10 Other Great Stories From Writer Joe Hill

One of the most notable horror films of the year so far has been The black phonefeaturing Mason Thames and Ethan Hawke. It centers on a teenager who is kidnapped by a masked man. In the killer’s basement, he discovers a mysterious telephone that allows him to communicate with the previous victims of his captor. It is based on a short story by the writer Joe Hillthe son of Stephen King.

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Over the past two decades, Hill has established himself as a leading voice in horror and science fiction. His work tends to be cinematic (like father, like son), naturally lending itself to film adaptations. In addition to The black phoneHill novels NOS4A2 andhorns have also been adapted, as has his graphic novel series locke and keyand some news. But these only scratch the surface. Hill’s work includes many other tales that would work well on the big screen.


‘The fireman’

2016 The fireman is Hill’s most recent novel, and at nearly 800 pages, it’s a true epic. An airborne fungus infects the population, causing their skin to harden until they spontaneously ignite. A team of heroes seeks to find a cure before civilization is reduced to ashes. Their leader is an enigmatic figure known only as the Fireman.

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The fireman has a lot in common with Stephen King’s equally gargantuan novel The stall, also about a group of survivors trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic America decimated by the plague. It’s packed with action and well-designed characters, and a surprisingly upbeat tone despite the dark subject matter.

‘Heart shaped box’

heart shaped box is Hill’s debut novel, released in 2007, and winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel that year. It tells the story of aging rock star Jude, who collects spooky artifacts. After he buys a supposedly haunted costume, strange happenings are unleashed around him. Soon, Jude and his girlfriend Georgia are fighting for their lives.

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Besides being a horror, heart shaped box is also a great rock & roll story, and the music plays a big part in the narrative. The novel is even split into four sections revolving around classic rock songs. Reading the book, you can almost hear the songs, so it would be great to see a film adaptation where the music is literally incorporated into the action.

“The Boys of Abraham”

This Dracula spinoff explores the relationship between vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing and his sons, Max and Rudolf. In particular, it examines what it would be like to grow up with a famous monster slayer for a father. But from there, the story takes on even more interesting directions. Old Abraham becomes senile and confused. He mistakes a sick woman for a vampire and drags her into his basement with the intention of killing her.

Abraham’s Boys is a simple but incredibly clever concept. A feature film could delve into the characters and their relationship dynamics – alongside some gnarly action sequences. But what sets the story apart is the insightful way it tackles themes of memory and truth. This leads us to wonder: how many “vampires” has Abraham been wrong about before?


Rain is a story included in strange weather, a 2017 collection of Hill’s novels. One day in Boulder, Colorado, sharp crystals fall from the sky, seemingly at random. The crystals strike and kill almost everyone outside. One of the survivors is a woman named Honeysuckle, who was then in a garage caring for her young neighbor. However, his girlfriend, Yolanda, does not survive.

Honeysuckle walks to Denver to tell Yolanda’s parents that she has passed away. Along the way, she becomes entangled in a murder plot and a deeper plot involving secret chemical research. It’s like something black mirrorin the best way.

‘Pop Art’

pop-art revolves around two social outcast boys: one whose home life is turned upside down and the other who has loving parents, but is made of inflatable plastic. Despite the bizarre premise, pop-art is not really a horror at all. It’s more of a coming-of-age story about the boys and their friendship. It’s surprisingly moving, and the characters are richly drawn.

pop-art is among Hill’s most acclaimed stories. Through the plastic character, he explores real human emotions, in particular loneliness, connection and the challenges of adolescence. It’s already been adapted into a short film, but a feature film would really do it justice.

“You Are Freed”

A commercial airplane makes a trip overseas. An interesting assortment of passengers are on board, and the story delves into their unique stories and struggles. Then there is a flash in the night sky: a nuclear war has begun. The plane’s passengers are safe for now, but the shock of what happened threatens to throw the plane into chaos.

You are released is an entertaining story, held together by the great point-of-view scenes of each main character. Hill shows us their different responses to nuclear explosions. It weaves in politics and religion, creating an incendiary mix of genre tales and social commentary.


A door opens to a fantastic fantasy world, made up of hills, forests and mythical creatures. For a fee, a guide leads a group of trophy hunters through the portal so they can hunt monsters like cyclops and wildlife. The story begins as a dark vision of Narnia, then turns into a survival thriller as the hunters become the hunted.

Wildlife is emblematic of Hill’s style: it takes a classic genre premise and then twists it to explore a dark side of humanity. The result is a rough and mature fantasy like by Lev Grossman Magicians series.


Charged is another news from strange weather collection. Mall security Randy goes on a killing spree, hides the evidence, and frames one of his victims. He claims to have killed the real shooter and the police accept his version of events. Randy is hailed as a hero who stopped further carnage. He quickly becomes an icon, the epitome of the “good guy with a gun”.

The story takes twists and turns from there before culminating in a stellar ending. Charged is particularly timely as it explores gun violence and how these issues are addressed in politics and the media. It is both a tense thriller and a biting satire.

‘Throttle Lever’

Throttle Lever, written with Stephen King, is the centerpiece of Hill’s short story collection full throttle. It tells the story of a biker gang fresh off a meth deal gone wrong as they speed through the Nevada desert, chased by a mysterious truck driver. It’s an action horror inspired by by Richard Matheson short story Duel, who Steven Spielberg adapted to the cinema in 1971.

With numerous shootings, car chases and brutal accidents, Throttle Lever is practically begging to be made into a movie. A special effects team would spend a day in the field recreating all the blood and gore the writers portray in startling detail. It could make for a daredevil automotive thriller a laVanishing Point Where Proof of death. It’s also worth reading, even if it’s just to experience a project written by the father and son duo together.

In 1994, a group of teenagers visit a fairground for a night of beer, fun and romance. It’s the end of summer, and they imprint before they have to go back to their regular lives. But things take a gruesome turn after the kids ride a carousel with mechanical horses and other towering animals. After a fatal mistake, the animals come back to life and threaten to kill the teenagers.

dark carouselis pretty generic horror fare, at least in its premise, but Hill elevates it with complex characters and deft ’90s nostalgia. A film version could recreate that era even more completely. With the right director, it could look like a horror version of Mid 90s.

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