Are you a Stephen King fan searching for his best movie adaptions? You’ve got company. Someone on a popular online forum pondered, “Is there a consensus on the best Stephen King adaptation? I know there have been some stinkers. But in terms of the actual best and sticking to the source material, which are they?” Here are the top-voted movies.
12. Maximum Overdrive (1986)
Someone said, “The one where vending machines come to life and attack people, Maximum Overdrive.” I’m going to catch slack for this, but Maximum Overdrive. It faithfully adapted the story ‘Trucks’ and padded it just enough to make it feature-length.”
“Agreed. It’s too bad King didn’t get to direct more. I know he has said he doesn’t deserve to after Maximum Overdrive, but there are a lot of good decisions in there. The AC/DC soundtrack alone shows that he understood the movie’s tone.”
11. Salem’s Lot (1979)
“It’s Salem’s Lot (1979) for me,” one confessed. “Just rewatching this at this moment, and it’s still surprisingly spooky and atmospheric. Tobe Hooper’s films hold up! The dude knew how to make them.” Another added, “It is disappointing that I had to come down this far to see this. It is something people should go back and watch.”
10. Pet Sematary (1989)
Someone volunteered, “I like Pet Sematary. I remember reading an interview with King. Where he said it’s his only book that scared him so much he had it locked away,” one shared. Another made a Friends reference and joked, “Did it go in the fridge?” But we all know that was Joey with The Shining.
Finally, a third informed, “His wife convinced him to publish it. Similar to what happened with Carrie. He threw the manuscript in the trash because he thought there was no way he could’ve convincingly written a teenage girl. His wife rescued it from the trash. We owe a lot to Tabitha King.”
9. Doctor Sleep (2019)
“Doctor Sleep in my book. Mike Flanagan somehow made a film that’s a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s version and is still faithful to the novel. Everyone’s performances were great, but Rebecca Ferguson stole the show as Rose the Hat.”
“All the little references to The Dark Tower throughout also put a smile on my face and gave me hope we’d get a faithful adaptation of that series someday,” one user confessed.
8. The Mist (2007)
“The Mist, hands down. Even though they changed the ending, Stephen King loved it,” stated one. “I’m pretty sure King was jealous of the new conclusion and heartily approved,” another shared. A third claimed, “I went on a Stephen King tour in Bangor, and the guide said King gave approval for the ending and LOVED IT!”
7. 1408 (2007)
“Not really. But in terms of visually capturing Stephen King’s prose, 1408 is probably the best,” replied one. Another admitted, “God, the ending with the tape recorder playing back. It gives me goosebumps every time I watch it.”
6. The Dead Zone (1983)
“The Dead Zone is super underrated,” another replied. “Christopher Walken and Martin Sheen are great in it. Another added, “For my money, it’s Walken’s best Saturday Night Live bit. I know everyone loves ‘Colonel Angus’ and ‘Cowbell’ and the ‘Continental,’ but for me, it’s ‘Ed Glosser – Trivial Psychic.” Others believed it was an instance of the movie surpassing the book.
5. Christine (1983)
“I enjoyed both the novel and film for Christine,” someone confessed. “It’s been a long while since I read the novel, but it was faithful aside from just one thing in the end, and they shaved off some extra from the movie without sacrificing or changing the plot. Sometimes I wish John Carpenter would’ve adapted a few more Stephen king stories.”
4. Carrie (1976)
One answered, “Surprised at the lack of love for Carrie (1976). Arguably the best King adaptation, if not for The Shining (1980), due to its distance from the source material.” “Yep, as far as horror adaptations go, Carrie is at the top of the list for me,” another agreed. “Totally. Brian De Palma killed it with Carrie,” a third replied.
3. Misery (1990)
Someone said, “Misery. Misery. Misery. The answer is always Misery.” Another admitted, “I remember reading Misery, then immediately watching the film and thinking it was the best. What few things were changed made sense in the context of cinema vs. book.”
“Rob Reiner is 2/2 for fantastic Stephen King adaptations. I’d argue he and Mike Flanagan are the ones who understand the source material the best,” a third suggested.
2. Stand By Me (1986)
One exclaimed, “Stand By Me is an absolute gem!” Another said, “Stand By Me is my favorite King movie, and one of my faves in general.” “Stand By Me is a classic, not just one of the best Stephen King movies. It’s an amazing movie in its own right. And the cast is phenomenal,” a third stated. Others argued the book was much darker than the film.
1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
One said, “I mean, Shawshank is number 1 on IMDb for what that’s worth.” “The Shawshank Redemption movie improved subtly,” one said. “The Warden stayed constant and was the source of evil in the movie, giving you an emotional payoff when Andy escaped. Also, there was a series of wardens in the novella and no real bad guys (except Boggs).”
“It was still satisfying when he escaped, but the movie tightened and focused the narrative. Either way, Frank Darabont and Mike Flanagan are the only two directors who should be allowed to make Stephen King movies.”
We hope you enjoyed this Reddit picks list of the best film adaptions sticking true to the source material.
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This Article Originally Appeared on The Cents of Money.