Best Movies Based On Short Stories! A Collection Of Old And New!

Best Movies Based On Short Stories

Are you planning to watch adaptations of short stories that won’t stretch like Harry Potter or Star Wars? Well! It’s your good day as you’ve jumped to the right place! Many movies are being adapted from novellas and thus, choosing what to watch can be a tricky business! Hence to lighten your load, here’s a list of the best movies based on short stories! You will not have to pull any all-nighters to complete this batch of best short-story movies and your fun will not be cut-short too!

Long movies can be pretty tiring to watch as there’s too much suspense! Hence, short-story movies come into play which are super fun to watch and you’re easy to move on from the movie hangover!!

Many movies have been adapted from short stories, ranging from horror, romance, sci-fi, etc! There are even short stories among stories and hence, you are never bored! Here’s a list of the best movies based on short stories and let me warn you, you are about to go on a movie-watching spree!!!

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  1. Arrival
  2. Candyman
  3. The Call Of Cthulhu
  4. The Fly
  5. From Beyond
  6. The Invisible Man
  7. The Third Man
  8. The Mist
  9. The Day The Earth Stood Still
  10. Rear Window
  11. Apocalypse Now
  12. A Space Odyssey
  13. A Muppet Christmas Carol
  14. The Birds
  15. The Dead
  16. Total Recall
  17. Where The Wild Things Are
  18. Brokeback Mountain
  19. Eyes wide Shut
  20. Sleepy Hollow
  21. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

Let’s reminisce about some of the childhood classics, horror movies, and even some of the romantic movies that were adapted from short stories! Happy reading!!

Also read, 6 Greatest Movies Like National Treasure Full Of Adventurous Twists!

Best Movies Based On Short Stories

Best Movies Based On Short Stories

Several new novels and short stories are increasingly being adapted to movies but there’s a different charm to the classics!! Old is surely gold and you’ll be knowing the reason for that soon enough! Old short story adaptations like Space Odyssey will mesmerize you and leave you awestruck! Why! Well, the world of old-school cinema and theater is no joke! 

Many people are of the idea that the movies that are based on long and stretchy novels make it to the top, like Harry Potter. But know what? That’s not always the case! In fact, many movies that have been short-story adaptations have made it to the top! All our producers and directors need is a good story! To make it interesting is their job!

I have been babbling about a short story but do you know what it is? Well! Novella, Novelette, Short story, flash fiction, you might have come across these words right? It’s all a game of words! Word count makes a difference and will decide whether a story is a novella or simply “a short story!” A short story usually has a word count of about 1000-7500 words! It’s considered short because the plot isn’t stretchy, the story is condensed and there are very few characters. So now you know what a short story is! But is it necessary that the short movie adaptation can only be short? Well not exactly!

Many short stories have sometimes been stretched to add more vigor, strength, and character to the original plot! And here you will be surprised to know that our childhood go-to “Jumanji”, has also been a short movie adaptation!

So let’s drop everything and jump straight into the world of movie adaptations of the short stories!!

Best Horror Movies Based On Short Stories

horror movies based on short stories

We watch movies without any care about who wrote, directed, or produced them! Well, I’m not here to check your movie trivia but rather show the best of the classical horror movies! Some of these movies are as old as 1914 written way back in 1843!!! Let’s see which one of these movies you have seen!!

