When looking at the best adaptations of Stephen King‘s work, 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 have tended 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.
Without further ado, here are my picks for the best adaptations of Stephen King’s works: