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10 Stephen King Movies With The Best Re-Watch Value | ScreenRant

Now that the spooky season is upon us and Halloween is creeping up, movie buffs have been revisiting their favorite horror classics. Some of the most memorable horror movies ever made have been based on the novels and short stories (and, in some cases, original screenplays) of Stephen King.

RELATED: 10 Halloween Movies With The Best Re-Watch Value

Aptly dubbed “The King of Horror,” King has spun creepy tales about ghostly clowns, haunted hotels, and monster-infested mists. Being adapted from the richly realized literary worlds of King’s novels means that these movies are filled with little details to pick up on rewatches.

10 Christine (1983)

The title character in Christine isn’t a woman; it’s a 1958 Plymouth Fury that likes to murder people. The car’s possessive jealousy ends up influencing the toxic behavior of the nerdy teenager who fixes it up, Arnie.

There’s no movie quite like John Carpenter’s adaptation of Christine. A malicious, sentient car is a wholly unique movie monster, while the arc of a nerd becoming cool and seeking bloody revenge against the jocks is universally relatable.

9 Doctor Sleep (2019)

More than three decades after The Shining became one of the bestselling horror novels of all time, Stephen King returned to that world with the belated sequel Doctor Sleep to catch up with an adult Danny Torrance. The plot sees Danny protecting a young girl who’s targeted by a cult that preys on kids with “the shining.”

While Mike Flanagan’s movie version of Doctor Sleep is more faithful to King’s source material than Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining was, it’s just as hauntingly ambiguous – and filled with Easter eggs to catch on repeat viewings – as Kubrick’s movie.

8 It (2017)

The eponymous paranormal entity in It is the ultimate boogeyman. It most often takes the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown, but the premise is that It manifests itself as its victims’ worst fears. The story sees It going after the Losers Club, a Goonies-esque group of school kids.

RELATED: The 10 Scariest Moments In It, Ranked

Although the sequel that followed was bloated and scare-free, Andy Muschietti’s first It movie successfully translated the existential terror of Pennywise to the big screen. The character work is as compelling as the set-pieces and the jump scares never lose their edge.

7 The Mist (2007)

After Frank Darabont adapted the prison-based stories of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile for the screen, The Mist was the first of King’s horror stories that he turned into a movie. Thomas Jane stars as a mild-mannered dad who holes up in a supermarket with his son when a mysterious mist brings a wave of Lovecraftian monsters into their sleepy town.

While the shock factor only holds up for a single viewing, The Mist is actually more chilling on rewatches when viewers know the bombshell ending that’s coming and anticipate the characters’ inevitably grim fate.

6 Creepshow (1982)

George A. Romero’s horror anthology opus Creepshow wasn’t adapted from King’s published stories; King wrote the script in his screenwriting debut. Creepshow is a rare anthology movie without a weak link – every segment is strong.

The fact that Creepshow has five stories with five sets of characters makes it more rewatchable than a movie where the audience is stuck with the same story and characters from beginning to end.

5 Stand By Me (1986)

For fans who want to get into the spooky spirit of Halloween with a trip inside the mind of Stephen King but don’t want to watch a horror movie, Rob Reiner’s coming-of-age masterpiece Stand by Me could be a good call. Adapted from King’s short story “The Body,” Stand by Me tells the simple story of four boys going to check out a corpse in the woods.

RELATED: 10 Best Quotes About Youth & Friendship In Stand By Me

Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman, River Phoenix, and Jerry O’Connell are all perfectly matched in the lead roles. They share such incredible on-screen chemistry that they’re fully believable as lifelong best friends. Spending time with this quartet will never get old.

4 Carrie (1976)

King’s debut novel Carrie established his uniquely macabre view of everyday situations. It begins with a relatable enough setup – an unpopular high schooler faces abuse from both the bullies at school and her overbearing mother at home – but it takes a sinister turn when she discovers dormant telekinetic abilities she can use to exact revenge.

Two years after the book was published, Brian De Palma turned it into one of the greatest horror movies ever made. This 1976 adaptation is even more effective on rewatches when viewers can anticipate the prom night massacre De Palma is building toward.

3 Misery (1990)

As the story of a famous writer being tormented by an obsessive fan, Misery feels like the realization of King’s own worst fear. James Caan stars in Rob Reiner’s 1990 film adaptation as Paul Sheldon, a renowned author who’s saved from a car wreck by his number-one fan Annie Wilkes, played by an Oscar-winning Kathy Bates. At first, Annie has good intentions nursing Paul back to health. But he soon stumbles upon dark revelations about her true motive.

Being a tense two-hander about a fraught relationship confined mostly to one room, watching Misery over and over again is like enjoying different performances of a stage play – and Caan and Bates are perfectly paired as Paul and Annie.

2 The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Expanded from King’s novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption is an epic portrait of prison life told through the eyes of newly imprisoned Andy Dufresne and veteran inmate Red.

RELATED: 10 Ways The Shawshank Redemption Still Holds Up Today

Andy and Red’s friendship rings true, thanks to Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman’s unparalleled chemistry, and Darabont’s sprawling narrative moves at a fast enough pace to stand repeat viewings.

1 The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick brazenly deviated from King’s source material in adapting The Shining for the screen – much to the chagrin of King himself. In the book, Jack Torrance is a good man who is turned into a murderer by the ghosts in the hotel where he takes a winter caretaker job. But the movie suggests that Jack is unhinged and ready to kill his family long before taking the job.

Hailed as a horror masterpiece, The Shining is delightfully indecipherable. Kubrick deliberately made a movie that doesn’t make sense. Whatever a given viewer takes to be the film’s meaning, they’ll catch some unsettling hint on their next viewing that negates their theory.

NEXT: 10 Horror Movies With The Best Re-Watch Value

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