Stephen King is the master of horror stories. Whether bloody or just bone chilling, he seems to know how to get under your skin and make you look over your shoulder to make sure the boogeyman isn’t standing there. He has written roughly 70 books, including short stories. Most of his stories have been turned into major motion pictures as well as TV mini series. With Halloween around the corner and the thrill and horror this holiday brings, I thought I would share three of my favorite Stephen King films.
Carrie was King’s fourth book, but the first to be published. Brian De Palma turned it into a film starring Sissy Spacek. It was released in 1976 and was nominated for 2 Oscars: Spacek for Best Actress and Piper Laurie for Best Supporting Actress. This coming year, Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore will star in the remake of a remake of a classic. If you have not seen or read the story, it is about a girl named Carrie White who is an outcast at school and lives with a religious wack-a-doodle of a mom. Carrie discovers she has telekinesis and uses it to her advantage, MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
The Shining came to theaters in 1980 and is numbered among the scariest movies of all time. Now Stanley Kubrick didn’t stay as true to the subject material as King would have liked (thus we have the 1997 mini-series ), but having seen both versions, Kubrick wins out. Hands down. Shelley Duvall was NOT who Stephen had in mind for Wendy. King said,
“…envisioned Wendy as being a blond former cheerleader type who never had to deal with any true problems in her life making her experience in the Overlook all the more terrifying. He felt that Duvall was too emotionally vulnerable and appeared to have gone through a lot in her life.”
As for the role of Jack, King wanted John Voight because he thought watching a normal man descend into madness would prove more horrifying. Maybe, but Jack Nicholson is one scary you-know-what, and he MADE that movie. Yes, the mini- series stayed more true to the actual book and got King’s seal of approval, but with Kubrick’s direction, cast, intense feel of isolation, and great camera angles, I root for the original. I have a hard time watching it during the day let alone at night!
Lastly, we come to Children of the Corn, which was actually a short story in King’s book, Night Shift. It premiered in 1984 and has gone on to have countless sequels and remakes. The last remake was in 2009. I saw that one and I prefer the original. Perhaps it’s the feathered hair and crazy kid art. Or it’s the fact that it doesn’t seem as melodramatic. Either way a story of children killing off all the adults and worshipping “one who stands behind the corn” is creepy. Lesson learned: if someone shouts at you, “Outlander!”, run!
What Stephen King films have you seen? Which ones are your favorites? Are their any of his films you dislike? Are their any King books you would like to see turned into a film? Do you think his films deserve remakes or reboots?