There’s no artist quite like Stephen King.
The wildly prolific author has not only given us dozens of books to chew on over his long career, but his works have been adapted for film and television more than 60 times.
While some of those adaptations fall flat (sorry, Under the Dome), some have become classics. In honor of The Dark Tower hitting theaters and Mr. Mercedes premiering on TV this month, we picked out our five favorite adaptations of King’s writing that are available to stream or rent.
If you love Jack Nicholson: The Shining
The Shining isn’t just one of the best Stephen King adaptations, it’s considered one of the greatest films of all time. If you somehow missed the Stanley Kubrick-directed classic, now is the time to amend that.
Stream it on Netflix.
If you prefer Kathy Bates: Misery
Misery is anything but a misery to watch. The Rob Reiner film is an exercise in tension, as a woman kidnaps her favorite author and subjects him to horror and abuse. Kathy Bates won a well-deserved Oscar for her performance as the deranged Annie Wilkes.
Stream it on Hulu.
If you hated high school: Carrie (1976)
There are few images from film as iconic as Sissy Spacek drenched in blood as Carrie at the prom. The Brian de Palma-directed horror classic explores how society fears the burgeoning independence and sexuality of teen girls, and it does so with show-stopping visuals and scares. The 2013 remake starring Chole Grace Moretz is serviceable but unnecessary next to the stunning original.
If you can handle clowns: Stephen King’s It
A new cinematic version of the novel is coming to theaters this fall, which means now is the perfect time to revisit the 1990 TV miniseries that made Pennywise such a harrowing villain. Available to rent as a long film, Tim Curry’s performance as the clown is downright terrifying, and it will be hard to top in the upcoming film.
If you would rather be moved than scared: Stand by Me
King is known for his thrillers and horror, but the author also excels at his characterization and relationships, which are essential underpinnings of all his great scary stories. Stand By Me is based on King’s short story “The Body,” and while it’s about a group of young boys journeying to find a dead body, it’s much more a story of friendship and…