There are way too many movies based on Stephen King novels and short stories. Some are absolute gems, some are plain watchable and a few are total freak shows. Want the best of the lot? Here’s our two cents:
The Shining (1980)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd
A frustrated writer (Jack) takes up a winter caretaker job at an isolated hotel. Before he moves to the hotel with his family, the manager warns him about the terrible history of the place. Jack’s psychic son also has scary visions, and eventually all the nightmares come true as an evil presence starts having its way.
“The Shining is like a near-miss auto accident: You don’t know how scared you really were until you start shaking a few hours later.” — People Magazine
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Director: Frank Darabont
Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman
An innocent fellow gets arrested and ends up being surrounded by the corruptions of the legal system. He bonds with a prison inmate and finds solace through acts of common decency. Based on Stephen King’s novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.
“If you don’t love Shawshank, chances are you’re beyond redemption.” — Empire Magazine
Director: Brian De Palma
Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, John Travolta
Carrie White, a teenage girl who gets abused by bullies, finds out that she has telekinesis. When humiliated on the night of her school’s prom, she uses her telekinetic fury on the smartass tormentors.
“An exercise in high style that even the most unredeemably rational among moviegoers should find enormously enjoyable” – Time Magazine
The Dead Zone (1983)
Director: David Cronenberg
Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Martin Sheen
Johnny Smith awakens from a five year coma to discover that he has developed an ability to see a person’s future by touching him. He realizes that he can also change the future, but this proves to be a curse as he meets Greg Stillson — a ruthless politician.
“Mr. Cronenberg’s direction is vivid and effective; his pacing is a little unemphatic at times, but the film’s individual scenes are very well staged.” — New York Times
The Mist (2007)
Director: Frank Darabont
Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden
An unnatural mist envelops a town and unleashes nightmarish, otherworldly creatures. Survivors hide in a supermarket and tensions rise among them as things become worse with every passing moment.
“[This] grocery-store survival drama, dominated by Marcia Gay Harden as a shrill fundamentalist, serves as a crude but effective allegory for post-9/11 America.” — Chicago Reader