After two years of publishing his first novel, Stephen king never thought that he would be such a big name in the writing domain, and his work will be adapted by Hollywood directors, making millions on box office.
With total movies made, 5% of them fall in the horror genre, and of the topmost writers for horror movies is Stephen king. Stephen King’s nightmares novel adaptation in 2017 made it clear that Stephen King’s movies and his writing can make you scream with popcorns in your hands. “IT” made more than $700 million on box office. Stephen King movies make the audience experience goosebumps with the iconic characters.
Stephen King’s iconic killer clown story engaged the audience and made it one of the most successful novel adaptations. The horror genre makes our adrenaline rush, which makes us crave for horror more. Stephen King movies take the audience out of their comfort zone and let them experience the thrill and fear.
We are here to countdown the best Stephen King movies of all time.
Top 10+ Best Stephen King Movies
The big-screen version of Stephen King’s work made the name of the author in every household. The best Stephen King movies are a perfect combination of thrill, horror, drama, which gives the audience a nail-biting experience. Some of the best Stephen King movies include movies that don’t exactly fit into the genre of horror, which shows that he is much more than a writer who writes supernatural stuff.
Here is the list of best Stephen Kings movies that made a remarkable impact on the audience
Hafstrom creates a decent thriller based on Stephen King’s short story, which isn’t always easy to do as many directors have learned and fans of King have experienced. Great direction, screenplay, cinematography, special effects, soundtrack, and acting. The entire actors involved do a fine job; however, Cusack stands out and not simply because he dominates most of the screen time.
Cusack creates a blatant non-believer and expert at what he does, then turns him into a psychologically tormented and horrified victim of his arrogance. One of the best Stephen King’s movie ever made it’s a slow descent script turned into madness, and this perfectly captures a book’s ability to keep you in a moment in time only in this case you feel trapped by it, it is one of the top Stephen King movies.
2 – The Dead Zone (1983)
Another old but memorable Stephen King movie with a great plot and scripting of the storyline, one of King’s best movies, This story of perception and the decisions put upon the characters felt very convincing thanks to a fantastic cast and meaningful plot. A great movie with a good plot, good direction, and a great core performance by Christopher Walken. Suspense thrills and dramatic moments are all present in this film.
King’s work has been successfully shined in genres other than horror. But Stephen King has been entitled with the name “King of Horror.” What makes Stephen King’s horror movies more terrifying is their connection to reality and our society. He not only connects horror to supernatural abilities and paranormal activities but he connects horror to society, politics, which increases the spectrum of the movies makes them more appealing to the audience. Stephen King horror movies characters are self-reflective and grounded in reality.
As a result, the horror feels all the more intense. Things that jeopardize the very basis of the society in which we reside. As he once said, it’s not the physical or mental anomalies themselves that frighten us, but the lack of balance in our life that they reflect.
Stephen King is recognized with 60 novels, five nonfiction publications, and at least ten collections of short stories. At least 50 film versions of his works have either been made or are in the works. King is popularly considered as one of the most well-known and influential horror authors of all time.
3 – Cat’s Eye (1985)
Cat’s Eye (1985) is a thrilling film that takes viewers on a captivating journey through the world of horror and suspense. This classic film, based on a collection of short stories by Stephen King, follows a stray cat as it travels through various stories that are interwoven together. From a sinister paranormal force in a young girl’s bedroom to a high-stakes gambling ring, the film keeps audiences on the edge of their seats with gripping twists and turns.
The talented cast, including Drew Barrymore and James Woods, brings these eerie tales to life with their exceptional acting skills. With stunning visuals and a haunting musical score, Cat’s Eye remains a beloved classic in the horror genre.
A classic ‘horror’ film. The best John Carpenter film because of its sound, variety of characters and their chemistry with one another, suspense and music, and, most importantly, the killer car herself. A must-see for any horror buff, as well as Stephen King or John Carpenter fans. While not necessarily self-aware, it does feel tongue in cheek.
The darkly comedic tone blends well with the horror elements and feels scary. The special effects are simple yet effective, but it’s the sound effects that truly hit you, especially on a surround sound system – The roar of the engines, screeching of the tires, and crunching of metal was glorious.
5 – The Mist (2007)
It’s one of the most criminally underrated movies in the horror genre. The movie is not so much about the creatures in the Mist, but the nature of man in times of crisis and utter desperation. The ending is a gut-punch and even got Stephen King’s approval which went so far as to say that he liked Darabont’s interpretation of the ending better than his and that he wished he had written it that way.
This film is scary and science fiction, but fear and apprehension become meaningless as it descends into its depths. The film, based on Stephen King’s novel, creates waves of fear in the body and seeks to find the meaning of human and blood relationships.
6 – Creepshow (1982)
Creepshow, the 1982 horror comedy film, is a timeless classic that has remained a favorite among horror fans for almost 40 years. Directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King, this anthology-style movie is divided into five different segments that explore a variety of horror sub-genres. From a vengeful corpse seeking justice to a monster lurking in a crate, each tale is unique and eerie in its own way.
