As a life long Stephen King fan, I feel like it is ALWAYS a good time to read and watch his works, but Halloween is the BEST time. He has a lot of different ways to scare you and these are my favorites. I am currently two books away from reading ALL of his novels and short story collections, so you know I know what I am talking about – dig in, kiddies!
Give these Stephen King books a read:
1. IT (1989) – Yes, I know its a time commitment at 1138 pages, but this is my very favorite of all of his books, having read it for the first time at 11. It’s fucked up, gory, upsetting and disturbing, yes, but also delves so deep into every character that you feel like you’re actually hanging out with The Losers Club. The scares are fresh and unique, the villain a horror icon, and the main characters relatable – so I say go big or go home!
2. The Long Walk (1979) – One of my very faves and criminally under-read, written under his Richard Bachman pseudonym. Taking place in a dystopian future with a killer national pastime, this book is just about being in the characters’ heads and that’s what makes it brilliant and terrifying. Can’t recommend highly enough.
3. The Dark Tower Series – Okay, this is admittedly a bit of a cheat since its an 8 books series, but when King calls this series his masterwork, he ain’t kidding. Brilliant, nuanced, weird and fantastical with characters and a plot to die for. I will say, however, the more King you have read, the more this series will make sense to you. I can’t express to you how much I love this series.
4. Firestarter (1980) – This one doesn’t get a lot of play, but I think it’s a cool concept with bitchin characters that all stems from a fictional version of the MK Ultra experiments, so what’s not to like!? King loves kids with psychic powers, and Charlie McGee is no exception!
5. Pet Sematary (1983) – One of the novels that made me fall in love with King, this book goes DARK. King has said on record that of all his books, this is one of the ones that genuinely scares him the most. So if it scares Stephen King, you KNOW it’s gonna be terrifying.
Watch these Stephen King films:
1. It: Chapter One (2017) – This film is incredibly well made, scary as all get out, and nails every member of The Losers Club perfectly. Like Stand by Me, but hard core horror – the book is all about falling in love with the characters, and this film makes you love every one. I cannot speak as highly of It Chapter Two, however…
2. Carrie (1976) – Brian De Palma’s brilliant film of this amazing novel helped launch King’s career into the stratosphere, and you can see why. It looks stunning, the performances are note perfect and the horror is real. Hard to top.
3. Pet Sematary (1989) – I was OBSESSED with this movie as a kid and watched it way more than any normal kid should. Mary Lambert shot this film in Maine, and you can tell – it has that feeling about it that most films of his work lack. Scary as all hell, AND has a title song by the Ramones, so you know its gonna be rad!
4. The Mist (2007) – this one is actually based on a novella, but Frank Darabont nails this film letter perfect, with a single location and a handful of characters to work with. One of the best film endings of all time as well.
5. Firestarter (1984) – This film is super faithful to the book and does a great job of bringing it to life. Incredible performances all around (especially by baby Drew Barrymore), some bitchin fire effects and a Tangerine Dream score! Yes!