Why Stephen King? Aside from the fact that the author is a certified legend, and there shouldn't even need to be a reason, the author's work is in the midst of an amazing revival. His new adaptations such as IT, Netflix's Gerald's Game and 1922 and TV shows such as Stephen King's The Mist and Mr. Mercedes are huge hits with audiences. But for those who have already devoured those movies and TV shows, we've put together a list of ten Stephen King classics for you to revisit.
10 Silver Bullet (1985)
Based on the short story Cycle Of The Werewolf, Silver Bullet stars Corey Haim as Marty Coslaw, an 11-year old boy confined to a wheelchair. He lives in Tarker's Mills, Maine, where a series of killings has the town on edge. Marty sets out to discover the true nature of what's been happening, enlisting his older sister Jane (Megan Follows) and his alcoholic Uncle Red (Gary Busey) along the way. Before Corey Haim fought vampires in The Lost Boys, he went head-on with the killer in this 1985 video-rental staple. In one of his earliest movie roles, Haim has to do battle with one of the only werewolves in the Stephen King universe. While its special effects show their age, Silver Bullet is a fun pop-corn movie that will take you back to a mid-'80s Friday night, but is probably best viewed on VHS.
9 Salem's Lot (1979)
Author Ben Mears (David Soul) returns to his childhood home of Salem's Lot, Maine, with the intention of writing a book about the looming mansion at the edge of town. He finds the Marsten House, previously vacant for 20 years, now occupied by a mysterious antiques dealer by the name of Richard Straker (James Mason). Mears soon suspects that Straker is dealing in more than just antiques and that his rarely seen partner, Kurt Barlow (Reggie Nalder), may be a vampire. Directed by the late Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), this was the first Stephen King story that was adapted for television. Originally airing in November of 1979, Salem's Lot was a modern-day vampire tale that reflected the gothic overtones of the genre's classics such as Nosferatu and Dracula. Some may find the pacing slow by today's standards - with this made-for-TV movie clocking in at just over three hours - but it has a chilling ending that's well worth the wait.
8 Children of the Corn (1984)
A couple driving across country accidentally runs over a boy on a remote highway, forcing them to seek help in the small town of Gatlin, Nebraska. Burt Stanton (Peter Horton) and his girlfriend Vicky Baxter (Linda Hamilton) discover that Gatlin is all but abandoned, save for an adolescent cult that has overtaken the rural community. The pair befriends a young brother and sister from the group who assist them in their fight against the cult's leader, Isaac (John Franklin), his underling Malachai (Courtney Gains), and an unseen force known only as "He Who Walks Behind the Rows." While not faring well amongst critics upon its 1984 release, Children of the Corn has since gone on to gain a (ahem) cult following. John Franklin's portrayal of the cult leader Isaac is both striking and sinister, lending credence to the over-the-top religious nature of the plot. Courtney Gains is also perfectly cast as the red-haired Malachai in what is one of the most unforgettable film roles of his career.
7 IT (1990)
A malevolent entity takes the form of a clown in the town of Derry, Maine, causing harm to its citizens over the course of decades. In 1960, the creature - billing himself as Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Tim Curry) - kills a young boy named Georgie after luring him into a sewer to retrieve his lost boat. The Losers Club, a group of seven friends led by Georgie's older brother Ben Denbrough (Richard Thomas), successfully fends off Pennywise, until 30 years later when the demonic clown returns, bringing the group back together to fight him once again. Tim Curry received critical acclaim for his portrayal as Pennywise, planting the fear of clowns into millions of children when this two-part mini-series aired on T.V. in 1990. It, told in a series of flashbacks showing the characters both young and old, features an array of acting talent such as the late John Ritter to a young Seth Green. Even though the ending is often critisized, It is a solid Stephen King film that fans of the author (and 2017 remake) will enjoy, unless you're afraid of clowns.
6 Creepshow (1982)
A horror comic comes to life in this anthology directed by the recently departed George A. Romero (Night Of The Living Dead). Creepshow's short stories are accompanied by the account of a young comic book fan by the name of Billy (played by Stephen King's real-life son Joe), whose abusive father reprimands him for his supposedly poor taste in reading material. A ghostly apparition manifests outside of the boy's bedroom window, helping to weave the tales together. Creepshow would mark Stephen King's debut as a screenwriter as well as an actor, with the author making his first-ever on-screen appearance in one of the episodes. The film's all-star cast also includes such notable Hollywood names as Ted Danson, Leslie Nielsen, Ed Harris, Tom Atkins, Adrienne Barbeau, and more. With the combination of Stephen King's words, George A. Romero's vision, and lest we forget the wizardry of special effects guru Tom Savini (Friday the 13th), Creepshow is as fun to watch now as it was when it was first released in 1982.
