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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 | Lists | October 23, 2012 |

By Rob Payne | Lists | October 23, 2012 |

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.