Media Tie-In Horror

What is the Media Tie-In Horror Subgenre?

Your favorite characters and stories from the big and small screens get new life in this subgenre. Most frequently, media tie-in horror features novelizations of movies, television shows, and video games. However, these same properties can also have continuations or alternate stories in this subgenre, similar to fan fiction. Media tie-in horror is the ultimate fan fiction in that it is written for fans of a specific media property in order to continue the fan's experience.

The key to media tie-in horror is that it is tied to another media property, such as television, movies, or video games. Often, this means that characters will be the same as those in the original property and plot lines will stay the same or differ slightly. In novelizations, extra scenes or details may be added to more fully flesh out the story in ways that could not be conveyed through the original medium. In continuations, characters will remain the same, but often, plot lines will be more varied and contain elements that cannot be conveyed through the original medium. In this subgenre, violence and scares will be as varied as the original media properties that media tie-in horror represents.

Media Tie-In Horror Characteristics

Level of Characterization: In media tie-in horror, characters are often carbon copies of the characters in the original media property. So, the level of characterization in this subgenre is low.

Level of Plot: Expect plots to be low to moderate in media tie-in horror as storylines and themes are often pulled from the original media property. New storylines will also be similar to those of the existing medium.

Level of Supernatural: This will vary depending upon the level of supernatural elements in the original medium. As media tie-in horror represents a vast array of horror subgenres, this area will vary widely.

Level of Scary: The level of scares will depend upon the scariness of the original medium. The scariness in media tie-in horror will often mirror and sometimes exceed that of the original property.

Level of Violence: Violence in media tie-in horror is also variable in media tie-in horror and depends upon the level of violence in the original medium.

Typical Setting: The typical setting of media tie-in horror is often the same setting as the original television show, movie, or video game. If it is not the same setting, it will be similar to that of the original property.

Related Horror Subgenres

Any horror subgenre is fair game for media tie-in horror. If there is a movie, television show, or video game in a particular horror subgenre, the chances are high that there will also be a tie-in book for it.

Don't Read Media Tie-In Horror If You Dislike…

Things that you've seen before. The key element to media tie-in horror is its ability to connect to a popular movie, television show, or video game and offer a deeper insight to or to continue the experience of that original medium. If you are looking for highly original horror that you have not seen before, this is not the subgenre for you.

The Cabin in the Woods: A Novelization by Tim Lebbon- The official novelization that tells the full story of this chilling mashup of horror subgenres.


28 Days Later: The Aftermath by Steve Niles- This graphic novelization continuation of the popular zombie series fills in the gaps between the first movie and the sequel.


Blair Witch: The Secret Confessions of Rustin Parr by D.A. Stern- The final, true confession of Rustin Parr, the Maryland hermit thought to be the perpetrator behind the killings attributed to the Blair Witch. This novel offers an interesting backstory to the film The Blair Witch Project.


30 Days of Night: Dark Days by Steve Niles- This sequel shows Stella Olemaun in Los Angeles attempting to warn the world about vampires after the massacre in Barrow, Alaska, which took place in the movie.


The Wicker Man by Robin Hardy- When a policeman investigates the disappearance of a young girl on the small island of Summerisle, he becomes caught up in the shamanistic rituals of the island's inhabitants. This novelization was written by popular demand due to the immense following garnered by the movie.


A Nightmare on Elm Street: Suffer the Children by David Bishop- The first in a series of books featuring, Freddy Krueger, Wes Craven's notorious dream stalker from the movie A Nightmare on Elm Street. In this series opener, Freddy haunts the nightmares of six teens who volunteer to test an anti-insomnia drug.


The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red by Ridley Pearson-  Part of the promotional campaign for Stephen King's miniseries, Rose Red. This novel tells the history of Rose Red and he Rimbauer family who built it.


Supernatural: Rite of Passage by John Passarella- Set during season seven of the popular television show, this novel features Sam and Dean on the trail of a dangerous Japanese demon, as Sam struggles with hallucinations of Lucifer. The novel enhances the ongoing story arc in the series, providing extra depth, while also giving the brothers a new adventure.


Dead Island: The  Book by Mark Morris- This terrifying zombie novel is based on the equally chilling video game of the same name. In this novelization, character backgrounds and the start of the zombie outbreak on the idyllic resort island of Banoi are explored more fully than is possible in the game.

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