For many horror fans, the books of Stephen King were a gateway drug into horror films. Whether you saw your parents reading the novels and were traumatized by the book covers or dared to picked up one of his tomes yourself, Stephen King has pushed generations into a world of nightmares. And of course, many of King’s writings have been reimagined for both television and movie screen audiences. Netflix currently has five movies based on Stephen King books available for streaming. So it’s a great time to revisit some of King’s books, as well as his screen adaptations.
THE SHINING (1980)
Though Stephen King has long stated that he is not particularly fond of this cinematic interpretation, it is definitely a sacred movie amongst horror fans. Judge for yourself. Read the quintessential King work THE SHINING, and then take a trip back to the Overlook Hotel with Kubrick’s 1980 film.
Based on King’s 1981 book, the movie version of CUJO was released in 1983 and was directed by the amazing Lewis Teague. This one made horror fans fall in love with Dee Wallace and made them scared to death of St. Bernards.
CHILDREN OF THE CORN (1984)
For many children of the 1980s, this movie was pure nightmare fuel. Both Isaac and Malachi were frightening beyond my adolescent comprehension, and don’t even get me started on that “he who walks behind the rows” beast! Traveling through the heartlands soon? You’ll need to watch this first.
This novel was published under Stephen King’s regular pseudonym, Richard Bachman. Directed by genre veteran Tom Holland, the movie (and original novel) tell the story of an obese man and two other small-town government officials who work in tandem to dismiss a court case regarding the death of an elderly “gypsy” woman, which causes her husband to put strange curses on all three of the men.
Stephen King has gone on record stating that he doesn’t like his novel DREAMCATCHER and that it was written while he was under the influence of OxyContin. It is true that much of the novel (and subsequent movie) feel like a shambolic fevered dream. But if you are even remotely fascinated by lamprey poop aliens, then you will want to watch this one.