While Stephen King may be an author of various genres like sci-fi, suspense, and fantasy; he is most famously known for his horror novels. His works have been adapted to TV shows, miniseries, comics, and films. While admittedly, horror is a quite difficult genre to pull off in writing, Stephen King nails the storytelling aspect. Moreover, his storytelling translates well to movies – making Stephen King movie adaptations some of the best horror films we’ve seen. If you haven’t seen (or read) any of his stories, here’s our list of best Stephen King movie adaptations to watch.
The Shining (1980)
The Shining is probably one of the most iconic horror films in history. They even gave us the famous creepy twin girls – both on paper and on the big screen – and we’ll never forget that.
While the film is not exactly loyal to the novel, it still gives an interesting interpretation to the story. If you’re unfamiliar, or have not read it yet, The Shining is a story about a family staying in a hotel in the Colorado Rockies. The family consists of Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic; Wendy Torrance, and their son Danny Torrance. The longer they stay in the house, Jack’s sanity grows thin. On the other hand, Danny, their third child, has “the shining,” an ability which allows people to see a place’s past.
Children of the Corn (1984)
Children of the Corn is Stephen King’s entry to the folk horror genre. Since its adaptation in 1984, Stephen King’s short story, funnily enough, has turned into a film series which has 9 other films. Moreover, a prequel to the 1984 film is already in the works.
The film starts with a couple who stops over in the rural town of Gatlin in Nebraska. While there, they discover a cult is ruling the town. An entity called, “He Who Walks Behind the Rows” encourages the town’s children to kill all the adults of Gatlin. This is so that they are ensured of a successful corn harvest.
Carrie is another one of Stephen King’s more popular works, and is the first of his works to be adapted into a movie. The 1976 version is the original adaptation of the movie, followed by a sequel in 1999, and a remake in 2013.
What we like about Carrie is that it’s not just a simple horror film. It’s a mixture of horror, supernatural, coming-of-age, and (not so) typical high school drama. To give an idea about what the film is, without spoiling anything, the film follows the story of Carrie, a 16-year-old high school girl. Due to her unique character, she experiences bullying in her school. However, she reaches her breaking point during the prom scene, where her schoolmates find out that she actually has powers.
Pet Sematary (1989)
Lesser-known compared to the other films on the list, but it is definitely one of Stephen King’s scariest works. It’s also one of the scariest Stephen King adaptations to date. The movie itself was a commercial success with a sequel that followed it up in 1992, and a remake of the novel in 2019.
If you’re not familiar with Pet Sematary, it’s about a family who buries their cat – killed in an accident – in a nearby cemetery. However, what they didn’t know was that it was an ancient burial ground that brings the dead back to life. When the son of the family dies in a tragic accident, the father buries his son in the same place as the cat (who returned to life) in hopes of reviving him. However, we all know what happens when you try to bring the dead back to life.
The Mist (2007)
The Mist is a cult classic that’s based on Stephen King’s 1980 work of the same name. It also has a TV series that premiered in 2017 available for viewing on Netflix.
The story is set in Maine where a thick fog covers an entire town after a freak storm. David Drayton, the protagonist of the movie, and his son are trapped inside a supermarket along with the other residents due to the fog. However, they soon fear for their life when they discover that monsters lurk in the fog. Things get much worse when a religious zealot, Mrs. Carmody, declares that they need a sacrifice to give to the monsters.
You might also enjoy: