Thanks to Stephen King’s movies (technically, “based on his books”), it has been possible to make known to those less fond of reading the work of this great horror writer, who can boast of having sold more than 300 million copies worldwide . As staunch followers of his work, we have compiled a list of his titles adapted to the cinema that have come out the best.
- You can also read: The 10 best horror series to be very scared.
14 films based on Stephen King’s books
“Based on the novel by Stephen King”; If you read this during the opening credits of a movie, you know that what follows is a good dose of the best horror.
14. The Dark Half (George A. Romero, 1993)
The father of the zombie genre, George A. Romero, brought to the seventh art one of Stephen King’s lesser-known books. As usual in his creations, the main character is a successful author who has reached the top thanks to a series of murder novels in which he signed with a nickname. Just when he decides to announce the truth to the world, his alter ego will come to life with the intention of completely taking over the other half of him.
13. Cujo (Lewis Teague, 1983)
Cujo is a friendly Saint Bernard dog who lives with the Trentons and who gets bitten on the snout by a bat while sniffing around, contracting rabies. As the infection makes its way through his system, Cujo changes from being the affable canine everyone loves to becoming a bloodthirsty killing machine .
If you have been traumatized you can always counteract the image of Saint Bernard by wearing Beethoven (1992).
12. Living Cemetery (Mary Lambert, 1989)
The eighties closed with one of those Stephen King movies endowed with a more gloomy atmosphere. An American family that has just moved into a new house loses their cat when the animal is hit by a truck. But behind the houseA stone path leads to an ancient Indian cemetery, a place where an ancient power slumbers , which, according to the locals, is capable of bringing to life any being that is buried there.
11. It (Tommy Lee Wallace, 1990)
Without forgetting the commendable work of Andres Muschietti with his 2017 It, we have decided to keep the miniseries shot for television that premiered in two parts in the late 90s. with the best casting (it doesn’t have it), nor with the best staging, of course; but he bequeathed us the performance of Tim Curry in the role of the clown Pennywise who is already an icon of the horror classics of the time, along with others like Freddy Krueger, Chucky, Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees.
If you suffer from coulrophobia, Pennywise is probably to blame.
10. The Dead Zone (David Cronenberg, 1983)
David Cronenberg accepted the challenge of transferring one of Stephen King’s most acclaimed novels from the pages to celluloid, and he passed it with flying colours. Christopher Walken is Johnny Smith, a man who wakes up after spending 5 years in a coma. To his amazement, he has acquired a supernatural ability that grants him impressive psychic and clairvoyant powers … The result is one of the Stephen King movies whose quality is not far from that of the book.
9. The Green Mile (Frank Darabont, 1999)
Although Stephen King is known for being the master of contemporary terror, his bibliography also includes works with fantastic and dramatic overtones. This is the case of The Green Mile, which tells how a good-natured black giant is imprisoned for the murder of two little girls , although prison officials are surprised that this man is guilty of the atrocities attributed to him. They will soon discover that John Coffey has an incredible gift for doing good…
8. Count on me (Rob Reiner, 1986)
In addition to long novels, short stories are also the Maine writer’s specialty. “El cuerpo” is the title of one of the fictions in The Four Seasons, a compilation of stories with just a few pages. He moved to the big screen in one of the movies based on a Stephen King text most remembered by nostalgics , for his exaltation of the value of friendship and loyalty.
In this adventure, four friends set out to find a local boy who has disappeared. What they discover will test his bond and mark them for life…
- It may interest you: The 30 best movies based on books.
7. The mystery of Salem’s Lot (Tobe Hooper, 1979)
Translated into Spanish with the inexplicable title of “Phantasma II” (there was never a first part with that name), this mini-series for the small screen was carried out by the person in charge of The Texas Massacre, which took as a reference one of the author’s first works.
The story centers on Ben Mears, a novelist who returns to his hometown of Salem’s Lot in search of lost inspiration to write his next work. Shortly after settling down, a series of disappearances begin to happen that coincide with the arrival of a mysterious man.and his assistant, who have settled in the house on top of the hill; a place that Ben has not forgotten: there he suffered a traumatic experience when he was a child for which nightmares still haunt him.
