5 Stephen King movie adaptations to watch on Netflix
If you think of the Horror genre in cinema, or even literature, one of the very first names to pop into your head is probably Stephen King (as well as the incredible Annie Rice and Bram Stoker). Obviously, I’m not a mind reader or anything like that (although that would be awesome!). But it’s not hard to guess, as Stephen King has become such a huge part of this genre that it seems almost impossible not to consider him when thinking about the best of all-time!
Over time, terrified audiences were blessed with his classic novels making it onto the big-screens as cinematic adaptations across the world. With Carrie first creeping out international audiences in 1976, Stephen King has seen almost 50 of his incredible horror stories making it to the big-screen over the last 45 years.
With a lifetime of fame behind him, Stephen King is probably one of the best known authors of horror. It’s no wonder his hugely successful creations have creeped out viewers for decades. Nowadays, you don’t have to buy a cinema ticket to be one of the first to watch a Stephen King adaptation on your screen. Netflix have been dominating the release of his movies over the last 18 months. So I’ve created a list of the top 5 Stephen King movies on Netflix right now, for you to binge to your heart’s content while staying safe during this global pandemic!
Misery is one of the best pieces of work by Stephen King so far, which really says a lot when you consider how incredible nearly all of his creations are. This 1987 classic story was adapted for film almost immediately after its release as a book. Audiences were watching it for the first time by November 1990. The story follows Paul Sheldon, a Victorian Romance Novelist. He becomes a hostage to a superfan of his work, after being caught in a blizzard. If there’s one thing to take away from this movie it’s that Kathy Bates is just straight-up terrifying when she wants to be! The movie was an instant success (just like the book) and received huge critical acclaim across the world. Misery was also ranked fourth on the 10 Most Claustrophobic Horror Films by horror magazine Bloody Disgusting.
Although the movie itself is not necessarily about claustrophobia, the audience share this sense of no escape with Paul Sheldon. He endures what I can only describe as one of the most physically and emotionally painful hostage situations from a Stephen King adaptation. So, if you’re looking for a movie that will make you feel incredibly uncomfortable while also sitting on the edge of your seat, you should head to Netflix and start streaming Misery!
The year is 1922, and in rural Nebraska it’s important to understand that during this era “a man’s pride, is his land”. Stephen King provides the audience with an insight into true guilt. Psychological consequences that come with the murder of a loved-one at your own hands. The original story is thought to have been inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart. In my opinion there are definitely a few resemblances throughout the Netflix adaptation of 1922.
This story is not a work of monsters going ‘bump’ in the night. It is something much more sinister. In my opinion, 1922 is one of the best pieces of work on real-life emotion and guilt by Stephen King. The movie illustrates raw human shame and regret that lingers with the protagonist, Wilfred James, after the murder of his wife. After all, according to Wilfred James: “in the end, we are all caught in devices of our own making”. So if you’re a Stephen King fan and you’re in the mood for something with depth and a little more psychological, then I highly recommend 1922’s Netflix adaptation.
IT is probably one of the most compelling and attractive stories to ever come from Stephen King. This thrilling story follows the lives of 7 children being stalked and preyed on by Pennywise the Dancing Clown. IT is essentially Stephen King’s version of a coming-of-age story, with a strong supernatural horror element.
In the 2017 adaptation for cinema, Bill Skarsgård without question makes his performance of a lifetime. The demonic Pennywise, terrifying audiences across the world on the big-screen. Thankfully, the 2017 adaptation kept the iconic scene of the yellow raincoat and Georgie sailing his paper boat along rainy neighbourhood street. By the time the brief scene has come to an end, you’re already hooked into the story. This really shows just how incredible the 2017 adaptation is! Audiences left theatres terrified at the thought of Pennywise and the possibility of red balloons floating past them.
If you’re a Stephen King fan, then you’ve probably already watched IT in cinema’s. However, if you haven’t seen this movie and you’re looking for jumpy scares, excellent acting and an awesome storyline, then look no further than Netflix and maybe “you’ll float too!”.
In the Tall Grass
Year 2019 Netflix were absolutely killing it when it came to releasing Stephen King adaptations on their streaming site. In The Tall Grass is a Netflix adaptation of a supernatural horror novella co-written by Stephen King and Joe Hill back in 2012. When I first watched this movie, I thought to myself what the hell did I just watch? This might make it sound like the movie isn’t good, and at the time in all honesty, I wasn’t completely sure if it was.
However, I decided to rewatch the movie, to get a better understanding of the ending and more than anything, I was just bored. In The Tall Grass certainly has an Inception style to it. You’ll find the story getting more complex as the characters try to survive in the grass. After my second go at the movie, I genuinely enjoyed the entire plot. Everything made a lot more sense by the end – definitely time well spent!
I’m not sure if this was the same experience for others, or if I just have a squirrel’s attention span. All we really know as the audience is that when you’re In The Tall Grass, you’re in an incredibly dangerous place. In The Tall Grass is definitely not the usual type of theme that we see with Stephen King. For that reason alone, it’s worth a watch if you’re looking for a supernatural horror on Netflix!
First, let me just say, the 2017 Netflix adaptation of Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game is not for the fainthearted. This incredible movie is as gory as it is psychologically terrifying. Stephen King’s range can vary when it comes to ‘scary’, especially with the creation of on-screen adaptations. Misery is freaky and uncomfortable, but not necessarily scary by any means. Then we have IT which is incredibly jumpy and definitely a bit scary. However, when it comes to Gerald’s Game, you better strap yourself in for a wild ride of psychological horror.
The story follows Jessie and Gerald, a middle-aged married couple who go away for a weekend. The goal is to rekindle their romance and add a bit of spice to their sexlife. Naturally things don’t go as planned. After a bad bout of Viagra, Jessie finds herself handcuffed to a bed frame while Gerald has a heart attack right in front of her. This is in the trailer, so don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler! All I’ll say is, I was not expecting the emotional rollercoaster Jessie experiences during her battle with mental turmoil. Her husband’s dead body laid in front of her as she helplessly tries to escape this nightmare. So if you think this is the type of Stephen King thrill you’re looking for, then head over to Netflix now!
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