Maine genius is everywhere. We review the B-side of Stephen King, the films based on the most humanistic stories of the writer. Film and television have surrendered to his brilliant stories on more than a hundred occasions, adapting many of his novels. “I love movies and when I go to see a movie made from one of my books, I know it’s not going to be exactly like my novel.”, acknowledges the writer. “I also know that he has an idea that I’m going to like because that idea came to me and I spent a year, or a year and a half of my life, working on it.”
The filmmakers who dare to bring their stories to the screen face, in addition to the author, the always severe verdict of his faithful followers, staunch defenders of his work but don’t get confused, if you don’t like the genre you can also enjoy the King’s pen. As we saw in our list of 15 horror movies that hide metaphors about real social fears, the format is ideal for talking, too, about ourselves.
What are you talking about?
“I recognize that terror is the best emotion and that is why I try to terrify the reader,” he explains, aware of the 13 adaptations of Stephen King that are to come. “But if I see that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I see that I cannot horrify, I will opt for disgust. I’m not proud. I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and French fries”, jokes an author who, to date, has published 61 novels, 7 essays and some 200 short stories and novellas.
“I am a salami writer. I try to write good salami, but salami is salami”, mocks the man responsible for the stories on which essential directors were based to create titles such as ‘carrie‘ (Brian DePalma, 1976), ‘The glow‘ (Stanley Kubrick, 1980), ‘creepshow‘(George A. Romero, 1982)’the dead zone‘ (David Cronenberg, 1983), ‘Christina‘ (John Carpenter, 1983) and ‘The fog‘ (Frank Darabont, 2007), hair-raising stories with horrors in the foreground that, among other things, work because of their deep understanding of the human side of their protagonists and the social mechanics in which they find themselves trapped. For this reason, although he himself prefers to hide behind the label of horror author, it is his less supernatural stories that have achieved some of the best translations to the big screen.
Where do I begin?
Since Lawrence D Cohen Y Paul Monash sign the adaptation Brian De Palma brought to the cinema in 1976, we haven’t stopped enjoying that other side of the director’s world. As much as Carrie White had powers, the story of the abuse suffered by the protagonist, especially by her mother, are what really made up an unforgettable story.
Something similar can be argued with the fall into the void of the Jack Torrance of Jack Nicholsonthe change of life Christopher Walken in ‘the dead zone‘ or even the suffering of the family that owns the protagonist of ‘cujo‘ (L. Teague, 1983), but the one who really understood that there was also a lot of King to explore under terror was Rob Reiner and, thanks to the adaptation of Bruce A Evans Y Raynold Gideonproved it in ‘Count on me‘ (1986), a nostalgic embrace of everything that seemed giant, primordial and imperishable before embracing adolescence. Nominated for an Oscar for best adapted screenplay, the film not only became a generational event, but also managed to endow King’s fundamental idea with a timeless character to finally become a classic that is still present.
What happened next?
The author’s terrifying stories continued to be the most requested by the studios but, little by little, the range was opened. the races of arnold schwarzenegger in the satirical dystopia of ‘Pursued‘ (PM Glaser, 1987) we also owe to King, but it was Reiner himself who, with a script by William Goldmanreturned to explore the purely human horrors that sprang from his pen in ‘Misery‘ (1990), Oscar for Katy Bates included.
Curiosities like ‘the lawn mower‘ (B. Leonard, 1992) continued to delve into his fantastic side while a short story served to prepare one of the most applauded productions out of his mind, ‘Life imprisonment‘ (1994), a film written and directed by a Frank Darabont that was inextricably linked to the author’s work and, five years later, returned to explore the terrors of the deprivation of liberty of an innocent man in ‘The green Mile‘ (1999).
Always surrounded by titles established in the genre, adaptations continued to arrive that embraced his most personal dramas in a less ambiguous way. ‘Total Eclipse (Dolores Claiborne)‘ (T. Hackford, 1995), ‘summer of corruption‘ (B. Singer, 1998) and ‘Hearts in Atlantis‘ (S. Hicks, 2001) followed this path and, now, the billboard is reunited with a new study of that King stuck to the ground in the new adaptation of ‘Fire Eyes‘ directed by Keith Thomas.
“He leans into the more emotional aspects of the book,” explains the filmmaker. “He talks about fatherhood, what it looks like and how you raise a child, especially one with abilities like this.” The plot introduces us to Andy (Zack Efron) and Vicki (sydney lemon), a couple who have spent a decade trying to hide their daughter Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) from a shadowy agency that wants to harness his incredible gift to turn fire into a weapon of mass destruction. Andy taught Charlie to harness her strange pyrotechnic power, but as she turns 11, the spark becomes increasingly difficult to control.