Friday, September 6, 2019

Top 10 Best Stephen King Movie Adaptations!

Lolo Loves Films top 10 best Stephen King movie adaptations list
Stephen Edwin King is a very, very busy man. He has had a decades-long career as an award-winning author and has sold over 350 million copies of his works since 1974. He is a philanthropist, a baseball fan, a husband, a father, and a grandfather. He can also be found throwing truth bombs on one of the best Twitter accounts in existence. But did you know that King has had almost 50 of his novels, short stories, novellas, and collections adapted into films? We do...because we watched them ALL! That's right, we sat down and watched all the films that have been adapted from the genius, twisted mind of Stephen King. It was quite a task, but it was so much fun!

Without further ado, today we're here to share with you our list of the Top 10 BEST STEPHEN KING MOVIE ADAPTATIONS! Keep in mind, this is just our list, so we'd love to know if yours is different in the comments below.

Movie poster for Paramount Pictures's 1983 thriller The Dead Zone, starring Christoper Walken, Tom Skerritt, Martin Sheen, Brooke Adams, and Anthony Zerbe
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10) "The Dead Zone"
We totally dig David Cronenberg's "The Dead Zone," a near-bloodless, underrated thriller starring the incomparable Christopher Walken. Visually gripping, socially important, and morally intriguing, this film leans into its psychological premise effectively and keeps the surprises coming. It is tragic and chilly, but it maintains its humanity despite its sorrow. Walken gives a masterful performance, and his supporting cast does an amazing job as well. A hidden Stephen King gem, to be sure.
Movie poster for New Line Cinema's 2017 horror film It, starring Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Martell, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Wyatt Oleff
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9) "It: Chapter One"
"It" just goes to show that the original isn't always better. This retelling of the first half of Stephen King's novel is excellent. The setting has been swapped and takes place in the 1980s, offering a "Goonies" meets "Stranger Things" style adventure film mashed up with a gory supernatural horror and one hell of a horrifying clown to tie it all together. We can't help but love to hate (and hate to love) Pennywise and his disgusting shenanigans. It is well-made and offers a lot of dark comedy, some great acting, a superb directorial effort from Andy Muschietti, and lots of genuinely unsettling horror. What more could you want?
Movie poster for Columbia Pictures's Stephen King's adaptation Dolores Claiborne (1995), starring Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer, and David Strathairn
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8) "Dolores Claiborne"
This is the first time either of us had watched "Dolores Claiborne," and we absolutely loved this underrated film. It is exceedingly well acted with Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christoper Plummer, John C. Reilly, and David Strathairn all offering incredible, powerful performances. This is a tale dealing with human horror and tortures and thrills that have nothing to do with ghouls, ghosts, or werewolves. It is a pertinent subject matter about public perception, believing women and the truths they tell, spreading rumors, small-town living, abuse, the past haunting people's futures, and how an accusation is just as powerful as a conviction. If you haven't seen this film, please do yourself a favor and watch it immediately!
Movie poster for Dimension Films's 2007 horror thriller The Mist, Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Andre Braugher, Toby Jones, Jeffrey DeMunn, and Laurie Holden
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7) "The Mist"
While "The Mist" is technically about monsters from another dimension, it's not the creatures that make this horror movie memorable. It's the exploration of human psychology that really makes it intriguing, and because of this aspect, it has landed on our top 10 list. The human monsters in this story are scarier than the interdimensional aliens, the humans who manipulate with rhetoric, point fingers, and incite mob rule. Another thing we love about this movie is the ending. Many will disagree because it is so controversial. It is changed from the book's more open-ended finale, but director Frank Darabont lets it play out to an insufferably bleak scenario. Call us sick, but we love every second of it. Plus, this is an ending change that Stephen King himself approved of, so if he likes it, we are 100% on board with it.
Carrie 1976 movie poster, starring Sissy Spacek, John Travolta, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, and Nancy Allen
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6) "Carrie"
