Is Netflix’s Killer Book Club Based on a True Story?

Image Credit: Felipe Hernández/Netflix

Directed by Carlos Alonso Ojea (‘El Matador’), ‘Killer Book Club’ or ‘El club de los lectores criminales’ is a Spanish horror thriller film streaming on Netflix. The plot follows a group of students involved in a costume joke that leads to a fatal accident. They initially succeed in hiding their roles in the incident, but eventually an anonymous writer threatens to reveal their criminal past in a horror novel published on social media. With the publication of each chapter, one of them is killed in a gruesome manner. As they think that no one else was around when the original incident happened, they predictably start to suspect each other.

‘Killer Book Club’ oozes with the 1990s Hollywood slasher film vibe. The main antagonist dresses up as a killer clown who seems to know much about his victims. If you are wondering whether ‘Killer Book Club’ is inspired by actual events, we got you covered.

Is Killer Book Club a True Story?

No, Killer Book Club is not based on a true story. It is an adaptation of the 2018 Spanish fiction novel ‘El club de los lectores criminales’ by author and screenwriter Carlos García Miranda, who also turned his novel into a feature-length script. In an interview with Bloguionistas, Miranda revealed that he started working on the book as an homage to Stephen King.

Image Credit: Felipe Hernández/Netflix

“It is a project of mine that has cost me many headaches to finish,” the author explained. “I started thinking about writing a horror novel that would work as a great homage to Stephen King’s literature when he was finishing the previous one, ‘Related.’ What’s more, at that time I already did a rundown and wrote the first chapters, but later I did get a commission and I had to leave this one in the drawer.”

Miranda continued, “A couple of years later, I took it out again and here we are, but after having suffered through it… Few things get so much balled up as a story you left halfway through. You have it there, just like a kidney stone that you no longer know if you will be able to expel. Of course, when you get it, you stay new and you don’t even remember how much it annoyed you. It’s funny how stories become the center of your life, but as soon as you write ‘end’ they are like a memory in black and white.”

In the novel, the eponymous club reads King’s works. The legendary American author’s stories and books also play a pivotal part in the narrative. “I always wanted the novel to be a kind of ’Scream’ with books by Stephen King, Miranda said. “In Craven’s [Wes Craven] film, the homage is to the horror movies of the 70s and 80s that the protagonists know and follow their rules to survive. In ‘El club de los lectores criminales’ the protagonists are familiar with King’s literature, they know that they have become his victims and they try to solve the puzzle (and, by the way, that the murderer does not kill them) in a metaliterary way. It works like an ‘Escape Room’ by Stephen King.

As a screenwriter, some of the projects Miranda has been involved with are ‘The Protected,’ ‘Physics or Chemistry: The Reunion,’ ‘Los Protegidos: A.D.N.’ The script of ‘Killer Book Club’ marks his first foray into cinematic screenplay writing. Asked why he initially wrote the story as a novel but not as a script, Miranda told the same outlet, “It is a novel about other novels. Specifically, about Stephen King’s literature that a murderer uses as a reference to destroy a group of teenagers paying homage to the crimes of ‘It,’ ’Carrie,’ ’The Shining,’ ’Misery’ … A novel seemed to me the best container to support the literary load of the history.”

Image Credit: Felipe Hernández/Netflix

Miranda also cited ‘Friday the 13th’ and the Spanish horror film ‘Thesis’ as his sources of inspiration. He added, “I have incorporated social networks to the point that the murderer harasses his victims through a WhatsApp group. Also writing an online novel about what he’s doing to them that anyone who isn’t a victim might believe is fiction. Actually, both could happen in real life because technology can be terrifying. Come on, for something ‘Black Mirror’ works like a show.” To sum it all up, ‘Killer Book Club’ is not based on real-life events; it has been developed in the mold of the 1990s slasher films, with the author-screenwriter paying homage to the works of Stephen King.

Read More: Where is Netflix’s Killer Book Club Filmed?