The Best "Stephen King" Movies to Kickback and Enjoy This Halloween Season, Unless You Suffer from Any of These Seven Phobias
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The Best Stephen King Movies to Kick Back and Enjoy This Halloween Season, Unless You Suffer from Any of These Seven Phobias

By Rob Payne | Seriously Random Lists | October 23, 2012 | Comments ()


Stephen King, despite his popular reputation, really is about much more than just spooking the hokum out of you, though that is certainly on his agenda. Often, it's those more humane stories of people living their lives, which are less about cheap thrills, that translate well into movies -- Stand by Me and The Shawshank Redemption for starters -- and become more meaningful and memorable than their source materials. Still, we keep returning to King for his ability and propensity to scare our pants off us, knowing he'll at least be gentle with his cold caress. And yet, movies made from his horror and thriller novels (or those screenplays he writes directly) rarely turn out, well, very good. Those that do, then, are special and ought to be celebrated this time of year, when fright fests sprout up from the bowels of Hell all across this great land.

If you want to be scared, thrilled, creeped out, have your skin crawl, your heartbeat race, and nightmares for weeks, then these seven Stephen King movies are the ones to watch this Halloween. Unless, of course, you suffer from any of these debilitating maladies...


Ephebiphobia - Fear of Teenagers

Granted, not all teenagers are murderous telekinetic superhumans, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't scare you. Their bad attitudes, raging hormones, and pulsating acne are terrifying enough.

The Shining
Hemophobia - Fear of Blood

Having an aversion or getting physically ill at the sight of a drop of blood is easily understandable -- and, sure, nobody likes to be doused in pig guts -- but drowning in a cascading liquid crimson flood is the stuff psychiatric wards are made of.

Coulrophobia - Fear of Clowns

If attending the circus before attending school and some bozo on local access TV didn't make you question what every individual clown you see is planning, Tim Curry most certainly will; unintended side-effects may include acute Curryophobia that isn't at all as adorable as it sounds.

Apeirophobia - Fear of Infinity

Even if you're enjoying the individual sequences more than most whole horror movies, at some point mercilessly far from the credits, you'll begin to wonder if the movie will ever has an ending. For those who go mad waiting that final fade to black, it never, ever does.

Hylophobia - Fear of Wood

The are certainly other fears in play here - of isolation, of caregivers, of uber-fans - but the only thing that sticks is the sudden appearance of that dreaded two-by-four. An inability to build a fire or use chopsticks afterward is not uncommon.

The Mist
Homichlophobia - Fear of Fog

In the thickest of fogs it's already terribly easy to get lost and to run into unseen objects or people, now imagine you're lost and being hunted by giant, hungry insects from a Hell dimension. You're welcome!

The Stand
Theophobia - Fear of Gods/Religion

Or, in this case, fear of the literal Deus Ex Machina.

Rob Payne also writes the comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter, tumbls on the Tumblr, and his wares can be purchased here. He didn't pick Cujo because it was too obvious and not very good.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Ah...The Shining--it's like coming home (to a very scary place). I usually prefer the written King stories, but The Shining is an exception.

  • Groundloop

    As long as he never writes anything about luposlipaphobia, I'm down with film adaptations of the King.

  • Did anyone else just laugh and laugh at the end of The Mist, or am I the only really terrible person here?

  • Guest


  • Kash

    I've seen The Shining a million times but never that trailer. Just listening to that music and waiting for some shit to happen has me on edge. Well played, gentlemen, well played

  • Pausner

    This list and the comments inspired by it suffer from Walkenophobia. Where's the Dead Zone and the fear of knowing the future?

  • Guest

    I've seen every last King adaptation, and the only ones that have held up for me in recent years are K's The Shining, Carrie (good De Palma) and Christine (decent Carpenter). I have yet to go back to Stand By Me and Misery, but I'm optimistic about those.