The film’s vibrant comic book-style aesthetic adds an extra layer of visual appeal to the already captivating stories. With an all-star cast including Leslie Nielsen, Ted Danson, and Adrienne Barbeau, Creepshow is a must-watch for anyone who loves a good scare.
7 – IT (2017)
A fantastic film! The spine-chilling opening assault on Georgie is one of the terrifying scenes in a horror film. The acting is excellent throughout, with Bill Skarsgard standing out for his special and explosive take on the famous Pennywise the Dancing Clown. And, though it has several heart-warming and humorous moments, it is also sprinkled with wit. Stephen King was also a fan of this film, which is universally appreciated as one of his novels’ best film adaptations. It is considered to be one of the best Stephen King’s horror movies ever made.
The Shawshank Redemption is a timeless classic that has resonated with viewers for decades. This gripping film tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a man who is wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to the brutal Shawshank State Penitentiary. Despite the harsh realities of prison life, Andy forms meaningful relationships with fellow inmate Red and uses his intelligence to navigate the corrupt system.
The film’s themes of hope, perseverance, and friendship are expertly portrayed by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, and the iconic final scene is sure to leave audiences feeling inspired. The Shawshank Redemption isn’t just a great prison film – it’s a masterpiece of cinema that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
9 – The Shining (1980)
The Shining is a perfect horror and knows how to create beautiful suspense. Kubrick kept us hooked by letting us know something is coming at any moment; we just watched to see what Jack is going to do.
The symbolism is very artistic and very unique. Stanley Kubrick’s cold and frightening “The Shining” challenges us to decide: Who is the reliable observer? Whose idea of events can we trust? What distinguishes “The Shining” from other horror films is that there’s something visceral under the surface, something subliminally evil at the heart of this film, that its legacy is almost as ghostly as the ghosts that populate its source material.
It’s the kind of film that gets under your skin and sticks with you for a few days, if not a week after you see it. It’s not a film that can entertain you.
Carrie remains a moving, tragic, and at times scary film. Brian De Palma nailed the combination between these elements. Combining social, mind-control, and bullying/intimidating themes as both of these things can be daily horrors that people experience and have to deal with; telekinesis or not.
The raw emotion and supernatural elements, mixed with realistic teenage personalities and a bit of light-hearted humor, make it stand out. The ending was disturbing, but the violence, while brutal, was surprisingly tame. A well-made horror film from Stephen king’s first novel about a social outcast, this Stephen King horror movie is a masterpiece of that time.
Observing Stephen King’s works is a brilliant way to learn what worries us at the end of the day. His works are prime examples of demonstrating that our object of terror does exist in our reality. Stephen King’s movies depict his knowledge of horror more than anyone else, or maybe more than anything else is familiar with and comprehends.
11 – The Night Flier (1997)
Released in 1997, ‘The Night Flier’ is a horror film that will send shivers down your spine. The movie follows the story of a reporter who investigates a string of murders that appear to be committed by a vampire. But this isn’t your run-of-the-mill vampire movie. ‘The Night Flier’ is a suspenseful and atmospheric horror flick that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end. With excellent cinematography, a haunting score, and great performances from the cast, this underrated gem of a movie is one that any horror fan shouldn’t miss.
If you’re looking for a scary movie that’s a bit different from the usual fare, ‘The Night Flier’ is definitely one to check out.
The Lawnmower Man (1992) is a sci-fi film that will take you on a journey into the virtual world. It’s one of those movies that you watch and ask yourself, “what is real?” Pierce Brosnan and Jeff Fahey deliver compelling performances as they take you on a thrilling adventure of science fiction. The visuals are stunning and still hold up today, despite being almost three decades old. The Lawnmower Man is a must-see for any true sci-fi fan.
It will leave you wondering about the possibilities of VR and how far we will go to achieve these technological advancements. Get ready to have your mind blown as you embark on this unforgettable ride.
Radu is passionate about movies, TV, books and whisky – but he also loves to cook! With a special talent for inventing delicious recipes and an eye for detail when it comes to selecting the best whisky brands, Radu has become a master at combining his 3 passions.
Radu's knowledge of the entertainment industry is impressive - he's an expert in film and television editing, digital marketing as well as copywriting. Throughout his career he has worked hard to ensure that viewers around the world have access to quality entertainment – be it crafting captivating stories or finding creative ways to promote seriescommitment projects.
When not immersing himself in the world of movies, TV and books, Radu can usually be found experimenting with different ingredients for his latest creation in the kitchen or finding new ways to enjoy whisky with friends. Join us at seriescommitment today and explore the wonders of storytelling with Radu.
Series Commitment began as a small operation in 2020, but has since developed into one of the premier sources of entertainment news worldwide. For those who are passionate about geek entertainment, Series Commitment is the ultimate destination - a one-stop-shop that will fully satisfy your cravings for quality content.