Top 10 Stephen King Movie Adaptations

Categories: Books, Film and TV

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"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 2While 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.

9. CujoThis 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?

8. FirestarterIn 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 CornChildren 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!

6. CarrieAs 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!


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42 comments
rbtaleman
rbtaleman

Oh, and I forgot how freakin' good Salem's Lot, Dead Zone, and Misery were. Wow, five films you must have missed.

 

rbtaleman
rbtaleman

Where the heck is The Mist? Fantastic movie...and c'mon...The Green Mile is Number One without question.

mournigstarx69
mournigstarx69

what about secret window,  the running man, thinner and the tv mini series the shinning, the stand and the tommy knockers. they all were good and stayed true to the story. i hate nothing more than a steven king book put into a movie and done wrong. thats why i didnt want them to do the dark tower movies. those should be done on like showtime or HBO. 7 books 7 seasons.

calicokatt56
calicokatt56

being a Stephen King fan, I can say I loved the re-make of The Shining with Steven Weber even tough Nicholson is excellent, it was nice to see that movie updated.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Good night, Irene. I'm surprised there isn't against for the omission of "Bachman, Turner, Maximum Overdrive."

bobpfeiffer
bobpfeiffer

Your list only have 4 of the movies that I have on mine. Most of the movies chosen here were crap. "It" as #5??? You've gotta be kidding. Children of the Corn and Firestarter were terrible films.

Mine list in some sort of order are: Green Mile, Stand By Me, Shawshank, Dead Zone, Misery, Carrie, Pet Sematary, Salem's Lot, The Shining and I thought The Mist was pretty good.

chris1474
chris1474

I agree with your selection of Carrie, and your Top 4 (though not in that order), BUT no Misery?  No Dead Zone?  If you're  going to include Shawshank, you should probably include Darabont's two other significant submissions, The Green Mile, and The Mist, both great films.  Creepshow was way better than Creepshow 2 (The Raft segment was great, but otherwise it's a pretty weak film), and so was Cat's Eye.  I've never been able to sit through "It", it's so painfully horrible, and it's at #5, in front of Carrie?!?!?  Similarly I also tried re-watching "Children of the Corn" and it's crap too, "Christine" would have been better suited in it's place.  The Running Man deserves a place on the list, as does 1408.  The rest are all give or take.  

 

An actual King-Movie Top 10 list should look something like this:

 

10. The Mist

9. Dolores Claiborne

8. Creepshow

7. The Green Mile

6. Dead Zone

5. Misery

4. Carrie

3. Stand By Me

2. The Shining 

1. The Shawshank Redemption

 

With honorable mention going to Christine, The Running Man, Cat's Eye, and 1408.

 

Dollyclothespeg
Dollyclothespeg

1. Shawshank

2. Green Mile

3. Stand By Me

4. Misery

5. All the rest...

beausmom
beausmom

I can't watch Cujo, it terrifies the hell out of me!

wdrewe
wdrewe

The Shining you have to remember was directed by one of the best film directors in Hollywood at the time .  ( Stanley Kubrick )  most of the other films do not hold up over time . With the exception of ...

The Shawshank  Redemption . ( Yes that was Kings . )

Stand BY Me ( yes his too . partially based on his own childhood . )

Misery , and   Deloris  Clayborne  all of which cant really be put into the Horror genre . But some of his best writing .   They are remaking quite a few of his films at this very moment ., and hopefully they will go with a little bit bigger budget  and they will hold up over time . But I agree most of his films never do his writing any justice .  One I would like to see done on a big budget scale is the book he wrote with Peter Straub called " The Tailsmen "  one of the best books I have ever read . But if it is done on a cheap budget , i would rather it not be made at all . and keep it in book form so as not to ruin it for so many folks who have read and loved that book .  It's funny it's almost like SKing  wants his films made in a cheesy kinda way .  Maybe that's how he sees his writing . Like it is suppose to be tongue in cheek kinda horror or thriller (almost like a comic book type style such as his Creepshow films ) . Because he agrees to allow them to be made in this fashion , and uses many of the same producers , and writers for his scripts . And they all have a similar look to them all .   I also read somewhere  that he hated the way " The Shining " was made , Not sure if that is true or not , But I know many folks who were scared shitless by that film , And one of Jack Nicholsons  best works as an actor .

