The undisputed King of Horror, Stephen King is arguably one of the the greatest authors to ever live. He’s also one of the most prolific (thanks cocaine!). The man has written over 70 books and hundreds of short stories throughout his decades-long career. His iconic work has been forever stitched into the fabric of American pop culture. And despite Elon Musk’s best efforts, no one can bring King down.
Odds are you’ve experienced his work in some form, be it in novels, films, or television series. His work has been adapted countless times, with new projects premiering like clockwork. The Boogeyman is coming to theaters soon! Get hype! In the meantime, if you want to fill up on some films inspired by the Monster from Maine on Netflix, I’ve got you covered. Ayuh, I do.
This film takes place in Nebraska in the year (spoiler alert) 1922 and follows the story of a farmer named Wilfred James (King veteran Thomas Jane). Wilfred owns farm with his wife Arlette and their teenage son Henry. Arlette wants to sell the farm and move to the city, but Wilfred is against the idea. He believes that the farm is their legacy and wants to keep it that way. In order to prevent Arlette from leaving, Wilfred devises a plan to…. murder her. He convinces his son to help him, and the two carry out the unspeakable deed. Wracked with guilt as a consequence, Wilfred begins having visions of his wife’s ghost, along with the swarms of rats that devoured her body. Icky!
In The Tall Grass
This film is based on a novel of the same name, and begins with siblings Becky (Laysla De Oliveira) and Cal (Avery Whitted) driving through the Midwest on their way to San Diego. While passing through Kansas, the pair hear a young boy calling for help from a nearby field of tall grass. Against their better judgment (and the protestations of the viewers at home), they go in to the field to rescue the boy. They become disoriented and are separated from each other in the fields of grass. Almost like the grass has a mind of its own. They soon realize that the field is capable of warping time and space. Leave it to King to make us fear grass, of all things.
This novella-inspired film is about a father (Thomas Jane) and son’s ill fated trip to a grocery store in their small town. While inside the store, a thick mist falls upon the town. Trapped in the store, the townspeople soon realize that the mist is teeming with horrifying otherworldly creatures that prey on anyone who venture into it. Tensions soon rise against the survivors, making it difficult to know who to trust. The film was directed by Frank Darabont, who helmed King classics The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. Be warned: the film features one of the most brutal endings of any horror movie ever made. Far more brutal than the end of the book.
Gerald’s Game follows married couple, Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood), who are attempting to rekindle their dying relationship by traveling to a remote lake house. During sex, Gerald reveals that he has a creepy rape kink, and handcuffs Jessie to the bed. Then things get even worse when Gerald dies of a heart attack while Jessie is still handcuffed. Jessie is forced to find a way to escape before she dies of thirst or dies of exposure, all the while she has to confront deep-seated emotional trauma related to her sexually abusive father. If that wasn’t heard enough, she begins having visions of a “moonlight man” who is staring at her from the foot of her bed. She isn’t sure if the moonlight man is real or part of her imagination, but she really doesn’t want to stick around and find out.
This film is about a writer who struggling with relationship issues (as many of Stephen King’s works are). The writer, Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp), is recovering from a painful divorce and is struggling with a particularly nasty case of writer’s block. One day, a stranger named John Shooter (John Turturro) shows up at Mort’s doorstep and accuses him of plagiarizing his story. After Mort dismisses the accusation, Shooter becomes increasingly aggressive and violent, and begins to vandalize his home and threaten his life. As Mort struggles to prove his innocence and uncover the mystery of Shooter’s identity, he begins to experience particularly spooky and unnatural events that seem to be somehow connected to his own past. Throughout the film, Mort is forced to confront his own inner turmoil and events that brought him to this place in life. Will he make it through? Or will he succumb to madness first?
Mr. Harrigan’s Phone
Based on a short story by Stephen King, this film follows a young boy named Craig (It‘s Jaeden Martell) who befriends an elderly millionaire named Mr. Harrigan (Donald Sutherland). Craig works for Mr. Harrigan, and helps him with daily tasks. One day, Craig gives Mr. Harrigan an iPhone as a gift (his first mistake) and the old man becomes fascinated with it. After Mr. Harrigan dies, Craig continues to use his friend’s phone, as it helps him feel connected to him. A little too connected. One day, Craig begins to receive messages from Mr. Harrigan’s phone, messages which indicate that his friend has passed on to some sort of digital realm. Unsurprisingly, the messages start getting more and more disturbing, and Craig realizes that he might not be talking to Mr. Harrigan at all…. but something else. Something dark and dangerous on the internet! More dark and dangerous than the comments section!
Now I know what you’re thinking… where’s It? Sorry kid, you missed your chance. It was on Netflix for a while, but they just took it off. But you know the thing about It. It always comes back. Just wait another 27 years… you’ll see what I mean, Georgie boy. And then you’ll float too.
(Featured image: Netflix)
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