While the heyday of horror movies was in the ’80s, there have been a string of fantastic modern films and adaptions over the last few years. Horror is cool again. Critically successful films such as Jordan Peele’s Get Out and Us have asked for a return of the genre to form.
One way for horror films to be brought back to life is through the adaption of comic stories, and these upcoming comic books should translate well to the screen. Some of these have been discussed and even optioned for a film or television release, but since they are all quiet or have been in development hell for more than five years, they need to be talked about.
10 The Theater
The Theater was a 2011 indie comic written by Raven Gregory and published through Zenoscope Entertainment. The series was an anthology where each of the five issues takes place in a different horror movie. Consequently, The Theater had a lot of freedom with its storytelling. If Netflix’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs taught us anything, it is that anthologies can do well.
The film can closely follow the stories in the comic. The five tales in the anthology are a heartfelt zombie tale, a simple slasher about a writer who kills other writers, a psychological thriller about a hole to nowhere, a story about two friends who kill a man together, and an amnesia-driven mystery. Intercut between these, a young couple is attacked and slaughtered in the theater.
9 Clean Room
Clean Room is a series published under the Vertigo imprint, written by Gail Simone, that dealt with body inhabiting creatures. The story follows several strong female characters who deal with these entities in their own ways. The title references the therapy room introduced in the first issue. The entities go deep into your subconscious and show your deepest problems. Problems arise when the entities start doing it wherever they please.
A strong female-led cast about body-snatching would be fantastic. It should play like a mix between The Mist and The Forgotten. A psychological thriller that has its horror bumped up by the inclusion of some genuinely terrifying entities and body horror sounds like something audiences would watch.
8 Big Man Plans
Of all the entries on this list, Big Man Plans is the most controversial. An Image imprint written by The Goon writer Eric Powell, the comic follows a little person called Big Man on a dark and twisted journey of revenge. Unlike most horror movies, the hero is not some innocent (usually female) person trying to survive. Big Man is doling out his vision of revenge on those who have wronged him.
The series is set post-Vietnam and has Big Man wreaking carnage as he tries to acclimate back to regular life. The more the reader learns about his character and the things he does, the more the reader wants him to succeed in his mission. The comic is filled with the gore, guts, and goodies that can only be expected in a solid slasher film.
7 The Cape
Joe Hill’s The Cape is a shocking turn on the typical superhero tale. There are three miniseries: The Cape, The Cape: Fallen, and The Cape: 1969, and each of them tells a solid story. The first series is a family horror drama, the second is a black comedy set during the events of the first series, and the third is a war story set before the events of the original comic.
The first series plays out exactly the opposite of a typical superhero tale. That is one of the comic's biggest draws for being adapted into a film. Brightburn was a successful subversion of the genre and The Cape is a more adult version of the same premise. There is also a bear scene that would be crucial to see on screen.
6 Random Acts of Violence
This series, created by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, follows an increasingly meta storyline about a pair of horror comic book writers whose writings start to come true. It is a meta-horror story along the same lines as Scream, following the creators who try to escape the slasher brought to life. The comic was a single issue, but it made an impact.
There is a Random Acts of Violence movie in the works being helmed by Jay Baruchel. The film is being made, but since there is no information outside of the fact that principal photography began in 2018, it is in project limbo for now.
Dedication moves at an incredibly calm pace. The story is set in a 1960s store where the infected are breaking in and eating everything. The owner and boss of the store, George, has a solution. Work through it. There are solid bits of comedy mixed with body horror and typical zombie behavior. At one point a girl gets her finger bit off and she just puts it back.
The ending is a little weird, but the base story should translate well. A store full of employees that work through an apocalypse screams hilarity and relatability. It also highlights a problem with capitalism that is often explored in nuanced ways via horror movies.
4 Beasts of Burden
Beasts of Burden is a series about talking dogs and cats that solve mysteries that are mostly paranormal. The core group goes out of its way to help the people and pets of their city. Created by Evan Dorkin, the series has a general horror feel while also reaching for home. The reader can get attached to these animals and their personalities.
An animated film was announced, with Shane Acker, who directed 9, helming the film. The popularity of Stephen King’s Pet Cemetary and Cujo proves that people want to see horror movies that center around animals. An animated horror film, whether drawn animation or CG-animated, would be a refreshing addition to the genre of horror.
If there is one thing to say about horror media in 2019, it is that the children led ones are extremely popular. Created by David Hutchison, Teether is an effective slow burn. When a group of kids accidentally summon an otherworldly being, they are hunted down.
The series is currently ongoing. Teether #3 comes out in October and it will be interesting to see what Hutchison does with the plot elements laid out at the end of issue 2. A movie version would be a mix of Let The Right One In and Stranger Things.
2 Ice Cream Man
Ice Cream Man is an anthology series that is based around a singular premise. The titular Ice Cream Man is causing chaos in the worst and wildest ways possible. There are intense parallels where psychedelics are involved in some stories while others are just bleak tales about lives spiraling out of control.
Set in a small town, the Ice Cream Man offers a solid setting for a horror movie that sticks out from typical slashers or psychological thrillers. The story could follow the members of the city as some of them start killing each other while others try and figure out what is happening only to be met by the IT-like titular figure.
If there were a poster child for comic book movies that have been stuck in development hell, Hack/Slash is it. The series, created by Tim Seeley and recently resurrected by Tini Howard, follows final “final girl” Cassie Hack as she travels the country killing slashers. The series relies heavily on the tropes and subversions of the '80s horror slasher genre while maintaining good characters.
A film version of Hack/Slash was originally supposed to be released in 2008, then it was shifted to 2012, then set to come out as a television series in 2016. Now, a decade later, fans are wondering whether an adaptation will ever happen. Horror films are doing well, so maybe it is time for Hack/Slash to shine.