Clive Barker (born October 5, 1952 in Liverpool) is an English author, film director, and artist. His work mostly falls somewhere between dark fantasy and horror. A number of his works have been turned into films including:
- The novella The Hellbound Heart was adapted into the movie Hellraiser, with Barker directing and writing the screenplay.
- The novella Cabal was adapted into the movie Nightbreed, with Barker directing and writing the screenplay.
- The short story "The Last Illusion" was adapted into the movie Lord of Illusions, with Barker directing and writing the screenplay.
- The short story "The Forbidden" was adapted into the movie Candyman.
Barker's work often depicts disturbing imagery, graphic violence, and sexuality, although Barker has expressed a dissatisfaction with the excessive use of such elements in modern horror. For example, in his novella Cabal, a serial killer is contrasted with shapeshifting creatures who, though typically thought of as monsters, are much more compassionate than the human killer. Speaking about this contrast, Barker said:
"One of the things I wanted to do with the book was to set up a classic stalk-and-slash psycho, the 20th century monster on the loose - Decker - against the historical, mythological and fairy tale version of 'the monster' which is what Boone and the Nightbreed are. I have not moral but aesthetic problems with Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees and so on, and the notion that these characters are the stuff of which anti-heroes can be made strikes me as both morally dubious and also not very interesting. I wanted to say, look, this isn't really very attractive. Do we actually like these people...."
A critical analysis of Barker's work appears in S. T. Joshi's The Modern Weird Tale (2001).