someone reads a key passage out loud, unleashing a demon and so much blood and gore that the original cut of the film earned an NC-17 rating.