Stephen King’s Top Film Adaptations

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The latest film to be based on the work of Stephen King is perhaps the most ambitious of them all. The Dark Tower is a multi-novel series that spans several worlds, and really can be a little difficult to explain to the casual reader. While the film starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey may not have received the best reviews, or done as well as hoped at the box office, the master of horror has had several movies based on his works that were critical and box office successes. Here are our favourites.

The Shawshank Redemption – Yes, believe it or not, this Oscar nominated film from 1994 is based on a story by Stephen King. It’s actually very, very close to the novella too. For those of you think King is only good for scares you really need to check out some of his less horrific works, like this one about a man sent to prison and his attempt at escape several years later. 

The Mist – While the current TV series is pretty good, the movie it is based on came out in 2007. The film is creepy and suspenseful throughout, but it’s the ending that really keeps you talking long after the credits stop rolling. And to top it all off, it’s an ending King didn’t even come up with. When the film came out he even stated he wished he’d written that conclusion when he wrote the story in the first place.

The Green Mile – Yes, King wrote this prison movie too, and yes it too received an Oscar nomination for best picture.  This one has a supernatural edge to it though, in that it tells the story of a large black man convicted of murder on death row, who has the gift of healing. And in case you were wondering, yes, the first three movies on this list were all directed by the same man, Frank Darabont, who would go on to bring The Walking Dead to TV.

1408 – Now this is a typical scary film that one would think of when they think of Stephen King. It stars John Cusack as a paranormal debunker who spends the night in a haunted hotel. Don’t watch the Director’s Cut of the film as they change the ending from the theatrical version. The original ending is just so much better.

The Stand – Stephen King novels were turned into a lot of TV mini-series, and this was by far the best of them. Airing over the course of four nights, this adaptation tells the story of a group of people who survive a plague that wiped out most of the country. It had a fairly large cast, including Gary Sinise, Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Ray Walston, and even Stephen King himself.