Today I am going to share 5 of the best Stephen King book to film adaptations! As always, I try to diversity my lists. I’ve already talked about It, The Shining, Misery, Gerald’s Game, Carrie, Secret Window and 1408 on here, so I’m not going to mention them again. Here are some less talked about but highly underrated movies. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
1.) Doctor Sleep
Doctor Sleep is a fantastic sequel to The Shining and a movie I strongly recommend. Set several decades after the death of Jack Torrance, his son Danny remains traumatized by the sinister events that occurred at the Overlook Hotel when he was a child. His hope for a peaceful existence soon becomes shattered when he meets Abra, a teen who shares his extrasensory gift. Together, they form an unlikely alliance to battle the True Knot, a cult whose members feed off the “shine” of innocents in order to become immortal. I haven’t read the book so I cannot comment on how true the adaptation is to the original source, but I really enjoyed it. The return to the Overlook had me screaming! Not to mention, Rose the Hat was such a charming ‘vampiric’ leader. I was mesmerised by her scenes. The film is absolutely worth checking out. It tends to pleasantly surprise most viewers.
Did you know Christine was directed by John Carpenter? The same man that gave us Halloween and The Thing? If that isn’t enough incentive to watch this 80’s horror film, I don’t know what is. The score is one of my favourite things about this movie. You can recognise John’s signature sound immediately. The plot follows a nerdy boy by the name of Arnie, who cannot get a girlfriend and is constantly subjected to schoolyard bullying. When he comes across a 1958 Plymouth Fury named Christine, he is immediately drawn to her. He purchases the car, much to his best friend’s hesitation and the strong disapproval of his parents. It isn’t long before the possessed vehicle begins to change Arnie and not for the better. You would expect a story about a haunted automobile to be lame, but it was actually quite unsettling. It isn’t talked about enough but I wish it was.
3.) Pet Sematary
My favourite film on this list is the original version of Pet Sematary. The remake is bearable, but I much prefer the 1989 release. After moving into their new home, the Creed’s family cat is killed after wandering onto the highway. Jud, an elderly neighbour, leads Louis (the father) to an isolated hill behind the local pet cemetery and instructs him to bury the deceased there. Not long after, the cat reappears at the Creed home – only he is not the same. The once docile feline is now vicious and destructive. When one of their children meets the same fate, the distraught Louis buries them in the same location, hoping for a revival. Unfortunately, he unleashes far more than he had bargained for. This movie definitely hits harder as a parent. It has some truly disturbing scenes that make cinematic horror history. I love it. If you only watch one movie in this post, let it be this!
4.) The Green Mile
The Green Mile is listed as a horror drama, yet it’s more heartbreaking than scary. The film received four Academy Award nominations and is one of King’s most successful adaptations. The story follows Paul Edgecomb (played by Tom Hanks) who has walked the mile with a variety of criminals. In all his time, he has never encountered someone like John Coffey (played by Michael Clarke Duncan), a massive black man convicted of brutally killing a pair of young sisters. Coffey had the size and strength to murder anyone, but not the demeanour. Beyond his simple, naïve nature and deathly fear of the dark, Coffey seems to possess the supernatural gift of healing. Paul begins to question whether the accused was truly guilty of his crimes. If you don’t cry after watching this movie, you must have a heart of steel. The underlying messages are abundantly clear. We are quick to judge those that are different to us. It’s a classic and a must-see for your list.
Last but certainly not least, we have Cujo, which I watched very recently. After a placid, lovable St. Bernard contracts rabies, he turns into a vicious, killing machine. Meanwhile, the Trenton family are suffering due to infidelity and disconnection. When the husband leaves town to process the actions of his cheating wife, Mrs. Trenton and her young son Tad, find themselves trapped in their car as Cujo tries to maul them from the outside. With a relentless manic animal thirsty for their blood and the promise of rapid dehydration from the hot sun, the pair realise death is imminent regardless of what they decide to do. I know that the ending is very different to the book but I still enjoyed the adaptation regardless. It actually made me cry. Once again, these types of stories hit harder when you have your own small child. It’s a slower paced horror that builds to a terrifying frenzy. Check it out!
Thank you so much for reading! What are your favourite King book to film adaptations? Do you agree with my list?
Peace & Love xoxo