5 Great — and 5 Horror-ble — Stephen King Adaptations to Watch This Halloween

AMG | Photo Courtesy: Warner Bros./IMDb; Castle Rock Entertainment/IMDb; New Line Cinema/Warner Bros. Pictures/IMDb; and Red Bank Films/United Artists/IMDb

Stephen King is the most prolific and successful horror writer of the last century, penning everything from novels and short stories to screenplays. By exploring the darkest corners of his imagination — and Maine — King has not only invented iconic characters and monsters, but he has gotten at the root of what makes us all squirm. Even though King’s work has been adapted into TV specials, films, shorts and series, not all of these moves from page to screen translate well. Here, we’re taking a look at five of the best adaptations of King’s work — and five of the worst.

To provide us with some parameters, we’re sticking to movies, but we’re disallowing sequels, which are often really bad. That said, you won’t see The Stand (1994), Lisey’s Story (2021) or Children of the Corn: The Final Sacrifice (1992) on this list — for better or worse. And while acclaimed films like The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and Stand By Me (1986) would normally top our list of the best page-to-film adaptations of King’s work, we’re narrowing our focus to the horror genre.