"Carrie" has been remade multiple times over the years, but no version has been quite as effective as the original 1976 adaptation. Though she doesn't match the description of Carrie in the book, Sissy Spacek is still terrifically believable as an oddball, outcast student who gets mocked relentlessly to her breaking point. Piper Laurie is also fantastic as her abusive religious fanatic mother. Like many of Stephen King tales, it's not just the supernatural, extraordinary elements that give his stories their horrific edge. His work is truly terrifying because of the human horror aspects of the story. It's the cruelty that humans inflict upon each other that makes "Carrie" so goddamn scary. Few people in this world are crueler than high schoolers, and this film manages to capture that torment perfectly, all set to an iconic musical score that will leave your bones tingling long after the credits roll.
Movie poster for Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980), starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, and Joe Turkel
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5) "The Shining"
Sure, Stephen King has been an outspoken critic of Stanley Kubrick's take on his story "The Shining," and yes, it also got nominated multiple Razzie Awards, but over the years, this film has become regarded as one of the greatest horror films of all time, and we're inclined to agree with that sentiment. We love this movie. Both Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall are fantastic here, and despite its methodical pacing, it keeps us engaged throughout the entirety of its runtime. We have watched this one numerous times and appreciate more with each viewing.
Movie poster for Stephen King's 1986 classic "Stand By Me," starring River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, Jerry O'Connell, Corey Feldman, and Kiefer Sutherland
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4) "Stand By Me"
Talk about one of the greatest coming-of-age movies ever made! Hell, even Stephen King calls "Stand By Me" his favorite adaptation of his work. BigJ grew up watching this film. He has seen it countless times and has yet to grow tired of it. When he showed it to me for the first time, I knew it was something special. The four main protagonists are flawed but likable characters who, despite growing up in a simpler time, still remain relatable today. We all hope to have a memorable adventure like these boys shared (sans dead body, of course).
Movie poster for the 1999 Warner Bros. film The Green Mile, starring Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, Sam Rockwell, Barry Pepper, David Morse, Michael Jeter, Doug Hutchison, and James Cromwell
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3) "The Green Mile"
We love this movie so, so much, but we can't watch it all the time because it makes us blubber uncontrollably every darn time we push play. It offers up a mix of mystery and drama with just a little magic. It has brilliant performances from Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb (the head guard on The Green Mile), Michael Clarke Duncan as the gentle giant John Coffey, and Doug Hutchinson as the smarmy, sadistic little prick of a guard Percy Wetmore. The acting supports a brilliant story and fantastic direction from Frank Darabont. This is an absolute winner in our book.
Misery 1990 movie poster, starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall, and Richard Farnsworth
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2) "Misery"
We imagine that "Misery" is Stephen King's worst nightmare come to life. We're sure he ruminates on the thought of an obsessive fan capturing him and torturing him because they didn't like one of his books frequently. It's gotta keep him awake at night! This movie makes our skin crawl for more than one reason. Its commentary on obsession and multiple personalities is incredibly successful, especially in 2019 as fandoms run amok on the internet. As good as the story is, this film would be nothing without its career-best, Oscar-winning, absolutely unhinged, batshit, brilliant performance from Kathy Bates...well, that and the hobbling scene, which will be forever ingrained in the memories of every person who has ever seen it. We're still shiver just thinking about it.
Movie poster for Columbia Pictures and Castle Rock Entertainment's 1994 Best Picture winning film The Shawshank Redemption, starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman
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1) "The Shawshank Redemption"
Initially a theatrical "flop," "The Shawshank Redemption" has built up a massive following over the years and is now widely regarded as one of the best movies ever made. It is even the number one rated movie of all time on IMDB's top 250. It has been years since we last watched this masterpiece, but our love for it never wavers. It combines an intriguing mystery with drama, human horror, crime, and a story of personal redemption with a lot of heart included. It makes us laugh, cry, have faith, and feel inspired all at the same time. Every single person must see this film at least once in their life!


  1. Great list. My only disagreement would be the Mist, as the changed ending pissed me off, and as a father I could not wrap my brain around it to the point of feeling it was unbelievable. I'd swap in Apt Pupil which I really liked and I think is tragically under rated.

  2. Awesome list! I really enjoyed watching the Shining and the original Carrie! I still need to watch It though.

    1. You should definitely start with "The Green Mile," it is so dang good! The original "Carrie" is super effective even all these years later! Thanks for reading our list.

      ~Lolo & BigJ