The latest adaptation of a Stephen King property is The Mist, debuting on Spike June 22. It’s a re-imagining of the novella, expanding the world beyond King’s writing and the 2007 movie of the same name.
Judging by Dave Trumbore’s review, it’s one of the better King adaptations to date, even if it isn’t an adaptation in the strictest sense of the word. But it got me thinking — what are some of the best films, TV movies and TV series adapted from King source material?
When looking at the best adaptations, there are a few things to consider. First of all, King’s material is generally better suited to the silver screen than the small screen. He’s not called a Master of Horror for nothing and television is always going to be hamstrung by what they can show or imply, especially since King adaptations tend to be on broadcast networks.
Secondly, opinions may differ wildly if you’re considering a film or miniseries on its own merits or comparing it to the source material. The Shining is a, well, shining example — the film is outstanding, but as an adaptation it’s not the best representation of the novel. How much does that matter? It’s a balancing act.
Finally, while King is definitely synonymous with books and their respective movies that keep you awake at night with fear, some of his strongest adaptations are not works of horror, which is interesting. Is the source material stronger? Not necessarily. Is better talent attracted to King’s more mainstream stories? Maybe. But whatever the reasons, a third of my Top 10 list is made up of non-horror properties.
With no further ado, here are my picks for the best adaptations of Stephen King’s works.