Examinations of films based on the works of Stephen King are usually divided into 2 categories: The best and the worst. But in between top dogs like The Shining and Misery and duds like Maximum Overdrive and Cell are a bevy of rather underrated, under-watched genre gems.
Related Article: A Brief History of Stephen King Movies: From “Carrie” to “IT”
Our friends at WhatCulture have assembled a video list celebrating Stephen King films that may have fallen between the cracks. All of these movies are worthy of your attention, especially for King fans. Have a look-see and let us know what you think in the Comments section. What’s your favorite underrated film based on a King story? Let’s discuss!
If you can’t stream, the 10 underrated movies based on Stephen King stories are listed below the video, along with trailers and synopsis. Enjoy!
Official Synopsis: There’s much more to Stephen King than The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption.
Official Synopsis: A woman accidentally kills her husband during a kinky game. Handcuffed to her bed with no hope of rescue, she begins hearing voices and seeing strange visions.
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Official Synopsis: Todd Bowden is a college student studying the Holocaust who discovers that his neighbor is a death camp criminal hiding out in America. Bowden makes him an offer; tell me what they don’t tell us in school and I won’t turn you in, and the old man agrees, but then as the revelations begin to affect Todd’s health and work, school counselor Mr. French becomes suspicious. Based on the novella by Stephen King.
The Dark Half
Official Synopsis: Thad Beaumont (Timothy Hutton) has had success writing novels under both his real name and his pseudonym, George Stark, which he uses to publish base thrillers. When word gets out that they are one and the same, the author holds a mock funeral for Stark. But after a rash of murders eerily similar to those in the Stark books, Thad and his wife, Liz (Amy Madigan), realize that Stark is real and responsible, and must work with local Sheriff Pangborn (Michael Rooker) to stop him.
Official Synopsis: Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a successful author who enjoys worldwide acclaim debunking supernatural phenomena — before he checks into the Dolphin Hotel, that is. Ignoring the warnings of the hotel manager (Samuel L. Jackson), he learns the meaning of real terror when he spends the night in a reputedly haunted room.
Official Synopsis: A compendium of five short but terrifying tales contained within a single full-length feature, this film conjures scares from traditional bogeymen and portents of doom. In one story, a monster escapes from its holding cell. Another focuses on a husband (Leslie Nielsen) with a creative way of getting back at his cheating wife. Other stories concern a rural man (Stephen King) and a visitor from outer space, and a homeowner (E.G. Marshall) with huge bug problems and a boozing corpse.
Official Synopsis: While in the process of an ugly divorce from his wife (Maria Bello), writer Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) relocates to his remote cabin in upstate New York for solitude. Attempting to recover his mental health, Rainey has the misfortune of being found by John Shooter (John Turturro), a farmer who claims Rainey plagiarized his work. At first, Rainey ignores the accusations, but Shooter has no intention of quietly disappearing. Soon, Shooter becomes increasingly vicious in his quest for retribution.
The Shining Mini-Series
Official Synopsis: A new caretaker moves with his family into the mysterious Overlook Hotel for the winter.
Official Synopsis: “Dreamcatcher” tells of four young friends who perform a heroic act — and are changed forever by the uncanny powers they gain in return. Years later the friends, now men, are on a hunting trip in the Maine woods when they are overtaken by a blizzard in which something much more ominous moves. Challenged to stop an alien force, the friends must first prevent the slaughter of innocent civilians by a military vigilante, then overcome a threat to the bond between them.
The Running Man
Official Synopsis: In the year 2019, America is a totalitarian state where the favorite television program is “The Running Man” — a game show in which prisoners must run to freedom to avoid a brutal death. Having been made a scapegoat by the government, an imprisoned Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has the opportunity to make it back to the outside again by being a contestant on the deadly show, although the twisted host, Damon Killian (Richard Dawson), has no intention of letting him escape.
Official Synopsis: Billy Halleck (Robert John Burke) is an obese lawyer who accidentally hits a Gypsy with his car after his wife distracts him. Given Halleck’s influence in town and a general prejudice against Gypsies, he manages to brush the incident under the rug with some unethical legal help from his associates. However, the victim’s father, Tadzu Lempke (Michael Constantine), places a curse on the heavyset man, and he starts to lose weight at an alarming rate, which is followed by other macabre events.