  Oh well we'll be seeing the film " Carry " in it's remake soon , Let's see how that one comes out ,and hope the other remakes are done well  also .

SickSavior
SickSavior

I really enjoyed Graveyard Shift. Brad Dourif delivers a fantastic monologue! 

llfarrow
llfarrow

OMG!!!! That was my favorite scene in Dolores Claiborne!!!! "Sometimes you have to be a high-riding bitch..."

llfarrow
llfarrow

No Green Mile? Really??? The Stand was absolutely STUNNING!!! And the TV version of The Shining was - too me - better than the original. The blood gushing out of the elevator and the axe in the chest was overkill to me...

popqueenie
popqueenie

@lucysfootball AND IT SAYS IT IN THE TITLE FOR THE VIDEO!

timmaxfield
timmaxfield

absolutley missing the green mile, misery, the stand. The shining was great but if i remember correctly it was so far from the book that king sued to have his name removed from the movie so there's no way it can be listed as the best adaptation. throw maximum overdrive on here! pretty solid adaptation of that short story trucks

grenadier
grenadier

Misery, The Stand, The Green Mile, The Dead Zone, and possibly Apt Pupil and The Running Man.

 

Remove: Creepshow 2, Children of the Corn, IT, Firestarter, and Cujo.

wzabczyk
wzabczyk

What about the Green Mile? In my opinion, it was the best adaptation.

stefdoudou666
stefdoudou666

absence de la ligne verte et de simmetiere, ils avaient pourtant leur place, certainement plus que It qui est totalement passé à coté du livre je trouve

please
please

Stand by me is a great movie, though a bit sentimental and emotionally cloying at times.

The Shining is the greatest horror movie ever made.

The list goes like this:

1) The Shining

2-10) Whatever

hbarca
hbarca

Green Mile and Misery, Shawshank number 1 and IT much higher, yikes who made this list?

aoliver.gg
aoliver.gg

This is not even a real list by real people, no one would put Children of the Corn and not the green mile or the stand. Blah

 

michaelberrier
michaelberrier

How in the world can this list omit The Green Mile? For casting alone, if no other reason, TGM outshines at least half this list.  Also, Misery was a much better adaptation than Delores Claiborne.  Get Netflix and try again.

jasonwoods2128
jasonwoods2128

No Green Mile????? What embecile composed this list :/

 

nicklo2k
nicklo2k

No Green Mile OR The Mist?This list has 0 credibility.

ryneb
ryneb

Really? Creepshow 2 over Creepshow?

rajuncajun1960
rajuncajun1960

This list loses all credibility when it left out The Green Mile. 

Puck
Puck

Gotta put The Stand in there!

baker.jesse.k
baker.jesse.k

You've gotta be KIDDING Me...no Green Mile??  Incomplete list.

cherylstuddy
cherylstuddy

Misery and The Shawshank Redemption. Seriously. The person who wrote this article fails.

ian_mayville
ian_mayville

Children of the Corn?  It was absolutely nothing like the story, making it a horrible adaptation.  I would replace that with Christine.

ladypanthress
ladypanthress

Definitely missing Misery. Number 1 in my book :)

cadoug79
cadoug79

I would put Misery at the top and it's not even on the list!

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

@beausmom YouTube Paul Mooney's bit on dogs, it'll cure you of the frights.

mournigstarx69
mournigstarx69

 @wdrewe of ypu liked the tailsmen you should read black house its the sequel. when jack is older. 

wdrewe
wdrewe

oh , and almost  forgot , : The Green Mile "  how could I forget that one , One of his best stories , and one of the best adaptations to film .

trekkie1231
trekkie1231

 @llfarrow The TV version of the Shining was WAY better. Kubrick destroyed the book. King didn't even want to be associated with it.

wdrewe
wdrewe

 @mournigstarx69 IS IT AS GOOD AS THE 1ST . i HEARD THAT IT WASN'T , BUT IF U TELL ME IT IS . I WILL GIVE IT A GO  . THANKS FOR THE INFO .

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