Stephen King is aware of slightly one thing about horror even when among the variations made out of his work recommend in any other case.
October is outlined in Webster’s Dictionary as “31 days of horror.” Don’t trouble wanting it up; it’s true. Most individuals take that to imply highlighting one horror film a day, however right here at FSR, we’ve taken that up a spooky notch or 9 by celebrating every day with a prime ten listing. This text rating the highest 50 Stephen King horror motion pictures (and horror adjoining ones too) is the ultimate a part of our ongoing sequence 31 Days of Horror Lists.
It’s no overstatement to say that Stephen King is one thing of a phenomenon. He’s been one of many world’s bestselling writers for a number of many years now, and no dwelling writer has even come shut relating to the variety of movie variations made out of King’s work. From the large display screen to the small, King’s tales have been steadily dropped at life because the late 70s, they usually’ve but to indicate any signal of slowing down.
As we deliver this yr’s 31 Days of Horror Lists to an in depth, we’ve determined to make King’s horror efforts the main target of our large, month-ending listing. There are a number of methods we may have gone right here, however we determined to restrict ourselves to King’s motion pictures, TV motion pictures, and mini-series — which excludes TV sequence, restricted sequence (ones stretched to greater than 4 episodes), and direct-to-video sequels — with a particular give attention to the horror/style titles. A handful of movies fell by the wayside as we capped the listing at a strong fifty, however you’re not lacking a lot. (I’ve ranked King myself elsewhere, however it’s noticeably completely different from an inventory voted on and crafted by seven folks.)
Now hold studying to see the place all fifty of the king’s motion pictures/miniseries land on our epic listing, as collectively ranked by Chris Coffel, Brad Gullickson, Mary Beth McAndrews, Meg Shields, Anna Swanson, Jacob Trussell, and myself.
50. Carrie (2013)
Now look, nobody goes to argue that Kimberly Peirce’s remake (or re-adaptation) of Carrie can maintain a split-screen candle to Brian De Palma’s traditional. It’s a tame, gauche, and sanctimonious model of the story of Carrie White (Chloë Grace Moretz), a sheltered teen who unleashes repressed telekinetic powers on her small city after being pushed over the sting by her bullying friends. The 2013 Carrie will not be excellent. But it surely does characteristic an excellent efficiency by Julianne Moore as Carrie’s religiously fervent mom Margaret White. Her ravings in regards to the hardships of dwelling in godless instances are so properly delivered you nearly sympathize. And whereas feeling unhealthy for an abusive mother or father in a Stephen King story isn’t an ideal signal, typically you’ve received to name ‘em such as you see ‘em. With regards to the 2013 Carrie: Margaret White ceaselessly. (Meg Shields)
49. Secret Window (2004)
The day we cease utilizing Dissociative Identification Dysfunction (DID) as a supply for horror and violence is the day that I’ll know peace. Sadly, Secret Window, an adaptation of King’s novella “Secret Window, Secret Backyard,” is a textbook instance of such a trope. Author Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) is confronted by one John Shooter (John Turturro), who accuses Rainey of stealing his story. However as their relationship will get extra violent, Mort realizes that he and John have much more in frequent than he may have imagined.
Regardless of its use of age-old dangerous tropes about psychological sickness, director David Koepp does create an efficient, haunting, if not predictable, story about jealousy. You possibly can spot the twist coming from a couple of mile away, however it’s nonetheless an extremely entertaining watch, notably as Turturro chews up the surroundings along with his Southern drawl and intimidating presence. He is ready to create fairly a terrifying villain, marked by that trademark vast brim hat. Additionally, Depp is deeply relatable as, dressed nearly solely in a bathrobe, he lives out a author’s miserable existence of author’s block and overeating. (Mary Beth McAndrews)
48. The Langoliers (1995)
What if an episode of The Twilight Zone was three hours lengthy? That’s mainly the concept that The Langoliers takes and runs with. Or, quite, flies with. The 2-part mini-series follows a gaggle of passengers on a purple eye to Boston who awake mid-flight to search out that everybody else on board has disappeared. They’re then tasked with determining what occurred whereas attempting to make it possible for as Bronson Pinchot chomps down on the surroundings, he doesn’t unintentionally take anybody’s arm off. To Pinchot’s credit score, nonetheless, overacting is the one strategy to make one thing of those skinny characters. Finally, this isn’t a nasty premise and it permits for some spooky twists and turns. However contemplating the supply materials was a part of a novella assortment, the mini-series ought to have taken a cue from King and embraced brevity. (Anna Swanson)
47. Carrie (2002)
Director David Carson‘s made-for-TV adaptation of Carrie isn’t a nasty movie a lot as it’s an extremely boring one. Trying to “remake” the work of Brian De Palma is difficult sufficient as it’s, however when restricted to the confines of community tv it’s a virtually unimaginable endeavor. Bryan Fuller‘s script is usually devoted to King’s novel, however given the two-hour runtime, a number of it looks like filler and fluff added in to suit a particular time slot. A number of instances the digital camera lingers on characters after they communicate, which I assume was an try and squeeze in an additional 5 seconds right here and there.
