Is there another writer more prolific than Stephen King, or one whose novels are more frightening? I especially love most of the movies and screenplays he’s written, or the films that have been adapted from his books. But which are my favorites, the ones I think are the scariest? I can’t include “The Stand” or “Kingdom Hospital,” not because they weren’t amazing, but because they were mini-series, not movies. With that little caveat, here’s my list of the 7 scariest Stephen King movies… prepare yourself!
1. Salem’s Lot (1979)
Long before the Underworld and Twilight series, there was this dark, terrifying movie based on the novel by Stephen King. It’s scary, suspenseful, sad, and did I mention scary? These vampires sure don’t wear sexy black leather corsets or sparkle…
2. The Shining (1970)
The book was scarier than the movie, and has a much different ending, but Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall make this movie frighteningly real. Is the hotel haunted or possessed, and what’s up with those dead-pan twins and that bloody tidal wave in the hallway? Eek!
3. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Ok, I know. This movie’s not really scary, but it’s horrifying and so realistic. An innocent man is convicted of his wife’s murder, and spends years in a state prison where he makes friends and enemies among the inmates and staff… and then he plans his escape to Mexico… this movie is so heart-wrenching… one of my all-time favorites, regardless of the genre!
4. Misery (1990)
Kathy Bates’ role in this Stephen King movie won her an Academy Award, and if you’ve seen it, you don’t wonder why. She’s brilliant as Annie Wilkes, the epitome of the crazed fan. This movie stays pretty true to the book, so if you loved the novel, and haven’t seen the movie yet, rent it now!
5. Pet Sematary (1989)
Both the Pet Sematary book and novel are so scary. A young doctor and his family move to a small New England college town, with an ancient Indian burial ground nearby. When tragedy strikes, he uses the site, with disastrous and horrifying results.
6. Stand by Me (1986)
I loved this movie! It’s not scary, in most parts, but it is suspenseful, touching, and very realistic. It’s basically a coming-of-age tale of four boys, set in the 1950’s. One more point: the soundtrack is amazing…
7. The Mist (2007)
This short story was terrifying! It’s summertime, hot and humid, and a freak storm somehow releases monsters of all shapes and sizes, all intent on killing every human in their paths. A few people hole up in a grocery store, and slowly turn against each other… human nature is far scarier than any of the monsters outside!
Ooh! Creepy! I’ve heard that adaptations of his novels “Bag of Bones,” “The Talisman,” and “The Dark Tower” are under way, and I can’t wait to be scared again! Which of these Stephen King movies do you think is the scariest, and why? Or is there another one you think I should have included, like “Carrie” or “Christine” or “Cujo” or “Children of the Corn”? Please let me know!