Stephen King's best and strangest films, miniseries and TV shows


Being one of the most successful and ever-present authors allows Stephen King a certain freedom to explore virtually every corner of the cultural sphere. In addition to writing dozens of novels, 10 collections of short stories and five non-fiction works, he collaborated on comics, wrote a non-produced, recited, narrated audio book and even played in a band, The Rock Bottom Remainders. In the same way his work has spread its tendrils throughout Hollywood, manifesting itself in everything from movies and TV series to miniseries and short films, and this does not even include the "children of the dollar" which it grants to young authors with starry eyes. Many of these works have also had their own lives – both Sons Of The Corn is The Mangler, none of which resembles King's original material, has generated numerous sequels.

All this to say that any definitive classification of King's work is useless: there are too many deviations. So with It is the second chapter forcing us to reflect on the breadth of King's domain, we decided to identify our favorite adaptations on different media. This includes films, TV shows and miniseries, of course, but also his anthological contributions and even the derivative titles that his work has directly inspired. (We have taken short films into consideration, but once the children are considered in dollars, it is simply too much content.) Considering how, say, notorious some of these adaptations are, it would be a disservice not to highlight even the strangest—not worse than them too. The distinction is important, so as not to let you ask why Maximum overdrive not found anywhere below.


Best: stand by Me (1986)

Stephen King will always be remembered as the "master of horror", but there is a reason why a heavy handful of the best adaptations of his work—Shawshank's redemption, The green mile, Gerald's game– On the tendency to drama rather than gender. Because for every bloodthirsty car or haunted cell phone, there is a sincere hymn to the innocence and the imagination: just look at his most lasting work, it, which remains the most elegant and impactful weave of its gruesome and sentimentality. However, King's horrors have always struggled to translate well on the screen stand by Me, a story for adults set in the summer of 1960, benefits from not having to interact with that part of the author. Director Rob Reiner focuses on two things: character and atmosphere. Four pre-teens, each lacking healthy role models, take the voices of an unattended corpse as an excuse to walk on a railway line and, in doing so, make a bond as fleeting as it is timeless. Reiner allows these bonds to breathe through pure, frightening, traumatic and distressing moments, and his young cast is the perfect mix of tender and reckless – River Phoenix and Corey Feldman, specifically, are extraordinary. But the nostalgia of Reiner is as rich as that of King – the two have roughly the same age – and his work captures the amazement and the danger of being young, unarmed and dependent on friends of whom you will not grasp. it matters until you are separated for a long time. (Randall Colburn)

WTF: The runner (1987)

If you're in the market to blow up the shit, or the guys get cut in half, it's really not bad at Paul Michael Glaser The runner, who – even before arriving at the super-dumb opera singer, dune buggy-driving, or a script full of even-high levels of Arnie Schwarzenegger – earns his place in the pantheon of the action movie with the ingenious Richard Dawson the heel lights up his host character. But the screenplay by Steven E. de Souza is an objectively off-model adaptation of King's original dystopian novel, which, like all books published under his pseudonym Richard Bachman, finds the author in his most bleak and blatantly cheeky, on the edge of the nihilist. Mostly it is a matter of tone, with King's prose emphasizing the banality of lethal gameplay and none of the comics bombards the film in which the film abandons itself so cheerfully. Rather than an Austrian weightlifter, Ben Richards of the book is a skinny, thin father who willingly signs up for The runner in order to guarantee medicine for his sick daughter. (A kind of modern GoFundMe campaign, but with guns and a manhunt all over the country.) Likewise, his main opponents are not a team of costumes Mortal combat he refuses, but regular citizens and cops are hoping to raise some money for themselves by shaking the runner or killing him in the streets clogged with American pollution. It is a completely darker, more "realistic" version of a seemingly similar story, with the most obvious difference coming with the finals: rather than distinguishing with María Conchita Alonso and kicking a Family feud As for the host, Book Richards only manages to get a win, so Pyrrhic hardly qualifies for the name, a much darker (and increasingly unbridgeable, in the modern eye) conclusion that Arnold would never have defended. (William Hughes)


Best: it (1990)

