I don’t know much about Stephen King, but I do know that dozens of his books have gotten either the TV or movie treatment in the past 30 years or so, making him one of the most recognizable authors of our time. You may’ve seen Kubrick’s iconic horror “The Shining”, well, that’s based on King’s novel. Remember that movie about the killer clown Pennywise and a bunch of kids? Also King. Carrie – yup, the Master of Horror himself! Even the recent Dark Tower, which, incidentally, was a huge flop, was written by Stephen King. So, with this many proverbial eggs in the baskets, which of his movies and TV shows are actually worth watching? Short answer – watch them all and form your own opinion. Even shorter version – here’s my personal top 7!
As much as I loved the first part of the 90’s “It” miniseries, I cannot deny that the 2017 version is vastly superior in pretty much all aspects but the lack of Tim Curry. And chances are that you’ve probably seen it too already, but if not – do yourself a favor, dim the lights, get some pop-corn, and hit that play button. Unless, of course, you’re a scared little wuss! You can always wait for part 2 to come out (yes, there’s a part 2), and watch them both in one sitting, so do what you must. Pennywise is waiting for you!
I know, I know, they somehow managed to squish 1138 pages of “It” into 2 movies, but 820-page «The Stand» got a TV series? Come on, Hollywood, we need “It” TV show! The plot of the show is your basic “good vs evil”, with supernatural elements, but with a certain twist. No spoilers, but let’s just say that this epic project was put together by King himself! ‘Nuff said.
The Dead Zone
This is what happens when you combine Stephen King’s writing, and David Cronenberg’s vision. It’s probably the most awesome old-school horror movie I’ve ever seen. It even has Christopher Walken in it. Can’t get any better than that. Or so we thought, until we got whole SIX seasons of this goodness in 2002! If you’re into the whole “psychic” thing, you’ll definitely love both the show and the movie.
Time travel done right. That’s what “11.22.63” is in a nutshell, and it’s relatively fresh (2015), so there are no cringe effects like in the oldies. What’s even better, this show was directed by J.J. Abrams himself for HULU, so you know it’s top-tier! A little hint as to what the plot is: JFK assassination and time travel, as mentioned before. Also, it’s only 8 episodes long, so you might as well binge it right now.
Full disclosure, I didn’t know “Haven” was based on King’s novel “The Colorado Kid” for the first maybe 2 seasons. But when I did find out, it made me all tingly in my underpants. If procedural criminal drama mixed with supernatural (think X-Files or Fringe) is your jam – you already know what to do. I actually didn’t finish the series, so I’ll be doing that this weekend! It’s only 5 seasons after all.
Damn right, “The Shining” is on my list! I didn’t like it the first time I watched it, to be honest, but the subtle details seeped through as time passed. Stanley Kubrick’s version of The Shining is very different from the 1997 mini-series, but it’s just as iconic, as the phrase “all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy”. You should not compare these 2 masterpieces, and treat then as different entities. Christmas is already here, so what better time than no to re-watch this classic?
The Mist (2007)
Before you freak out about the absence of “The Green Mile” and “The Shawshank Redemption”, please note, that it’s my list. “The Mist” may not be your favorite, but I loved it nonetheless. There’s something creepy, eerie even, about white thick fog where you can’t see jack around you… The paranoia, desperation, fear of the unseen and unknown hiding in the mist… Oh, and that bloody Christian lady! All these things make “The Mist” my favorite Stephen King adaptation. And holy crap was I excited when I heard that they’re doing a TV series. But, to my greatest disappointment, the show turned out to be dull and uninspired, and the finale in particular was just a piece of garbage. So yeah, watch the movie, and skip the TV show. Or don’t , I’m not your mother.