The Mancunion

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Top 5: Underrated Stephen King Adaptations

Jack Lunn reassesses the Master of Horror’s lesser regarded books-turned-movies.


5) 1408 (2007)

In horror film law, a man who receives an unexpected postcard telling him, “Don’t enter 1408,” must do the opposite. 50 plus people have died in this one demented hotel room, so obviously checking in can only be a horrible mistake. Surely the worst rated hotel on TripAdvisor.

4) The Mist (2007)

Think the Mancunian monsoon is the worst weather gets? Try a deadly mist that traps the inhabitants of a small town into a supermarket. Full of drama, if B-movie visual effects or almost the entire cast of The Walking Dead doesn’t put you off.

3) Dead Zone (1983)

Christopher Walken brilliantly plays a teacher who sees the near future fatalities of those around him. Your sympathies are with Walken’s character, who clearly doesn’t have a superpower. His new condition obstructs all aspects of his life, especially his intimate relationships.

2) Apt Pupil (1998)

Dark thriller in which Ian McKellen plays a former Nazi war criminal. Hiding in the leafy Californian suburbs, he is discovered by a teen who blackmails him and balances high school with twisted tales of a terrible regime. Both are afflicted by this and begin to blur the lines of normal society.

 1) Dolores Claiborne (1995)

A Kathy Bates plus King adaptation is a fine formula. She plays the titular character, visited by her estranged daughter after being charged with murder. Claiborne has lived a hard life and seeing her daughter again rekindles family memories — some jovial, some mundane and many grim. To survive she has to overcome the dominant patriarchy at any cost.​