Five scary creepypasta adaptations

2AM: The Smiling Man

Creepypastas are well established internet folklore. With the speed of the digital world, more myths and stories are added every day, some of them rivaling mainstream horror films in scares. Film-makers and script writers have often managed to adapt these stories for the big or little screen, or even for short youtube films.

Channel Zero

One of the most mainstream efforts to adapt creepypasta, Channel Zero was an american horror anthology tv show. The first season adapted Candle Cove, a story of a fictional children’s tv show with the same name that can only be viewed by children and may have more sinister connotations than its viewers think. Channel Zero expanded Candle Cove’s plot, removing the ambiguity of its ending and adding more supernatural elements. Later seasons adapted other famous creepypastas, similarly expanding them and adding plotlines and twists.

2AM: The Smiling Man

Based on The Smiling Man, the deceptively simple story of someone who encounters a creepy grinning man in the night, the film adapts the tale without any surprises. The atmosphere and performances make this film stand out despite its simplicity, especially the performance of the Smiling Man’s actor, who moves and grins in such a terrifying manner that every viewer will feel shivers of fear.

Marble Hornets

While the Slenderman mythos started as a Something Awful forum post, it was Marble Hornets, a youtube series, that truly made the blank-faced myth take off. The series follows Jay, a young man who is trying to solve the mystery of his friend Alex’s disappearance. Soon, an all-too familiar figure starts stalking him, and events only become more alarming from there. Marble Hornets was well written, with a menacing atmosphere and hints of mysterious cosmic horror. It attracted a cult following that is analysing the series to this day.

Ben Drowned

Ben Drowned is the story of a Majora’s Mask cartridge that haunts its buyer through various creepy manifestation as he is playing the game. This short youtube adaptation manages to skillfully adapt the story with tight pacing, good production values and a genuinely creepy atmosphere, mixing live action with videogame footage. It also changes the ending of the story to something much less ambiguous and more tragic.

I heard it, too

This short film is based on a two sentence creepypasta that goes something like this: A girl heard her mom yell her name from downstairs, so she got up and started to head down. As she got to the stairs, her mom pulled her into her room and said “I heard that, too.” The film adapts this basic premise into a successful and emotional story. While it often relies on cheap jump scares, the film is also well directed and manages to create an unsettling, dangerous atmosphere.