Films based on Stephen King stories
MFC TOP 5
With more than sixty novels and around two hundred published stories, Stephen King is one of the most prolific authors in the industry. His horror stories have taken the genre to a whole new level, establishing a characteristic style in his work that led him to become one of the best contemporary horror writers.
Stephen King’s stories have been adapted to films in more than 50 occasions, without taking into account the adaptations for television series. While we wait for the premiers of It: Chapter Two and Doctor Sleep during 2019, at MFC we soothe the ache with a TOP 5 of the best films based on the work of Stephen King.
5. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
Carrie tells the story of Carrie White, played by Sissy Spacek, an insecure teenager, victim of an overprotective mother who insists on keeping her daughter emotionally isolated, making her the target of severe bullying. The repeated situations of stress that Carrie has to put through lead to the emergence of strange telekinetic powers that, guided by uncontrollable anger, generate scenes of great visual impact.
Carrie was the first film adaptation of a Stephen King’s story, released just two years after the publication of what was his debut novel. The resounding success of the film opened the doors for the unstoppable wave of novels by the author and consequent adaptations, including titles like The Rage: Carrie 2 (Katt Shea, 1999), a sequel, and Carrie (Kimberly Peirce, 2013), a remake starring Chloë Moretz.
4. Misery (Rob Reiner, 1990)
Based on the novel published in 1987, Misery tells the story of the writer Paul Sheldon (played by James Caan), who, after almost losing his life in a traffic accident, is rescued by Annie Wilkes (played by Kathy Bates), a nurse who takes her fanaticism for the author too far.
In addition to capturing us in an atmosphere of suspense, the film has impressive scenes even by contemporary standards. The outstanding performance of Kathy Bates earned her the Oscar Academy Award for Best Actress in 1990, an interpretation that made of Annie Wilkes one of the most feared characters in horror movies.
3. The Secret Window (David Koepp, 2004)
The Secret Window is based on Secret Window, Secret Garden (1990), a short story by Stephen King, and tells the story of the successful author Mort Rainey (played by Johnny Depp), who tries to break out of a creative block by secluding himself in a lonely cabin. There he is visited by John Shooter (played by John Turturro), a writer from Mississippi who accuses him of stealing one of his stories.
The film offers a great suspense and psychological horror story with an impeccable direction, where even transitions are crucial to explore the effects that depression and seclusion have on the main character. All crowned by a soundtrack composed by the great Philip Glass.
2. It (Andy Muschietti, 2017)
Initially published in 1986, the novel It was adapted to a two-part television series in 1990. The first part tells the story of the Losers’ Club, a group of children terrorized by a ghost that takes the form of the clown Pennywise, a character that, thanks to the legendary interpretation of Tim Curry, became a horror movie icon.
Years later, its remake was released: a visual jewel that takes the best of the novel to become one of the films that best captures the essence of Stephen King’s characteristic horror. In 2017, It delves into the psyche of its characters to explore the causes of their fears in a more organic way.
The film was directed by Argentinean Andy Muschietti and we’ll be able to enjoy his vision again on It: Chapter 2, to be released in September of 2019.
1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
Despite being one of the films in which the script differs the most from the novel (originally published in 1977), The Shining is not only considered as the best film based on the work of Stephen King, but also as one of the best films in the history of cinema.
The Shining tells the story of Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), a writer who accepts a job as caretaker of the lonely Overlook Hotel during the winter. Shortly after settling there with his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and his son Danny (Danny Lloyd), the hotel begins to have a dark influence on Jack that leads him to madness.
Stanley Kubrick took the work of Stephen King and gave us a sample of great directing, cinematography, camera work and composition that inspired generations of filmmakers around the world.
Its sequel, Doctor Sleep, will be released in November 2019. The film will star Ewan McGregor in the role of Danny Torrance, and directed by Mike Flanagan, known for other horror titles such as Oculus (2014), Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) and The Haunting of Hill House (2018).