Over the past few decades, the comic book movie genre has proved so successful that it has spawned a number of subgenres. One of these subgenres is comic book horror movies.
From Blade to Swamp Thing, there is now a whole heap of movies which dip their toe into the macabre. Some of these movies merely flirt with the dark side, while others dive head first into Hell.
Below is a list of comic book horror movies for you to sink your teeth into. Some of these movies you will be more than familiar with, some not so much.
Tales from the Crypt (1972)
First up, Freddie Jones directs this devilishly delightful horror anthology movie, based on stories from EC Comics. Tales from the Crypt is divided into five separate stories, featuring the likes of Joan Collins, Ian Hendry and Richard Greene, and is one of a number of Tales from the Crypt movies.
Next up is Blade, the Marvel movie about a half-human/half-vampire, vampire hunter who stalks the things that go bump in the night. Wesley Snipes takes on the titular character in this action horror from director, Stephen Norrington.
Blade is not only a blood-soaked horror flick, loaded with some great set pieces, it was also Marvel’s first big box office success. And because Blade was a success, it paved the way for all the great Marvel movies that followed.
Should you be interested in more from Blade, you might like to know that this first entry led to a collection of Blade sequels.
When US Marine and CIA Operative, Al Simmons is killed on a mission, his soul is transported to Hell. Here he is given the opportunity to return to Earth, but only if he will agree to become the unwilling servant of the demonic, Malebolgia.
Michael Jai White, John Leguizamo, Martin Sheen and D. B. Sweeney star in this live-action adaptation of the Image comic. Mark A.Z. Dippé directs.
A slight cheat with this one, as Brightburn isn’t based on a comic; however, it is heavily influenced by comics and the comic book movie genre – in particular the Superman mythology.
In Brightburn, a spaceship crash lands on Earth, carrying a child. He is adopted by the young couple who find him, and they try to instil good values in the boy. But when the boy begins to exhibit special abilities, he becomes a horrifying threat to the world.
Daniel Espinosa directs Jared Leto in Morbius – an action horror movie based on Marvel’s Morbius, the Living Vampire comics. The movie details Morbius’ origin, explaining how a rare blood disease led to his terrifying transformation into a vampire!
Justice League Dark (2017)
Justice League Dark is an animated feature based on a supernatural off-shoot of the Justice League. Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman, Swamp Thing, Black Orchid and Etrigan round out the team, while Jay Oliva directs.
Alien vs. Predator (2004)
Based on the Dark Horse comic of the same name, Alien vs. Predator is a sci-fi horror which combines two iconic monsters of cinema. Paul W. S. Anderson directs, while Lance Henriksen and Sanaa Lathan star alongside Xenomorphs and Predators.
The New Mutants (2020)
Back to Marvel for The New Mutants – an X-Men spin-off movie based on the comic book of the same name. In this movie, a young group of mutants face their inner demons, as well as a sinister presence, in this teen horror film from director, Josh Boone.
The Crow (1994)
Brandon Lee takes the lead role in this dark, gothic, supernatural fantasy, about a young musician who returns from beyond the grave to avenge his murder, as well as the rape and murder of his girlfriend.
Directed by Alex Proyas, The Crow stars Ernie Hudson, Michael Wincott, Tony Todd, Michael Massee and Michael Wincott. Should you want more from The Crow, the film also spawned a series of sequels.
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2011)
Based on an Italian comic book, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night is a horror comedy which follows the story of a paranormal detective. Former Superman Returns actor, Brandon Routh takes on the lead role while Kevin Munroe directs.
The Addams Family (1991)
Based on the comic strip by Charles Addams, The Addams Family is a deliciously dark comedy about a spooky family. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, the movie is a hoot and a half, stars Raul Julia, Angelica Huston, and Christopher Lloyd, and is just one in a series of Addams movies.
Based on the character of the same name from Dark Horse Comics, Ron Perlman takes the title role in this supernatural fantasy about a demonic hero who fights paranormal threats. Guillermo del Toro directs, while Selma Blair, Doug Jones and David Hyde Pierce co-star.
And if you are a fan of Hellboy, then you will be happy to know that Hellboy was followed by more movies.
The Toxic Avenger (1984)
Directors Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman, crank up the gross factor in this violent horror comedy, about a janitor who is transformed into a hideously deformed super hero. As with Brightburn, The Toxic Avenger isn’t actually based on a comic book, but takes a great deal of inspiration from comics and super heroes.
And should you want more from The Toxic Avenger, the film also spawned a series of sequels.
Based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, Man-Thing is a horror movie about a murderous plant-like creature. Starring Matthew Le Nevez and directed by Brett Leonard, this is one of Marvel’s lesser-known movies.
Sticking with Marvel for a moment, leads nicely onto Venom – a body-horror about a parasitic lifeform which bonds with a reporter. Tom Hardy takes on the role of Eddie Brock/Venom, while Ruben Fleischer directs this super hero yarn.
Swamp Thing (1982)
Horror maestro, Wes Craven took on directing duties for this adaptation of the DC Comics character, about a scientist who is turned into a swamp creature. Ray Wise played the role of scientist Alec Holland, while Dick Durock donned make-up and prosthetics to become Swamp Thing.
Keanu Reeves battles the forces of evil in this supernatural horror tale from director Francis Lawrence. The movie is based on DC Comics’ Hellblazer comics, and features Rachel Weisz, Shia LaBeouf, and Tilda Swinton in supporting roles.
Ghost Rider (2007)
Nicolas Cage takes on the role of Marvel’s spirit of vengeance, Ghost Rider, for this action horror movie about a stunt motorcyclist who makes a pact with the devil. Mark Steven Johnson directs, while Eva Mendes, Wes Bentley and Sam Elliott provide support.
And if you like Ghost Rider, then you might like to know it wasn’t the only GR movie in the series.
Not actually based on a comic, but heavily influenced by the horror stories of EC Comics, Creepshow is an anthology film from writer, Stephen King. The movie comprises five tales, with horror veteran George A. Romero on directing duties, and the spectre of EC looming large.
30 Days of Night (2007)
Based on a comic by Steve Niles, 30 Days of Night is a bleak horror set in a remote, Alaskan town, which becomes the hunting ground for vampires. The film is filled with excellent performances, most notably from Josh Hartnett and Melissa George, while David Slade directs.
From Hell (2001)
And finally, Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Robbie Coltrane and Ian Holm star in From Hell – a dark horror movie based on the graphic novel of the same name. The film – directed by The Hughes Brothers – focuses on the murders of Jack the Ripper.
I hope you have found this post useful. To save you having to scroll back up, here are all the movies in one handy list:
- Tales from the Crypt (1972)
- Blade (1998)
- Spawn (1997)
- Brightburn (2019)
- Morbius (2022)
- Justice League Dark (2017)
- Alien vs. Predator (2004)
- The New Mutants (2020)
- The Crow (1994)
- Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2011)
- The Addams Family (1991)
- Hellboy (2004)
- The Toxic Avenger (1984)
- Man-Thing (2005)
- Venom (2018)
- Swamp Thing (1982)
- Constantine (2005)
- Ghost Rider (2007)
- Creepshow (1982)
- 30 Days of Night (2007)
- From Hell (2001)
Thank you for taking the time to stop by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about comic book horror movies. For more horror-related content, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.
- Review: Don’t Listen
- 120 best horror movies you must watch
- How many Sorority House Massacre movies are there?