When it comes to scary things, Stephen King really is the royalty of the horror genre. He bears that surname of his for a reason! As a teen I grew up reading Stephen King’s novels and oh, boy, were they scary… But apart from all the chills his books gave me they also revealed the depth of human relationships and people’s interactions as well as the complexity of human nature in general. Stephen King’s books are always filled with deep philosophy, an incredible amount of eeriness, and characters that start feeling like your best friends after the first few chapters of a book you’ve just picked up. That being said, movies based on Stephen King’s novels aren’t always that great. In fact, there are only two types of them – amazingly good ones and horrifyingly bad ones. Here I present you 6 scariest Stephen King Movies and 4 that wouldn’t scare a 5-year-old.
Yes: The Shining (1980)
The Shining is considered one of Stephen King’s biggest masterpieces and rightfully so. It’s been 40 years and still this movie will send chills down your spine every time you watch it. Brilliantly made by none other than Stanley Kubrick himself, the movie depicts the slow-burning deterioration of a marriage with psychological drama and a bit of supernatural forces. It’s a must-see!
No: The Dreamcatcher (2003)
This might not be the best of Stephen King’s works and it definitely isn’t the scariest of his movie adaptations. The plot of The Dreamcatcher revolves around an alien parasite race trying to take over the humanity and it is just as corny as it sounds. The movie, although featuring a great cast, is a total flop.
Yes: Misery (1990)
Kathy Bates did an amazing job in the movie, depicting the mentally disturbed nurse who kidnapped her favourite author and kept him hostage in order to get some fan-fiction out of him. It’s delightfully scary and disturbing in all kinds of ways! It is also the only movie based on Stephen King’s work that has even gotten an Oscar.
No: The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Being one of the greatest Stephen King’s movie adaptations ever, the film fails to deliver when it comes to fear-inducing moments. It is simply not scary! Yet it is made beautifully and the acting skills of Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman make the movie simply unforgettable.
Yes: It Chapter One (2017)
Just when I thought there wouldn’t be a decent Stephen King movie adaptation in the nearest future, the Universe surprised me with this gem! The atmosphere, the special effects, the cast, and the spine-chilling depiction of Pennywise – everything was up to the mark. The movie also had that nostalgic 80s horror movie vibe that somehow made it more believable.
No: The Green Mile (1999)
The Green Mile is many things, but scary simply isn’t one of them! It will make you re-think your whole life, believe in miracles, cry more than just a little bit, stare blankly into the screen, and yet it is not really scary in a classic horror-movie-style way. But I guarantee you will get thousands of goose-bumps from this gut-wrenching masterpiece of a movie, so make sure you put it on your watch-really-soon-list!
Yes: Christine (1983)
The story about the possessed Plymouth Fury is simple, yet horrifying in the way it’s depicted in the movie. Christine is definitely one of the biggest horror flicks of the 80s and will still make chills run down your spine in 2019!
No: Cell (2016)
There are simply too many movies about the zombie apocalypse and unfortunately this is not one of the good ones. The plot revolves around two people left alive in the midst of a zombie virus outbreak, which sounds kind of promising, but is actually the opposite of exciting. The movie was just flat! Actors also couldn’t deliver their best performance.
Yes: 1408 (2007)
Is there anything better than a story about a haunted hellish room inside a haunted hotel? Nope, don’t think so. Starring John Cusack, the story revolves around a paranormal myth buster who comes to an old hotel to see if the rumours are right or it’s just another hoax. Things start getting weird from the very second he steps into the hotel!
Yes: The Langoliers (1995)
This might very well be the eeriest concept Mr. Stephen King has ever come up with! I was really impressed by the movie as I was a kid and first saw it on TV; years later and I still think it’s one of the most spine-chilling works of the author and a super creepy movie adaptation. After all, it’s about creatures that eat up through time and space itself!