To say the TV miniseries of 1990 by it it looks dated and underestimates it. The illuminated sets, the awkward editing and who is who of the television actors of the 80s in the main roles distinguish him as of a certain era. But what makes it so memorable – and such a successful adaptation of its complicated source material – lies mainly in the cast of its evil antagonist. Tim Curry's Pennywise remains iconic after all these years because the actor captured the deformed sadistic spirit of the supernatural clown. He could be genuinely silly and playful, in a way that actually somehow showed why children fell in love with the act, which is what made his heel spins threatening and saw-toothed a lot more disturbing. In addition to successfully evoking the nostalgic hue of the part of the novel set in the 50s, this adaptation remains a source of nightmares for every former child who happily tuned himself in to being scared to death. Curry has transformed clownish evil into a source of fascination: it attracts you, just like its magnetic alter ego. (Alex McLevy)

WTF: Bag of bones (2011)

Honestly, what is not "WTF" Bag of bones? It opens with the scene of a woman being cut down by a bus to compete Meet Joe BlackThe notorious car accident, and ends with Anika Noni Rose slapping Pierce Brosnan in the guise of a vengeful tree. This does not mean that there are not many moments of mental numbness in the middle. Time flows strangely Bag of bones, who suffers from an irregular rhythm, a chaotic structure and strange internal laws of physics that transform all the fears of the jump: a explosion of fiery trucks, a sniper bullet that flies through a window during conversation, a fucking raccoon falling from a ceiling— in non-sequitur which lead to giggling. Then there is the performance of Brosnan, full of intensity out of place with respect to the original High vacuum Club reviewer Zack Handlen described it as "appearing as if it were breaking, farting and sneezing simultaneously about every ten minutes." All this garish nonsense transforms relatively minor narrative tics and narrative crutches from King's original novel into obvious absurdities, dragging the original material into the madness full of water along with it. (Katie Rife)

TV series

Best: Mr. Mercedes (2017-)

If it's a reason Mr. Mercedes it still has to pierce the zeitgeist, probably due to the fact that it has been relegated to Audience Network, an exclusive DirectTV portal. That being said, DirectTV has done well at the show in terms of being able to breathe in more seasons, with the third season premiering next week. The clever and surprisingly gruesome adaptation of David E. Kelley in King's supernatural detective trilogy, originally published between 2014 and 2016, improves the books in a myriad of ways, particularly through a cast on the point that includes Brendan Gleeson , Harry Treadaway and rising stars like Jharrel Jerome (When they see us) and Justine Lupe (Succession). Kelley plays fast and free with the narrative of King, restructuring the chronology of the books and intelligently elaborating the journeys of compelling and under-utilized supporters of players such as Lou Linklatter of Breeda Wool. Playing with the King model is dangerous, but there is a hurry in Kelley's approach that preserves the hard spirit of the book as it cuts its narrative. If this thing comes in streaming, it will get a lot of new fans. (Randall Colburn)

WTF: Under the dome (2013-15)

By Stephen King Under the dome speaks of how the great human problems of a small city are accentuated and twisted by the sudden appearance of a giant dome with extraterrestrial origins that cuts the city out of the outside world. CBS ' Under the dome, although it shared a title, some names of characters and a giant dome with extraterrestrial origins, they could also be a completely different story. Part of this was by necessity, as the show was a surprisingly large success and had to fill three entire seasons of plot, but it did so by plunging headlong into unnecessarily complex sci-fi origins for the dome and a race of aliens with ability to control people. He had a postbreaking Bad Dean Norris as the villain and noted the comic book writer Brian K. Vaughan as a showrunner, but he also had a mountain of mythology about alien eggs and mini-domes and underground caves that unnecessarily complicated a story about the inhabitants of a small town becoming increasingly unbridled and killing each other. At least we will always have the cow split in half. (Sam Barsanti)


Best: "The Cat From Hell", Tales From The Darkside (1990)