  • The Birds: Who hasn’t seen this classical horror-thriller movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock! But did you know it was based on a short story written by Daphne du Maurier in 1952? 
  • Children Of The Corn: This 1984 film is based on a short story by Stephen King who wrote the same in 1977. This movie revolves around a malevolent ghost who entices the children to murder!
  • Re-Animator: Re-animator, an entirely gruesome Horror movie is loosely based on a short story HP Lovecraft that was written way back in 1922.
  • Hellraiser: Based on “The Hellbound Heart”, Hellraiser is a British horror movie that features sadomasochistic beings that cannot distinguish between pain and pleasure!
  • Don’t Look Now: This is a Horror-Thriller movie based on the short story out of Daphne’s 1971 collection “Not After Midnight and the Other stories”.
  • The Midnight Meat train: The Midnight Meat Train is based on a story by Clive Barker where a man saves a woman and his obsession with finding her takes a terrifying turn.
  • Book Of Blood: This movie adaptation of Clive Barker’s “Book of blood” is another must-see horror movie directed by John Harrison.
  • The Call Of Cthulhu: I know many of us have seen this classic horror movie although we were trembling to our guts! Did you know this movie is an adaptation of HP Lovecraft – “The Call of Cthulhu!”
  • The Avenging Conscience: This is a classic 1914 silent Horror film and I’m pretty sure many of you would not have heard this one! The Avenging Conscience is based on Edgar Allan’s “The tell-tale heart” written in 1843 and his 1849 poem “ Annabel Lee”!
  • From Beyond: Another classical horror film directed by Stuart Gordon is “ From Beyond”! This sci-fi horror movie is based on HP Lovecraft!
  • The Invisible Man: The Invisible Man has been re-made several times with better screenplay and plot, but one thing is always constant- the invisible ghost! Did you know this movie was also a short-story adaptation? I’m sure you would’ve known! This movie is an adaptation of HG Wells’s “The Invisible Man”!

Besides Horror movies, there are many genres of movies that have been adapted from short stories! These can be romantic, thriller, action, war, comedy, sci-fi, and many more!

Also Read: 7 Hilarious Movies Like American Pie!!

Best Romantic Movies Based On Short Stories

romantic movies based on short stories
Source: Glamour

The below list of romantic movies will move your little heart way beyond measure! This list has movies ranging from Rom-com, Romantic thrillers to Romantic-drama. Especially the first one on the list, if you’ve seen it, then you will surely know what I mean! And as a recommendation for those who haven’t seen “Away from her”, you surely are missing this classic movie! 

  • Away From Her
  • Breakfast At tiffany’s
  • The Illusionist
  • The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
  • Lady And The Tramp
  • Rust And Bone
  • Up At The Villa
  • Two Lovers
  • Broke Back Mountain
  • The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

Best Sci-fi Movies Based On Short Stories

sci fi movies based on short stories
Source: Studiobinder

These scientific fiction films will surely blow up your mind with their mystery, thrill, and out-of-the-box plot that you never knew of!

  • Millennium
  • Predestination
  • The Fallen Idol
  • The Day The Earth Stood Still
  • Flowers Of Algernon
  • Death Race
  • A Space Odyssey
  • Real Steel
  • Arrival
  • The Fly
  • The Mist
  • Minority Report

Also Read: 6 Adventurous Movies Like Jumanji For A Fantastic Feel!!

Best Thriller Movies Based On Short Stories

thriller movies based on short stories
Source: Studiobinder

This short story adaptation thriller movie list will have lots of psychology and not forgetting, thrill here! Psychology is a must though! Why? Well! Obviously because of the writer’s bias here! 

  • Momento
  • Burning
  • Blowup
  • Bad Day At Black Rock
  • Rear Window
  • Candyman
  • Apocalypse Now
  • Notorious


best movies based on short stories

The world of movie adaptations is vast, humongous even! And curating a list to make sure all your best movies are in here, is NO EASY TASK! Well, not shipping for compliments here though! Hehe! But this list of psychological thriller, romantic, horror, sci-fi movie adaptations will surely blow you off! Some of these movies are the old classics that will leave you in another dimension when cinema was just kicking off its speed! Hence you are not only looking at short story adaptations but also the evolution of cinema altogether! 


What is the best short movie adaptation? 

Classic sci-fi and thriller movies like A Space Odyssey and Apocalypse Now are surely some of the best short movie adaptations. However, if you are looking at good screenplay, plot, action, then The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty does not fall too short on the list! AND if your romantic bone is itching for a nice romantic movie, then Away From Her and The Illusionist can be a good movie to Binge-watch! 

What are the best short films on Netflix? 

Netflix is a hub of movies and TV series for crazy fans who like to Binge-watch in their free time. Here’s a list of some of the best short films on Netflix that will not require you to sit for long hours! 

  • The White Helmets
  • Anima
  • Two Distant Strangers
  • Zion
  • Ghosts Of Sugar Land
  • The Present
  • Angela’s Christmas 
  • What Did Jack Do? 
  • The Trader 

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