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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!