Written by: Paul Mannering
Who doesn’t love Stephen King? Better yet, who doesn’t love the genuinely amazing Stephen King cinematic transfers? Anybody? We thought not! Check out Paul’s picks for the top 10 Stephen King movies below!
10 Maximum Overdrive
Gets on the list mainly because of the kick-ass soundtrack by AC/DC. Also the sheer ridiculousness of the premise makes this a King adaptation that I fondly remember. A real cult classic.
09 Children of the Corn
A film that introduced the idea of psychotic kids to the audience who had never seen The Midwich Cuckoos. Understated in its violence (the butcher store scene with the meat slicer still haunts me) and featuring a great cast of young actors, it spawned several sequels which succeeded in only lowering the bar for what makes an acceptable horror movie these days.
A film best left behind the rows.
08 The Dead Zone
One of those great books that just didn’t quite make a successful transition to film. Christopher Walken is a fine actor, but he just never seemed right for this role. Cronenberg’s direction was incredibly restrained compared to his usual style – and over all the complete package, while acceptable, wasn’t the vision of clairvoyant terror it should have been.
Firestarter was my first ever Stephen King novel and I read it in one sitting when I was 12. The film starred the very young rehab veteran, Drew Barrymore. The film was handled well, with the extensive special effects actually making a valid contribution to the film.
06 Pet Sematary
The New England accent and performance of Fred Gwynne of The Munsters fame, was almost as creepy as the performance of the young Miko Hughes as the toddler Gage. This is one of King’s best books and it made a fine transition to film.
The intensity of this film, the claustrophobia of being trapped in a small space by a monstrous dog, was quite chilling. So many of us could relate, this was not a horror story about supernatural elements, or psychotic killers – this was a friendly, loving family pet – who got really sick.
Cujo makes the list because it kept the scenes tight and held our attention.
04 The Green Mile
A serial novel, released in parts, fortunately the film didn’t go the same way (the dreaded mini-series). A fine story of justice and strange power. Less horror and more human drama – which can be just as disturbing. Michael Duncan’s finest performance and the big guy was taken from us way too soon.
Remade, sequelled, but never equalled. Chloë Grace Moretz is one of the best actors of her generation, but the 2013 remake didn’t come close to the dread of the original.
King’s first published novel, and the first film made of his work. Brian de Palma stands as one of the all-time great directors of blood and visceral. Sissy Spacek won a freakin’ Acadamy Award for her performance. Piper Laurie (as Carrie’s mom, took home the film’s other Oscar).
Raw, bloody and utterly disturbing. One of the classics of horror cinema.
02 The Shining
Stanley Kubrick. Jack Nicholson. Shelley Duvall making one of the best psychological horrors of all time. A great line up working with great material. Kubrick was possibly insane, which I think helped.
Nicholson makes you think he is insane, because he really is that good.
01 The Shawshank Redemption
Number one of many film lists. This is the heart breaking story of a man who (probably) didn’t commit murder. Sent to the infamous Shawshank State Prison for the murder of his wife and her lover, Andy Dufresne survives by becoming the financial advisor to the corrupt warden and most of the guards.
It’s a brutal film, with corruption and the endurance of the human spirit at its heart. I never truly warmed to the character of Andy, simply because he struck me as the kind of guy who might very well have killed his wife and her lover. His eventual escape is the twist in the tail, and the fine script, supporting cast with Morgan Freeman, and Clancy Brown. The excellent direction by Frank Darabont (who more recently brought The Walking Dead to TV) make this one of the best films of the 20th Century.