Stephen King is one of the most prolific and commercial writers of recent decades. Many consider him the master of terror and a large number of his stories have been adapted to television, comics, movies, and even sequels inspired by them. I have read several of his novels and his stories (but not even half) and I have tried to see their film versions and based on this I have chosen my favorites, that is, those that I consider the best movies I've seen based on his writings. In some cases maybe the failure, or success, is in the film, in others it may be in the original story, in any case, it is simply my opinion, based on my experience. According to the writer himself, his favorite adaptations are Stand by me, The Shawshank Redemption and The Mist. I totally agree with the first two, but The Mist Stephen? Really?
My favourite: "Shawshank redemption"
In the forties, or fifties, Andrew Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is a man who is sent to Shawshank prison, accused of the murder of his wife, to serve a life sentence. There, he meets and later befriends Red (Morgan Freeman), the guy who gets things inside the prison, the smuggler, let's say. However, it is not the typical prison drama of police abuses and the quarrels between prisoners (although of course there is something of that), this story has many other elements that make it stand out, both on paper and on the big screen. The main theme of the film is Freedom: The freedom from which prisoners are deprived by imposed punishment; the individual freedom of each one within the prison, how they dream, evoke memories, or smoke a cigarette to attenuate their fate for a moment; and then the condemnatory freedom of those who are approved to leave prison and reintegrate into society after having been there for four or five decades; for these last ones the freedom is a martyrdom, its life has been between the walls of the prison where they were somebody. In the world, a world now unknown, they are nothing. Besides all this, the story is about friendship, human dignity and hope. The master of terror does not use in this story supernatural elements, zombies, aliens, ghosts, and yet it is his best story, in my opinion.
Another prison story: "The green mile"
Set in the southern United States, in full Depression. Paul Edgecomb is a prison officer charged with overseeing the "Green Mile," a corridor that separates the cells from inmates sentenced to the electric chair. John Coffey, a giant black man accused of brutally murdering two nine-year-old sisters, is waiting for his imminent execution. After a naive and childish personality, Coffey hides a prodigious supernatural gift that marvels at the same time that scares. One of the best things about Shawshank redemption are the actors and their performances. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman play extraordinary roles in it; and in this Michael Clarke Duncan and Tom Hanks also manage to elevate the film to a higher level. Doubt, good and evil, the supernatural, miracles, guilt, condemnation, redemption, everything is present in this incredible story.
The bonds of friendship: "Stand by me"
This one is a classic movie about four teenagers and their adventure of looking for a missing boy. Playing at being heroes, the intelligent Cornie, the rude and sentimental Chris, the extravagant Teddy and the fearful Vern enter a hostile environment in which they must fend for themselves. These kids make a special team because all four of them are so different from each other and that's one of the main things about any good friendship: we don't have to be so alike to become good friends. This movie is an ode to friendship. And of course it is a film that reflects well that step from adolescence to young adulthood. Nothing extraordinary happens in comparison with other of his stories, but seeing a corpse, witnessing a phenomenon as natural as death, touches each of the protagonists deeply. The gang element is used by King in several of his stories (Dreamcatcher, It) but none of those bonds is as memorable as the one the children in this film share.
The extreme fanaticism: "Misery"
From the books I've read from Stephen King, Misery was the one that I thought was best written. It is a story of extreme fanaticism, of psychological terror. A writer named Paul Sheldon (James Caan) has spent years wasting his talent with romantic stories of great commercial success, whose protagonist is a woman named Misery. Determined to put an end to this situation, he kills the character and takes refuge in Colorado to write a serious novel. Finished his work, he undertakes the return, but on a mountain road, he loses control of his car and suffers a serious accident. Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), an abrupt and impetuous woman, who happens to be a great admirer of her, rescues him, takes him home and takes great care of him. Annie is obsessed with the character of Misery and reading the last installment of the writer in which a cruel fate falls on Misery, retains Sheldon to force him to write a new story in which he resurrects the character. Annie's unstable personality and Paul's inability to escape because of the injuries suffered in the accident create an asphyxiating, exasperating and terrifying atmosphere that, reinforced by the performance of Kathy Bates (which earned her an Oscar) manages to linger in her memory and in the nightmares of all the spectators.
His biggest classic: "The Shinning"
Like Kathy Bates in Misery, Jack Nicholson managed to scare us off in The shinning. I must admit that the book seemed good to me, acceptable, but not the masterpiece that I was waiting according to criticism. In the same way, the film seemed good to me, but not at the level of other works of Kubrick or other adaptations of King. However, I include it here because it has superior elements to almost all his other works. Jack Torrance moves with his wife and seven-year-old son to the impressive hotel Overlook, in Colorado, to take care of the maintenance of the facilities during the winter season, when it remains closed and isolated by the snow. His objective is to find peace and tranquility to write a novel. However, shortly after his arrival at the hotel, at the same time that Jack begins to suffer from disturbing personality disorders, strange and horrifying paranormal phenomena follow each other. Possessions, ghosts, murders, legend, isolation, mysterious inscriptions, everything is there to the order of the day to forge a disturbing and spooky story.
And now, the worst
I will not stop to describe each of the failures of each of the films included in this section. I will just name them and try to save you from a useless experience. The mist is like a waste of time (sorry, Stephen) and The Dark Tower is another fail. I don't know why they agreed to make the adaptation with that lame script, it was such a waste of actors, they hired Idris Elba and Academy award winner Matthew McConaughey for this? Dreamcatcher is a terrible movie, I did not like the way he used the alien element. I think his best stories are those where he incorporates more the internal psychology of the characters than the external elements like zombies, aliens or monsters. Recent versions of Carrie and It did not convince me at all, nor did The secret window nor that unfortunate Gerald's game. The originals Carrie and It are supposed to be good, but I haven't seen them yet, and The dead zone and Dolores Claiborne are included in his best adaptations, but I haven't seen them either.
What do you think about this post? about Stephen King? about his books? about his adaptations? let me know what you think. Do you agree? Do you think I should have included another movie? write a comment and share your opinion. Here in steemit we have the opportunity to do so. This site is about sharing, expresing ourselves and connect with people through our interests. Take care and see you soon.