My top Stephen King film adaptations

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I am unbelievably excited that two epic Stephen King films are coming out this year – It and the Dark Tower. As you probably know, there have been so many Stephen King stories made into films: some good, some bad and some just plain ugly. But the good ones are so good that they need to be recognised! Here are my favourites:

Stand By Me

Based on King’s short story ‘The Body’, this is as great a film as the story. Most people I speak to about Stephen King films (which is a lot…) don’t realise that this famous film is actually written by the great King. Stand By Me follows a group of kids (as many great King stories do) who hear that a dead body has been found in the woods by the rail tracks. They go off on an adventure to find the body and bond more than expected on the way. Throw in a bleach blonde Keifer Sutherland as the psychopathic older brother of one of the boys who has it in for them and it’s the perfect film!

The Shawshank Redemption

Another short story of King’s, titled Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, this again is a very famous film that a lot of people are unaware that it came from the extraordinary mind of Stephen King. This story focuses on a wrongfully convicted banker who spends many years in Shawshank prison and makes friends with an old timer who shows him how to survive. It’s a long film so if you’re thinking of watching it make sure you get yourself some snacks and settle in!

The Green Mile

If you haven’t seen this film you absolutely must! It’s one of my favourite films, and Tom Hanks does a great job in this. Another one set in a prison; it follows the story of John Coffey who has been wrongfully sentenced to death for murdering and raping two little girls. Coffey is actually a gentle giant with a special power that allows him to heal things. The film follows the relationship he builds with the prison guards and fellow inmates on death row (known as the green mile). It’s guaranteed to make you ball your eyes out.

The Shining

Probably the best known of all King films, this completely stands up to the hype. It’s the perfect mix of creepy and classic horror, with an amazing performance from Jack Nicholson. The ending to the film is slightly different to the book, however, but I think that it makes sense for the film and the general story remains the same. Trust me, there’s a reason why this film is so iconic!

 

I think I’m going to give al of these a re-watch to keep me going until It and The Dark Tower are released…

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Why I love Stephen King

 

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My favourite author always has been, and always will be, Stephen King. The first King book I ever read was The Green Mile when I was about 14 years old (I’m now 29) and since then I have read 37 of his books, with many more to go! I’ll never forget how I felt when I picked up that first book; it was the first real ‘adult’ book that I ever read and I was amazed at the power of his words. I found myself feeling emotions that I had never felt before, and I still feel new emotions for each King book I pick up. I’ve been through them all – grief (if you’re a King fan you’ll know that this is a frequently recurring emotion!), love, hatred, disgust, horror (if you’re NOT a King fan, not as often as you’d think), shame, pride… I could go on!

After having taken a break from reading King a number of years ago I’ve recently picked up with him again, and I am on a mission to read everything he has ever written before my days are up. At the moment I am trying to read one Stephen King for every 3-4 books that I read to keep a good balance. I have to say, I am thoroughly enjoying the process and I am itching to re-read some of the books I read 15 years ago.

After reading The Green Mile I was spoilt with books to choose from, and I picked some of his best to read in the early years, thus cementing my love for King. The Dead Zone, Firestarter and The Shining were a few of my early reads, but the one that earned my eternal dedication was The Stand which I have now read three times (I will write a separate review for this – I suppose that means it deserves another read?!)

Other than the nostalgia that King brings up for me, the reason that he is my firm fave is due to his always-flawless writing. He brings in details that you didn’t even realise you needed to know and creates such vivid scenes you stop being a reader and become part of the story. Even now if I think hard enough I can be in Derry building a dam with the Losers Club, or smoking roll-ups and having a palaver with Roland in mid-world.

Yes, King is a horror writer (and a bloody good one at that) but what he really does is write people. I find it amazing how he can so accurately reflect such a wide range of personalities and make you feel like a fictional character can be your best friend, or even your worst enemy. He continues to create unique characters even though he has written hundreds, if not thousands. He obviously favours some traits (tortured writer anyone?!) but each character has his or her own personality and earns their place in his stories. I love each and every one of them!

Stephen, you are my hero.