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Maybe we’re biased, but some of our favorite horror films happen to be about writers; here are ten of the best well worth taking note of.

They say to write what you know, so it’s not surprising that some of the most prominent genre screenwriters have written films centered around characters who are also writers. Because they intimately understand the mind of a writer better than anyone, they can craft characters that are compelling, complex, believable, and well-developed.

Writing can be a daunting craft. And writers — from novelists to bloggers, journalists, critics, and even pro essay writers — are often plagued with loneliness, self-doubt, fear of rejection, and bouts of crippling writer’s block.

As a result, stories about writers become fertile ground for tales of solitude, obsession, anxiety, and existential dread that perfectly translate to the world of absorbing horror.

Here are ten of our favorite horror films about writers — from the widely celebrated to the woefully unsung, and everything in between.

1. The Shining (1980)

Based on the beloved novel by Stephen King, The Shining is a classic horror film about a novelist who goes insane while isolated in a snowbound hotel that happens to be haunted.

Widely considered one of Stanley Kubrick’s finest films, and perhaps one of the best horror movies ever made, it was infamously shunned by King who hated the liberties taken with his source material. But there’s no denying the cultural influence of this still chilling, technically flawless work of cinematic art.

Jack Nicholson gives an unforgettable performance as Jack Torrance, the deranged caretaker of the Overlook Hotel. The film is terrifying enough on its own as a masterful work of horror, a manifestation of hell on earth. But its real power lies in its ability to explore deeper themes about humanity, abuse, and the monster within.

Watch it on HBO Max or rent on VOD.

2. Misery (1990)

Stephen King is one of our time’s most prolific and successful authors, but he’s also no stranger to having his work adapted for the big screen (as proven by this list). One of his most famous novels, Misery, was successfully adapted in 1990, and it’s widely considered to be one of the all-time best King adaptations — as well as one the best movies about writers.

King himself has stated that Misery is one of his top ten favorite film adaptations, and for good reason. It’s also the only film based on a King novel to ever win an Oscar.

The story follows writer Paul Sheldon who is kidnapped and held captive by a deranged fan, Annie Wilkes. When Annie discovers Sheldon has killed off his favorite character in his latest manuscript, she subjects him to all sorts of torment, both physical and psychological.

The film contains one of the most infamous, hard-to-watch scenes in all of horror. Additionally, the performances by the late James Caan and Academy Award-winning Kathy Bates (in her breakout role) are outstanding, and the tension is palpable throughout.

Watch it for free on Tubi or stream it on Shudder (among several other platforms).

3. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

This is the kind of film one could write entire essays about.

In the Mouth of Madness is a 1994 supernatural horror film directed and scored by the master of horror John Carpenter. It stars Sam Neill as John Trent, an insurance investigator who visits a small town while looking into the disappearance of a successful author of horror novels — whose books have begun to drive people insane.

As the lines between reality and fiction begin to blur, he starts to question his own sanity.

Inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, this meta-horror masterpiece features great practical effects, a strange but captivating story, and (as you might expect) a wonderfully chilling score. Literary lovers will adore references to Lovecraftian mythos and cosmic horrors like the ancient race of monstrous beings called  “The Old Ones” that are intent on reclaiming the Earth.

Carpenter considers this the third installment of his “Apocalypse Trilogy”, preceded by The Thing (1982) and Prince of Darkness (1987). Though it didn’t get much love upon initial release, it has rightfully become a cult classic.

Stream it on Shudder (among several other platforms).

4. Bag of Bones (2011)

Bag of Bones is a film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1998 novel of the same name. Directed by Mick Garris, it first aired as a television miniseries (released on A&E in two parts). However, when it was shown on British Channel 5, it aired as a single 2 1/2 hour feature film.

Bag of Bones tells the story of a successful writer, Mike Noonan, who is struggling to cope with the death of his wife. Noonan retreats to his summer home in Maine, wher