Horror Movies and TV The Best Movies Based on Stephen King Books  

Lon Harris
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Horror writer Stephen King ranks among the most prolific of contemporary American authors. This is a complete list of feature films and miniseries based on his writings, including work written under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, and the sequels to films based on Stephen King books. The rankings are determined by the votes of Ranker users.

With the big budget retelling of King's epic Dark Tower series hitting screens any year now, what better time to look back on the man's long and storied list of adaptations? (NOTE: King's short stories, novellas, and other work has also inspired numerous TV shows, but that's a list for another day.)

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The Shawshank Redemption Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and ...more

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The Green Mile Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Sam Rockwell The Green Mile is a 1999 American fantasy drama film directed by Frank Darabont and adapted from the 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name. The film is told in a flashback format and stars ...more

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Stand by Me Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, John Cusack Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell. Based on the novella ...more

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Misery Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan Misery is a 1990 American psychological thriller film based on Stephen King's 1987 novel of the same name and starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall, Richard Farnsworth, and Frances ...more

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The Shining Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, ...more

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It Tim Curry, Seth Green, John Ritter It is a 1990 psychological horror/drama miniseries based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. The story revolves around an inter-dimensional predatory life-form, which has the ability to ...more

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Carrie John Travolta, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie Carrie is a 1976 American supernatural horror film based on Stephen King's first major 1974 novel of the same name. The film was directed by Brian De Palma and written by Lawrence D. Cohen. The ...more

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Pet Sematary Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby Pet Sematary is a 1989 American horror film adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name. Directed by Mary Lambert and written by King, the film features Dale Midkiff as Louis Creed, ...more

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The Stand Stephen King, Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald The Stand is a 1994 American television miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. King also wrote the teleplay, and has a cameo role in the series. It was directed by Mick ...more

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Christine Kelly Preston, Alexandra Paul, John Madden Christine is a 1983 American horror thriller film directed by John Carpenter and starring Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul and Harry Dean Stanton. It was written by Bill Phillips and ...more

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Cujo Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Ed Lauter Cujo is a 1983 American psychological horror/thriller film based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. It was directed by Lewis Teague, and written by Don Carlos Dunaway and Lauren Currier.

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The Dead Zone Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Tom Skerritt The Dead Zone is a 1983 American horror thriller film directed by David Cronenberg. The screenplay by Jeffrey Boam was based on the 1979 novel of the same name by Stephen King. The film stars ...more

The All-Time Greatest Works of Stephen King

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Salem's Lot David Soul, Bonnie Bedelia, Lew Ayres Salem's Lot is a 1979 American television adaptation of the novel of the same name by Stephen King. Directed by Tobe Hooper and starring David Soul and James Mason, the plot revolves around a ...more

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The Mist Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden The Mist is a 2007 American science fiction horror film based on the 1980 novella of the same name by Stephen King. The film was written and directed by Frank Darabont, who had previously ...more

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Children of the Corn Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R. G. Armstrong Children of the Corn is a 1984 supernatural horror film based upon the 1977 short story of the same name by Stephen King. Directed by Fritz Kiersch, the film stars Peter Horton and Linda ...more

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1408 Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack, Kate Walsh 1408 is a 2007 American psychological horror film based on the Stephen King 1999 short story of the same name directed by Swedish director Mikael Håfström, who earlier had directed ...more

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Dolores Claiborne Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer Dolores Claiborne is a 1995 drama thriller film based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, starring Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh. It was directed by Taylor Hackford.

The Best Horror Movies on Netflix

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Secret Window Johnny Depp, Maria Bello, John Turturro Secret Window is a 2004 American psychological thriller film starring Johnny Depp and John Turturro. It was written and directed by David Koepp, based on the novella Secret Window, Secret Garden ...more

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Logan2011 added Firestarter Drew Barrymore, Heather Locklear, Martin Sheen Firestarter is a 1984 American science fiction thriller film based on Stephen King's 1980 Firestarter. The plot concerns a young girl who develops pyrokinesis and the secret government agency ...more

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carlybobarly added Needful Things Ed Harris, Max von Sydow, Bonnie Bedelia Needful Things is a 1993 horror film and an adaptation of Stephen King's 1991 novel Needful Things. The film was directed by Fraser C. Heston. It stars Max von Sydow, Ed Harris, Bonnie Bedelia ...more

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The Running Man Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Brown, Jesse Ventura The Running Man is a 1987 American science fiction action film loosely based on the 1982 novel The Running Man, written by Stephen King and published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. ...more

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Silver Bullet Gary Busey, Corey Haim, Terry O'Quinn Silver Bullet is a 1985 horror film based on the Stephen King novella Cycle of the Werewolf. It stars Gary Busey, Everett McGill, Megan Follows, Corey Haim, Terry O'Quinn, Lawrence Tierney, Bill ...more

The Most Messed Up And Nauseating Sexual Horror Scenes Stephen King Has Ever Written

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Dreamcatcher Morgan Freeman, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis Dreamcatcher is a 2003 science fiction horror film adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name. It was directed by Lawrence Kasdan, and co-written by Kasdan and screenwriter William ...more

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Thinner Stephen King, Kari W├╝hrer, Josh Lucas Thinner is a 1996 American body horror film directed by Tom Holland and written by Michael McDowell with the screenplay by Tom Holland. The film is based on the Stephen King novel of the same ...more

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SandraWelshStringer added Creepshow Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson Creepshow is a 1982 horror anthology film with elements of black comedy directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King. The film's ensemble cast included Hal Holbrook, Adrienne ...more

