Signet, August 1976, 1st Edition
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
The “King” of spooky stuff. Rock star of the book world. Ridiculously overrated. Pathetic endings. A true genius. Slaughtered horror at the altar of fantasy.
In his long and celebrated career, Stephen King had had all kind of feedbacks. He is one of those authors who have radical fans and haters. You either worship him or you are an active member of I-hate-Stephen-King.com. So, from which camp are you exactly? Ah, a SK devotee? Cool, you are in for some pleasant surprise. Remember The Shining? It was King’s fourth novel and one of his most popular books. A classic published in 1977, it was made into a movie starring Jack Nicholson. King has announced that the sequel to The Shining, titled Dr. Sleep, will be out in January next year.
The shinning delineates the story of a family that moves to Overlook Hotel in Colorado. The hotel, however, has a terrible past, and it uses a kid (with supernatural abilities) in the family to drive his dad crazy.
In the sequel, Danny (the kid in The Shining), works in a nursing home, where he helps people to die peacefully through his “shining power”. But things get complicated when a group of psychic vampires called True Knot start preying on kids, who are blessed (or cursed) with the same abilities that Dan has. Dan needs to save a young girl from the clutches of the True Knot.
King himself feels that this will be a challenging job because the original book reached a cult status. Expectations of the readers will be high and the sequel has to be too good to live up to the hype. We are counting on it just because it’s from Stephen king, someone who hates to deliver predictable and ordinary stuff.
In between, Warner Bros. is planning a prequel to The Shining (1980). Looks like a lot of things are happening in Stephen King’s universe.
Sometime back, Universal planned to make a movie based on Stephen King’s Magnum Opus — The Dark Tower. But eventually the Hollywood Studio backed off due to the costs involved (thanks to the magnitude of the project). However, fans of The Dark Tower Series will be glad to know that Warner Bros. is ready to resurrect the project with Ron Howard (of The Beautiful Mind fame) as director and Javier Bardem (Oscar winning actor of No Country for Old Men) as the Protagonist — Gunslinger Roland Deschain. The Filming is scheduled to start in early 2013. There will also be a TV series through HBO — Warner Bros’ sister concern.
In case you are new to The Dark Tower series, here is an outline of the story:
Roland, the last living gunslinger, is on his quest to find the “nexus of all universes” — the mythical Dark Tower. On his way, he encounters incredible adventures and takes on strange characters, human and nonhuman. Can he reach the tower? What awaits Roland in the tower?
There are total seven books in the series.
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (1982)
The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three (1987)
The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands (1991)
The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass (1997)
The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla (2003)
The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah (2004)
The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (2004)
Some people are apprehensive that we are going to get a slim and customized version of this epic tale, but nothing can be said for sure as of now. Are you excited to watch this post-apocalyptic western?
Novella is perhaps the best suited form for horror literature. But novellas are too long for normal anthologies and too short to be published as a separate book. In such a situation, Mike Ashley has done a great favor to the fans of the genre by presenting them an awesome compilation — The Mammoth Book of Short Horror Novels.
The Editor clearly states his objective in the introduction. Ashley wanted to:
It’s worth mentioning that the editor has successfully accomplished his objective and the result has been diabolically satisfying.