Top 10 Stephen King Movie Adaptations
"They all float!"
This past weekend, AMC was having a Stephen King mini-marathon, airing some of King's scariest books-turned-movies. I caught the end of Christine and the first hour of Pet Sematary. I have to admit that it's been years since I watched Pet Sematary, and remember it being a terribly frightening movie. I had a dog that died when I was a child, and I always imagined it coming back to life in an evil way.
Rewatching the film 20 some odd years later, I was even more horrified, not by how scary it was, but how corny it was. Granted, the movie was produced in the '80s, but it's a late '80s film. It shouldn't have that same smell of cheese that some of the older films might have. The Shining came out almost a decade prior and it is one of the scariest films ever made.
There have been so many film adaptations of King's movies and books, it is almost difficult to put them in any ranking order, but we'll give it a shot!
10. Creepshow 2
While the original Creepshow has some great moments (Stephen King shows up in one of them), the second Creepshow is a bit scarier and has more memorable lines. The movie is a series of short films compiled together, based on King stories. "The Raft" always got me the most; a blob of blackness that resembles an oil slick devours a group of promiscuous teens swimming in a lake, proving yet again that oil and teen sex is deadly. Then there is "The Hitchhiker" with its infamous line, "Thanks for the ride lady"; don't ever run over a hitchhiker and leave him for dead.
This is one of the most frightening movies about a dog that was bitten by a bat with rabies of all time! The poor dog is cursed with a taste for Connecticut middle-class blood; can we blame him?
In this movie, Drew Barrymore's parents experiment with drugs and wind up having a daughter who can start fires at will when she gets pissed off. If this movie isn't the greatest anti-drug campaign, then I don't know what is.
7. Children of the Corn
Children of the Corn , the movie about a Podunk town in Nebraska filled with possessed children who follow a demonic corn worshipper, may be the root cause of this nation's issue with gingers. Malachi!
As if being a teenage girl isn't scary enough, Carrie had to contend with the bloody abuse of her classmates and being on her period!
The It made-for-TV movie wasn't quite as scary as the book was, but Tim Curry as the evil clown taunting children and their adult counterparts to come "float" with him is worth wading through its 195-minute running time.
4. Dolores Claiborne
That scene on the ferry, between the young Jennifer Jason Leigh and David Strathairn, is so disturbing. It may not be a traditional horror movie, but man, is that scene cringeworthy.
3. Shawshank Redemption
Every bro's favorite film to bond over, Shawshank is a tender film at its core with one of King's very best endings, and he doesn't know how to write the best endings, either.
2. The Shining
It's difficult to even put this movie in the same list as other Stephen King adaptations because it is so well done. Director Stanley Kubrick sucks you into the Overlook Hotel, making you feel almost as claustrophobic as Jack Nicholson's crazed Jack Torrance. And those twins are just plain disturbing, as is Shelley Duvall.
1. Stand By Me
Everything about this movie is spot on perfect. It's as heartbreakingly sad as it is laugh-out-loud funny. There are so many beautiful shots and quotable lines, and the pudgy version of Jerry O'Connell is so damn huggable. "Chopper, Sic Balls!"
Get the Theater Newsletter
Get a rundown of upcoming theater events and ticket deals in Houston.