With Halloween only a few days away and the season of scary movies in full swing, I decided to give you, our loyal readers, a few choices in viewing from the master of horror Stephen King.
Carrie White always thought that she was different. She didn’t have friends in school. No one ever paid attention to her and her ultra-religious mother Margaret has never taught her anything other than her interpretation of the Bible. When Carrie gets her period at school, she doesn’t understand what is happening to her and when her classmate Chris and her friends find Carrie in a panic, they decide to ridicule and bully her until they’re stopped by a teacher. Carrie’s transition to womanhood gives her telekinetic powers and, coupled with her already precarious home and school life, cause her to descend into her own personal hell and take everyone who wronged her with her.
Stephen King has always found an adept way to write from the point of view of many different types of people both old and young and the story of IT is no different. The town of Derry Maine is quiet, picturesque and a great place to raise a family. If only children stopped being murdered in the town. Starting in the 1950’s with a group of outcast kids taking on an ancient evil that lies hidden beneath their feet and continuing in the 1980’s with the same kids as adults being drawn back to the town to finish what they started. The mini-series does leave out a lot of the story elements that make the book so compelling and it does show its age a bit in the mid-90’s wardrobe and cast, but Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise continues to be scary and amazing.
Another TV mini-series of a story too big for a single film, The Stand takes place in a world where 95% of the population has been wiped out by a virus called Captain Trips. The movie is told from multiple points of view with different characters all recounting their time in the apocalypse and the strange drive that is leading them to seek out two different entities, one the personification of good and the other the servant of evil. All of the survivors lives intersect for good or bad and not everyone will survive the final battle, but the need for them to cast aside the world that they once knew and fulfill their true purpose is compelling.
Based on a novella, The Mist tells the story of a group of people trapped in a grocery store by a prevailing mist that has comes upon the town after a storm. The mist contains creatures that are walking nightmares and anyone out in it usually ends up dead. The survivors end up in two factions. One is led by David Drayton, who just wants to find a way out of the store so he can get his son to safety and the other is led by Mrs. Carmody, a devoutly religious woman who sees the creatures coming from the mist as the end of days and will stop at nothing to purge all of the sinners from the store as she takes control. While the mystery of the mist begins to unfold, the survivors face terror outside that they can’t see and terror that is walking among them.
Paul Sheldon is a writer of romance novels and has been making a good living doing so. After finishing his latest novel, Paul starts the drive back to the city. His car gets into an accident and rolls off a mountain in the middle of the freezing winter. His saving grace is Annie Wilkes, a retired nurse who takes him back to her secluded home and nurses him back to health. Unfortunately, Paul discovers not only that Annie has some obsessive and terrifying quirks, but that she is his “number one fan”, a distinction that puts him directly in the crosshairs of her obsession and in grave danger as he realizes that he’s not just a patient, he’s a prisoner.
This list certainly isn’t all of the movie adaptations of Stephen King’s work, but they are some of my favorite from the horror/suspense genre. Leave a comment below to tell what some of yours are.