Stephen King is an undisputed legend of horror literature. Many of his books have been adapted for the big screen. Here, in no particular order, are three of King’s scariest stories.
“Here’s Johnny…” is the famous quote from King’s most terrifying novel that went on to become one of the most popular horror films of all time. The Shining is based on writer Jack Torrance, played by Jack Nicholson, who takes a job as an off-season caretaker at an isolated hotel. Soon after Torrance, his wife and son have settled in to their new surroundings they are trapped in the hotel by a snowstorm.
As the film progresses, Torrance gradually becomes more and more influenced by the supernatural presence at large in the hotel and descends into madness attempting, more than once, to kill his wife and son.
The Shining has without a doubt made its mark on popular culture with The Simpsons making a parody episode containing scenes called The Shinning. Five episodes of stateside drama Gilmore Girls also made obvious references to the film.
Unlike King’s other pieces of work Salem’s Lot was made into a mini-series solely for television. It tells the story of an author who returns to his hometown after spending 25 years working away. On his homecoming he discovers that a vampire has moved in and is single-handedly turning the rest of the neighborhood into creatures of the night. Over the course of several weeks the whole population of the town becomes infected and begins to show vampire tendencies. Salem’s Lot is a mini-series so there is much more time for several stories and characters to develop and heightens the tragedy and fear. The televised version of Salem’s Lot is said to be ‘closest to home’ in relation to sticking to King’s original novel. King has said himself that it is his favourite adaptation of all his work.
Carrie is the story of a socially outcast girl who, following humiliation from her peers, teachers and parents, discovers that she possesses psychic powers that flare up when she becomes angry. When her principal repeatedly calls her Cassie, objects throw themselves off her desk. When a young boy slags Carrie while she’s walking home from school, he crashes his bike immediately after the words leave his mouth. When Carrie’s mother locks her in a cupboard and forces her to pray Carrie stares at a mirror until it shatters into a million pieces. One of the girls in Carrie’s school soon takes pity on her and convinces her boyfriend to take Carrie to the prom. However, other students don’t take so kindly to this suggestion and plan an embarrassing evening for Carrie. What they don’t realise about this teenager is that she is a not a girl to be messed with. According to a survey carried out in 2008 the film, starring John Travolta, was named one of the most popular movies watched by teens on Halloween night.