Welcome to Maine — or, as our valued tourists and Canadians affectionately call us, "Vacationland." Apart from lobster and crystal meth, Stephen King is one of New England's most profitable exports. Arguably the best and most prolific #horror and thriller writer of the modern era, it's no surprise that we find ourselves yet again on the cusp of cinematic greatness as we anxiously await #StephenKing's next film adaptation, It. Already adapted once before as a popular miniseries that was released in 1990, It is causing quite the controversy among dedicated horror film and King fans alike.
Seriously, just check out the trailer for the new adaptation starring horror hottie Bill Skarsgård of Hemlock Grove and try to convince yourself you aren't just as excited as we are.
It has been close to 30 years since Tim Curry of The Rocky Horror Picture Show personified coulrophobia as #Pennywise the clown, before blossoming into a giant panic attack for unsuspecting audiences suffering from arachnophobia. Although critics continue to divide themselves between support and disapproval of this latest adaptation, true fans of Pennywise know that a great or even better homage to King's original novel isn't impossible. With that being said, and with the unwavering support of It cast veteran Curry, we leave our faith in the talents of the young Skarsgård.
Check out these five commonly overlooked Stephen King film adaptations and TV miniseries you may have missed.
- Hilarious 'It' Trailer Spoof Lets Ronald McDonald Have His Fun
- Twitter's Reaction To Bill Skarsgård's Pennywise In The 'It' (2017) Movie Trailer Will Leave You Floating With Joy
- 30 Best (And Worst) Stephen King Movies
5. Cat's Eye (1985)
A terribly underviewed film, Cat's Eye first came to me as a gift from my father on my 11th birthday, accompanied by It's Alive and Firestarter. Ever the horror hound, I distinctly remember this as being the first anthology film in my ever-growing movie collection as well as my introduction to Drew Barrymore. My father chose this one because he knew his little monster loved three things: scary movies, Stephen King and puddy cats — and he wasn't wrong. Although this one isn't particularly terrifying or creepy by any means, it remains a treat for anyone who is yet to see it.
4. Rose Red (2002)
One of King's many TV miniseries, Rose Red beautifully captures the immortality of a growing, creeping evil. Aesthetically gorgeous and ominously enchanting, it's a shame this title wasn't released in theaters. As with any film adaptation you can expect some plot and imagery changes, but that by no means makes Rose Red any less worthy of your time. Featuring performances from Jimmi Simpson of Westworld , Matt Ross of #AmericanHorrorStory, and timeless beauty Melanie Lynskey of The Frighteners, Rose Red should be on your watch list if you've yet to have the pleasure.
3. Carrie (2002)
It continues to baffle me how few people have seen this gnarly TV version of Carrie, which was an adaptation of Brian De Palma's 1976 film starring Sissy Spacek. One would expect a larger following, but as many TV movies do, it never quite gained the momentum it deserved. Differentiating herself from original #Carrie star Spacek and the most recent rendition courtesy of Chloë Grace Moretz, Angela Bettis brought an unparalleled natural spook factor her loyal fans like myself have come to know and love. Rule of thumb here is if you see Bettis cast in a horror movie, it's probably worth watching.
2. Riding The Bullet (2004)
Starring David Arquette, Barbara Hershey and Jonathan Jackson, this adaptation received a limited theatrical release but was nonetheless an eerie testament to why you don't want to be stranded alone on the back roads of Maine at night. Creepy and psychological, Riding the Bullet is a slow-burning trip into the psyche of a young man torn between the bonds of his past and future possibilities while accompanied by seemingly supernatural manifestations.
1. The Shining (1997)
Unpopular opinion alert: I prefer this adaptation of The Shining to Stanley Kubrick's 1980 theatrical vision of the novel. Both are great films, don't get me wrong. However, King's screenplay for the miniseries is significantly better than the cinematic film starring Jack Nicholson and has a run time of more than six wonderful hours. Carefully crafted for fans of his work by King himself, it's genuinely difficult to compete against this made-for-TV series, even if it is a cinematic legend such as #StanleyKubrick stepping up to the plate.
With well over 50 King films and adaptations to date, your movie selection is vast and continuously growing. With #StephenKingsIt set to make its theatrical debut on September 8, dedicated fans of both the author and the genre have no choice but to continue our restless deliberations about the expected quality of this retelling and its 27-year reemergence.
Tell us about your favorite Stephen King film in the comment section below.
[Main image credit: Warner Brothers/New Line Cinema]