Stephen King’s 10 Best Film Adaptations, From Stand By Me To The Shining | London Evening Standard


It has provided the source material for some of the most beloved films of the ’80s and’ 90s, and now Hollywood has seen a renaissance of the King with many new adaptations over the past few years, including It and It 2, a Carrie remake. and 1922 to name a few. In truth, however, it has never gone out of fashion.

His horror writing is haunting and visceral, but there is more to his stories than cheap scares. There are moving stories of coming of age, stories of loss of innocence and much more to discover in its back-catalog, which have inspired some of the most enduring films of the past 40 years. .

To celebrate HBO’s new Shining adaptation Outlook, here are our picks for our 10 favorite Stephen King adaptations, gathered by Team Standard and listed in no particular order.

The brilliant

King himself might be here, despairing of Kubrick’s reimagining of his third novel. And, as and when adaptations, it is hardly faithful; deep down, the Jack Torrence of the book is, despite his alcoholism and the violence to which he pushes him, a loving father, who takes the job at the Overlook Hotel to mend himself and his family. Wendy Torrence in print is resilient, rugged, together. The film therefore has the imprint of Kubrick everywhere, who gave things their own form. It ruined Wendy – Shelly Duvall gets a lot of criticism, but she worked with an infuriating sort of weak will on the page – but paid her debts generously; the film’s brightest moments and patterns are all hers. The labyrinth, the twins, the bloody elevator; all from Kubrick. It is the story of a man driven mad by his loneliness; it’s freezing, disturbing. The opening scene serves as a model for what is to come; forward, the Torrences move further and further away from civilization and the cold. OF

The green Line

Probably not one of King’s best books, but writer and director Frank Darabont had already done some unlikely magic with the Shawshank buyout, so the Green Mile was given the nod. Death Row Story, this supernatural story takes place in the sweating heat of Louisiana during the Depression, when prison warden Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) receives a new inmate, John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), who is something something of a gentle giant, and quite different from anyone locked up. Coffey, we learn, is overwhelmed by feeling the pain of others. Knowing this, it’s been three emotionally battered hours; the film is long, but somewhat claustrophobic, unsettling but sincere. OF

Support me

Who said King just wanted to scare us? He’s also capable of giving us any feel, as his 1982 novel The Body proves, which was adapted into the touching tearful Stand By Me in 1986. Located in King’s fictional town, Castle Rock, Maine , he tells the story of four best friends. who go in search of a corpse. What follows is a heartwarming story about the fearlessness and vulnerability of growing up. It features a much-loved performance by the late River Phoenix, and it’s an emotional roller coaster from the moment you realize Gordie isn’t going to get his late brother’s baseball cap back. You’re gonna cry – pinky swears. JT

Shawshank’s Redemption

Shawshank print is not an obvious choice for adaptation; most of the time it is Red who remembers and remembers, telling the story of Andy, a man wrongly convicted of the murder and murder of his lover. Still, Frank Darabont – rejecting Rob Reiner’s £ 2.5million to direct his screenplay – made it work, delivering a smooth-paced prison drama; King may be the master of horror, but he’s just as good at simple dialogue and human stories. Beautifully filmed by Roger Deakins, it is the story of Andy’s triumphs despite decades of daily abuse while locked up. The film is alternately heartbreaking and hopeful and, ignoring a famous plot hole, ends with a joyful sense of human connection. A box office flop, probably not helped by its unusual name, it became a cult hit with the release of home video in 1995, and over the years has grown to a perennial top of the IMDB charts. OF


For the most part two-handed between masterpiece novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) and his self-proclaimed “number one fan”, Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates, delivering an Oscar-winning performance), Rob Reiner’s Misery is in the dark. comfortable from the start. Sheldon, determined to improve his literary game, retreated to snow-capped Colorado. As he leaves, he loses control of his car and crashes, saved only by Wilkes, who greets him to restore him to full health. In gratitude, he lets her read her manuscript but, from the moment she spills soup angry at his written use of profanity – “That has no nobility!” – it’s an anxious watch, as we wait for the inevitable ending (and that begs the question – what kind of fan mail has King received?) Bates is brilliant, but Caan keeps his in a low-key way ; we can feel his fear. The “limping” scene, prefaced by a story of diamond mining, is a horror. OF


King’s darkest adaptation came in 2007 with Frank Darabont’s third adaptation, The Mist. It follows a father and son who find themselves at the mercy of monsters hidden in a mysterious and all-consuming haze. They take refuge in a supermarket full of other survivors, but quickly discover that the real monsters are inside, not outside. The CGI drops the film in places, but the atmosphere is intoxicating, with solid performances from Thomas Jane, Toby Young, and Andre Braugher of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. His ending is mostly remembered, which was hopeless and heartbreaking, and takes a more nihilistic turn than King’s news. HF

Gerald’s game

Some of the most haunting and disturbing images in all of Stephen King’s movies can be found in Gerald’s Game. A twin psychological horror starring Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood, it follows a couple who fly away to a secluded lakeside house for a romantic weekend with the intention of spicing up their marriage. After being tied to the bed, the titular Gerald suffers a seizure and dies, leaving Jessie to struggle with her conscience and a series of ghostly appearances. Viewers who expected a cheap basement, low-key version of Netflix were surprised to find some of King’s canon’s most haunting and visceral footage when logging in to watch, and this is one of King’s horrors that really creeps through your head. HF


Photograph: Allstar / Cinetext / Rouge

Carrie’s original film, directed by Brian de Palma in 1976 and starring Sissy Spacek as the teenage girl with telekinetic powers, bullied in school and tormented by her mother, remains the best show in the world. schlocky horror of all time. It was the first film adaptation of King’s first published novel. KL

Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep, released late last year, based on King’s 2014 sequel to The Shining, tells the story of what happened to little Danny Torrance when he grew up. Dr Sleep and Carrie perfectly capture the spirit of their times and the spirit in which King wrote them. KL


The movie that brought King back to the masses and sparked a whole new wave of appreciation, which will be followed by 1922, Gerald’s Game, Pet Semetary, In the Tall Grass, and Doctor Sleep.

Originally adapted in a television series starring Tim Rice as Pennywise, King’s novel was brought to the big screen by Mama director Andy Muschietti in 2017. The film capitalized on 80s nostalgia brought on by Stranger Things. We follow the story of the Losers Club, a group of strangers who investigate the events in Derry, Maine, after Bill Denbrough’s younger brother Georgie was taken away by a demon posing as a killer clown . It was a delight, mixing spooky settings and a coming-of-age wonder. Fortunately, he also left out some of the problematic sex politics of King’s novel itself. The sequel was spotty and messy, but the original is one of King’s best adaptations in decades. HF

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