Stephen King is a household name, everyone from your grandmother, to your child knows who he is. King’s the guy who’s books gave us nightmares growing up, and influenced millions of people to take a walk on the dark side. I have fond memories of reading ‘It’ by the light of the stars when I should have been sleeping, but with a book like ‘it’, what eight year old is going to be sleeping after?
I also have fond memories of going to Blockbuster ( for the younger readers out there, we use to go to a Blockbuster in order to rent VHS, and DVDS), and trying to convince my parents to let me bring home Pet Semetary. When I was older, and they finally let me, a love for films based on King’s writing grew and grew, and too this day, I love the films the man has brought to us. So I thought, how about I talk about my favorite five film adaptations. While the man’s mini-series are almost arguably better, I wanted to limit the material to just the films.
1408 is the tale of Mike Enslin(John Cusack), an author who writes about haunted buildings, while not believing in ghosts himself, and his stay in room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel. Over the course of what must be the longest night known to man, Mike learns that sometimes ghosts are real, and some times you should believe the warnings you hear. 1408 captures a great feeling of isolation, and hopelessness that will stick with you long after the movies finished.
Kathy Bates performance as one-screw-lose Annie Wilkes, is by far, the best performance in any of the films on this list, as the woman is the singular most terrifying reason this movie works. Without Annie Wilkes finding Paul Sheldon, author of her favorite series of novels, in a car crash in the middle of a snow storm, and taking him in, to nurse back to health, her own special way, Misery would not be on this list right now. Thanks to Kathy Bates performance, Misery is able to build up a level of tension that will have you grinding your teeth until the last frame.
Based on novella of the same name written twenty-seven years earlier, The Mist rolls into third place simply for it’s ending. While the rest of the film is great, the characters decisions make sense, and you generally care for them, the hell that is experienced at the end of the film is one that leaves an impact. Stephen King himself came out and said if he had thought of the ending in the film, it would of been in the novella.
Christine is the killer car movie to end all killer car movies. Directed by John Carpenter, Christine is the tale of a boy and his car, the boy in question being geeky Arnie, and the car being Christine, a 1958 Plymouth Fury. Christine has a mind of her own, and over the course of the film, really starts to charge Arnie from the nice boy he is at the beginning, to an total asshole. While the whole film looks great, the scenes in which Christine goes hunting, are both incredibly creepy, and odd at the same time, as it’s a car stalking it’s prey much the same way a certain masked man Carpenter helped invent does.
1. The Shinning
Was it any surprise to see Kubrick’s The Shinning make the top of the list? Everything about the film, from the haunting locale of The Overlook hotel, to the chilling deterioration of Jack Nicholson’s character’s mental state, to the creepy little kid, and the two dead girls, this movie is fucking terrifying. It’s hard to believe Stephen King disliked this adaption, when just about everyone agrees, it’s the best.