As with all the bad generations of EC Comics, both the anthological series and the 1990 film version of Tales From The Darkside they have an incredible comic sensibility that gives their stories of horrible terror a bigger aspect of life. This turns out to be a resource for "The Cat From Hell", a segment of the film based on the eponymous story by King from 1977. Sometimes, King's adaptations stumble in an attempt to present his most extravagant ideas – like, say , a cat that makes its way along the throat of a man like a boa constrictor in reverse, grotesquely turning the man into a human puppet as he proceeds – at face value. In the increased universe of Dark sidehowever, the idea of ​​a black cat with a blood grudge makes total sense, allowing director John Harrison to extract both fun and disgust from the premise. Oscar nominee William Hickey alongside New York Dolls frontman David Johansen, and then Hickey More outrageous of the two performances, deepens the interaction between the nightmare horror and the comic kitsch, for a cocktail King that descends incredibly smooth. (Katie Rife)

WTF: "The Lonely Death of Jordy Verrill" Poor show (1982)

As for King's adaptations, this Poor show the vignette is actually quite faithful; certainly, it strikes more beats of the story from its original material, the Lovecraft riff "but with plants" of the 1976 "Weeds", compared to most of its cinematographic genre. No, the WTF personality of "Jordy Verrill" comes almost exclusively from the cast of the man as his money-hungry and meaningless yokel: a Stephen Edwin King. As for acting, King is, well, one of the most successful novelists of the 20th and 21st centuries, which means that there is a lot that they should to be openly terrifying of "Jordy", as a series of stupid and desperate decisions that rapidly promise to condemn the entire human race under a carpet of hostile foliage. But, in practice, there is nothing that a bushel of space seeds can do, Constant Reader, which is even remotely horrible as looking at one of America's most respected authors – with a cornone accent, eyes wildly round and some make-up effects that must George Romero cost up to $ 9.95 at a local party supply store, attempting to broadcast both comedies or horror while screaming of his alien infested cock. King has continued a cameo in various projects over the years, but "Jordy" is his only leading role. Thank God for that. (William Hughes)


Best: The Lawnmower Man (1992)

Brett Leonard called his 1992 adaptation of "The Lawnmower Man" by Stephen King one of the most "radical adaptations of all time", but we will go ahead and say that it is not an adaptation at all. To be honest, it is technically no, since King broke away from the project after suing for "the misleading and deceptive use" of his name. He was right to do it: Leonard's screenplay, originally titled Cyber ​​God, has been adapted to the IP with a man mower and little else. But that of Leonard The Lawnmower Man somehow it emerged more interesting than the bizarre story he tried to exploit. His imperfect story of a scientist's journey to reinforce the boring IQ of a gardener through virtual reality still has something convincing to say about virtual worlds and their impact on the mind and human personality. And the distinctive digital effects of the film, although dated, remain aesthetically interesting in a time when what is digital often only tries to be more realistic. The Lawnmower ManThe virtual landscape is stupid, of course, but it is also singular, composed of strange geometric flourishes and religious iconography. It's almost enough to make up for the weird cyber-cock. (Randall Colburn)

WTF: The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999)

Meet the dreams of anyone who has ever thought: "What Carrie it was necessary less psychological intrigue and nu-metal later than the years & # 39; 90 " The Rage: Carrie 2 it takes all that is dark and intense of its progenitor and finds the most reworked as possible on it. Justifying his narrative logic under the thin layer of wafers that the new protagonist Rachel (Emily Bergl) and the original Carrie White are half-sisters of the same father, thus guaranteeing them what are now officially designated as hereditary powers of telekinesis, imagine that the film proceeds at the same pace, in an exhilaratingly extreme way. ("This is a Carrie that becomes biz-zay – constantly and accurately!" Presumably the film's executives have pronounced at one point.) Meaning: Rachel's only friend (Mena Suvari) soon dies in a way so over the top, it could be his Lifetime movie; Rachel shoots after a porn video of her first time is broadcast at a party; oh, and the final explosion of his powers? Explaining it with "Home improvementZachary Ty Bryan gets his cock shot with a harpoon "doesn't do him justice. The title makes more sense if you imagine someone shouting" Anger! "Like it's in an old Surge commercial. Rarely, the" stupidly funny "description has emphasized pretty stupid. (Alex McLevy)

. (tagsToTranslate) Stephen King (t) Adaptations (t) Film (t) TV (t) Miniseries (t) Horror (t) Movies


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