I Ranked The 14 Best Stephen King Films Of All Time

Yoshiko Yap

He is the master of horror, and his movies can vouch for that.

Stephen King is the Spielberg of literature, as he’s created many successful stories over the years, and many of his films have taken their place in the annals of pop culture history.

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With tales about killer clowns, haunted hotels, and murderous fans, King has unleashed some of the scariest and most memorable stories of all time, and the many great films they’ve spawned only cemented his legacy as a writing legend. For this reason, here is the list of the 14 Greatest Stephen King Movies Ever Made.




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Not everyone is a dog person, and this film is probably why. When a friendly St. Bernard gets bitten by a rabid bat, he goes wild and starts killing anything that moves. This ravenous rampage leaves a mother and her child trapped in a car, struggling to survive both the heat and the hound. Cujo displays King’s talent for taking an everyday thing and turning it into an absolute nightmare, making it a great intro to him and his work.



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Christine has remained one of King’s most famous creations, and this is thanks in part to director John Carpenter’s frightening film about this fiery Fury. Featuring unforgettable imagery and a haunting score co-produced by Carpenter himself, Christine is a terrifying roadshow that will make you want to take better care of your car.


Pet Sematary (2019)

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Given the novel’s extremely dark nature, Pet Sematary has been a challenge to successfully adapt it into a film. However, the most recent film is arguably the better one. The 2019 version deviates from the source material, with Ellie dying instead of Gage, but it still makes a great villain out of her, while also making the demonic Wendigo the story’s true antagonist. All in all, the film still stands out thanks to its terrific performances, frightening scares, and a new ending that proves that sometimes, dead is better.


The Dead Zone (1983)

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“THE ICE…IS GONNA BREAK!” Christopher Walken dominated this film as the precognitive Johnny Smith, who struggles to regain the life he lost during his five-year coma. On top of that, he has to endure gruesome visions of people dying and decide whether or not he will use his power for the good of humanity. It’s a horrifying but heartfelt film that feels eerily relevant today thanks to Martin Sheen’s Trump-esque villain and the impending doom he carries.


The Mist (2007)

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When a quiet town becomes shrouded in a mysterious mist, a handful of townspeople trapped in a supermarket must fight off a horde of Lovecraftian beasts lurking outside. Though the monsters are no doubt horrifying, the real monsters are the people who succumb to fear and blindly follow a religious zealot demanding a sacrifice. But it’s the film’s shocking ending that will stick in your mind long after the mist fades.



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This story is every celebrity’s worst nightmare. When a beloved writer gets into a car accident, he is taken in by his number-one fan: Annie Wilkes, who forces him to rewrite his latest novel to stay alive. With a unique premise and a haunting performance from Kathy Bates, Misery stands out as one of the better King movies out there, and that hobbling scene alone makes for one of the scariest scenes in all of cinema.


Carrie (1976)

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This horror classic put Stephen King on the map. Director Brian de Palma brought the story of a distraught girl with telekinetic powers to life, bringing a new brand of horror to the big screen. Though the film looks dated now, Carrie has still left a lasting impact on audiences worldwide with its horrifying blend of the normal and supernatural, all culminating in what is hands down the worst prom night of all time.


Gerald’s Game

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For a long time, adapting this story for the big screen was thought to be impossible, but Netflix and director Mike Flanagan took our doubts and threw them out the window. This film depicts a romantic getaway gone wrong when a woman is left handcuffed to her bed after her husband suffers a fatal heart attack. Gerald’s Game is a frightening and phantasmagoric voyage into the protagonist’s traumatized mind as she tries to survive with what little resources she has, especially with the mysterious “Moonlight Man” watching her from the shadows.


The Green Mile

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This acclaimed film follows a death row prison guard when he encounters an inmate gifted with magical healing powers but wrongfully convicted of murdering two white girls. Yes, the film perpetuates the “Magical Negro” stereotype with John Coffey. However, the story is still a modern retelling of Christ’s death, and its portrayal of racism in America still hits hard today, making for an unforgettably dark film.


Doctor Sleep

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It’s hard to imagine someone making a great sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, but director Mike Flanagan proved that he was the man for the job. Set almost 40 years after the original film, an adult Dan Torrance must protect a young girl who shares his “shine” from a cult of psychic vampires known as the True Knot. The film pays homage to Kubrick’s film, but at the same time, it feels like Flanagan actually made King’s book into a novel for the big screen. And it gives audiences the ending to the saga that fans of The Shining have been waiting to see on film for years.


Stand by Me

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Adapted from King’s novella, The Body, director Rob Reiner presents audiences with a thrilling and endearing coming-of-age tale about four friends on a quest to see a dead body. It’s not the typical scary story you’d expect from Stephen King, but it is still a charming and nostalgic adventure that will appeal to audiences both young and old, and it has remained one of King’s most adored films today.


It (2017)

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This movie started the Stephen King renaissance. When a shapeshifting entity disguised as a clown begins eating the children of Derry, seven kids team up to defeat It. With incredible performances from its child actors and Pennywise himself, this film surpassed our expectations while reigniting King’s popularity in Hollywood, setting the stage for many great adaptations to come.


The Shining (1980)

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While critics and audiences were divided on this film when it first came out, Stanley Kubrick’s horror film had been hailed as a masterpiece in the decades that followed. King hated Kubrick’s film, but it is still a work of art by itself, thanks to its beautiful but frightening imagery, innovative camerawork, and stellar performances, particularly from Jack Nicholson itself. After experiencing The Shining for the first time, you’ll continue to think about it forever…and ever…and ever.


The Shawshank Redemption

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When Andy Dufresne is framed for murder, he is forced to spend decades in the hell that is Shawshank State Penitentiary. There, he forms a long-lasting friendship with fellow inmate Red, and struggles to endure the abuse inflicted by other prisoners and his captors as well. Widely considered one of the greatest films of all time, The Shawshank Redemption is a harrowing but inspiring story about finding hope in the darkest of places, and its ending has also made it one of the most uplifting films ever made.

Do you agree with this list? Were there any other Stephen King films that I missed? Please let me know in the comments section below.

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