Notably, the ending is modified to open the door for a tv sequence that was by no means picked up. The movie has some good performances from Angela Bettis and Patricia Clarkson as Carrie and her mom, respectively, and David Keith is at all times a deal with. The enduring promenade scene manages to entertain regardless of some poor digital results. Sadly, it takes seemingly ceaselessly to get to the promenade and previous to that the movie lacks any semblance of a punch. (Chris Coffel)
46. Dreamcatcher (2003)
As a baby, the trailer for the 2003 adaptation Dreamcatcher haunted my desires. I used to be going by way of a section of being completely petrified of being kidnapped by aliens, in order that clearly didn’t assist. What I didn’t understand till I lastly noticed this film was that it might additionally contain grown males speaking loads about farting and an alien being actually pooped out. The movie follows a gaggle of 4 pals happening their annual tenting journey in Maine. They’ve been shut since they have been children, particularly united by their shared psychic powers, bestowed upon them after saving Duddits, a boy with Downs Syndrome. Whereas on their journey, they’re positioned in quarantine after an alien ship crashes in shut by, unleashing a lethal parasite able to destroy humanity.
That parasite is what burrowed inside human hosts and expelled itself from their bowels. In the meantime, Colonel Abraham Curtis (Morgan Freeman) is main a navy power that makes a speciality of extraterrestrials to destroy the risk. The solid is stacked, that includes not solely Freeman, however Damian Lewis, Jason Lee, Timothy Olyphant, Thomas Jane, and Donnie Wahlberg. It suffers from a standard Stephen King adaptation downside because it tries to take an excessive amount of info and stuff it into two hours. King’s works are so advanced it’s troublesome to parse what ought to be included. But, Dreamcatcher is an admirable effort and a minimum of a enjoyable, gory creature characteristic. (Mary Beth McAndrews)
45. Thinner (1996)
I don’t know if I’ve hated a Stephen King character greater than Billy Halleck (Robert John Burke) in Thinner. Burke’s efficiency is unbelievable as he constructs a person that I need so badly to punch within the face. He’s so stuffed with himself and also you virtually applaud the physique horror because the slimy lawyer will get his comeuppance. Within the movie, Halleck, who’s depicted as obese and obsessive about meals, has just lately gotten a infamous crime boss acquitted of homicide costs. He’s a person extra fascinated about cash and energy above all the pieces else. However then he unintentionally hits a Romani girl along with his automotive and kills her. However as a result of he’s pals with the chief of police and the choose, he’s additionally acquitted of all costs. In an act of revenge, the girl’s father locations a curse on Halleck that causes the lawyer to drop extra pounds at an alarming price. What ensues is a nasty little piece of physique horror that’s solely pores and skin deep. (Mary Beth McAndrews)
44. The Darkish Tower (2017)
Whereas there’s loads that may be leveled towards The Darkish Tower, we’ve to provide it credit score for ambition. Certain, possibly combining info from a number of books into one 90-minute film wasn’t one of the best technique, however it was a daring strategy to tackle King’s supply materials. Sadly, the narratively dense movie reads as near-incomprehensible to these unfamiliar with the books, and too untrue to the unique textual content to land for many followers. With a muddled plot, the YA journey/sci-fi thriller/Western is loads to absorb and make sense of. Nevertheless, there’s one thing to be stated for Idris Elba’s reliably charming efficiency and Matthew McConaughey’s intensely unhinged flip because the movie’s villain. (Anna Swanson)
43. It: Chapter Two (2019)
The primary factor to be stated for It: Chapter Two is that the casting division and the actors they selected all understood the task. Because the movie follows the Losers Membership all grown up, the characters and performances mix quite seamlessly from youngster to grownup. The ensemble solid shares an excessive amount of chemistry and, maybe even to the movie’s detriment, the connections between characters vastly supersede the scares. Finally, with a bloated, nearly three-hour runtime, the movie’s frights can’t fairly maintain the effectiveness of the primary installment. (Anna Swanson)
42. Within the Tall Grass (2019)
Vincenzo Natali’s adaptation of the Stephen King and Joe Hill novella captures the idea’s preliminary fright exceptionally properly. Brother and sister, Cal and Becky, pull to the aspect of the highway in center America and listen to a younger boy calling for assist from the roadside cornfield. They rush in to lend support however rapidly discover themselves swallowed by the vegetation. Regardless of the place they run, there’s no method out. Just like the story itself, the movie’s solutions don’t fairly equal satisfaction, however King’s supernatural components ought to at all times be bested by the human dynamics and the performers who inherit them. Within the Tall Grass options loads of divots amongst the corn maze, however the movie holds onto its surprise and oddity proper up till the fade out. (Brad Gullickson)
41. Pet Sematary (2019)
Rating however, Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer’s 2019 adaptation of Pet Sematary is an efficient time! The unique novel is one in every of my favourite King books because it’s each terrifying and heart-breaking, and the newest adaptation captures that ethos quite properly. When Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), his spouse Rachel (Amy Seimetz), their children Ellie and Gage, and their cat Church arrive at their new dwelling in a small city in Maine, they rapidly uncover a wierd pet cemetery behind their dwelling.
Their neighbor Jud Crandall (John Lithgow) explains that the bottom is completely different there, and is rumored to deliver issues again to life. When one in every of their kids dies in a tragic accident, Louis decides to check the legend, with quite terrifying outcomes. The place this adaptation stands out is in its deeper examination of Rachel Creed and her trauma round her sister Zelda’s personal tragic loss of life once they have been kids. King isn’t identified for his feminine characters, so it was refreshing to see house given to additional develop Rachel into greater than only a spouse. (Mary Beth McAndrews)
Associated Subjects: 31 Days of Horror Lists