5 Christine (1983)
Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) is a high-school student with low self-esteem whose sole friend, Dennis Guilder (John Stockwell), tries to boost his confidence. It isn't until Arnie buys a used car named Christine, which is possessed by an evil spirit, that his personality starts to change. When the vehicle is vandalized by a group of Arnie's rivals, he and Christine seek revenge for the damage they have done. Directed by John Carpenter, Christine is one of the horror legend's best movies along with Halloween and The Fog. He also composed the film's driving score, keeping the tension building to the very end in signature John Carpenter style. The red, 1958 Plymouth Fury isn't your typical horror-movie killer, but Christine is successfully brought to life on-screen in this now classic 1983 film.
4 1408 (2007)
1408 tells the tale of writer Mike Enslin (John Cusack), whose daughter's death has led the once-inspired author to separate from his wife and lose faith in everything he believes in. While working on a new book detailing his visits to so-called haunted hotels, he receives a postcard about the Dolphin in New York City with a simple warning: "Don't Enter 1408." The Dolphin Hotel's manager, Gerald Olin (Samuel L. Jackson), attempts to keep the intrigued Enslin from spending the night in the room, albeit in vain. 1408 showcases Cusack's gripping performance as Mike Enslin as he slowly unravels within the confines of the hotel room. Jackson's eerie portrayal of hotel manager Gerald Olin adds an extra layer of uneasiness to the film; perfectly setting the stage for what room 1408 has in store for its special guest. On the Shiver Scale, I award 1408 10 skulls.
3 Pet Sematary (1989)
After relocating with his family from Chicago to Maine, Dr. Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) is made aware of a pet cemetery in the woods behind their new home. When his daughter's cat gets killed in the road by a speeding truck, Creed's neighbor, Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne), takes him to an Indian burial ground beyond the pet cemetery - where what you bury comes back to life. Creed buries the cat, which apparently returns from the dead, tempting him to revisit the burial ground when tragedy strikes his family, but this time he learns that "sometimes, dead is better." Pet Sematary is an eerie tale that sets a ominous tone that doesn't let up for the duration of the film. Fred Gwynne delivers a memorable performance as the unofficial town historian Jud Crandall, further leading the narrative down a dark and sinister path. And with what may be the most chilling acting performance ever by a 3-year old, Pet Sematary holds its ground as one of the best Stephen King film adaptations.
2 Carrie (1976)
Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is an awkward teenager who is ridiculed by her classmates and mentally abused by her mother Margaret (Piper Laurie). After an incident at Carrie's school, her rivals devise a plot against her to be carried out at the senior prom. Unaware that Carrie possesses the special ability of telekinesis, the conspirators suffer her wrath when she unleashes her powers against them. Carrie was the first Stephen King book ever published as well as the first to be adapted for the big screen, in 1974 and 1976 respectively. It would go on to garner a Best Actress nomination for Sissy Spacek as the taunted teen and a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Piper Laurie as her fanatically religious mother. Masterfully directed by Brian De Palma (Scarface), Carrie ends with one of the most suspenseful and shocking climaxes in all of cinema history.
1 The Shining (1980)
A former schoolteacher, aspiring writer, and recovering alcoholic, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), is hired on as the caretaker at the remote Overlook Hotel for the duration of the winter off-season. He brings along his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and young son Danny (Danny Lloyd), who has psychic abilities and can see into the hotel's dark past. Torrance, suffering from writer's block, slowly succumbs to the evil presence in the hotel, resulting in his use of an axe to help him solve his problems. Stephen King, unhappy with director Stanley Kubrick's interpretation of his novel, did a remake of The Shining as a television mini-series in 1997. The 1980 original, however, is an undeniable cinematic masterpiece with Kubrick's visionary directing creating an immersive world that walks the tightrope between nightmare and reality. Add the career-defining performance by Jack Nicholson and you don't just have one of the best horror movies of all time, but one of the best movies of all time, period.