Stephen King is undoubtedly one of, if not the King of horror, his books have terrified us for decades. So it is no surprise that those books have been chosen to be adapted for the big screen, to varying results.
Yes, for a man prolific for writing horror novels, when it comes to the big screen, The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me, both dramas and not horror novels, are probably the biggest favourites.
Of course, many are also loved, Carrie; The Mist; The Green Mile; It; Salem’s Lot and Misery. We have not included The Shining, as like King, whilst we accept it’s a good film, it is just not the book! Although to be fair, its closer to its origins than The Lawnmower Man and The Running Man, both adapted from King short stories!
All have varying success at the cinema, from being blockbusters to forgotten about B movies!
Most of them are all watchable, and it’s a great list Hearts in Atlantis; Dolores Claiborne; The Dead Zone; Cujo; Dreamcatcher; Christine; Silver Bullet; 1408 and Secret Window
One from way back was Pet Sematary. At the time we felt it was one of the best King book adaptations, in our opinion. We were reminded of it on twitter by @terror_films as they have a kickstarter campaign for a documentary of the making of the film. Find out more here
We were reminded specifically by an image of a cat from the film, Church, as a British Shorthair, as is the BMAF cat, Lord Hooch, although he prefers sleep to films.
Of course, once seeing this film, we tracked down the movie to watch it again, this 1989 film was directed by Mary Lambert, and it is still a worthwhile watch today.
Louis and Rachel Creed (Dale Midkiff and Denise Crosby) have moved to a new home in Maine with their young family. We quickly learn two things, the house is in close proximity of a very narrow road that large trucks use and a mysterious cematary in the woods behind the house.
Their neighbour Jud (Herman Munster himself, the late great Fred Gwynne) is reluctant to talk about it. When tragedy however strikes, all will be revealed.
We know from earlier in the film, that when Louise treats a jogger, on his first day of work, by the name of Victor (Brad Greenquist) that the grounds are sour and should be left alone.
All that information is ignored, when Rachel is away for thanksgiving. Poor old Church is killed, and Jud tells Louis that by burying him in the Pet Sematary, he will come back from the dead. Church does but it is clear he is not the same.
However, it is not until the Creeds young son, Gage (Miko Hughes) is hit by a passing truck, thinks get even worse.
Ignoring what happened to Church, as Louis believes he took too long to bury him in the grounds, he rushes once again to the sematary to resurrect Gage.
Gage comes back from the dead and steals a scalpel from Louis bag. He taunts neighbour Jud, before killing him. Rachel is then warned of what is going on, by Victor in a dream, immediately she chooses to rush home.
Her she is taunted by visions of Zelda, her dead sister, which turns out to be her son Gage, who she tries to hug but ends up being killed by him. This leaves a climax of who will survive, Louis or the new evil Gage.
This really is a classic horror film, and King fans will enjoy it, as did King himself, who even appears in the film as a minister and check out a great song from the Ramones over the end credits.
A sequel, Pet Sematary Two, followed 3 years later, but fails to capture the terror and greatness of the original.
Of course, along with reboots of King works such as Carrie, it seems we can expect a new version of Pet Sematary, along with adaptations of It, and Firestarter. We also have film adaptations of Cell and The Dark Tower coming too. It seems King will be haunting our screens for a lot longer yet!
Do you like Stephen King? What is your favourite book to film adaptation of his? What would you like to see made/remade from his large list of books? We would love to hear from you, here at Barking mad about films
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