Another day, another favorites post.
Today however, is something that has been in the works or at least on my mind for the past few “favorites” and it’s time to talk about Stephen King and some of my top favorite adaptations of his works. His birthday was just last month and it’s spooky season where everyone starts watching lots of King’s works so why not!
We know Stephen King is one of the more well known and famous horror/thriller/mystery authors of our time. He is the standard for what you want to see in a novel and still has lots of influence and pull in the genre. Let’s see if my favorites or recs match with yours.
I had to shorten the list, this isn’t a top 10 but more like a top 5 of “easy go tos” of Stephen King adaptation watches. I will also throw in about 3 honorable mentions.
5. Christine (1983) – A slight change of how the car becomes/is evil doesn’t deter from how fun this film is. The novel talks about the previous owner possessing or leaving a mark on the car but the film kinda just… Christine is just evil before she gets off the factory lot! Christine, the car is the star of the film, followed by Archie who goes through an interesting evolution from nerd to a bit of a jerk. Also, John Carpenter directed this number and I believe did the music for it as well.
4. IT (1990, 2017) – Whether you like the mini series or the later remake, IT gave us Pennywise and the fear of clowns hit a high peak. I personally prefer part 1 of the miniseries (for the mere fact that the younger actors KILL it) and I think Chapter 1 is better than Chapter 2. I like both Tim Curry and Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise, both have their own spin on the iconic character. I have not read the book actually and apparently there’s stuff they stayed CLEAR of in the adaptations.
3. Misery (1990) – This movie scares me, genuinely scares me. The other films have a hint of fantasy and supernatural that feel easier to be in that world but Misery is so realistic. We know of stories of fans who take their admiration a little too far and become dangerous to themselves and who they worship. Kathy Bates is amazing in this film and James Caan is amazing against Bates. Please enjoy one of the few King adaptations/works that are more real world based.
2. Pet Sematary (1989) – Sometimes, dead is better. I have yet to see the newer remake, it is available on Prime, I do know that but there’s something so haunting about the original. Both parents are just… haunted and fucked up. Gage’s untimely passing and resurrection, Church coming back, that infamous scene where Jud gets his tendon sliced, oh God and how can we forget Zelda? I also appreciate that the film was directed by a woman, Mary Lambert, one of the few women in horror who have directed.
1. Rose Red (2002) – Underrated haunted house, ghost story miniseries. No one talks about Rose Red like they do… The Stand or IT. I remember watching it on ABC, it did really well in the ratings, the house is like a Winchester Mystery Mansion but more dangerous spirits lurking. The cast is great, I like the characters, even the ones who get on my nerves but what really sets this miniseries at number one is the look of the spirits. They look dead but not in a zombie kind of way. Skeletal but demonic.
If I did a top 10, these would be a contender but alas here are the: Honorable Mentions
Stephen King and his works are long lasting and a huge part of the horror genre. I wonder what the genre would be like if we did not have any of his works or collaborations. Happy belated birthday to Stephen King (September 21st) and here’s to more future works to come! OH also, yes The Shining is purposely not included on this list because… it’s more of a Kubrick film than a King adaptation. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.