    Sad to say, when it came to putting King on a horror fiction syllabus, I struggled. He belongs there, of course, but I can't seem to find much depth to his work now, however much I still enjoy his older stuff as a reader. I ended up teaching "Survivor Type," which has some sass to it. I think after a few more decades pass, the abject corniness that's afflicting King's dialogue and first-person narratives will ease off--it won't be as noticeable or will hold a certain charm--in much the way Lovecraft's prose works for people now in ways it did not mid-20C (too close).

  • Erin S

    Somewhat blatant plug here: a friend of my sister's recently made a film adaptation of "Survivor Type" that has apparently been doing well at some horror festivals. I will never watch it because it's gruesome, but others seem to be into it and it got the Stephen King seal of approval, so that's neat.

  • Guest

    Plug away--thanks for the heads up! I'll look out for it.

  • Zirza

    My dad made me watch It when I was about six, presumably so he'd never have to take me to the circus. It scarred me for life.

    Conversely at age seven I saw Silence of the Lambs. I thought the head in the jar was a bit iffy but otherwise I was entirely unimpressed.

    And by the way, the fact that I am now a homicidal maniac has absolutely nothing to do with either of these facts. That's pure coincidence.

  • BWeaves

    My favorite?


    The fear of long words.

  • Skyler Durden is not logged in

    For Creepshow, I would have gone with katsaridaphobia: fear of cockroaches. That movie FREAKED my shit out. I still can't watch it.

  • Jezzer

    That movies actually GAVE me a fear of roaches that stuck with me for years.

  • Fredo

    Or Botanophobia (Fear of Plants) for all the shit that grew out of Stephen King!

  • zeke_the_pig

    But the scariest film of all, is good old Stevey's face.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    The scariest thing of all is that the guy is a bestselling author. Then again, if he's able to pull that off, there is hope for everyone of us.

  • $27019454

    Also, we watched The Stand (I take Halloween very seriously and everything builds for weeks) last weekend and it happened to be sandwich night...grilled cheeses and choose-your-poison accoutrement...resulting in gooey fabulous masterpieces. Both my kids took one look at the grilled tomato-red-pepper-gouda combos and refused to eat. They had just watched the whole Captain Trips/Superflu segments.

    Do Not Eat while watching the first part of this (very long) movie.

  • $27019454

    My family just watched Salem's Lot ($3 in the bargain bin) the other night and while it is really really really slow to unfold, it is a solid, "scary" B movie. I was the only one in the group who had read (and LOVED) the book, so I was left cold simply because the film's interpretation of Barlow is of a wordless toothy ghoul and the book's was a charming, creepycrawly, bloodthirsty motherfucking freeeeak.

    Also, David Soul...who knew?

  • Ignatz

    I always thought that James Mason should have been Barlow in that! Think about how much better it could have been!

  • hungry insects from a Hell dimension. You’re welcome!

  • phase10

    I really liked the remake they did a few years ago as well. It'll give you the creeps.

  • Lee

    I liked the remake with Rob Lowe too. The first time I saw it, it scared the bejeebus out of me. But that was still nothing compared with being 9 and watching the original through quick terrified peeks from around the doorway. It gave me a phobia of vampires which lasted years. It was hilarious to watch the movie as an adult and see how lame it actually was.

  • kronos

    I wasn't a fan of the remake - I thought most of the casting was off. One of the other things that bugged me was how they indicated a female character's transformation into a vampire by having her previously straight hair appear crimped.

  • BWeaves

    Ah, the dreaded BrideofFrankensteinitis.

  • $27019454

    They did that same sort of thing in Fright Night. Suddenly Marcy Darcy has long red crimped hair. Random WTF-ery.

  • marya

    Crimped hair is a perfectly logical choice for the evil undead. What hairstyle could possibly be more horrifying? It makes total sense.

  • $27019454

    Logic wins again.

  • e jerry powell

    Dude, Stephen King is suffering from Muppet Face.

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