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Stephen King Movie Night

Home > Brisbane > Cinema
Published February 16th 2011
Stephen King has written nearly fifty novels and short story collections, most of which have been made in to movies. Some have been good, others have been terrible. But there's no denying that the master of horror knows how to tell a good tale. Acquaint yourself with some of King's most popular movie adaptations.


Stephen King's 1986 novel ruined clowns forever. The story follows a group of misfits, the self-dubbed Loser Club, from childhood to adulthood as they take on a shape shifting creature. The novel is terrifying; the 1990 movie is cheesy schlock horror at its best.

Starring Tim Curry as It, the three hour film loosely follows the events of the book. In 1960, seven pre-teens form a friendship based on their status as social outcasts and their visions of a child killing clown that can morph into whatever shape most scares them. Over the summer they fight and kill the creature, but thirty years later, the monster re-appears.

It is a decent horror movie with loads of shocks and suspense, but some of the effects are pretty tacky. The giant spiders at the end are so bad they're good.

The Shining

In 1980, Stanley Kubrick directed and co-wrote a film adaptation of King's most famous novel. The film deviated from the novel so much that King was responsible for a television mini-series in 1997.

Kubrick's The Shining is a cult classic and considered by many to be a horror masterpiece. Jack Nicholson stars as Jack Torrance, a recovering alcoholic who takes a job as a caretaker at the Overlook Hotel. Jack and his family soon learn that the hotel is haunted by malevolent spirits. This version is a ponderous and atmospheric piece; a little slow to being with, but absolutely terrifying once it gets off the ground.

The 1997 mini-series is much more faithful to the novel and is good for some scares but is far too long. Rebecca De Mornay stars as Wendy Torrance and Elliott Gould makes an appearance as the hotel manager.

The Shawshank Redemption

King wrote the novella Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption in 1982. The movie, starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, was released in 1994. Both have been labelled classics by book and movie critics.

Andy Dufresne is an upper middle class banker who is sentenced to life in Shawshank Prison for the murder of his wife and her lover. There, he forms a friendship with Red, the guy who can 'get things' and makes a life for himself giving financial advice to the prison guards. The Shawshank Redemption is a poignant drama that examines the concepts of freedom and incarceration.

At 142 minutes, it is a little long but well worth it. Of course, you could just check out this video, which condenses the story line into one minute:

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Why? Movies that all Stephen King fans should see
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