7 Best Film Adaptations Of Stephen King’s Books

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Stephen King has been known as the “King of Horror” for many decades and his brilliant mind has led him to write 64 published novels. Although not all of his works fall into the horror genre, he is undoubtedly one of the greats of modern literature. As a result, King was lucky enough to see many of his works adapted to other mediums, including television series like The stall and movies like Doctor Sleep.

Some of King’s on-screen stories have been translated so well that over time they have become staples of American cinema. What would the world of cinema be without Carrie, The Shawshank Redemptionand The shiny? The correct answer is incomplete, just as we would be without the rest of King’s compelling stories.

Here are the 7 best film adaptations of King’s books to date.

The dead zone

David Cronenberg’s point of view The dead zone stands up there as one of his best films and easily as one of the greatest Stephen King adaptations of all time. It stars Christopher Walken as Johnny Smith, a teacher who has a car accident, falls into a coma, and wakes up to find he has gained the power of foresight. His ability allows him to see when people are dying, and now he has to figure out what to do with it. The sense of responsibility and fear felt by Smith reverberates well with audiences. The antagonist, a seedy and corrupt mayor, still stands as perfect social commentary even nearly 40 years after its release. I’d go so far as to say it’s King’s best adaptation in terms of fidelity to the source material.

the brilliant

While not necessarily the most faithful adaptation of a Stephen King book, the brilliant is one of the best movies ever made and has rightfully earned its place in the movie history books. The eerie tone throughout the film is presented with aplomb thanks to Stanley Kubrick’s masterful direction, and John Alcott’s cinematography makes for an eerie, tense watch. The various fan theories, interpretations and analyzes over the years have helped keep this film fresh for audiences for decades ⏤ there’s even a full documentary that was made to showcase the film’s theories titled Room 237 ⏤ and Nicholson’s performance as Jack Torrance will stand the test of time, as will his chilling “Heeeere’s Johnny!”

The Shawshank Redemption

It is without a doubt everyone’s favorite movie. With the combined power of Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, The Shawshank Redemption became one of the most beloved films of all time. The 20-year-old story centers on two prisoners, and their bond resonates strongly with audiences to this day. It wasn’t a huge financial hit when it was released, but it garnered political acclaim right away. Since 2015, it has been placed in the United States Library of Congress Preservation Archive in the National Film Registry, with the film cited as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

support me

Stephen King’s quintessential short story, The bodyinspired by the 1986s support me, which starred Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix and Corey Feldman. A heartwarming and deeply moving watch, it chronicles the experiences of four young boys who bond over a horrible shared experience. From a personal point of view, this film will remain very poignant. Everyone I know who has seen support me argues that it’s the greatest coming-of-age movie to date. You know you’re iconic when The simpsons parody you too. Who could forget Ben E. King’s rendition of the song “Stand By Me” either? It doesn’t get more classic than that.


Carrie is one of my favorite books (and movies) of all time. I like how the story is told in the book via medical reports and witness statements mixed with normal third-person writing. The 1976 movie Carrie starring Sissy Spacek is a perfect film, as it completely achieves all of its goals despite not being a complete page-by-page adaptation of King’s original novel. The film’s climax is a great mix of classic revenge flicks mixed with coming-of-age tropes and overall is downright brilliant. Brian De Palma’s history of making great genre films arguably began with this film.

It: Chapter 1

One of King’s most high-profile adaptations of the past decade, This surprised the public by its quality. The casting was on point, his adaptation of the book was spot on, and the changes he made were as strong as needed. Bringing back creepy killers and clowns was always going to be a difficult task, but Argentinian director Andy Muschietti pulled it off This. It came out at a perfect time too, with all the hype around stranger things bringing back 1980s nostalgia and a bit of a cultural reset on what horror is all about in the new millennium. Less jump scares, more horrifying and tense atmosphere please.


A film cited by Stephen King himself as one of his “ten best” adaptations, Misery is in a league of its own as the only King adaptation to win an Oscar. Based on the book of the same name (which is one of Stephen King’s most meta and personal stories), it follows a crazed fan who takes her favorite author captive. It’s suspenseful, smart and well-directed by director Rob Reiner, with a stunning cast including James Caan, Lauren Bacall and Kathy Bates, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her terrifying performance as as Annie Wilkes.

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