6. Christine (John Carpenter, 1983)
Another genius of the horror films of the 70-80 gave us one of the most brilliant Stephen King movies of that time. This time, it was Christine’s turn, a film made to order to try to replicate the success that, that same year, had reaped its literary counterpart.
‘Christine’ is the name of a gorgeous ’58 Plymouth Fury, a four-wheeled rusty gemthat gathers dust in the garden of the deceased owner’s brother. As soon as he sees it, Arnie will fall in love with the vehicle and decide to fix it. From the first moment, a special bond arises between them that ‘Christine’ will protect at all costs against anyone who dares to break it.
Special mention for the hooligan introduction with the mythical song “Bad to the bone” playing, the best letter of introduction of this devilish car.
5. Perpetual Chain (Frank Darabont, 1994)
Published in The Four Seasons (1982) with the title “Rita Hayworth and the redemption of Shawshank”, it was the director Frank Darabont who was responsible for directing the feature filminspired by this short story and that would be the first of other Stephen King films that he would be in charge of directing (later would come The Green Mile and The Fog).
We move to the interior of a prison (‘Shawshank’), where Andy Dufresne enters, a renowned banker sentenced to life in prison for having murdered his wife , after having found her with another man. Andy must get used to this hostile environment where only the strongest survive; but fortunately, his charisma makes him win the sympathy of some of the most veteran inmates, as well as the warden, an unscrupulous guy.
4. The Fog (Frank Darabont, 2007)
Third time (and last to date) in which a film that adapted a novel by Stephen King fell into the hands of Frank Darabont. After two prison dramas, it was now the turn of a supernatural horror story with hints of science fiction, which takes place inside a supermarket. In it, a group of people are trapped because of a thick fog that has covered the town. Outside, something moves hidden in the haze, trying to make its way into the establishment .
3. Carrie (Brian de Palma, 1976)
In the mid-1970s and throughout the 1980s there was a boom in movies adapting Stephen King books. One of the most remembered cases was that of Carrie: it was not only one of the best film versions of one of his novels (by chance the writer’s wife retrieved the draft from the wastebasket and encouraged him to publish it), but one of the most chilling horror films of the genre ; Amen to one of the most successful productions of his director.
The young protagonist is a shy high school girl, marginalized and friendless, who lives under a strong discipline imparted by her mother, a religious fanatic who warns her against the outside world and against all contact with boys. Carrie has telekinetic powers that allow her to move all kinds of objects.and that they are increasing, something that those who make life impossible will regret…
2. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
Master Kubrick went behind the camera to shoot what would be one of his most controversial works. Loved by most of the lovers of the director but criticized by the followers of the book (among whose ranks the author showed his discontent with the result); The Shining is not one of Stephen King’s films that is most faithful to the original source, but it acquires its own distinct identity that makes it a gem of horror cinema.
This film introduces us to the Torrance family, whose three members are about to move into the Overlook Hotel, to take care of the facilities during the low season. This lonely place is the ideal setting for the head of the family, Jack, to find the calm he needs to write his next novel in the winter months. As the weeks go by, a series of strange phenomena begin to happen that gradually alter his personality, turning him into an unstable and violent being.
1. Misery (Rob Reiner, 1990)
Claustrophobia and psychological terror go hand in hand in this harrowing thriller not for the faint of heart. Misery is the film version of the book of the same name in which, three years earlier,Stephen King had captured one of his deepest fears, triggered after the murder of John Lennon : “How far is a fan capable of going for his idol
In this masterpiece of the seventh art, James Caan plays Paul Sheldon, a renowned novelist who returns home after a retreat in the mountains to finish writing his last pages before retiring. However, a fatal accident with his car truncates his plans and he ends up being rescued by Annie Wilkes , a nurse who lives alone and is a big fan of his work. Now that her idol is under her protection, she has no intention of letting him go…
Of all the Stephen King movies,Misery will have us in a tension that will catch us from the first minutes and will not let us go until the final credits . Highly recommended both for readers who were terrified by the novel and for lovers of bad (good) times on the screen.
- More terror: The 7 best short horror myths to be very scared.
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