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It Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Bill Skarsgard It (also known as It: Chapter One) is a 2017 American supernatural horror film directed by Andy Muschietti, based on the 1986 novel by Stephen King. In the summer of 1989, a group of bullied ...more

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carlybobarly added Apt Pupil Ian McKellen, David Schwimmer, Joshua Jackson Apt Pupil is a 1998 American thriller film directed by Bryan Singer and starring Ian McKellen and Brad Renfro. It is based on the 1982 novella of the same name by Stephen King. In the 1980s in ...more

The Worst Movies That Have Grossed Over $1 Billion

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Logan2011 added Maximum Overdrive Carrie Fisher, Stephen King, Emilio Estevez Maximum Overdrive is a 1986 American science fiction action horror film written and directed by Stephen King. The film stars Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington. The screenplay was ...more

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Logan2011 added The Tommyknockers Marg Helgenberger, Traci Lords, Jimmy Smits The Tommyknockers is a 1993 television miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. It was directed by John Power, and starred Marg Helgenberger and Jimmy Smits in the two ...more

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willyboymcoy added The Langoliers Stephen King The Langoliers is a miniseries consisting of 2 episodes of 2 hours each. It was directed and written by Tom Holland and based on the novella by Stephen King from the four part anthology book ...more

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possumprincess added Rose Red Julian Sands, Kevin Tighe, Bobby Preston Rose Red is a television miniseries scripted by horror novelist Stephen King. The series was premiered in the United States on ABC on January 27, 2002. The story involves a haunted Seattle ...more

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Logan2011 added The Dark Half Timothy Hutton, Michael Rooker, Amy Madigan The Dark Half is a 1993 American horror film adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name. The film was directed by George A. Romero and stars Timothy Hutton as Thad Beaumont and George ...more

Which Stephen King Character Are You, Based On Your Zodiac Sign?

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Creepshow 2 Stephen King, George Kennedy, Dorothy Lamour Creepshow 2 is a 1987 American live-action/animated horror comedy anthology film directed by Michael Gornick and the sequel to Creepshow. Gornick was George A. Romero's cinematographer on the ...more

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Cat's Eye Drew Barrymore, James Woods, Charles S. Dutton Cat's Eye is a 1985 American anthology horror film directed by Lewis Teague and written by Stephen King. It comprises three stories, "Quitters, Inc.", "The Ledge", and ...more

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Tales from the Darkside: The Movie Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, Debbie Harry Tales from the Darkside: The Movie is a 1990 American horror anthology film directed by John Harrison based on the anthology television series Tales from the Darkside. The film, shot in ...more

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Sometimes They Come Back Tim Matheson, Brooke Adams, Michael Gross Sometimes They Come Back is a 1991 made-for-TV horror film based on the short story by the same title by Stephen King. The short story itself was planned to be part of the stories featured in ...more

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Logan2011 added Hearts in Atlantis Anthony Hopkins, Alan Tudyk, Anton Yelchin Hearts in Atlantis is a 2001 American/Australian drama thriller film directed by Scott Hicks and starring Anthony Hopkins. It is loosely adapted from Stephen King's novel.

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Graveyard Shift Brad Dourif, Stephen Macht, Andrew Divoff Graveyard Shift is a 1990 film directed by Ralph S. Singleton, written by John Esposito and based on the short story of the same name by Stephen King. First published in the 1970 issue of ...more

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Gerald's Game Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Carol Stuycken Gerald's Game is a 2017 American survival horror film directed by Mike Flanagan, based on Stephen King's novel. While trying to spice up their marriage in their remote lake house, Jessie (Carla ...more

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StarlandSeay added 11/22/63

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JohnAWilson added Stephen King's Desperation Ron Perlman, Charles Durning, Annabeth Gish Stephen King's Desperation is a 2006 television movie that Stephen King adapted from his novel of the same name. The film was directed by frequent King collaborator Mick Garris and stars Ron ...more

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MichaelChoi added The Dark Tower Idris Elba, Tom Taylor, Matthew McConaughey The Dark Tower is a 2017 science fantasy western horror film directed by Nikolaj Arcel, based on the series of novels of the same name by Stephen King. Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) is a young ...more

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The Night Flier Miguel Ferrer, Dan Monahan, Michael H. Moss The Night Flier is a 1997 horror film based on the short story of the same name which was written by Stephen King. It was directed by Mark Pavia and starred Miguel Ferrer and Julie Entwisle.

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Pet Sematary Two Edward Furlong, Clancy Brown, Anthony Edwards Pet Sematary Two is a 1992 horror film directed by Mary Lambert. The screenplay was written by Richard Outten. It is the sequel to the 1989 film Pet Sematary. The film stars Edward Furlong, ...more

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Dani Madden added Bag of Bones Anika Noni Rose, Annabeth Gish Bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, unable to cope after his wife's sudden death, returns to the couple's lakeside retreat in Maine, where he becomes involved in a custody battle between a young ...more

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Riding the Bullet David Arquette, Erika Christensen, Barbara Hershey Riding the Bullet is a 2004 horror film, directed by Mick Garris. It is an adaptation of a Stephen King novella of the same name. The movie, which received a limited theatrical release, was not ...more

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Logan2011 added The Mangler Robert Englund, Ted Levine, Danny Keough The Mangler is a 1995 American, Australian and South African horror film, directed by Tobe Hooper and based upon the Stephen King short story of the same name which appeared in his inaugural ...more

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Mercy Ellen Barkin, Peta Wilson, Julian Sands Mercy is a 2000 erotic thriller film directed by Damian Harris and starring Ellen Barkin. The movie was based on a novel written by David L. Lindsey.