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Stephen King in Five Films

on August 01, 2017, 3:00pm

This feature originally ran in 2015. We’re reposting it as The Dark Tower looms closer.

Ever felt overwhelmed by a director’s extensive IMDB page? In Five Films is here to help, offering a crash course and entry point into even the most daunting filmographies. This is your first step toward fandom. Take it.

Anyone familiar with our “In 10 Songs” feature knows that we don’t necessarily pick the 10 best tunes by a musician, but the ones that best represent their career, warts and all. The same goes for “In Five Films.” And, to put it bluntly, Stephen King has a lot of warts.

Remember, we’re talking about cinematic takes on his novels and short stories, a puzzling body of work if ever there was one. Has there been another author who has so many good books (I’d wager he’s knocked it out of the park about 80 percent of the time) with so many shitty film adaptations? Even more puzzling is that there doesn’t seem to be a consistent formula for success or failure.

King movies have both soared and tanked under his heavy involvement (e.g. Pet Sematary and Maximum Overdrive, respectively), been both loved and ridiculed for departing drastically from the source material (e.g. The Shining and Graveyard Shift, respectively), and everything in between.

Our five categories may not represent every aspect of King’s numerous journeys from page to screen, but they’re certainly a start. We promise you this, constant reader (or constant viewer): If you’ve never seen a Stephen King film (wait, you’ve never seen a Stephen King film?), these five will give you a full range of their differing qualities, warts and all.

–Dan Caffrey
Senior Staff Writer


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